Chapters Council Meeting Minutes

ALA Annual – Chicago, IL
Sunday, July 12, 2009
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Sheraton, Chicago Ballroom VIII-X

Orientation for New Chapter Liaisons

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
Chair, Kevin Merriman called the meeting to order at 8:05am.  He introduced Judith Pinnolis, Vice-Chair and Anna Salyer, Secretary.  Garrett Trout, the new editor for the online newsletter, Chapters Topics was unable to attend but Kevin commented on the great job Garrett did with the Spring newsletter.

The Council is working on ‘going green’ and subsequently did not print out copies of the orientation packet.  These can be found online at:

Judy announced our appreciation and thanks to EBSCO for the continental breakfast and coffee service.  She encouraged us to “please eat everything as this breakfast was very expensive!”

Kevin reviewed the Chapters Council Mission and Goals which are:
to serve as a conduit for information and communication between National ACRL and its Chapters, and to promote membership of ACRL National.
The goals of Chapters Council are:
• To support the goals and initiatives of ACRL National
• To facilitate communication between ACRL members and ACRL leadership
• To encourage and support ACRL Chapters goals and initiatives
• To build membership of ACRL at the National and Chapter levels
Kevin also reviewed portions of the orientation packet including officer responsibilities, involvement and communication with ACRL National, governance, process, advocacy, information sharing, leadership council and a general overview of our organization and its primary responsibilities.

Judy reported that in the role of representing your chapter, you must file your reports in May.  There is an online form that focuses on the strategic goals.  Last midwinter we held a brief training on how to fill out the form.  The New England Chapter has created a guide for how our chapters can link their activities to the strategic goals.  They would like to expand that idea to create a national form / worksheet that will help SIGS fill out the reports.  Judy requested volunteers in creating the worksheet.  Joyce Neujahr, Gloria Creed-Kigeogu , and Laurie Swartwout will work with Judy to create a form for the chapters.


Judy -  Chapters are eligible to receive funding from ACRL National.  At Midwinter, an ad hoc committee was created to develop a request to increase funding for operational expenses per national member from $1 to $3 (with flexibility on the amount granted).  The rationale was that the Chapters are financially strained, approval would show strong support of the Chapters, and there hasn’t been a raise since 1999.  Rickey Best, Laurie Swortwout, Katherine O’Clair and Judy Pinnolis were on the committee.  They created a proposal in alliance with the strategic plan.  They were turned down because less than half of the money available for funding is requested and used.

Judy would like to re-work and re-submit the proposal.  Rickey Best, Les Kong, Laurie Swortwout, and Barbara Kenney volunteered to work with Judy to develop an alternative funding plan targeted for 2011/2012.  A suggestion:  after a certain date, make the unused funds available to those who had requested ‘extra’ funding.


Annual Meeting

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

I. Call to Order (Kevin Merriman)

II. Introductions - Chapters Council Officers, Members, and Attendees:

Kevin Merriman (Tennessee), Judy Pinnolis (New England), Anna Salyer (Washington), Kathy Parsons (Iowa), Kristin Mastel (Minnesota/Manitoba), Les Kong (California), Pat Newland (Delaware), Ruby Cross (Georgia), Gloria Creed-Dikeogu (Kansas), Rebecca Ganzel Thompson (Minnesota), Suzanne Turner (New York), Liz Abbott (?), Tracy Olanyk (Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia), Mark Lenker, (Virginia), David Dah (Maryland), Katherine O’Clair (Arizona), Dan Stanton (Arizona), Carroll Wilkinson (Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia), Liz Evans (Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia), Barbara Kenny (New England), Tim Dodge (Alabama), Rickey Best (Alabama), David Gleim (South Dakota), Linda Brett (South Dakota), Jane Treadwell (Illinois), Joyce Neujahr (Nebraska), Jan Hartley (Washington), Laurie Swartwout (Wisconsin), Rachel Bridgewater (Oregon), Susan Scott (Ohio), Ruth Hodges (South Carolina), Kristen Borysewicz (North Dakota), Megan Griffin, (ACRL Staff Liaison), Linda Kopecky (ACRL Board, Director at Large), Mike McLain (Program Officer for Legislative Advocacy).

Brief reports from the various Chapters shared the following activities:  planning conferences and inviting speakers, working on legislative advocacy, developing collaborative partnerships, dealing with financial difficulties, revising by-laws, investigating ways to serve members in more remote parts of the state, planning retreats, testing new technologies, and updating record keeping efforts.

