ALCTS Committees Report from Atlanta

Below are brief abstracts based on reports received by the editor as of July 14, 2002, of the activities of ALCTS committees at 2002 ALA Annual Conference in Atlanta. Links are provided to committee information on the ALCTS home page. Contact information for committee chairs and members may be found there; in addition, some committees post minutes and other documents pertinent to their work.

For information on committees not listed below, go to the ALCTS Organization menu on the ALCTS home page and follow the links through to the appropriate section.

Divisionwide Committees

The Association of American Publishers/ALCTS Joint Committee was told by Dan Lundy that the library survey (from the committee’s 1999 effort) had been published by Scarecrow. The committee discussed their program proposal for ALA 2003 Annual Conference in Toronto. The topic will be digital rights from an international perspective and the title “Digital Rights, Digital Wrongs: International Perspectives on Copyright” was approved. October Ivins and Sheryl Nichin-Keith agreed to cochair. Nancy Gibbs, program chair, reported on the committee’s E Commerce Program to be presented on Sunday, June 16. She reported that the speakers’ papers would be posted at the Duke University Web site. Audrey Melkin, program moderator, reported that the program publicity was in good shape and noted that the program had received a write-up in the March issue of American Libraries and in Library Journal’s conference picks. Athena Mitchell and Karolyn Anderson agreed to collect and collate evaluation forms.

The Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) discussed the current year’s budget status and the proposed budget for FY 2003. Revenue is down because ALCTS held only two preconferences. There have been unexpected expenses related to the delay in LRTS’s publishing schedule. The division has ninety new members from the support-staff membership initiative. The board has authorized a deficit of $30,000 for this fiscal year, which is presently expected to be less. Five preconferences are planned for Toronto, which should increase revenue next year. An increase in division dues will be postponed for at least a year. A small amount of money will be set aside for unanticipated requests that the executive committee can authorize. Once again, BFC met jointly with the Planning Committee during conference.

The Education Committee reviewed the Tactical Plan for ideas that may suggest workshops or institutes. They also will aggressively seek proposals for these events from individuals and library school faculties. They discussed the continuing education initiatives planned for the next year, the LC Action Plan for Cataloging, and the serials librarianship syllabi on the ALCTS Web site.

The Fundraising Committee held a breakfast for sponsors; those who attended were very appreciative of the association’s efforts at recognition. 2002 was a difficult year for obtaining external support for ALCTS, due to a combination of factors including economic and environmental conditions, as well as fewer continuing education events and programs that seemed to appeal as sponsorship opportunities. Nevertheless, support from a small group of generous and loyal sponsors was received. The committee reviewed the year’s activities and studied a seven-year comparison chart of fund-raising as well.

Plans for 2003 include a consultation session at Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia with a professional fund-raiser for members of the committee as well as members of the ALCTS board, division chairs, and members at large. The committee will also explore the possibility of holding a fund-raising event in Toronto.

The working relationship developed with the ALCTS Program Committee has been extremely beneficial and will be continued and strengthened in 2003. Having information on programs and other continuing education events at a very early stage has proved to be crucial for identifying and soliciting external support. Response to the marketing questionnaire provided valuable information that was remarkably consistent with directions expressed in the association’s business plan. The information obtained will be used to help focus the fund-raising efforts in the future.

The International Relations Committee (IRC) heard about activities and projects of the ALA IRC, including work with Cuba, Mexico, and Armenia and the possibility of translating ALA publications into other languages. They also discussed the International Experience database, which needs more vigorous promotion.

The Leadership Development Committee is planning a program for Toronto, “Learning and Developing Leadership: Who’s Responsible?” and is cosponsoring “Library Management and Leadership: Theory and Practice,” which is being staged by LAMA Comparative Library Organizations Committee. They discussed establishing a mentoring program within ALCTS. Apparently, some of the ALCTS section chairs are already working on this as part of the strategic plan. Perhaps the ALCTS office will assist in the establishment of a mentor database. LAMA has a strong mentoring program and presented a program “Hot Passion and Cool Leadership: Challenges for Middle Managers” during this conference.

