#27 -- Spring 1996
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: Scott Stebelman, Gelman Library, George Washington University, 2130 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20052; telephone 202-994-6049; SCOTTLIB@GWIS2.CIRC.GWU.EDU
Copyright © 1996 by the American Library Association.
News from the Chair
It is astounding how quickly a year can pass! Last year at this time our Section was in its initial stages of organization. EALS members were full of ideas for activities, ready to push on as soon as a structure was in place.
And push on we have! In the process of developing a strategic plan for the Section, the Planning Committee drew up a list of our current and proposed activities. Those of you who are EALSL subscribers saw a draft of this listing shorting after the Midwinter Meeting. What I find impressive is not only the length of the list, but also the extent to which we have moved ahead to make many of these ideas a reality.
A year ago our only means of communication between ALA meetings was the two annual issues of the newsletter. With the limited space available each year, it has often been a challenge to decide which was the most important sixteen pages worth of information to communicate to our entire membership.
Now we have two electronic tools to greatly expand our communication. The Section's electronic listserv (LES-L) was established last summer. After some experimentation with an unmoderated format, we found that subscribers were being overwhelmed with messages of the "who's your favorite author" variety. In order to maintain the list's focus on EALS business and issues in librarianship, the Executive Committee decided to switch to a moderated format. Scott Stebelman, who had set up the list at George Washington University, agreed to serve as moderator, and the EALS membership ratified the decision in January. Since then, EALSL has become an effective way for EALS members and other literature librarians to share ideas and information.
The Section's World Wide Web site is currently under development. Like EALS, our Web site will have as its primary functions to provide information on the Section and to serve as an information resource on literary librarianship. Unlike the Web sites of some other ACRL sections, ours will not attempt to serve as a gateway to all Internet resources on literatures in English; we felt that the field was already well-covered, and that we should at most point to a few of the most important "meta-sites."
Naturally, outreach and recruitment are important emphases during our early stages as a section. Our Membership and Publications Committees have collaborated to produce a Section brochure which we hope will be ready for distribution at the ALA annual conference in July. And in keeping with our commitment to a diverse membership, we are extending our outreach to a number of groups that have been underrepresented in EALS.
While we are trying through electronic means to meet the needs of members who are often unable to attend annual and midwinter meetings, programming and discussion at those meetings remains a major aspect of our activities as a Section. Our New York program, to be held in Lincoln Center, promises to be one of our most exciting ever. Playwright Edward Albee, actress Marion Seldes, and other key figures in the New York theater scene will share their experiences as active library users, and will describe the partnerships they have forged with librarians in their creative pursuits. The New York session is itself an example of a successful partnership involving EALS and two other groups: the ACRL Arts Section and the Theatre Library Association. As ALA's and ACRL's programming resources become scarcer, our ability to provide quality programs that reflect the needs of our membership will depend increasingly on real partnerships such as this, involving active participation by each of the groups rather than a mere co-sponsorship "in name only."
Looking ahead to 1997, a committee is already planning for the San Francisco conference, with a tentative proposal to co-sponsor a program on the history of the book with another ACRL section. And an informal task force is putting together an exciting proposal for a session on electronic texts for the 1997 ACRL National Conference in Nashville. Plans for a monograph on literary librarianship in the electronic age are well underway; Marcia Pankake and Betty Day have agreed to serve as co-editors, and a list of topics and potential authors for the essays is nearing completion.
I want to close by thanking everyone who has helped make the past year such a successful one is EALS. In particular, thanks are due to the officers, committee chairs, and committee members who have been so eager to work for the Section; their enthusiasm and dedication have made my year as Section Chair a truly pleasurable experience.
See you in New York!
Information about the New York Program
The English and American Literatures Section, in cooperation with the Theatre Library Association and the ACRL Arts Section, will be holding the New York ALA `96 program "Beyond the Stage Door..." on Monday, July 8, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The New York Public Library Performing Arts Library, housed in Lincoln Center, is providing their 212-seat auditorium.