Kevin reported on the ACRL’s Strategic Plan and the need to develop “SMART” goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) at the chapters level.  These goals will guide future programming and the annual reports.

III. Approval of Minutes from ALA Midwinter 2009. (Anna Salyer)

Motion to approve:  Rickey Best; 2nd Gloria Creed.
Moved and Approved:  Unanimous.

IV. Lori Goetsch, ACRL President

Lori indicated this past year has gone very quickly for her - filled with interesting visits and conversations.  She visited the North Dakota – Manitoba Chapter in Grand Forks, as well as chapters in Kansas and North Carolina.  She reinforced the idea that professional development on the local level is extremely important – it keeps members engaged, especially in this economic downturn.

Lori also discussed the upcoming president’s joint program with LLAMA (Library Leadership and Management Association) and ASCLA (Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies).  Among the issues being considered are “Mentoring and Leadership in the Intergenerational Library” and initiatives for helping libraries demonstrate their value on campus.  They are looking for speakers and ideas.  Please let Lori or Katherine O’Clair know if you are interested in participating.

V. Erica Linke, ACRL Past President

Erica has been working closely with Lori to move the presidential leadership forward in a collaborative fashion.  The Board would like to have more impact as an association and a closer relationship with ALA. They have appointed board liaisons to committees which will also appoint vice-chairs so there will be more continuity in planning and operations, and to assure more tightly aligned strategic directions.

The Board continues to modify the strategic directions and identified six priorities to focus on during the next five years.
1. Strengthen ACRL’s relationships with Higher Education organizations.  We need a stronger voice in our public policies, relationships with our communities, and promoting the value of academic libraries.  The Board brought in experts to help strategize, to provide more concrete ideas for both the long and short term, and to aid members in their struggle to express value of their libraries especially in dollars and sense.  Expect to hear more from the Board on this.
2. Enhance ACRL members understanding and promotion of the work of scholars along with the tools and technology used for scholarly productivity.
3. Expand learning opportunities.  A recent membership survey helped the Board better understand what members want.  The results will be posted on the website.  There is useful information to help plan programs on the chapter level.
4. Increase the recognition of the value of libraries and librarianship by leaders in Higher Education as well improve ACRL’s influence in public policy discussions.
5. Support members in the exploration, research, and implementation of new technologies with implications for library service.
6. Increase membership and outreach to the racially and ethnically underrepresented.

Erica promoted the use of ALA Connect and the value of virtual participation with ACRL and ALA.  Changes are occurring within the leadership of these groups highlighting the effectiveness and challenges of virtual participation and there will be continued focus on this type of participation.

The Membership Committee had given her a report regarding student participation within ACRL.  She encouraged Chapters to help recruit members from the I-Schools and include them in their activities.

Erica reported that the Board meets twice a year.  This year the big issue is the budget with a projected deficit of $400,000.  While the Association has reserves to handle this, it cannot continue to operate with deficits and is continuing to look at ways to steward and transform itself.

VI. Mary Ellen Davis, ACRL Executive Director

Among Mary Ellen’s responsibilities are strategic planning, the budget, and programming.  She represents ACRL to higher education through the American Education Research Association.  This organization helps raise awareness with academic administrators and highlights library contributions to the academy.  In regard to the strategic directions, Mary Ellen stressed the need for sustainable actions and activities.

Mary Ellen also discussed the economic situation and pointed out that ACRL is not exempt from this downturn.  ACRL revenues are down for advertising and specifically for the job placements ads.  The Joblist is the online job tool - please encourage your libraries to use their advertising money for the Joblist.  Last year, revenue from this was equal to membership dues and this year it is down $150,000.

ACRL is continuing to expand e-learning opportunities by providing access to the Cyber Zed Sheds which were used successfully at the ACRL biannual meeting in Seattle.  Linda Kopecky from Wisconsin described how she has used the virtual sessions which include downloadable, dynamic screen capture, live audio, and powerpoint slides for staff development.  There are some 80 plus sessions that are available which benefited not only library staff, but also staff from across campus.  They were widely popular and she figures they have been able to go to far more programs than if they had gone to Seattle.  This is a huge value to members and promotion for ACRL.