LAMA presents two concurrent orientation sessions on Fridays preceding Annual Conference: one for new and prospective members, and another for new officers and chairs. They feel that this allows for networking and promotes leadership development. They also have a workshop on program planning for those interested in developing a successful program. These ideas may be helpful to ALCTS, and there are other leadership groups in ALA from whose ideas we can benefit.

The Legislation Committee heard and discussed reports about the ALA Legislation Assembly, the ALA Washington Office, and the Legislative Advocacy Preconference.

The Media Resources Committee (MRC) further refined its plans for a program for Annual Conference 2003, “Digital Audio/Digital Video: Is Your Library Digital Ready?” Several speakers will be approached to discuss remote access to sound and video resources, acquisition and distribution of these materials, in-house versus commercial conversion of formats, legal issues, and so on. The ALCTS Networked Resources and Metadata Committee will co-sponsor the program. They also discussed an OLAC CAPC proposal on use of conventional terminology in the physical description area for materials cataloged under AACR Chapter 7 rules.

There was a general discussion of the committee’s charge and why MRC focuses almost exclusively on cataloging. Should it try to broaden its membership to include other specialties of AV librarianship as the current charge states, or should it focus on cataloging and move under the Cataloging and Classification Section umbrella? A subgroup was formed to examine the charge and bring recommendations back to the group. They also discussed overlap between MRC and other groups both within and beyond ALCTS, and the liaisons to MARBI and CC:DA. There was general agreement that it should be more involved in developing standards for AV materials.

The Membership Committee. Kirsten Ahlen (ALCTS staff) distributed monthly and year-to-date statistics for each section and for ALCTS as a whole and answered questions during the portion of the meeting for which she was present. The membership-needs chart was discussed but no further information was forthcoming. The location of the Membership Booth in the exhibit hall versus outside was considered a success, as purely informational questions diminished while ALCTS-specific questions increased. Keeping firm rather than anecdotal statistics on the types of questions asked of booth staffers was suggested. Questions were raised about the contents and procedures regarding new member packets.

The Organization and Bylaws Committee revised its committee review schedule, and the committee itself was revised (the Strategic Plan tasks will also be revised to match). We discussed a task received from the board, to review the LITA documentation on interest groups and make recommendations for similar practice in ALCTS by the fall ALCTS executive committee meeting (Bill Robnett will initiate the e-mail discussion with the group after conference). We briefly reviewed progress to date on committee and discussion group reviews in progress.

The Planning Committee discussed how to manage components of the Tactical Plan that a group wishes to withdraw; perhaps these items should be tracked as such, rather than deleted. To create greater synchronicity, the Planning Committee will establish liaisons with “business” committees of ALCTS: Education, Fundraising, Membership, Organization and Bylaws, Program, and Publications. Planning Committee at-large members, of which there are three, will each liaise with two of the committees. The Excel document currently containing the planning scheme will be moved to a database the ALCTS office will then manage. The committee hosted a “visioning” workshop for the ALCTS presidents, section chairs and chairs-elect, select board members, and the Planning Committee during conference.

The Publications Committee completed a thorough review of the ALCTS publications process (flowchart and proposal/transmittal forms) and reviewed a participants’ guide for committee members. They recommended that the board adopt a course of action on ANO/AN2 and the ALCTS Publishing Business Plan and discussed work of the Web editor and publishing venues for “From Catalog to Gateway” series now linked to the newsletter.

The Publisher/Vendor/Library Relations Committee presented a forum titled “Slice, Dice, or the Whole Salami? Pricing Models for Electronic Resources;” agreed to stage another forum during Midwinter Meeting 2003 titled “Sweet Talkin’ Lies: Usage Statistics for Electronic Resources”; and completed plans for a panel to be presented in Toronto called “Book Selection Without Books: The Virtual Approval Shelf.” They examined the responses on the ALCTS Leaders electronic discussion list regarding the proposal that vendors present their own programs at ALA or have their own track for conference panels.

