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#9/10 -- Spring 1987

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.


1.Program and business meeting

Date and time: Tues., 30 June, 9:30 AM-12.30 PM
Venue: San Francisco Hilton, Continental Parlor 2

Program: Literary Publishers and Libraries: Making the Connection

Jean Day, Director Small Press Distribution, Inc. "Literary Small Presses: The Approval Plan"

Nancy J. Peters, Co-Director City Lights Books "The Publisher as Bookseller"

Roberta Rix, Owner and General Mgr. Bookslinger "Organization for the Distribution of Small Press Materials"

Jack Shoemaker, Editor-in-Chief North Point Press "Literary Trade Publishing"

A question and answer session will follow the prepared presentations. We will conclude with a brief business meeting.

2. Other meetings of interest (see below for details)

Sun., 28 June, 2:00-5:30 PM -- ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Program, "Book Arts in the Bay Area" -- Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Empire Room

Sun., 28 June, 2:00-4:00 PM -- ACRL Western European Specialists Section, Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Discussion Group -- Discussion of NCIP Secondary Guidelines in English Language and Literature -- San Francisco Hilton, Walnut Room

Mon., 29 June, 4:00-5:30 PM -- Poetry Reading arranged by the California Poetry Bibliographers -- San Francisco Public Library, Commission Room. Poets: Lyn Hejinian, Steven Rodefer. A reception follows, sponsored by Small Press Distribution.


Vice Chair/Chair Elect: Lorraine Jean (Pattee Library, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA 16802)

Secretary: Celia Hales (Wilson Library, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455)

Members at large, Steering Committee:
James Campbell (Alderman Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903)

Richard R. Centing (English Library, Ohio State University, 1858 Neil Ave., Columbus, 0H 43210)

Noel Peattie (Shields Library, University of California, Davis, CA 95616)

The new officers, including Melissa Cain (Davis Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-6080), who moves up from Vice Chair/Chair Elect to Chair, will assume their offices upon conclusion of this year's ALA annual conference in San Francisco.


This has been an exceptionally busy and frustrating year for your Chair, who has had to balance his ALA commitments with the requirements of a newly created administrative position at his library and with conjugal visits to his spouse who (for excellent professional reasons) still resides at his former address some 800 miles away. In the process organizational matters pertaining to the English and American Literature Discussion Group have been allowed to slip more than they should have been. The chief victim has been BiblioNotes: a lack of aggressiveness in securing last summer's minutes, a subsequent decision to combine the two issues this winter or early spring, and poor response to a series of problems with the computer that generates our mailing labels have all contributed to the extreme lateness of this double issue. Please accept my apologies.

On the other hand, there have been some successes. We are this summer for, I believe, the first time officially cosponsoring a program put on by another ALA unit, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ACRL. And we are also sponsoring a special event at this year's annual conference, a poetry reading arranged by the California Poetry Bibliographers (an organization of librarians who are particularly concerned with the selection of current small press poetry) . Tim Shipe of the University of Iowa has answered the plea put forward at our Midwinter meeting in Chicago and will this summer assume the role of editor of BiblioNotes. A committee under the leadership of Scott Stebelman of George Washington University has been looking into the compilation of a list of literary reference tools held by representative academic libraries, and Melissa Cain, Loss Glazier (University of Southern California), and Frank Immler (Univ. of Minnesota) have put together a smashing program for us this year. I have investigated means of getting our hitherto unofficial programs into various ALA and ACRL program books and roundups; although the methodology is complicated, it may be possible for us to go this route in future years. Finally, the election (in which, for the first time in recent memory, ballots were mailed only to those persons on the mailing list certified by ALA as ACRL personal members -- but some people who were mailed ballots didn't receive them, so if you're in this group the fault is the Postal Service's and not ALA's) brought out an especially high number of talented volunteers for all positions. The election was conducted by Steering Committee member Yvonne Schofer (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison); my thanks to her, to our Secretary, Wendy Bousfield (Syracuse University), to Laura Fuderer (also Steering Committee; University of Notre Dame), to Jeff Selth (Univ. of California, Riverside) and Noel Peattie (Univ. of California, Davis), and to all those named earlier in this report for their many efforts on behalf of the discussion group this year.

