Get involved with ACRL: Volunteer to serve on a division or section committee

C&RL News, October 2005
Vol.  66, No. 9

ACRL division and section committee volunteers are an integral part of the association and drive our success. Committee members help shape the organization by implementing its strategic plan, reshaping the association, and influencing the direction of academic and research librarianship.

If you have been looking for a way to become more involved with ACRL, consider volunteering for a division or section committee. ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect Pamela Snelson invites all ACRL members to contact the Appointments Committee about serving on one of ACRL’s many committees for next year. Members may also contact  section vice-chairs regarding service on one of the many section committees.

The rewards of volunteering
Volunteers not only give to the association, they also benefit by:

• building ties with academic and research librarians around the country,

• enhancing their leadership abilities through consensus building and persuasion,

• sharing their expertise with colleagues, and

• gaining additional expertise by learning more about a new area of academic librarianship or picking up new ideas for their current areas.

The appointment process
Appointments are made at the division and section levels. The ACRL vice-president is responsible for committee appointments at the division level for the year he or she serves as president. The ACRL Appointments Committee assists the vice-president in an advisory capacity. Appointments to committees linked to a coordinating committee will be made by the chair of the coordinating committee. Section vice-chairs are responsible for committee appointments for the year they will serve as chair.

Committee rosters are usually completed following the Midwinter Meeting during the year in which the individual serves as president-elect or vice-chair (for example, appointments for 2006–07 will be completed following the 2006 Midwinter Meeting).

Factors influencing appointment
Although the emphasis in the appointment process may vary from year to year according to the prerogatives of the vice-president/president-elect, coordinating committee chairs, and section vice-chairs, the same factors are considered. They include:

• Evidence of prospective committee member’s interest. Have candidates attended the meetings and introduced themselves to the chair? Do they have previous experience that relates to the work of the committee? Have they indicated their interest on the volunteer form?

• Demographics and composition of committee. A balance is sought with respect to type of library (community college, college, or university), geographic representation, ethnic diversity, and gender. Those who have not had the opportunity to serve on an ACRL committee are encouraged to volunteer.

• Recommendation of the current committee chair. Current committee chairs are asked to suggest prospective members.
Although all of these factors are considered, the final appointments are the prerogative of the ACRL president-elect, the coordinating committee chairs, and the section vice-chairs.

How to apply
1. Select the committees that interest you. ACRL committees and their charges are listed on the ACRL Web site (, select “Committees” from the Quicklinks dropdown menu). Attend committee meetings at the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference to help you decide if their activities interest you.

2. Submit a volunteer form. For division-level committees, complete the online volunteer form at

Be sure to complete the background information section of the form. Mention any committee meetings or programs you have attended.

For section committees, submit the appropriate form for each section. An online list with links to section volunteer forms is available in the sections area of the ACRL Web site (, select “Sections” from the Quicklinks dropdown menu).

3. Introduce yourself. Talk with committee members. Express your interest to the committee chair. Explain how you might contribute to the work of the committee.

4. Volunteer again . . . and again. If you are not successful in being appointed one year, volunteer again the next year . . . and the next.

Remember that many factors—number of appointments made, number of volunteers for each committee, number of volunteers from your type of library or your geographic area—determine the actual appointment, and these factors change from year to year.

ACRL divisional committee appointments
ACRL has 24 standing committees for which you may volunteer to serve for 2006–07. The committees are listed along with their charges on the ACRL Web site (, select “Committees” from the Quicklinks dropdown menu).

In 2005, the Board identified structural changes to the association intended to coordinate the work of units throughout the organization, reduce duplicative efforts, and allow the organization to conduct work more quickly and effectively. One such structural change was to link committees that have similar or related missions under the umbrella of a coordinating committee.

Coordinating committees have division-wide responsibilities to coordinate a broadly defined range of efforts in each committee’s respective area throughout ACRL and to organize the efforts into a coherent and effectively implemented set of programs and initiatives that are more closely aligned to the strategic plan. Coordinating committee chairs are responsible for appointing the members of the component committees, beginning with this appointment cycle for the Advocacy Coordinating Committee and in fiscal year 2008 for the Professional Development Coordinating Committee.

Appointments to ACRL standing committees are made in the spring for terms beginning immediately after the ALA Annual Conference. The Appointments Committee recommends to the president-elect of ACRL the names of members who might fill the vacancies and coordinating committees do the same for their chair. The president-elect and coordinating committee chair make the final appointments for the committees for which they are responsible.

If you want to be considered for an appointment to an ACRL committee, complete the online volunteer form at before December 2, 2005.

Questions about division-level appointments may be directed to the chair of the Appointments Committee, Laverna M. Saunders, university librarian, Duquesne University, Gumberg Library, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15284; phone: (412) 396-6138; fax (412) 260-1658; e-mail:

ACRL section appointments
ACRL has 17 sections (listed below). You will find a description of their areas of responsibility in the ALA Handbook of Organization, 2005–06.

Section vice-chairs appoint the members of all section committees. Most of these appointments are made in the spring for terms beginning immediately after the ALA Annual Conference.

