ALA/ACRL ARTS Section All Committee Meeting

Midwinter Meeting Boston
All-Committee Meeting

Saturday, January 15, 2005
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. 

Sandy Mooney, Arts Section chair, asked for introductions to begin the Arts All-Committee Meeting at ALA Midwinter - Boston.  Once introductions were completed, Mooney reported some developments from the ACRL Council meeting, one being that ACRL is looking to cut back on no-conflict times during conference.  This brought about a discussion of confusion over the Arts Saturday morning meeting time.  It was noted that the Arts All-Committee Meeting time had been changed for this Midwinter from the Section’s traditional time slot on Saturday mornings, thereby causing considerable confusion for the Boston meeting (Mooney requested the original time of 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., but rather the Section received 8:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m., or at least this was what was published in the official conference program.  To make the situation even more confusing, some section members reported seeing the traditional 9:30 a.m. start time also published in conference materials.). 

Mooney reported that she had received notification from Nancy Freidland that she would be unable to continue as chair of the Technology in the Arts Committee.  It was recognized that Freidland’s absence will leave a significant void in this committee’s work and Mooney will be searching for volunteers to assume the chair responsibilities. 

Mooney reminded everyone, particularly in light of the confusion with the Saturday morning meeting time, that the Executive & General Membership Meeting will take place Sunday morning, 8:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m., at the Omni Parker House hotel in the Alcott Ballroom.  The Film and Broadcast Studies Discussion Group meeting will take place this afternoon (Saturday) from 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton.  The Dance Librarians Discussion Group will meet Sunday from 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. at the Sheraton. 

Returning discussion to the report from Council, ACRL is requesting that sections look at meetings they hold and see if meeting times can be structured in a manner to make more efficient and effective use (certainly from a cost perspective) of conference time, such as doing what Arts has historically done by holding an all-committee meeting, rather than schedule separate meeting times and locations for individual committees. 

Mooney recommends that our section conduct our planning with the ACRL Strategic Plan in mind.  It was suggested that our section could make better use of the Saturday meeting time if we divided the session – use the beginning of the morning to take care of committee business, then utilize the remainder of the time for group discussion and brainstorming, such as on the Strategic Plan. 

Mooney reported that Mary Edsall, chair of the Planning Committee and who was unable to be at this morning’s meeting, has done a mapping of the charges of our committees to the ACRL Strategic Plan.  Edsall forwarded her work to Mooney prior to conference and Mooney reviewed it for members.  It appears that our committee charges are in-line with the ACRL Strategic Plan, with perhaps some need for minor revisions. 

Mooney recommended that since the Section had such a small attendance this morning, we continue to use our time for general section planning.  Roland Hansen, chair of the Membership & Outreach Committee, requested that some time be reserved for committees that are present to meet and take care of any necessary business.  It was agreed to proceed in this manner. 

Several questions were posed.  For example, Eric A. Kidwell asked how we could increase attendance at Arts meetings at conference, and active participation in the Section?  Is there a way to re-involve past section chairs in this process?  Are other ACRL sections experiencing similar member-involvement challenges?  Mooney suggested that we could make better use of the section listserv and committee chairs to engage committee members and generate ideas.  She asked how many currently subscribe to the listserv?  Jane Sloan, section vice-chair, commented that she is due to receive a copy of the current list subscribers.  Alan Karass suggested that the Section make a definite effort to widen the invitation to Arts meetings to all interested librarians who attend the Midwinter and/or Annual conferences.  Perhaps more could be done to reach out to other arts organizations outside ALA.  What is the utility of virtual members for our section?  Kidwell provided some insight into the use of virtual members and meetings in the College Libraries Section, a section to which he also belongs.  (CLS no longer holds meetings, with the exception of section leadership or discussion groups, at Midwinter.)  There is continued discussion within ALA/ACRL about the use of virtual members and virtual meetings, including establishment of guidelines to ensure the open-access of such meetings. 

Responsibilities of committee chairs and committee members were discussed.  Committee chairs need to be people who will motivate and lead committee members to accomplish their work.  Committee members need to understand the necessity of their work to the Section and accept assignments with the commitment to be active in the work of the committee.  It may well help make conference meetings times more productive if committees come to conference having already spent time through e-mail conducting much of their business.  Kidwell suggested that if members would be certain to notify their chair if they were unable to attend an upcoming conference meeting, and that if committee chairs would make certain to notify the section chair if they were unable to attend, forwarding a committee report prior to conference, we might resolve some of the issues we have discussed regarding conference meetings that are less than productive.  Mooney suggested that chairs have a “Plan B” for the All-Committee Meeting if there are not enough members of their committee present to conduct business.  It was further recommended that chairs notify members prior to conference, when possible, on the matter of whether or not they expect there will be sufficient attendance to meet and conduct business at the All-Committee Meeting. 

Yet another idea expressed was the suggestion that ALA make better use of it’s website by providing one place within the organization where one could go electronically for copies of various agendas, minutes, etc. of all the various sections, roundtables, discussion groups and other bodies of ALA, so these could be “public”, easy to locate, and ultimately help make the membership better informed. 

Once last item related to the ACRL Strategic Plan was some confusion on the date attached to the plan, whether the current plan is a plan developed and approved in January of 2000, with a five-year cycle of implementation, or whether the plan currently being referenced is a plan developed and approved in 2005 to take ACRL through to 2010.  The section secretary is still unclear on this matter, hence the ambiguity in this report. 

Main points of the strategic plan in question, however, include: Leadership, Advocacy, Sustainability, Scholarship, Information Technology, and Continuing Learning.  ALA is also asking for feedback on its new Strategic Plan. 

As the assigned adjournment time of 9:30 a.m. arrived, Sloan stated that she would like to meet with any new Arts members, or members new to section conference meetings, who are interested in committee assignments.  She would also like to talk with those members who are rotating off committees about remaining involved in some capacity.  Sloan announced that she specifically is in need of volunteers for the committee planning the program for Annual Conference 2006 that is scheduled for New Orleans. 

Meeting adjourned at 9:40 a.m. 

Present: Laurel Bliss, Tom Caswell, Claudia Covert, Brian Falato, Roland Hansen, Sara Harrington, Alan Karass, Eric A. Kidwell, Sarah Legins, Sandy Mooney, Madeleine Nichols, Michele Saunders, Jane Sloan, Liza Vick. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Eric A. Kidwell
Secretary, Arts Section