John B. Dillon
Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison


"The Book Arts in the Bay Area" is the title of this year's RBMS program (see p. 1 for date, time, and venue). It will present a composite picture of the lively and multifaceted life of the Bay Area's book arts community and is intended to be an introductory overview, aimed at the non-specialist librarian, of the wide range of book-related activities currently taking place in one of the most bibliographically exciting areas in the country. The program will be presented as a panel discussion with several short slide presentations. Panelists will include D. Steven Cory, Johanna Goldschmid, Sandra Kirshenbaum, Jennifer Larson, Barclay Ogden, and Kathy Walkup.


Recognizing the severe problems inherent in the selection of current poetry -- especially the elusive nature of the small presses -- the California Poetry Bibliographers was formed in March 1986. Originally it consisted of librarians responsible for this selecting at each University of California campus, plus Stanford and the University of Southern California.

Our first meeting took place at ALA in July 1986. Since then we have expanded by inviting others to join us: specifically, by contacting the appropriate librarians from the three northernmost state university campuses, and in a general manner, by making a public announcement at the 1986 programs of the California Library Association's Collection Development Chapter. From this open invitation librarians from a public library district and from another State University campus have joined us. In the near future we will seek representatives from the other fifteen State University libraries and in other ways spread an open invitation around the state.

Topics covered at the first meeting were regional emphases (does each campus try to cover comprehensively poetry published in its geographical area?), approval and blanket plans, reviewing media, and monographic series. Our respective knowledge of the field running the gamut from minimal to extensive, the mutual help we were able to give each other in less than an hour was quite remarkable.

At our second meeting, at the CLA Conference in November 1986, we decided to petition either CARL or the Collection Development Chapter to accept us as an official sub-group under its auspices. Through this avenue we intend to pursue the idea of a 1987 CLA Conference program on collecting poetry.

And finally, a hastily arranged event which for those who attended was the highlight of the 1986 CLA Conference. Five published poets, all librarians or with some close connection to librarianship, read from their works. A beautiful event, which we have called the First Annual. And we are looking forward to presenting a poetry reading at the 1987 ALA Conference in San Francisco. (See p. 1 for details of this event -- ed.).

Jeff Selth Organizer and Chair
Univ. of California, Riverside


During the 1987 ALA Midwinter Meetings in Chicago Dr. David J. Cooper of Johns Hopkins University, who has been asked by the Research Libraries Group to complete the first draft of the Secondary Guidelines in English Language and Literature begun three years ago and now in urgent need of completion, convened a meeting of the Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Discussion Group (which he has been chairing this year) of ACRL's Western European Specialists Section to discuss the draft as it stood and to solicit ideas concerning possible changes.

The main problem seems to concern the proper tools against which to measure the strengths and weaknesses of a library collection in this field. The consensus seems fairly strong regarding 1 and 5 level collections, i.e. minimal and comprehensive ones. The difficulty seems to arise concerning what tools to use to measure 2, 3, and 4 level collections (increasingly large and sophisticated research collections). Two obvious candidates are Books for College Libraries III's collection to measure level 2 collections and the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, as well as relevant sections of the MLA Bibliography, to measure 3 and 4 level collections.

Any other candidates which you feel are relevant would be much appreciated, in particular any comprehensive list of periodicals covering English and American literature. Please direct your comments to: Dr. David J. Cooper, MSE Library, Johns Hopkins University, Charles and 34th, Baltimore, MD 21218.

David J. Cooper
Johns Hopkins University


Marcia Pankake (Wilson Library, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 55455) would appreciate hearing from anyone who has used MacIntosh or other PC in the teaching of library skills in English and American literature.


The ACRL English and American Literature Discussion Group met on Sunday, June 29, 1986 from 9:30 till noon. 38 persons were in attendance.

1. Report from the Editorial Committee of English and American Literature: Strategies for Collection Development (William McPheron, Stanford University). The Editorial Board submitted the manuscripts for this book to the ACRL Publications Board, which latter accepted the essays at the last Midwinter Meetings but requested a change in title and substantial changes in two chapters. The essays will go back to the Publications Board in early fall for approval of the changes. This collection represents a project that required much hard work by several people and has now reached a very happy stage.

2. San Francisco Program, 1987 (Melissa Cain, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana Champaign). The ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section has chosen literary and artistic small presses in the San Francisco area as the topic for their program. The English and American Literature Discussion Group may either cosponsor the RBMS program, consider a similar program, or conduct one on cinema.

