ALCTS Annual Report 1994–1995

Robert P. Holley, President

Founded in 1957 as the Resources and Technical Services Division, the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) has almost 5,500 members. As one of the 11 divisions of the American Library Association, ALCTS has responsibility for the following activities in all types of libraries: acquisition, identification, cataloging, classification, and preservation of library materials; the development and coordination of the country's library resources; and those areas of selection and evaluation involved in the acquisition of library materials and pertinent to the development of library resources.


ALCTS believes that users cannot maximize the value of information unless ways are found to provide “leadership and a program for action on the access to, and identification, acquisition, description, organization, preservation, and| dissemination of information resources in a dynamic, collaborative environment.” ALCTS recognizes the need to respond to this challenge in all areas including the rapidly expanding world of digital resources.


The ALCTS mission is to implement this vision for its members, other ALA divisions and members, and the library and information community. Specific organizational goals in support of the ALCTS mission are:

  • Providing opportunities for information exchange;
  • Promoting innovative and effective library education and training including continuing education;
  • Developing, supporting, reviewing, and promoting standards within its areas of concern;
  • Providing opportunities for research, publication, and professional growth.

Presidential Goals for 1994-1995

My chief goal for my presidential year has been more effective delivery of service to members through leadership development, simplification of administrative structures and procedures, empowerment of members, and effective use of information technology.

Major accomplishments of ALCTS to reach this goal include:

Creation of a Leadership Development Committee charged with formulating a coherent plan for recruiting and training new leaders. Early accomplishments include two workshops at the 1995 Annual Conference. (ALA Priority Area E)

Creation of a leadership award for excellence in library acquisitions with funding from Otto Harrassowitz of Wiesbaden, Germany. (ALA Priority Area D)

Implementation of the merger of the Preservation of Library Materials Section (PLMS) and the Reproduction of Library Materials Section (RLMS) into the Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS). The process included a thorough review of existing committees that led to organizational simplification. (ALA Organizational Support Goals)

Elimination of the association level review process of units to be replaced by review at the appropriate lower level. (ALA Organizational Support Goals)

Consideration of the empowerment of discussion groups as a creative and responsive force within ALCTS. The newly reorganized Preservation and Reformatting Section has paired each discussion group with a standing committee to allow ideas and proposals from discussion groups to enter into the decision-making mainstream. (ALA Organizational Support Goals)

Empowerment of the Legislation Committee to speak on a broader range of issues without prior Board approval. (ALA Priority Area B)

Creation of a standing program committee to provide coordination and quality control for programs offered at the Annual Conference. (ALA Priority Area E)

Sponsorship of a membership reception yearly at the Midwinter Meeting to build membership identification. (ALA Organizational Support Goals)

Proposals to rationalize committee meetings at conferences. (ALA Organizational Support Goals)

Establishment of five additional electronic lists to simplify communication between conferences. (ALA Priority Area F)

Increased emphasis upon digital resources in continuing education, publication, and committee activities. (ALA Priority Area E)

Elimination of the Administrative Newsletter because a survey of members confirmed that the electronic publication, ALCTS Network News, provides the needed information. (ALA Priority Area F)

"Publication" of reports and other documents on the ALA gopher and the ALCTS listserv rather than in print format. (ALA Priority Area F)

Emergency gathering of letters of support for the National Endowment for the Humanities through a special issue of the electronic publication, ALCTS Network News. (ALA Priority Area B)

ALA Goal 2000

ALCTS strongly supports the vision so ably expressed in ALA Goal 2000. ALCTS can contribute its expertise in the following areas:

  • The development of effective ways to organize digital resources for all types of users.
  • Initiatives to capitalize on ALCTS expertise in the acquisition, identification, cataloging, classification, and preservation of library materials to influence the key players in the emerging national information scene.
  • Help in the development and coordination of the country's digital resources through careful selection and evaluation.
  • Legislative initiatives to preserve the intellectual records of our civilization for transfer to future generations.
  • The redefinition of library education in ALCTS areas of concern.
  • A continuing education program with a strong technological component to help retrain librarians for the 21st century.
  • With these aims in mind, the ALCTS Board endorsed ALA Goal 2000 and the dues increase necessary for its implementation.

