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#6 -- Spring 1985

Biblio-Notes (ISSN 1076-8947) is published twice a year by the English and American Literature Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. Paper subscriptions are free to members of the section.

Editor: Craig Likness, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas


TOPIC: Building Collections of Contemporary Fiction
WHEN: Monday, July 8, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Robert Sewell (University of Illinois) on collecting popular fiction
  • Charles Brownson (Arizona State University) on an overall collecting model for contemporary fiction
  • John O'Brian (editor, Review of Contemporary Fiction) respondent


An election will be held in March for a new Vice-Chair/Chair Elect, Secretary and three Members-at-large. The new terms will begin following the discussion group meeting in Chicago in July, 1985, and will run through the summer 1986 meeting. If you are interested in running for any of these positions, please send your name to Stephen Lehmann, Swarthmore College Library, Swarthmore, PA. Please indicate your institutional affiliation, position (e.g. cataloger, subject specialist, etc.) and any activities or publications germane to the interests of the group.

According to the discussion group's bylaws, candidates must be members of ACRL. Candidates should be fairly certain that they can attend both the midwinter and summer conference meetings of ALA.

Please respond by: MARCH 22, 1985


The ACRL English and American Literature Discussion Group met at ALA Midwinter on Sunday January 6, 1985. Twenty-six individuals signed the attendance sheet. Craig Likness, Chair, presided.

1. Reports

a. Publications Report

Scott Stebelman announced that the ten chapters comprising the volume Selection Tools and Procedures for English and American Literature Bibliographers have been received by the Steering Committee (Lehmann, Likness, McPheron, Pankake, Stebelman) for review and revision. The expectation is that the volume will be ready for submission to a publisher before the end of the year.

b. 1985 Program

Bill McPheron reported on the plans for the program at the July ALA meeting in Chicago, entitled "Contemporary Fiction Collections: Problems and Strategies." Two presentations have been scheduled: Bob Sewell (University of Illinois) will speak on collecting popular fiction (romance, pulp, etc.), and Charles Brownson (Arizona State University) will present an overall model for collecting contemporary fiction. John O'Brian (editor, Review of Contemporary Fiction) will be respondent. The program (followed by a business meeting) will take place on Monday, July 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

c. Subcommittee on Contemporary Literature

Marcia Pankake submitted the Subcommittee's report: 6/26/84 Dallas. Attending: Charles Brownson, Jean Weldon, Marcia Pankake. Absent: Mairi Meredith


--advocacy of acquisition of contemporary literature
--obligation to cultivate conditions for its creation
--access to and bibliographic control of

do libraries have policies on selection of contemporary literature?
do they publicize and promote? how?
"can't be bound" - libraries need help in binding, preservation
--some cooperative buying & keeping of literature
--conduct a preliminary inquiry into the size of the problem

The means to acheive[sic]our interests

--programs at ALA conference
--investigate whether libraries do buy contemporary literature, the psychology of selecting contemporary literature, sources for selecting
--an Institute or Preconference
--electronic ordering clearinghouse - Brownson will investigate

First actions

  1. Get something in the newsletter: Pankake
  2. Say something at midwinter.

    --ask for help/reactions
    --publish questionnaire; ask for volunteers to help validate it

3. Electronic ordering: Brownson will pursue relations to book trade, and begin to make inquiries and report his findings

4. Survey of members: Weldon. Some questions to investigate are:

--define contemporary literature
--how many libraries buy

--#s books
--#s subscriptions

--how many have an explicit statement or policy
--is it a special collection? or integrated into the circulating collection? access rules? want information on both collections that circulate and those saved for "record"
--sources of information on new publications librarians use
--criteria for scarce editions or for items put into special collections. are these limited editions? (Both points of view are valid.)

5. Long-range objective is to get enough people gradually interested in these issues to have an evolutionary change

Marcia, in response to a question, said that in the report contemporary literature was meant inclusively, not limited to genre or type of literature.

