Minutes of the Meeting of the Subject & Bibliographic Access to Science Materials Committee of ACRL-STS

ALA Annual, New Orleans
Saturday June 24, 2006, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans (Grand Ballroom D)


Present: Beth Blanton-Kent, Sophie Bogdanski (consultant and committee project collaborator, incoming co-chair), Donna Braquet, Susan Braxton, Anne Christie (co-chair), Bryna Coonin (co-chair), Susan Copeland (guest and committee project collaborator), Judith Emde, Jin Ma, Linda Yamamoto, Chamya Kincy, Rick Sarcia, Britta Sandamauro, Kathy Wheeler

1.  Welcome and introductions

2.  Approval of minutes from Midwinter 2006, San Antonio

No corrections offered. The minutes were approved as presented (moved and seconded by Sophie and Beth).

Action: Bryna will remove draft status designation from the minutes on the committee’s web site.

3. Report from Council I (Bryna)

ACRL has recently conducted a member survey. Results will be available on the ACRL web site. It will be possible to see results related to specific ACRL sections. ACRL is also discussing reorganization of the Board so that it is more knowledge based. Members could be recruited based on their specific skills instead of the particular community they would represent. ACRL is also looking at communication tools, such as blogs and wikis, and more actively using ALA’s communication software.

The STS Chair (Julia Gelfand) stressed the importance of membership on STS-L for section members since this is the Section’s main communication channel.

4.  Old/Ongoing Business

  • Welcome to Susan Copeland - Susan Copeland from The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, and one of the two project collaborators, attended the meeting. Susan has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations for several years.  Part of her role as a Director is advocacy for the NDLTD which is gaining increasing recognition around the world. Susan summarized the SBASM committee’s current project – an investigation of specific concepts with respect to electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) which are applicable to two countries (UK and US). The planned survey, which will allow for differences in national terminology, will enable a comparison to be made between the views of UK and US science librarians on access to ETDs.
  • Discussion of survey questions - Committee members reviewed the current draft of the survey questions and made helpful suggestions. Susan kept track of important issues for the UK survey. Once the survey questions are completed,  Bryna will develop the Survey Monkey version for committee members to test.

Action Items:

  1. Rick will review number ranges for Q3 and Q4.
  2. Sophie and other cataloging librarians will review Q 29-33 and Q41-44 which have specific relevance to cataloging issues.
  3. Bryna, Sophie, Anne, Susan and Simon will draft a survey introduction and concluding questions of the following sort and distribute to committee.

-- How often do you look for a specific thesis or dissertation and find that it is not available in digital format?

-- How confident are you of being aware of all the possibilities for locating ETDs to meet patrons’ needs?

  • Report on plans for survey distribution - Bryna and Anne developed a list of approximately 200 US universities based on doctoral granting universities from the Carnegie list. Donna, Anne, and Bryna have been checking the library web sites to identify science/technology librarians from each institution and their e-mail addresses. An effort was made to select both a life sciences and physical sciences/engineering librarian, with the goal of identifying approximately 400 librarians. A first pass through the list is almost completed.

Action Item:

  1. Bryna and Anne will finish up work on the list of US survey recipients.

Establish time line and distribution of project responsibilities -The goal is to have the surveys ready to distribute as soon as possible, especially since the UK collaborators have a deadline.  Bryna will put the survey into Survey Monkey. Bryna has also developed a proposal for her Institutional Review Board (IRB). Each person involved with the project should check with their institution on whether they need to submit an IRB proposal. Some institutions may grant waivers.

Sophie developed and distributed a list of tasks involved in writing up the project. Committee members signed up for the tasks to which they felt they could contribute. Most tasks will thus be a group effort. In the US, the article must be offered first to Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, the electronic journal published by the ACRL Science and Technology Section.

Action Items:

  1. Committee members will test the Survey Monkey version of the survey.
  2. Committee members will investigate the need for IRB submission.
  3. Sophie and Anne will send out task list for writing up the project.

5.  New Business

  • Strategize about future plans
    • There are several possibilities for posters and presentations of the survey results, including ACRL 2007, ALA Annual 2007, and the 2007 (Sweden) and 2008 (UK) ETD conferences. 
    • Committee members could think about future projects that might come out of the survey or other ideas to keep up committee momentum to discuss at ALA Midwinter.

Action Items:

  1. Sophie will compile a list of possible venues for posters and presentations.
  2. Sophie will draft a submission for an ACRL Action Plan to try and obtain travel funds for US participation.

6.  Announcements

Linda -- UC Berkeley is seeking a Head of the Math Library and a Head of the Physics Library. Stanford is also looking for a Head of the Engineering Library. This will be a high level management position.

Bryna – RUSA MARS is sponsoring a session on the “transformed online catalog” on Sunday, June 25 at 4:00 pm at the Morial Convention Center, Room 295/296. Among the 5 speakers will be Andrew Pace and Cindy Levine from North Carolina State University.

7. Adjournment

  Committee adjourned at 12:30 pm. The next meeting will be at ALA Midwinter in Seattle.