The program focuses on how theatre professionals use library collections, particularly theatre libraries. Our speakers include actress Marian Seldes, stage designer Ming Cho Lee, lighting designer Jules Fisher, and playwright Edward Albee. Our respondents will be Robert Taylor, Curator from the Billy Rose Collection, who will discuss theatre library collections, and Susan Peters from Emory University, who will discuss theatre material in libraries that do not have special theatre collections.
Because seating is extremely limited, reservations to attend this session are an absolute MUST. You may send your reservation requests between now and May 31st to Susan Peters, at Emory University, by any of the following forms:
telephone: (404) 727-0117
fax: (404) 727-0053
Woodruff Library, Collection Management
Atlanta, GA 30322-2870
PLEASE INDICATE IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF TLA, EALS, OR ARTS.
Please include your e-mail address (if you have one), telephone number, and snail mail address. You will be notified if you have a reservation or if you are on the wait list. Members of EALS, Arts, and TLA have first opportunity to reserve.
See you on the 8th of July!
Susan L. Peters, Ph.D.
Coordinator for Language and Literature
Emory University, Woodruff Library
Department of Collection Management
English and American Literature Collection Development in a Team Environment
Traditionally, the day-to-day responsibilities of a bibliographer for a subject area have been vested in and carried out by individuals who work independently of other subject bibliographers in the Library. Although most bibliographers are part of a Collection Development Department, the consultation that takes place concerning subject focus occurs with faculty and graduate students within academic departments. In addition, the typical responsibilities of the bibliographer vary by the size and scope of the Library where they work. This article attempts to describe the changes in collecting that have occurred at the University of California, Irvine, as part of a recently completed Organizational Review and Design Project (quickly abbreviated to OR&DP by all Library staff), and focuses in particular on the impact this has had on the area of collecting materials in English and American Literature. Prior to the changes brought about by OR&DP, the organization of Collection Development at UCI followed a departmental model, although there was not, nor is there now, a Collection Development department as part of the UCI's organizational chart. The Assistant University Librarian for Collections was and is a member of the Library's administrative department and also served as the department head for Collections with responsibility for the budget and overall management of collections-related activities. Although the numbers varied slightly over the years, a core group of approximately 25 individuals with collection development responsibilities were part of the Bibliographers Group which met monthly. During these meetings, information concerning the status of budget negotiations and decisions was distributed, projects were described and assigned, and information of interest to those involved in Collection Development was disseminated. At UCI, almost all bibliographers have split assignments. This was true prior to OR&DP and is still true after reorganization. The most typical model is that of the Reference Librarian/Bibliographer. This means that the librarian is a member of the former Reference, now Research and Instruction, Department, and also has responsibility for a subject area.
My position falls into this category. I am a member of the Main Library (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) Research and Instruction Department and I am the bibliographer for English, Comparative Literature and Classics. Due to the departure of a colleague, I recently became the Main Library General Reference bibliographer in addition to my other duties.
Other models at UCI are Bibliographer/Member of a Library Department other than Research and Instruction, such as Special Collections or Women's Studies, or Bibliographer/Responsible for a Library function such as Publications or Preservation. There are a few librarians in the Research and Instruction Departments who do not have bibliographer responsibilities and only two full-time bibliographers with specialized areas of responsibility such as the East Asian collection or the Southeast Asian Archive.
As a bibliographer, my primary responsibilities are to select materials in my subject areas, to perform liaison services for the English and Comparative Literature Department (35 faculty and 200 graduate students) and the Classics Department (6 faculty and 10 graduate students), and to provide specialized bibliographic instruction and reference services upon faculty request. Again, OR&DP has not changed this aspect of my position.