A draft of the questionnaire on small press publications drawn up by Marcia and Jean Weldon was distributed and discussed. Numerous questions were asked and suggestions made regarding the scope, formulation and distribution of the questionnaire. Further remarks should be addressed to Jean Weldon, University Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708.

2 . Old Business

a. Newsletter

Craig Likness discussed his intention to seek funding for the newsletter from publishers. Scott Stebelman suggested that publishers should be a last resort due to the potential conflict of interest. John Dillon mentioned that ALA should be consulted in any case and that they have the right of first refusal. ACRL has just formulated a new policy regarding support for newsletters, but it is not clear whether the policy applies only to ACRL sections or also to discussion groups. Craig asked that Discussion Group members notify him when they have something published so that he may enter such listings in the newsletter. Craig estimates that as of this meeting there will be about 135 names on the mailing list. Scott made a call for more substantial articles to be submitted for publicaton in Biblio-Notes, on the order of Melton's very successful MLA Bibliography article (Newsletter #2). A current awareness feature for newsletter was suggested.

3. New Business

a. Elections

Mina LaCroix, Stephen Lehmann and Scott Stebelman volunteered to serve on the 1985 Election Ccmmittee. Stephen will serve as Chair.

4. Discussion

The issue of core serials lists was discussed, initially in the context of John Dillon's report on the activities of RTSD Serials Section Ad Hoc Committee to Study Creating Dynamic Lists of Core Serials. Judy Reynolds suggested as a future program topic the effect of core lists and approval plans on English and American literature collections.

Stephen Lehmann


Approved July, 1983

Article I. Name

The name of the organization shall be the English and American Literature Discussion Group of the Association Of College and Research Libraries.

Article II. Purpose

The primary purpose of the Discussion Group is to hold meetings at ALA conferences, where members having interests in English and American Literature--as it affects librarianship--can address issues of common concern . Group projects, such as professional publications or joint conferences with other bodies, will be undertaken as deemed necessary.

Article III. Membership Defined

Although meetings of the Discussion Group are open to the public, only members shall have voting privileges and be entitled to serve on the Steering Committee. Members of the Discussion Group must also have personal membership in ACRL, and either attend Group meetings or have their name on the Group mailing list.

Article IV. Steering Committee

Section 1. The Steering Committee shall be comprised of a Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary, and three members at large. Terms of office shall be for one year, beginning immediately after the annual membership meeting. Members of the Committee serve in the same capacity for only two consecutive years.

Section 2: The Chair shall have the following responsibilities: to preside at meetings; appoint ad hoc committees; act as a liaison with ACRL; maintain and update the Discussion Group Mailing List; edit and distribute the newsletter.

Section 3. The Vice-Chair/Chair Elect shall preside at meetings in the absence of the Chair and be responsible for planning the program at the annual summer conference.

Section 4. The Secretary shall take minutes at all meetings and make them available to the Chair and Steering Committee.

Section 5. Upon the resignation of any Steering Committee member, the other committee members shall select a replacement for the remainder of the term.

Article V. Newsletter

A Discussion Group newsletter shall be published within one month after each meeting and be mailed to all names on the Discussion Group Mailing List. The newsletter shall include the minutes of the meeting and any other information judged necessary by the Chair or Steering Committee.

Article VI. Elections

Within six weeks after the Midwinter Conference, the Steering Committee shall choose an Election Committee and solicit nominations for new officers in the January/February newsletter. Elections will be held in the Spring, with the results announced at the Summer Conference.

Article VII. Dissolution

The English and American Literature Discussion Group may be dissolved in accordance with Article IV, Section 4 of the ACRL Bylaws.


Joseph Natoli, English and American Literature bibliographer at Michigan State, edited Psychological Perspectives on Literature. Freudian Dissidents and Non-Freudians: A Casebook which Archon/Shoe String published in 1984. His article "Phenomenological Psychology and Literary Interpretation" is included in the collection.

All Discussion group members are invited to send notices of their publishing activity to be announced in the newsletter. Send the information to: Craig Likness, Box 164, Trinity University, 715 Stadium Drive, San Antonio TX 783284.

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