ACRL Chapters Council Minutes

Midwinter 2000—San Antonio, Texas
January 16, 2000

Chapters Council Chair Lynne King called the meeting to order at 8:35 am. King welcomed attendees and announced that the ACRL Presidential Candidate’s Forum and Luncheon, sponsored by Chapters Council, would be held immediately following our meeting. King also noted that refreshments for today’s meeting were provided compliments of SIRSI.

Introduction of Chapters Council Officers and 2000 Chapters Council Elections Information

King introduced Chapters Council Vice-Chair/Chair Elect Evelyn Minick and Secretary Sherri Edwards. Minick is currently seeking nominations for candidates to stand for election to the positions of secretary and vice-chair elect for 2000/2001. Serving as officer is a great opportunity to get involved on a national level. Self-nominations are welcomed. Candidates will be announced in the spring issue of Chapters Topics, with elections to take place at Annual Conference Vote on June 1999 Chapters Council Minutes

Minutes from the 1999 Chapter’s Council meeting held in New Orleans were approved with minor corrections. Secretary Edwards asked attendees to sign the attendance sheet and to make changes on her circulating copy of the Chapters Council roster.

Updates from ACRL Officers and Staff

King introduced Melissa Cast, Director of Member Services, and Louise Jessup, Members Services Secretary. Cast reported the following announcements:

Her office is responsible for maintaining the Chapters Council roster. Chapters should report any changes in their officer lists, including new officers, changes in addresses, telephone numbers, etc. to her or Louise.

A chronological list of Chapter conferences and programs is now available on the ACRL web site. Any events we want listed on the calendar should be send to her office. Also, the current roster, the ACRL Policies and Procedure Manual, and various forms can be found on the web site.

The ACRL Board of Directors has again allocated funding for the ACRL President, Vice President/President Elect or the Executive Director to speak at ACRL chapter meetings. Chapters must submit requests for speakers for their fall/spring conference by June 1, 2000.

Cast encouraged chapters to apply for ACRL Initiative Grants. Applications are due by March 15, 2000, with funded projects to be announced by June 15, 2000. Recipients of last year’s initiative funds were the Delaware Valley Chapter for an Academic Librarians Lecture Series; the Ohio chapter for a “State House Connect Day”, a mini-legislative day; and the Illinois Chapter for a virtual conference entitled “Study Hall or Partner in Teaching & Learning: The Role of the Academic Libraries Today.”

Cast also reminded chapters that, in addition to the $1.00 for each ACRL national member living within the chapter’s region, ACRL will provide additional funding in the amount of $10.00 for each new member, provided that the chapter conducted membership recruitment activities over the past year and summarized these activities in their annual reports.

Finally, the call for participation for ACRL Denver, to be held March 15-18, 2001, has been distributed.

Melissa Cast can be reached at mcast@ala.org.

Updates from ACRL Board

King then introduced three members of the ACRL Board of Directors, including Betsy Wilson, ACRL President- Elect, and directors at large Barbara Jenkins and Lois Cherepon. President- Elect Wilson reported that the ACRL Strategic Plan 2005 will be reviewed at today’s executive board meeting. The Strategic Plan outlines the core values, vision, and directions for ACRL and provides guidance and direction for the organization. The draft Strategic Plan is available on the ACRL web site.

Wilson reminded attendees that all ACRL Executive Board meetings are open to the public, with “open mike” scheduled for the first twenty minutes. The board is considering offering funding in the amount of $250 for one representative from each chapter to attend the Legislative Advocacy pre-conference. A vote on this action is pending.

Barbara Jenkins reported that planning is well underway for ACRL Denver and she encouraged all attendees to submit proposals. A scholarship for new librarians to attend the conference is being considered by the board and will be voted on soon.

At the last Chapters Council meeting, Jenkins had volunteered to head a task force to investigate scheduling Chapters Council programs at ACRL conferences. Jenkins reported that individual sections do not traditionally sponsor programs. However, individual chapters are welcome to submit proposals as are any individuals or groups.

Legislative Network Update

Pat Walker, Legislative Network Coordinator, was pleased to report that all 42 Chapters have either a new or returning representative to the legislative network. Walker encouraged increased attendance at the 26th annual National Library Legislative Days, to be held on May 1st and 2nd. Traditionally, this activity has been dominated by public libraries. Among other reasons, the timing of Legislative Days makes it difficult for many academic librarians to attend.

Walker announced that the ALA Office for Information Technology is sponsoring an Online Copyright Tutorial from Feb 14 through May 5th. Cost is free to ALA members. To subscribe you can send an email message to copyright@alawash.org expressing your interest in the tutorial.

Registration for the Legislative Advocacy Pre-conference, “Key Roles for Today’s Academic Librarians,” to be held on July 7th in Chicago is only $50.00 for ACRL members and $85.00 for ALA members.

“Thank You Day” is scheduled for April 11, 2000. “Thank You Day” is one of several activities planned for National Library Week and is an organized way for libraries to collectively thank legislators for their support.

Finally, Walker expressed her thanks to Michael Godow, from the ACRL office, who is stepping down from his position as Program Officer. Godow has served as the liaison between ACRL and Chapter Council on legislative initiatives.

