Annual Report 1996–1997

Carol Chamberlain, ALCTS President

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) has had an active year, moving forward with many initiatives, and setting a direction for the future. 1997 marks our 40th anniversary, and with the help of the member Task Force on the 40th Anniversary, we have begun a year of celebration and remembrance.

The ALCTS Mission

The mission of ALCTS is to provide leadership and a program of action in the areas of acquisitions, description, organization, preservation and the dissemination of information resources. ALCTS achieves this through the work of its five sections, Acquisitions, Collection Management and Development, Cataloging and Classification, and Preservation and Reformatting, and Serials; through the Council of Regional Groups, and through its 25 committees. Coordinating and enabling the work of these groups is the Executive Director and the ALCTS office staff.

Goals and Achievements

My goals for ALCTS in 1996–97 focused on four areas: leadership in national and global issues, collaboration, professional development and education, and building on the conference experience. The ALCTS Board endorses ALA Goal 2000 and the Goal 2000 vision statements are included here to place the ALCTS goals and achievements within the larger context. Our accomplishments are very closely allied with ALA goals.

In addition to the annual goals, two broad-based, longer-term division actions have begun. The first is a review and assessment of ALCTS planning, with a review of the 5-year financial plan underway. The second, is the development of a membership survey, to be conducted in 1997.

Leadership in National and Global Issues

ALA Goal 2000 envisions:

  • participation in national arenas
  • defining ALA's role within the emerging information environment
  • analyzing and shaping national information issues.

ALCTS goal:

to strengthen the ALCTS voice within ALA on national and global issues. We have a tradition of leadership in the areas of standards development, cooperative cataloging and other initiatives. This year the Task Force on Meta Access made recommendations for ALCTS to take the lead in bringing a diverse library community together to define bibliographic access to digital resources and to promote a coherent view of metadata. The division continues to devote attention to outsourcing and contract services; they are a primary focus of the programs, discussion groups, forums on vendor relations, and publications. The division is undertaking the North American Title Count, an important collection analysis tool. In light of the renewed focus in ALA on international activities, ALCTS has appointed a task force to study how we can best support division leaders in essential international activities in addition to IFLA. ALCTS provided funds for 11 individuals in support of IFLA this year.


ALA Goal 2000:

  • source of support in a free and open information society
  • collaboration with other groups in the development of information society issues.

ALCTS goal:

to seek a greater level of collaboration with other ALA divisions and units. We need to work together to achieve common goals, reducing the overlap and the isolation. The ALCTS/RUSA national institute in the fall 1997 has as its theme, models for managing electronic resources and services. A joint ALCTS/LITA institute on metadata is planned for 1998. The ALCTS Board voted to create a joint task force with members of the Serials Section and NASIG in order to explore collaborative activities. ALCTS now has a formal liaison relationship with the Medical Library Association in the area of publisher/vendor relations. The Preservation and Reformatting Section is co-sponsoring a program of the Society of American Archivists and SAA will reciprocate in the future. The joint AAP/ALCTS Committee is preparing the next industry-wide survey of librarians, publishers and vendors.

Professional Development and Education

ALA Goal 2000:

  • provide training and support to library professionals
  • redefine library information education and update skills for the newinformation age.

ALCTS goal:

to prepare the future leaders of our profession. ALCTS must focus on alliances with other educational groups and build on our successes in distributing professional development and educational programs to a broader range of participants. ALCTS excels in the arena of regional and national institutes. From its new initiatives fund, the Board awarded funds for a new initiative in distance learning -- the Acquisitions Section will offer the Fundamentals of Acquisitions institute via satellite and the Internet. The ALCTS Educational Policy Statement was distributed to library and information science faculty throughout the country.

The division held 5 regional institutes in various locations, 4 preconferences and 11 programs. The institutes included two on networked workstations, the cataloging of multimedia, library binding and the Dewey classification. The topics of the ALA preconferences are statistics, the business of acquisitions, subject cataloging of electronic resources and digital scanning. Among the programs are "Electronic Serials," "From Catalog to Gateway: URIs, Metadata and the Dublin Core," "Consortial Licensing of Digital Resources," "Making Use of Intelligent Agents," "International Filming Initiatives." and the President's Program, "Ellen Goodman on Librarians in Society: Can We Change Our Ways but Keep Our Ideals?"

ALCTS has three serial publications: Library Resources and Technical Services, with a new editor and new design, the ALCTS Newsletter and the online ALCTS Network News. The ALCTS web site is growing with new pages added continually and with the increased investment of staff time and expertise. The Task Force on the Use of Electronic Communications, in its report to the Board, urges renewed commitment to the Web site as an integral part of the communication and publication mechanisms. The ALCTS publications program includes the Papers on Library Technical Services and Collections and two guidelines series. A search committee to recruit the next Papers series editor has been appointed. Several publications were approved this year: Cataloging Correctly for Kids (3rd ed.), Guide to Managing Approval Plans, and the Directory of Book and Serial Vendors for Africa and the Middle East (vol.2 of the Foreign Book Dealers Directories Series).

Building on the Conference Experience

ALA Goal 2000:

  • review and adjust its internal operations.

ALCTS goal: to improve the conference experience, building on the positive outcomes of "reinventing conference." ALCTS seeks to achieve a better balance between what we can accomplish at conference and what we can accomplish between conferences. ALCTS has continued its successful reduction in meeting hours and has found such solutions as concurrent section meetings. A listserv for ALCTS leaders was established, with members of the Board and the divisional committee chairs included. A consent agenda has been developed to facilitate Board meetings. ALCTS applauds the establishment of liaisons to divisions from the ALA Executive Board.

Recognition of the Special Achievements of Our Colleagues

ALCTS honors librarians through its awards program. The award recipients for 1996–97 are:

Best of LRTS Award: Michael Kaplan
Blackwell North America Scholarship Award: Michael Gorman and Walt Crawford
Esther J. Piercy Award: Birdie MacLennan
Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award: Katina Strauch
Margaret Mann Citation: Sheila S. Intner
Bowker/Ulrich's Serials Librarianship Award: Cynthia Hepfer
First Step Award - Wiley Professional Development Grant: Linda Pitts

Selection of the recipients is made by juries of ALCTS colleagues and peers. On behalf of all ALCTS members, congratulations to the recipients!