Other Accomplishments

Continuing Education and Publications

ALCTS has sponsored nine institutes, three preconferences, and twelve conference programs (30 hours). The number and breadth of its programs has made ALCTS a leader in continuing education among the ALA divisions. (ALA Priority Area E)

ALCTS published the following items: (ALA Priority Area F)

  • Collection Management and Development: Issues in an Electronic Era, edited by Peggy Johnson and Bonnie MacEwan
  • Outsourcing Cataloging, Authority Work, and Physical Processing, by Marie Kascus and Dawn Hall for the Commercial Technical Services Committee
  • Guidelines for Bibliographic Description of Reproductions, edited by Chairman Bruce Johnson for the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access
  • Preservation Education Directory, 7th ed, edited by Christopher Coleman
  • What's in a Name: Presentation Guidelines for Serial Publications, by the Serials Section (ALCTS will distribute this item free of charge and has provided camera-ready copy to cooperating vendors for redistribution.)
  • Training Catalogers in the Electronic Era: Essential Elements of a Training Program for Entry-Level Professional Catalogers (This item was electronically published on the ALA Gopher.)


The ALCTS Board adopted a "Resolution in Support of Reauthorization of the National Endowment for the Humanities" and endorsed resolutions of support for the Library Fellows and Fulbright Programs. (ALA Priority Area B)


ALCTS remains active in standard setting in its areas of concern including participation in NISO, JSC, and IFLA. ALCTS continues to provide partial travel support for seven individuals who represent ALA on IFLA Standing Committees. (ALA Priority Area F)

ALCTS nominated a member to serve on the OCLC Advisory Panel on cataloging Internet resources. (ALA Priority Area F)

Outreach to the Library and Information Science Community

ALCTS has cooperated with regional networks (SOLINET, PACNET, AMIGOS) and state library associations (notably the California Library Association) to present several regional institutes in the past year. (ALA Priority Goal E)

ALCTS has been a key player in the development of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging since Karen Muller, ALCTS Executive Director, serves on its Executive Committee. (ALA Priority Goal A)

Executive Director Karen Muller also represents our preservation interests at the newly formed National Task Force on Emergency Response. Its goals are to safeguard America's cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies and to use its expertise in helping the general public recover from disasters. (ALA Priority Goal D)

ALCTS continues to involve key players, such as the Library of Congress, OCLC Forest Press, SISAC, and the H.W. Wilson Company (publisher of the Sears Subject Heading List) in its standards setting work. (ALA Priority Goal F)

Relationships with Other ALA Units

ALCTS is exploring the possibilities of holding a joint national conference with the Reference and Adult Services Division. (ALA Organizational Support Goals)

ALCTS is cosponsoring six programs at the 1995 Annual Conference with other ALA units. (ALA Priority Area E)

Membership and Budget Issues

The ALCTS Office has implemented an action plan to recruit and retain members including advertising, an updated membership brochure, targeted mailings, and emphasis upon the recruitment of student members. (ALA Organizational Support Goals)

ALCTS continues to budget conservatively with an anticipated surplus for fiscal year 1994-1995. After revision by the Budget and Finance Committee, the ALCTS Board approved the ALCTS Five Year Financial Plan to assure continued financial stability. (ALA Organizational Support Goals)

The ALCTS Budget and Finance Committee reviews all preconferences and institutes for their budgetary implications and sets a budgetary ceiling based upon anticipated attendance and registration fees. (ALA Organizational Support Goals)


The ALCTS Executive Committee appointed a member to testify at the focus group session on the latest draft of a revised Code of Ethics. (ALA Priority Area E)

ALCTS distributed an ethics statement, based upon the ALA Code of Ethics but with specific references to ALCTS areas of interest. (ALA Priority Area E)