For selecting materials, I depend primarily upon approval plans. I preview approximately 40-60 titles per week in hard copy and select another 10-20/week from form selections. I am more aggressive in placing firm orders for fiction and poetry than in other areas, as we have steadily whittled away at our budget in recent years and my selection in this area must be quite targeted to those materials which are truly of local interest. UCI has a highly ranked creative writing program, and it is important to provide a range of materials which allow students and faculty to keep up with new developments in this area. Declining budgets and shifts in faculty's research interests have changed my selecting patterns, but the OR&DP has not.
One change that has occurred in collection development at UCI which is not result of OR&DP is the manner in which the collections budget is structured. Over the last three years, we have created individual budgets covering monographs (including materials received through approval plans and those firm ordered), continuations and serials for each bibliographer. Previously, each bibliographer had a small fund to use for firm ordering retrospective materials; all other expenditures, such as books received on approval and serials were covered by library-wide funds.
Before I describe the changes brought about by OR&DP and the new collections budget structure, I will describe the impetus for it. There were three primary factors. The University Librarian, Joanne Euster and the Assistant University Librarian for Collections, Judith Paquette were both new to their jobs. In addition, the new Science Library on campus was opened. The Science Library consolidated the collections of three small branch libraries (Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Bio-Medical) as well as science collections which had formerly been housed in the Main Library. The opening of the new building shifted staff as well as collections.
The Organizational Review and Design Project brought about major changes in the organization of Collection Development. The scope of the Assistant University Librarian for Collection's responsibility was extended to include Access Services (Circulation and Interlibrary Loan which was renamed Document Access and Delivery) which had formerly been a part of Public Service. The Bibliographers Group remained, but individuals were organized into smaller groups according to subject responsibilities. These smaller groups function as teams and are know as "Pods" in our organization. There are three pods; the Arts and Humanities Pod (AH's), the Social Science Pod (SS's) and the Engineering, Medicine and Science Pod (EMS's). Each Pod has a team leader who by virtue of that position is a member of the Collections Coordinating Council which is made up of the three Pod leaders and the Assistant University Librarian for Collections and Access. The Collections Coordinating Council meets weekly for two hours, each Pod meets once every two weeks for two hours, and the Bibliographer's Group meets once every six weeks for two hours. The position of Pod leader is rotating; the current Pod leaders are at the end of their two year term and new leaders will soon be selected. In tandem with this, we used the capabilities of our local Innovative Interfaces system to code and track materials expenditures by bibliographers.
As the first Pod leader for Arts and Humanities I feel that I have a unique perspective on how becoming a member of a collection development team has affected my behavior as a bibliographer. The Arts and Humanities Pod has nine members which is, by the way, rather large for a "work team" according to the current management literature. Their positions are the English, Comparative Literature, Classics and Main Library General Reference Bibliographer (me), the Fine Arts Librarian, the Women's Studies Librarian (also a member of the Social Sciences Pod), the History and Film Studies Librarian, the German Language and Literature Bibliographer, the Spanish and Portuguese Librarian, the East Asian Librarian, and the Critical Theory, French and Italian, and Philosophy Bibliographer. In addition, the Government Publications Librarian responsible for microforms is a member of our group.
As part of the OR&DP, and the decision to use the team concept as an organizing principle, each member of the library staff participated in team training sessions led by an outside consultant. This team training led to a better understanding of how to work more efficiently and effectively in groups. Rather than using the Bibliographers Group meetings as discussion forum to voice opinions about issues with no mechanism for implementing projects or following up on ideas, the Collections Coordinating Council has worked very hard to use it as a forum to set priorities and organize projects.
If projects are library-wide, such as distribution of funds to individual bibliographers or fund coding of serials titles, information dissemination occurs in the Bibliographers Group and much of the actual work is done in the Pods or by individual bibliographers as before, depending on the nature of the project.
If there are projects which affect one Pod and not the others, most of the work of organizing the project occurs at the Pod level with some reporting on progress through the Bibliographers Group. The move to the Science Library was an example of this as it affected primarily the Science bibliographers. Pods have the option of meeting and working together on projects if it makes sense to do so. The Main Library is due for renovation in 1996. The Social Sciences Pod and the Arts and Humanities Pod have already begun working on a number of collections-related activities having to do with the renovation.