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Council of Regional Groups (CRG)

The CRG Executive Committee heard reports from its administrative units on the appointment process, CRG elements of Tactical Plan, and the ALCTS budget; Speakers Bureau and Affiliate Relations chairs reported on progress of their work, including preliminary results of a survey sent to affiliates by ALCTS, which shows support for using the list to disseminate ALCTS program and standards news. Some affiliates expressed interest in cosponsoring regional workshops.

The CRG Affiliate Relations Committee discussed the need to restructure the formal charge of the committee in light of both current activities (i.e., maintaining the CRG directory) and potential future activities mandated by the ALCTS Strategic Plan. Assuming that the current activities of the committee are retained, and that future activities mandated by the Strategic Plan are added, the chair suggested a not unreasonable need in the offing to expand the size of the committee. He suggested a possible new composition of eight full members and two interns.

The chair further noted that dropping the requirement of twice a year ALA attendance for members and interns (not the chair) was reasonable, in light of both the real (current) activities of the membership and the fact that the demand has in the past deprived the committee of able and otherwise willing volunteers. The chair then noted that several entries in the directory index (not the body of the directory) were linked directly to the Web page of the group. That is, when one clicks on the name of the group in the index, the viewer was taken not to the directory, with its compacted and formatted information, but to the Web page of the group itself. He mentioned that he had called this to the attention of the executive committee and that, presumably, the question would soon be addressed. Discussion then turned to an outline previously developed, as per the ALCTS Strategic Plan and distributed to the membership, of a mechanism to tabulate types of programs offered by the groups. No suggestions for improvements were offered. The chair agreed to forward a more formal version of the same to the appropriate places.

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Acquisitions Section (AS)

AS Education Committee heard a status report on the BOA (Business of Acquisitions) preconference being planned for Toronto. A draft document was used to lead a discussion on core competencies for acquisition librarians. During this discussion it became clear that the committee needed to discuss the difference between professional and paraprofessional acquisition staff. Using the draft, the committee identified which competencies should realistically be expected from a professional acquisitions librarian versus a paraprofessional acquisitions clerk. Once the competencies have been identified, a survey of the library community will be done to help verify and document actual practices in the library field. A report on the findings and a recommendation of core competencies then will be developed.

The Acquisitions Bibliography was handed out and the committee will work on updating it over the summer. All suggested additions and items to delete will be sent to the chair by September 1, 2002. They will then be collated and sent out to members to discuss at Midwinter Meeting. The bibliography will then be sent on to the publication committee and the AS executive committee for approval. One issue that was not discussed is how often the bibliography will be updated.

AS Publications Committee learned the Guides subcommittee is working on several publications including the licensing guide, OP guide, RFP/RFI guide, and in-print monographs guide. Foreign Book Dealers Directory subcommittee is ready to begin their survey for information to be included in the directory.

Kirsten Ahlen, liaison from the ALCTS office, gave a report on the publications process as well as the refinement of publications procedures. There was some concern voiced by the Publications Committee on ALCTS's request to seek permission to link to every Web site mentioned in the foreign book dealers directory. Apparently this must be done to avoid potential lawsuits.

AS Technology Committee. Following introductions, the committee discussed two topics of ongoing business: their program “The Final Frontier,” which took place the next day, and the status of the Vendor R&D database. The committee has been working for many years on the development of a database to provide information about new developments in vendor automation. This will include both vendors of automation for the acquisitions function and vendors of library materials. The database is ready to go live. Committee members made lists of vendors and took responsibility for contacting those with whom they had working relationships. The committee learned that the database is considered a publication, and therefore, additional permissions must be obtained before the database can be made public and populated. The necessary forms would be obtained and authorized following the conference. The committee finished the meeting by discussing possible topics for a future program—probably in 2004.