Mary Ellen also discussed the development of the Instant Messaging chat series via On Point Chat which had 61 participants in ACRL 101.  She asked for ideas for future topics.  What are you doing that is fun and/or would help elicit engagement?  A suggestion was made that local chapter newsletters could be moved to e-versions only, saving reimbursement costs from national.

Judy – what can we do to help brainstorm to help cut and streamline costs?  We’re going to do some thinking regarding funding.  We want to help think of new ways to go forward especially in the long term.

Mary Ellen –Questions such as “if I belong to ACRL why belong to ALA?” are being asked.  It’s really not an either/or option– our $55 fee doesn’t/wouldn’t cover our costs.  But how can we operate differently? What content is appropriate to sell?  Part of our challenge is our position on open source, academic content.  We want our standards to be used so they are free - but other organizations have put theirs into a book and made $200,000 in sales.

Kathy – one thing we sponsor is the presidential forum for the candidate’s debate during Midwinter.
EBSCO sponsors the lunch but they haven’t been able to cover the entire cost.  We can open a discussion on how to help sponsor that.  What’s the value of that meeting?  Would a webcast cost more/less?

Judy – we need to spend money to save money.  Perhaps a taskforce can examine different models of funding.

Mary Ellen – part of our challenge is to innovate and that might mean saying no to some of the things we’ve done before.  EBSCO just cancelled a $100,000 contract with Choice.  So we’ll need to know if they are able to commit to the lunch at Midwinter.  Megan is in conversation with them and will keep us posted.

Kathy – This lunch costs over $4,000 to feed an average attendance of 150.  What’s the return for EBSCO?  Vendor colleagues will be making hard choices.  Let’s look at a virtual platform for this meeting – especially since the travel situation is not going to clear up in the near future.  We could use conferencing software and get more attendance.

Mary Ellen – an E-Taskforce is examining ways to meet virtually.  We are also looking at ways to still be an “active participant” while not requiring a “must attend both midwinter/annual” if you are on a committee.

The ACRL “Got a Minute” campaign has great options for engagement with ACRL.  Mary Ellen will put up the list on the wiki.  Documents will also be posted to ALA Connect.  There will be sessions at the conference about getting hands-on training.

Judy – it’s easy to download documents and get a good idea of what’s going on and prepare your questions early.

Mary Ellen - we’ve been having some issues receiving email due to filters.  Please contact us again if you write and don’t hear from us.

VII. Government & Legislative Updates

Mike McLane, Visiting Program Officer for the Legislative Advocacy Program gave a report on the Legislative Advocacy program.  The requirements of the Advocacy program include: maintaining membership in ALA and ACRL; and having an interest and taking an active role in educating and influencing legislators.  Advocates do not have to participate in National Legislative Day or attend annual/midwinter but these are encouraged.  Advocates can visit their legislators in their national or local offices or contact them via email, district office, phone etc.  The ACRL legislative agenda is an outline of what you can speak to.  Emails will be sent on talking points and what to talk about.  Advocates can also meet with legislative staffs.

Advocates can find out the issues and why we should be for/against them by contacting legislative advocacy program office.  They send out information on a regular basis.  The difference between legislative advocacy and politics on the job is that we do not lobby and do not support any political candidate or party.  We educate elected officials by using such phrases as “this issue is happening and we want you to know” and “this is going to benefit the people/organizations that live in your district.”
Lori is very interested in advocacy and considers it an institutional priority within ACRL.

Mike then talked about the legislative agenda which include:  1. government information; 2. public access to federally funded research; 3. LSTA reauthorization; 4. orphan works; 5. Copyright section 108; 6. Section 215 of the Patriot Act; 7. network neutrality; 8. Fair Use and Anti-Circumvention.

Kathy – a direct ‘made a difference’ story – because of the 120 people who advocated, Iowa legislators left the funding alone for the Enrich Iowa Funds and the Library Service Areas.

Judy – need to help public libraries because this is where people are going to find help finding jobs.

VIII. Megan Griffin, ACRL Staff Liaison

Part of Megan’s job is to manage the online chapter pages.  She makes changes to the rosters and gets information to Laurie to update the chapter listserv.

The next fiscal year starts Sept 1st and there are still two or three slots open for chapters to request Lori to come speak at chapter meetings and conferences.  There must be four years since the last presidential visit.

Reimbursement requests are to be submitted by August 15th.  Budgets were sent out last Sept but if there are changes or questions, please let Megan know.  Reimbursements can be used for charitable or educational purposes.  Send in the form and original receipts.