As you can see, organizing into teams has made planning and implementing projects more efficient and effective. The groups working on projects are smaller and more focussed. It may not be obvious from individual projects, but overall the management of UCI's collection will benefit as small work groups take on responsibility for completing specific tasks. Better collection management allows better service to all the Library's users.
In addition to better project management, what has been the benefit of the team environment for English and American literature specifically? The major benefit is a mechanism for communicating the needs and interests of academic programs to others whose programs may overlap with my own. Because there is more individual control over the collections budget than in the past, the Arts and Humanities Pod created an Arts and Humanities General Fund which is used to purchase expensive items such as sets or media which do not fall neatly into one discipline or another. In addition to acquiring the item, the Pod members benefit by the discussion and explanation as to why this material is requested and what purpose it serves.
Perhaps it is the academic buzz word of the nineties or maybe it merely reflects reality, but UCI seems to have preponderance of interdisciplinary programs and areas of research. Meeting with a group of humanities bibliographers on a regular basis allows for a regular exchange of information on developments such as new faculty interests or new activity in areas which impact other bibliographers. It also facilitates decision-making about the acquisition of individual items.
I realize that many of the activities described above are routine to bibliographers at some institutions, but want to remind my readers that at UCI prior to OR&DP they were only engaged in sporadically or on an ad hoc basis due to the loose structure of the Collection Development function.
My individual assessment of collection development in a team environment is that it not changed what I do, but it has changed how I do it. I feel that the process of selecting materials in the area of English and Comparative Literature particularly has become more consultative because I can now depend on meeting with a peer group of like-minded individuals on a regular basis. Before the creation of the Arts and Humanities Pod, the only peer group relationship I felt I had was with the other English and American Literature Bibliographers I met at the American Library Association Conferences. Although the other members of the AH's may not do exactly what I do, they are much more accessible and attuned to the needs of the UCI community than my ALA colleagues!
Catherine Palmer, Humanities Librarian
University of California, Irvine
Home Pages Advance Research
Home pages can be a useful resource for listing classes offered by the library, links to literary sites, connections to online databases, and background information about a librarian's interests and education. In an attempt to provide models for other English and American Literature librarians, the Editor posted a message to EALSL, encouraging subscribers who had developed home pages to share their URLs. Below is a list of those people who responded. If you want to have your's included in future editions of Biblio-Notes, and on our Section's Web site, send a message to the Editor.
William Wortman: http://www.lib.muohio.edu/~wortmawa/home.html
Kelly Tetterton: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/subjects/English/english.html
Marlene Manoff: http://nimrod.mit.edu/depts/humanities/lit/literature.html
Scott Stebelman: http://gwis2.circ.gwu.edu/~scottlib
Recent Studies of Interest to English and American Literature Librarians
Citations are limited to the period 1995-96. 1995 citations listed in the Fall 1994 issue of Biblio-Notes are omitted.
The Art of Literary Biography. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.
Deegan, M. and K. Gore. "Information Technology as an Aid to Literary Research." Literary & Linguistic Computing: Journal of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing 10 no. 1 (1995): 23-26.
Doherty, John J. "The Arthurian Legend: A Core Collection." RSR: Reference Services Review 23 no. 4 (1995): 63-71.
Evans, J. G. "The Use of Computers in Authorship Studies." Computer Education 81 (Nov. 1995): 18-21.
Foertsch, J. "The Impact of Electronic Networks on Scholarly Communication: Avenues for Research." Discourse Processes 19 (1995): 301-328.
Greenberg, H. A. "Research and Scholarship in the Arts and Humanities: Can Home Pages Replace Tome Pages?" In Proceedings of the Sixteenth National Online Meeting--1995: New York, May 2-4, 1995. Medford, NJ: Learned Information, 1995: 159-164.
