Chapters Council Meeting

ALA Annual Meeting 2003
Sunday, June 22, 2003–8:30-11:00am

Welcome and Introductions

Chapters Council Chair Sherri Edwards began the meeting with a reminder that the purpose of Chapters Council is to facilitate communication between ACRL National and the local chapters as well as between the chapters themselves. She introduced the officers, Vice-Chair/Chair Elect Locke Morrisey and said that our Secretary, Heather Ward, could not be in attendance due to carpal tunnel syndrome. Debbie Malone, Chapter Topics editor will be taking the minutes. Sherri also stressed the need for a quorum of voting members so that valid elections of officers could be held during the session. 


Locke mentioned that the breakfast refreshments for our meeting were provided by SIRSI and he encouraged members to stop by the SIRSI booth and thank them for their generous sponsorship.

Update from ACRL President, Helen Spalding

Helen mentioned that a film crew was in Toronto today filming portions of an ACRL sponsored five minute video on academic librarian recruiting. She encouraged members to take time to be interviewed for the video. ACRL is seeking participants of all ages and body types to talk about the joys of academic librarianship. The filming will be concluded in Los Angeles.

She said that out of the 72 total ACRL scholarships, the Friends of ACRL group had provided 14 scholarships to the ACRL Conference in Charlotte. She sees this as a great way to encourage new people to participate in the organization.

The 2005 ACRL conference will be held in Minneapolis April 7-10, and the call for proposals will go out in the fall. ACRL is looking for programs on all aspects of the profession and especially programs speaking to technical services and computer support. 

Spalding said that ACRL has been active on a number of advocacy issues. She sent out a letter to all library directors urging careful action on peer-to-peer file sharing. A balance needs to be struck: the music industry needs a new pricing module, and we need to be sure that crackdowns on file sharing protocols do not shut down or hinder scholarly communication. She also said that a white paper will be coming out soon on the anti-trust proposal on the merging of publishers, and ACRL assisted in arranging a meeting on the proposed changes to ERIC.

She has spoken to the Missouri and Utah chapters this year, and will speak at the Nebraska and Alabama chapters in the fall. She spoke on copyright and the US Patriot Act at the provost's dinner during the AAHE (American Association for Higher Education) conference. Feedback from the provosts made it clear that they were not aware of the impact of the new laws on libraries and scholarly communication.

She urged members to use the @Your Library Toolkit which was recently mailed to libraries. The program provides strategies to improve all messages the library sends, and the website provides many more resources.

Spalding mentioned a number of other task forces which are currently hard at work: Spectrum Scholar mentorship; Guidelines on Access for distance learning issues; long term investments; and the 1st Year Student Experience.

2003 Elections

A quorum being present, our election was held. Vibiana Bowman (New Jersey Chapter) was elected Vice Chair/Chair Elect and Wendy Starkweather (University of Nevada Las Vegas) was elected Secretary.

Updates from ACRL Officers and Staff

Mary Ellen Davis,ACRL Executive Director, announced that Stephanie Sherrod had resigned and that Mary Jane Petrowski, ACRL Associate Director, would be filling in as Chapter Liaison until her replacement could be hired.

In a continuing effort to bring continuing education to members, ACRL has six new web casts available at

Topics include information literacy, assessment, scholarly communication and more. Two web-CT based seminars are also available at

These are a useful way to include more staff in training opportunities.

Mary Ellen mentioned that the ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute was booked for this summer, but that next year's program will run from August 8-13, 2004.

She encouraged us to advertise job openings in College and Research Libraries News. The online ads are updated daily and read by over 13, 000 potential applicants a month. More information is available at:

This is a good time of year to think about nominating chapter members for ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Awards. These awards bring wonderful recognition and publicity both nationally and locally to the winning libraries. More information is available on the ACRL Web site.

Mary Jane Petrowski reminded members present that Chapter Reports are due in by August 15, 2003 as are requests for reimbursements. Chapter Roster change sheets are available online and should be updated regularly.

When asked about the $10 award to Chapters when local members become national members, she said that ACRL is still providing this incentive. Chapters need to provide documentation of active focused recruitment events in order to qualify. She suggested that Chapters could perhaps share examples or models of recruitment efforts at the next Council meeting.

John Politz (Iowa Chapter) also serves on the ACRL Membership Committee, and he said that the committee is proposing enlarging its membership to include liaisons from other committees. The intent is to improve communication between various groups and the ACRL Membership committee. A liaison from Chapters Council would be able to provide helpful background information as well as a link to the wider membership.

Tyrone Cannon, ACRL President-Elect
Tyrone reported that his appointments committee had made 140 divisional level appointments, and that Charles Kratz (University of Scranton) and Camila Alire (University of New Mexico) had agreed to run for President-Elect next year.

The theme for his presidential year will be "Partnerships and Connections: The Learning Community as Knowledge Builders." He was asked to speak at the Wisconsin Chapter and he will be speaking at the Michigan and New Jersey Chapters in the coming months.