Kevin – chapters haven’t been requesting reimbursement but funding is available with broad applicability.  Please let Megan know!

IX. Laurie Swortwout, Listserv Administrator

Please let Laurie know when chapter officers change and if previous officers want to be off the listserv.
There is an unsubscribe note on Megan’s routing - but it might unsubscribe the entire state list rather than just chapters.  Laurie will check on this.  A concern is that as we go more virtual, we’ll lose conversations.  Please note - it’s illegal to use listservs to contact individuals.

X. Aline Soules, Chapters Council Representative to ACRL Legislative Network

Aline is the liaison for the entire country and was appointed by the Government Relations Committee of ACRL for a two year term.  Her duties include facilitating communications among Chapters and various offices of ACRL and ALA as well as preparing reports (the latest report is included in Chapters Topics, Spring 09).  This is not part of the advocates program.  Each Chapter has a Legislative Liaison who needs to contact Kara Malenfant and get on the legislative network list.

Since this is the first time this role has existed, Aline is not sure how to effectively reach out to everyone but assures us that she is here to serve us.  Please feel free to email her with your questions and suggestions.  A comment was made that it is hard to keep all the pleas straight and that notices come from a lot of difference sources.  How do we make sense of it all?  Aline:  Pick one and don’t worry about all of them.  Think about the focus of your membership and direct your attentions and efforts to something that aligns with that.  Another concern was the formatting of Aline’s message.  She will look into it.

XI. Election of Officers (Judy Pinnolis)

Judy expressed her appreciation for all the candidates and their willingness to serve.  The Council benefits from broad participation and requires it for growth.

Candidates Introductions and Remarks:

Candidate for Chair-Elect:
Mark Lenker, Assistant Librarian for Instruction, Greenwood Library, Longwood University, Virginia.
Mark runs unopposed and stated his appreciation and thanks to his University for the funding necessary to meet the responsibilities of this 3-year commitment.  He has a strong belief and interest in ACRL and will work towards making the Council as user friendly as possible, provide orientation information updates quickly, investigate ways of potentially helping chapters with opportunities for growth and conversations, and staff development.  He will work to make chapters the best they can be!

Candidates for Secretary:
Rickey D. Best, Dean, Montgomery Library, Auburn University.  Rickey greatly believes in ACRL and the promise that it holds.  By training he is a historian.  He has served two terms as Faculty Senate secretary.  He would enjoy the opportunity to provide support and an accurate record of these proceedings.  He is honored to be considered.

Les Kong, Head of Public Services, CSU San Bernardino.  Les has been involved with professional associations for a number of years.  He has found a lot of value in sharing experiences at the Chapter level – both what works and what doesn’t.  He is honored to run and serve if elected.

Election Results:
Mark Lenker, Vice Chair – Chair Elect
Rickey Best, Secretary

News & announcements

Chapter Topics is now online.  Check it out at:

Tiny urls:  A question was asked about modifying the urls of ACRL forms so that they are not so long.  Judy announced that a new form will be sent out via email and will be used to apply for actions which address larger issues that affect more than one chapter.  She will look into shortened urls and provide a list of them in Topics.

Dine Around – 6:30 Sunday, July 12, 2009
Coco Pazzo Café 636 N. St. Clair Street Chicago, IL

Programming (Kathy Parsons)
The Iowa chapter has conducted a mentoring program for two years – matching new and experienced librarians.  They are investigating whether to continue.  It has been positively received by 9 pairs of librarians.  They are hoping there will be funding available to improve their membership drives and encourage state to national membership.  The program includes orientation sessions both face-to-face and virtually once a month.

Judy – Barbara Kenney, from the New England Chapter is an education specialist and mentoring expert.  She is a primary resource on how to become a mentor.   Please contact her if you are interested in starting such a program -


Judy expressed her appreciation and gave a big thank you to Kevin for being a great Chair, being wonderful to work with while having a lot of fun at the same time.  She believes he moved and benefited the Chapters Council in many ways.

Kevin expressed his appreciation and thanks to Judy and Kathy and looks forward to working with them as Past-Chair.

Judy and Kevin also thanked Anna for putting together cogent pieces of information from “documents of chaos.”

Adjourned at 11:30 am.
Respectfully submitted,

Anna Salyer