If you would like to be considered for appointment as a chair or member of a section committee, fill out the appropriate section committee volunteer form by December 2, 2005. All section volunteer forms can be found in the sections area of the ALA Web site ( Contact information for the vice-chair of each section is given below.

African American Studies Librarians Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Akilah S. Nosakhere, e-mail:

Anthropology and Sociology Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: JoAnn Jacoby, University of Illinois Library, 100 Main Library, 1408 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL 61801; e-mail:

Arts Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Shannon Van Kirk, California Polytechnic State University, Robert E. Kennedy Library, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407; e-mail:

Asian, African and Middle Eastern Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Binh P. Le, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, 1600 Woodland Road, Abington, PA 19001; e-mail:

Community and Junior College Libraries Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Ellen D. Sutton, College of DuPage Library, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137; e-mail:
College Libraries Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Lisabeth Chabot, Ithaca College Library, 1202 Gannett Center, Ithaca, NY 14850; e-mail:

Distance Learning Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Johanna Ruth Tuñón, Nova Southeastern University Library, 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314; e-mail:

Education and Behavioral Sciences Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Lisa Romero, University of Illinois-Urbana, Communications Library, 122 Gregory Hall, Urbana, IL 61801; e-mail:

Instruction Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Jennifer L. Dorner, Portland State University, Millar Library, P.O. Box 1151, Portland, OR 97207; e-mail: Online committee volunteer form is available at:

Law and Political Science Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Kathleen C. Fountain, California State University, Meriam Library, Chico, CA 95929-0295; e-mail:

Literatures in English Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Kathy A. Johnson, University of Nebraska, 225A Love Library, Lincoln, NE 68588-4100; e-mail:

Rare Books and Manuscripts Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Edwin C. Schroeder, Yale University, Beinecke Library, Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06520; e-mail:

Science and Technology Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Catherine Soehner, University of California-Santa Cruz, Science and Engineering Library, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064; e-mail:

Slavic and East European Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Brad Schaffner, Harvard University, Widener Memorial Library, Cambridge, MA 02138; e-mail:

University Libraries Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Janice Simmons-Welburn, University of Arizona, Main Library A349, 1510 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721; e-mail:
Western European Studies Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Bryan Skib, University of Michigan, 209 Hatcher Library, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; e-mail:

Women’s Studies Section. Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Kelly Barrick Hovendick, Syracuse University Library, E. S. Bird Library, 222 Waverly Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244; e-mail:

Editorial boards
ACRL has eight editorial/advisory boards for its publications: Blog Advisory Board; Choice Editorial Board; College & Research Libraries Editorial Board; College & Research Libraries News Editorial Board; New Publications Advisory Board; Publications in Librarianship Editorial Board; RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage Editorial Board; and Resources for College Libraries Editorial Board.

Appointments to editorial boards are made at the Midwinter Meeting for terms that begin immediately after the ALA Annual Conference. The editors recommend the names of individuals to fill vacancies. The Publications Committee must approve the recommendation, and the president of ACRL makes the appointment.
If you would like to be considered for appointment to an editorial board, contact the editor of the editorial board early in the fall, or indicate your interest on the ACRL online volunteer form.

Blog editor: Steven J. Bell, director of the library, Philadelphia University, 4201 Henry Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144; e-mail:

CHOICE editor: Irving Rockwood, Choice, 100 Riverview Center, Middletown, CT 06457; e-mail:

College & Research Libraries editor: William Gray Potter, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, GA 30602-1641; e-mail:

College & Research Libraries News editor: Stephanie Orphan, C&RL News, ACRL/ALA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795; e-mail:

New publications editor: Hugh Thompson, ACRL/ALA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795; e-mail:

Publications in Librarianship editor: Charles Schwartz, Florida International University, Green Library, University Park, Miami, FL 33199; e-mail:

RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage editor: Richard Clement, head of special collections, University of Kansas, Spencer Research Library, Lawrence, KS 66045-2800; .

Resources for College Libraries project editor: Marcus Elmore, Choice, 100 Riverview Center, Middletown, CT 06457; e-mail:

Nominations sought for ACRL vice-president/president-elect

To paraphrase Walter Lippman, American journalist, “The final test of a leader is that one leaves behind in others the conviction and the will to carry on” (in New York Herald Tribune 14 April 1945).

An organization needs strong leadership to accomplish its goals. ACRL is no exception. As a companion activity to strategic planning, the ACRL Board reviewed the process and procedures for developing an election slate, and will be enacting some changes for the 2007 elections.

The Nominations Committee has been renamed Leadership Recruitment and Nominations to reflect its charge to take a more active role in encouraging and vetting candidates for office. In order to increase and broaden the scope of its pool of candidates, the committee encourages members to nominate themselves or others to run for the position of ACRL vice president/president elect in the 2007 elections.

To nominate an individual or to self-nominate, send the nominee’s name and institution to: Tyrone Cannon, Chair, LNRC, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., Gleeson Library-Geschke Center, San Francisco, CA  94117-1080, e-mail:

Once nominated, individuals will need to submit a two-page curriculum vita or résumé (if self-nominating, you may include these materials with your nomination). The Leadership Recruitment and Nominations Committee will request statements of interest from selected individuals prior to developing a slate of candidates.

The deadline for nominations is November 10, 2005.