3. Union List of Literary Reference Sources (Scott Stebelman, George Washington University). Since the quality of reference service is based on tools in the reference collection, Scott Stebelman suggested compiling a union list of literary reference tools. Librarians at universities with Ph.D. programs could supply a list of their reference sources. A committee will be appointed and will develop a clearly defined idea of works for inclusion, since the cutoff is judgmental. The union list would be a core bibliography, mainly a replication of holdings in the reference collection of these libraries.

4. Publication proposal (Loss Glazier, Univ. of Southern California). Proposal is to put together a collection of essays entitled The American and English Literature of the 21st Century: Collecting for the Future. Topics would include: an overview to identify issues in collection development; collections of marginal authors; in-house collecting vs. resource sharing; a discussion of how resource sharing affects publishing; small press approval plans; the role of manuscripts, non-book, and microform collections in the 21st century; serials in the literature of the future; and reference sources for literature and small press literature. The theme could be the Discussion Group's topic for the 1988 Annual Conference in New Orleans.

5. Other business:
Headquarters of Literary Research Newsletter has moved to Maryland. Betty Day, a member of the editorial staff, asked for volunteers to review books and submit articles; she said that any input regarding the focus, substance, or direction of the journal is welcome. Barbara Burman, a representative of the Resources and Technical Services Division's Subject Analysis Committee, visited subject access to literature. Some of the concerns mentioned were that the Library of Congress does not provide adequate subject access to Literature -- no topical access to fiction, for example. It was suggested that LC could possibly use MLA's method in the Bibliography for subject headings. Practical aspects of cataloging time were discussed. Public Services staff feel unfamiliar with procedures for construction of subject headings. Paul Meyers, the new managing editor of the MLA Bibliography, who was to have presented an overview of his operation, discovered a few weeks before the Conference that he already had a prior engagement and consequently could not attend. The Discussion Group will meet at Midwinter in Chicago on Sunday, January 18, 1987, 11:30-12:30.

Jean Weldon


The Discussion Group met on Sunday, January 18, from 11.30 to 12:30. There were thirty-four persons present.


1. The Conference Committee reported on plans for the San Francisco meeting; topic will be The Small Press and the Library. Designed to take advantage of the presence of Bay Area small presses, the program will feature speakers from North Point and Black Sparrow, a speaker on small press approval plans, and one on the acquisition of small press materials. It is scheduled for Tuesday, 30 June 1987, 9.30 AM-12:30 PM; the committee will tout it in various library publications.

2. Scott Stebelman reported on the progress of the Literary Reference Tools Committee (see previous minutes; these committees, by the way, are in fact working groups formed with the cognizance of the Discussion Group chair but not established by formal action of this body -- ed.). The committee consists of himself, the undersigned, and Timothy Shipe of the University of Iowa. It will met on 19 January and report back at the San Francisco meeting.

3. The fall issue of BiblioNotes has been prepared but has not yet been mailed; delay due in part to the late arrival of last summer's minutes. It is expected to go out shortly and to contain a call for the elections.

New Business

1. The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ACRL is planning a San Francisco program on Books Arts in the Bay Area. The English and American Literature Discussion Group hereafter, EALDIG, voted to serve as cosponsor should RBMS so wish.

2. The California Poetry Bibliographers, a group of librarians who are also creative writers (see article in this issue -- ed.), have requested EALDIG's assistance in securing a room and a spot on the program for a poetry reading they wish to put on at the San Francisco conference. After discussion, it was agreed that this event could not be incorporated into our already ambitious program but that EALDIG would offer its assistance in setting it up separately at the ALA conference.

3. Laura Fuderer handed out a sheet of recommendations on how to coordinate the Discussion Group more effectively and to promote greater communication among members. This led to EALDIG's reaffirmation of the schedule for BiblioNotes provided for in the Bylaws and to a call for volunteers to edit this newsletter (offers in this regard to be tendered to the Chair).

4. In conjunction with no. 3, above, we discussed how EALDIG members involved in MLA might best communicate. Two proposals were the reporting of their MLA activities and experiences in an expanded BiblioNotes and the scheduling of an informal lunch for EALDIG members during MLA conferences. MLA's structure no longer allows for a library/librarians interest group such as existed in the 1970s. Some activities of its Methods of Literary Research Division are oriented towards bibliographic instruction, but what about collections?

5. David Cooper asked that suggestions for tools useful in evaluating library collections in English and American literature be sent to him (see notice in this issue -- ed.).

Wendy Bousfield, Secretary

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