Chapter Topics

King introduced Heather Ward, the new editor of Chapters Topics, the newsletter for Chapters Council. The deadline for entries for the spring issue is April 21, 2000. Ward reminded members to send contributions in the body of an email message, not as attachments. She also urged attendees to consider contributing feature length articles on hot topics, in addition to chapter reports. Chapter reports sometimes need to be shortened due to lack of space. Chapter Topics is published 3 times per year.

Ward led a discussion about whether we should move to an “html only” version of the newsletter. Advantages of an html only version are that it would be more timely, it would save printing and mailing costs, it would provide for broader access, it would allow for greater flexibility; and it could also be saved as pdf format. Ward distributed copies of a web prototype. After a brief discussion, attendees voted to go to an html only version. Ward encouraged each chapter to forward the electronic version of the newsletter to their own board members and to print one copy for their archives.

Incorporation update

King reported on those chapters whose incorporation status was either unknown or incomplete as of the June’ 99 Chapters Council meeting. An updated list (as of August ’99) provided by Melissa Cast and supplemented by reports of chapter delegates, was added to the record as follows:

Status unknown: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Western Pennsylvania

Incorporation in progress: California, Montana, New England, New Mexico, NY Metro, NY Western/Ontario, North Dakota/Manitoba, Oklahoma, Washington

Incorporation complete: Louisiana, New Mexico, NY Eastern

Per the report of the Task Force on ACRL Chapter Relations, all chapters need to be incorporated, or affiliated with an incorporated state group, by the end of 2000. Any chapter requiring an extension of the deadline should contact Chair Lynne King as soon as possible.

New Business

Steven Bell, Delaware Valley Chapter, was appointed by Chapters Council and served through the fall as a member of the Nominating Committee for a new award “Excellence in Academic Libraries”, with winners to be announced after Midwinter. This $3000 award, sponsored by Blackwell, was the idea of Larry Hardesty and will be presented to winners in three categories: community colleges, colleges, and universities. Criteria for the award can be found on the ALA web site.

Evelyn Minick asked for feedback on how other chapters are handling student memberships. For instance, are students considered full members, are they allowed to vote; how are students defined, etc? Most chapters do not have rigid guidelines for defining student memberships and many offer reduced membership dues. Several chapters give reduced registration fees or stipends for student members to attend conferences and other programming. Other ideas offered include entering all students who register for a conference into a raffle to win registration refunds, assigning mentors to student members, asking students to write articles about a conference or program for their chapter newsletter, and asking student members to work at chapter conferences.

Accreditation issue

Mary Mallery, New Jersey Chapter, reported on a presentation given by ACRL Chapters Council Representatives from the Middle States (Mallery, Steven Bell, Delaware Valley Chapter, and Teresa Ronning, Eastern NY Chapter) to the ACRL Standards and Accreditation Committee (SAC) Midwinter Meeting on the issue of accreditation.

In August, 1999, Oswald Rattery, Assistant Director for Constituent Services and Special Programs, Middle States, raised the questions of whether or not a physical library is necessary for accreditation and whether a librarian should be mandated as part of the accreditation site visit team. He posed these questions to a group of library directors at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission has been dealing with the issue of accreditation of transregional and virtual universities.

In response to the questions posed by Rattery, Larry Hardesty has written an ACRL position paper entitled “Do We Need Academic Libraries,” which he will share with SAC.

Mallery urged ACRL and Chapters Council to work in cooperation with other national organizations, such as AAHE, EDUCAUSE, and AAUP to address these critical issues. It is our responsibility as Chapter Council representatives to ensure that accreditation agencies understand the importance of traditional academic libraries and that academic libraries are well represented on accreditation review teams.

Barbara Jenkins recommended that a future Chapter Topics article be devoted to this important issue and include, among other things, a list of the different regional accreditation agencies.

Finally, Jenkins indicated that she has received some negative feedback about the high registration costs for the ACRL conference in Denver. Jenkins urged attendees to voice their concern to the board if they feel registration fees are too high.

“What is Chapters Council” brochure development

At the conclusion of the business meeting, attendees divided into five smaller groups to brainstorm ideas for the development of a “What is Chapters Council” brochure. This brochure will be similar to ones developed by other sections and divisions and will be used to help define and promote Chapters Council. Group leaders included Lynne King, Evelyn Minick, Pat Walker, Sherri Edwards, and Linda Kopecky (Illinois Chapter).

Group leaders led a discussion of the following topics:

1. Definition or description of Chapters Council
2. Goals of Chapters Council
3. Role of Chapters Council within ACRL
4. How to best utilize a promotional brochure, i.e., the target audience, distribution methods, how to update brochure, etc.

In addition to generating a framework and actual text for the brochure, the discussions were designed to help orient new council members to some of the issues that are peculiar to Chapters Council and to further understanding of the similarities and differences among chapters.

Each small group then reported the results of its brainstorming session to the larger group. Ideas generated from each session were recorded and given to Kopecky, chair of the task force that will develop the brochure. Other members of the task force are June Breland (Mississippi), Tim Dodge (Alabama), Charlotte Dugan (Missouri), Sherri Edwards (Ohio), Linda Scarth (Iowa), and Heather Ward (Oregon).

Reported by Sherri Edwards
Secretary, Chapters Council