Tyrone went on to highlight ACRL's strategic planning process. They have hired Ticker and Associates to guide us through the process and Paul Meyer is the principal facilitator. Tyrone pointed out a booklet in the packets given to all council attendees which outlined the Strategic Thinking Session which was held after the Leadership Conference on Friday during the annual conference. It lists five categories of assumptions which must be considered: social/demographics; political climate/regulations; global business climate; competition; and technology. It also includes numerous worksheets for brainstorming on specific topics. Tyrone asked all chapter representatives to take the strategic planning booklet back to their local area and try to involve members in the brainstorming process. ACRL will be conducting qualitative interviews with 25 librarians nationwide in the coming months, and all data must be submitted by October, 2003. A survey will be placed on the ACRL web page and Mary Ellen Davis will send email messages to clarify who should respond. Any member may send suggestions and opinions to  Paul Meyer with ACRL on the subject line.

Tyrone also mentioned the Focus on the Future report which was discussed in an earlier meeting at the conference. The report focuses on "Top Issues Facing Academic Libraries" which appeared in College and Research Libraries News. November, 2002, v. 63 #10. The top issues include: recruitment, education and retention of librarians; the role of the library in the academic enterprise; impact of information technology on library services; creation, control and preservation of digital resources; scholarly communication; support of new users; and higher education funding. The Focus on the Future report suggests reexamining and updating the top issues on a regular basis. It also deals with the role of the ACRL Board in regard to the issues. The President Elect could be charged with building a conference program around these issues, and/or a short term task force could be formed to identify issues each year. This task might also be folded into the tasks of the Research Committee.

Sherri Edwards brought up a recommendation from Steven Bell, Philadelphia University, that each chapter hold a symposium on the top issues and the results could be published on the web or in C&RL News. We had limited time for further discussion but the topic will be brought up at the midwinter Council meeting.

Best of Chapters


Susan Scott, Academic Library Association of Ohio Liaison and Government Relations Team Leader, reported on some of the recent activities of the Chapter. Their chapter was the 2003 recipient of the Cultural Diversity Grant from the Library and Administration and Management Association, a division of ALA. They used the grant to support their Diversity Committee's spring program on the culture of the Middle East and Somalia.

She noted that their Technical Services Interest Group is quite active and comes up with creative titles for their sessions. They recently offered "Showdown in the Serials Aisle" Controlling Electronic Journals" and "Numbers, Lies and Statistics: How Do You Know What You REALLY Own".

The Support Staff Interest Group offered its spring workshop, "Preparing and Motivating Ourselves for Success in the Library" in three different locations in order to encourage more staff members to attend.

They are in the process of creating a web membership database so that individuals can easily see if it is time to renew their membership. They hope this will increase renewals.

New Jersey

Vibiana Bowman, New Jersey Chapter Chair, explained that her chapter is also the College and University Section of the New Jersey Library Association. There are numerous universities and colleges in the state, but many librarians do not join the local chapter. One of their goals is to raise the chapter's profile.

In the fall of 2002 the chapter co-sponsored a Research Forum with Farleigh Dickinson College titled " Visions 2012: the Future of Academic Libraries." A future symposium based on the winning papers is under discussion.

In the spring of 2003, the Technology Committee sponsored an open house at Seton Hall University. The people who were nominated for the NJ ACRL Technology Award presented their projects. Ed Corrado of Rider University was the winner and his project was based on open source software. The Committee plans to sponsor a similar open house in the spring of 2004.

The Rutgers University Library system has graciously extended the use of its videoconferencing equipment and library meeting rooms to the chapter. Through the use of this equipment, librarians from all over the state can attend chapter meetings from one of three Rutgers Campuses in the state. This allows for minimal disruption of work schedules and greater convenience for our members. This proved especially useful this past winter which was one of the harshest in recent New Jersey history.

Chapter goals for the coming year include: increase chapter memberships; increase diversity; and increase librarian involvement on the national level.


Ewa Barczyk, Chapter Council Liaison, said that WAAL (Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians) is also a section of the Wisconsin Library Association. Their spring conference, titled "Connect in the City: Librarians, Students, and Faculty" was a huge success with over 200 attendees and program over two and a half days.

The chapter offers 5-6 scholarships each year for individuals to attend the state conference.  Some go to support staff, and some scholarships go to undergraduates who are assigned a librarian mentor.

The chapter recently hosted the ACRL Information Literacy Regional Workshops, and Ewa passed out copies of the WAAL flyer, "Information Literacy Competencies and Criteria for Academic Libraries in Wisconsin." Their flyer lists ten competencies which are explained in clear and understandable terms, and they are available free of charge from the Wisconsin Library Association.

They are sponsoring a summer workshop on advocacy, and to foster collaboration they are now posting jobs from Minnesota on their website.