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Newsletter of the ACRL English and American Literature Discussion Group

#14, Spring 1989

Biblio-Notes (ISSN 1076-8947) is published twice a year by the Literatures in English Section (formerly, 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: Timothy Shipe, University of Iowa Libraries Iowa City, IA 52242


Discussion Group program and membership meeting

Date and time: Sun., 25 June 1989, 2:00-5:30 P.M.
Place: Dallas Convention Center S413
Program: "The Nature of Literary Scholarship."

  1. Introduction: The Nature of Literary Research (Harrison T. Meserole, Texas A&M University).
  2. Machine-Readable Literary Texts (Marianne Gaunt, Rutgers University).
  3. Interdisciplinary Research and Its Role in Literary Analysis (Eric Carpenter, Oberlin College).
  4. The Canon and Collection Building (Richard Heinzkill, University of Oregon).


The ACRL English and American Literature Discussion Group met on 9 January 1989. The meeting was chaired by Lorraine Jean and was attended by approximately 25 persons.

  1. Open positions were announced.
  2. Reports from the following midwinter meetings were given: (1) The RASD Bibliography Committee has proposed a collaborative meeting with EALDG for the 1990 annual conference in Chicago. The suggested "program" is a discussion by a scholar, bibliographer, reference librarian, and graduate student of their use of bibliographies. Those present favored the idea which will be pursued by Lorraine. (2) The RLG English and American Bibliographers is a group similar to EALDG which considers the field from a consortial perspective. Topics and issues under their recent consideration include traditionally undercollected fields such as gay and lesbian literature, collection of American authors in translation, and the collection of literary texts in machine-readable format. (3) The RBMS committee studying literary rights has produced a draft document concerning copyright and literary rights. Copies are available from Cathy Henderson, Research Librarian, Humanities Research Center, University of Texas-Austin.
  3. It was announced that the Research-in-Progress Data Base is available in a test phase on RLIN. The records, contributed by the Modern Language Association, include articles accepted for publication in fifty journals; papers prepared for presentation at conferences that have not yet been held; and information about grant-funded projects.
  4. There was a general discussion of Biblio-Notes. Tim Shipe's two-year appointment as editor ends with the spring 1989 issue. Candace Benefiel, of Texas A&M University, volunteered to take on the task of editing the newsletter; her term will commence immediately after the Dallas conference and continue for two years. The suggestion was made that brief articles occasionally be published in the newsletter. A motion was made by Scott Stebelman that the Steering Committee assess the current state of the newsletter, its subsidization, and future. The motion was approved.
  5. There was a review of the plans that have been made for the presentations at the EALDG meeting in Dallas. Scott has asked each of the speakers to prepare a paper on the topic about which he or she will be speaking. He has had a preliminary discussion with the publishers of Collection Management about publishing the papers as a special issue of the journal.
  6. The process of assessing literary collections has been suggested as another topic potentially suitable for presentation at the 1990 annual meeting of the discussion group. Issues pertinent to the subject include the RLG conspectus, retrospective collections, current acquisitions profile, determining the programmatic identity of a university before conducting an assessment, and technology's influence on assessment. Scott will contact David Kohl, chair of RASD-CODES, about co-sponsorship.
  7. There was an extensive discussion of changes to the by-laws as proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Bylaws. Changes proposed by the committee as well as additional changes recommended at the meeting will be submitted in writing to the membership of the English and American Literature Discussion Group for approval.
  8. Betty Day will chair the Nominating Committee.
  9. Laura Fuderer would still like to receive replies to the small press survey which was sent out with the Spring 1988 issue of Biblio-Notes.
  10. It was agreed that it is important to continue to build in time during the annual meeting for discussion of topics of interest to the members. Candace Benefiel agreed to lead a discussion at the Dallas meeting about particularly useful reference tools. At the same meeting Sam Fustukjian will guide a discussion of techniques for obtaining solid financial support for the humanities from library administrators.

Ilene Nelson, Secretary


Steering Committee members for 1989/90 will be:

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Loss Glazier
Secretary: Betty Day
Members at Large: Candace Benefiel, Robert Melton, Rosamund Putzel


The proposed revisions of the EALDG bylaws were discussed at the Midwinter meeting, and a few minor amendments were made to the text as printed in the last newsletter. The complete text of the bylaws, as revised, is printed here. A ballot for voting on the revision will be found on the last page of this issue.

July 1983
Revised January 1989

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 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 for secretary and members at large shall be for one year; terms begin immediately after the annual membership meeting. Members of the Committee may serve in the same capacity for only two consecutive years. The position of Vice-Chair will involve a three year commitment: the first year as Vice Chair, the second as Chair, and the third as an ex-officio member of the Steering Committee.

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; appoint the newsletter editor; chair the program occurring at the end of his or her term of office as Chair.

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 two summers from the date of taking office.

Section 4. The Secretary shall take minutes at all meetings and make them available to the Chair and Steering Committee. The Secretary shall make minutes available to the editor of Biblio-Notes within one month following Midwinter and Annual meetings for inclusion in the newsletter.

Section 5. The members at large shall be responsible for the election of the following year's officers, according to the provisions of Article VI. They shall also be members of the Program Committee, chaired by the Vice Chair.

Section 6. 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 six weeks before 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

The members at large shall be responsible for the election of the following year's officers. Nominations will be solicited in the newsletter proceeding [ sic preceding] the Midwinter meeting; nominations may be made in writing at Midwinter or mailed to the members at large by the date of the meeting. The members at large will send out ballots by February 1, and will tabulate results and transmit them to the chair by March 15. The names of the new officers will be published in the issue of the newsletter preceding the summer meeting.

Article VII. Dissolution

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


Jackie Eubanks, COSMEP Representative to the LC-CIP Advisory Group, has been actively involved with the issue of subject access to individual works of fiction. She asks that members of EALDG who are interested in this matter contact her at Brooklyn College Library, Brooklyn, NY 11210; phone (718) 780-5510. She would also like to see a discussion of this issue included on the agenda of a future EALDG meeting.


Laura Fuderer would still like to receive replies to the survey that was sent out with the spring 1988 newsletter. Send your completed form to Laura Fuderer, Rare Books Librarian, Hesburgh Library, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556.

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