Greetham, D. C. Textual Transgressions: Essays Toward the Construction of a Biobibliography. New York: Garland, 1996.
Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich. "The Future of Literary Studies?" New Literary History 26 (1995): 499-518. Harrison, T. M. and T. D. Stephen. "The Electronic Journal as the Heart of an Online Scholarly Community." Library Trends 43 (1995): 592-608.
Hubbard, D. "Virtuality and Rumors of Reality: The Humanist in an Interactive Age." CLA Journal 39 no. 1 (1995): 1-17. "Humanities in the 21st Century," Humanities (September-October 1995). (URL: http://ccat. sas.upenn.edu/jod/hackney.html) [interview with James O'Donnell, a Classic Professor at the University of Pennsylvania)
Ingraham, B. D. "Some Applications of Contemporary Information Technology to the Teaching of Language and Literature." Literary and Linguistic Computing: Journal of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing 10 no. 1 (1995): 27-32.
Kramer, Hilton and Roger Kimball. "Farewell to the MLA." The New Criterion 13 no. 6 (Feb 1995): 5-16. The Literary Text in the Digital Age. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996.
Lunsford, K. "Electronic Texts and the Internet: a Review of the English Server." Computers and the Humanities 29 (1995): 297-305.
Meadows, J. " Electronic Publishing and the Humanities." In Networking in the Humanities: Proceedings of the Second Conference on Scholarship and Technology in the Humanities Held at Elvetham Hall, Hampshire, UK, 13-16 April 1994: Papers in Honour of Michael Smethurst for his 60th Birthday. London: Bowker- Saur, 1995: 141-156.
Michelson, A. "Networking and the Scholarly Community." In Networking in the Humanities: Proceedings of the Second Conference on Scholarship and Technology in the Humanities Held at Elvetham Hall, Hampshire, UK, 13-16 April 1994: Papers in Honour of Michael Smethurst for his 60th Birthday. London: Bowker- Saur, 1995: 201-222.
Nyfri, J. C. "Electronic Networking and the Unity of Knowledge." In Networking in the Humanities: Proceedings of the Second Conference on Scholarship and Technology in the Humanities Held at Elvetham Hall, Hampshire, UK, 13-16 April 1994: Papers in Honour of Michael Smethurst for his 60th Birthday. London: Bowker-Saur, 1995: 253-282.
Opas, L. L. and T. Rommel. "New Approaches to Computer Applications in Literary Studies." Literary & Linguistic Computing 10 (1995): 261-2.
Ross, S. "Networking and Humanities Scholarship." In Networking in the Humanities: Proceedings of the Second Conference on Scholarship and Technology in the Humanities Held at Elvetham Hall, Hampshire, UK, 13-16 April 1994: Papers in Honour of Michael Smethurst for his 60th Birthday. London: Bowker-Saur, 1995: XI.
Smith, Mackenzie. "Hypertexts: Critical Theories and Current Realities." Computers and the Humanities 28 (1995): 311-17.
Smock, Raymond. "What Promise Does the Internet Hold for Scholars?" The Chronicle of Higher Education 42 (Sept. 22 1995): B1-B2.
Wallace, Jo-Ann. "English Studies Versus the Humanities? Cultural Studies and Institutional Power." University of Toronto Quarterly: A Canadian Journal of the Humanities 64 (1995): 506-13.
Weibel, Stuart. "The World Wide Web and Emerging Internet Resource Discovery Standards for Scholarly Literature." Library Trends 43 (1995): 627-44.
Wilson, David L. "Language Group Urges Book Preservation in Electronic Era." The Chronicle of Higher Education (Jan. 12, 1996): A23. [summarizes report of MLA's Ad Hoc Committee on the Preservation of the Print Record]
Wortman, William. Guide to Serial Bibliographies for Modern Literatures. 2nd ed. NY: Modern Language Association of America, 1995.
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