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Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS)

CCS Cataloging and Classification: Description and Access Committee (CC:DA) approved two MAGERT proposals, CC:DA/MAGERT/2002/1 (capitalization of Earth) and CC:DA/MAGERT/2002/2 (using commas to separate recording of multiple dimension measurements). A proposal from the Media Resources Committee, CC:DA/MRC/2001/1/Rev. (changes to 7.0B sources of information and additional glossary entries), was sent back to that committee for additional work. CC:DA also approved a proposal for an optional rule to add names and dates of incumbency to headings for heads of government and of international organizations. They heard reports from Barbara Tillett, the LC representative; Matthew Beacom, ALA Representative to the Joint Steering Committee (JSC); and Mark Watson, MARBI. The committee also had an update from Don Chatham, ALA Publishing Services, on the plans for publication of the 2002 revision of AACR later this summer.

  • The ONYX International Task Force (Brad Eden, chair) was discharged. CC:DA had received its report at Midwinter Meeting and there were no rule revision proposals forthcoming.
  • The Task Force on an Appendix on Major and Minor Changes (Cynthia Whitacre, chair) is going to rewrite the appendix into a stand-alone publication, with minor changes also to be included. It may be published as an ALCTS publication or included in the LCRIs.
  • The Task Force on Consistency Across Part 1 of AACR (John Attig, chair) is working on areas 2, 3, 5 and 6. Attig gave a report, and CC:DA discussed a number of general issues relating to consistency in Part I of AACR. The task force plans to have the comparison of at least two areas, and hopefully all four, completed by Midwinter Meeting.
  • The Task Force on Special Characteristics of Electronic Resources (Laurel Jizba, chair) is waiting on JSC constituency responses to 4JSC/ALA/36/Rev, but Jizba gave a report on their ongoing discussions on rules for areas 3, 5 and 7 in chapter 9.

CC:DA asked for volunteers to make a response to 4JSC/Chair/76/Chair follow-up (Pat Riva’s “Incorporating FRBR Terminology in AACR”) after it is revised as a result of comments from JSC members. Steven Arakawa will take the lead on that response. CC:DA agreed to form a task force to review an ISBD Review Group document on the use of multiple ISBDs when it is sent out for review later this year.

CCS Cataloging of Children’s Materials Committee is planning a fourth edition of Cataloging Correctly for Kids and is discussing a program on this topic for 2004. They also may stage a program during the American Association of School Librarians’ meeting in 2003.

CCS Education, Training and Recruitment for Cataloging Committee is updating their Web site with past minutes and mentoring information. Their mentoring pilot project is occurring during this conference, and assessment will be completed by Midwinter Meeting. They are planning a program for 2003, “Growing Our Own: Mentoring Library School Students for Cataloging.“

CCS Policy and Research Committee discussed the “research topics essays” project. Between Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference 2002, several essays were submitted to be mounted on the Web as part 2 of the essays already published on the PRC Web site. It seems that the essays and the publication itself needed to go through the approval process, which began before Annual Conference. The executive committee has approved the publication in principle. It was discussed at the Friday evening executive meeting and suggestions were made for improvement. They discussed ideas for a document that would provide guidance to future members in writing these essays.

CCS Subject Analysis Committee (SAC) received reports from all liaisons, and from each of the existing subcommittees. Two subcommittees, the Subcommittee on Reference Structures in Automated Systems and the Subcommittee on Subject Analysis Training Materials, will present programs at Annual Conference 2003. SAC also approved participation in a Public Library Association preconference in 2004, on the topic of the upcoming twenty-second edition of Dewey Decimal Classification. Sunday’s meeting featured an update by Lois Mai Chan and Lynn El-Hoshy on the FAST project, followed by an open discussion. New business during the Monday meeting featured a preliminary discussion of a potential program for 2004, examining the concept of the user in relation to subject analysis and classification.

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Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS)

CMDS Administration of Collection Development Committee established a plan and timeline for publishing findings of their survey on management of electronic resources and determined responsibilities for each segment of its write up. Members of the survey team will compile additional demographic data by August. They plan two articles for ALCTS Newsletter Online based on their survey, on staffing of libraries for management of e-resources, and on user and administrator satisfaction with e-resources. They plan a new project on best practices in the organization of collection development, starting with two focus groups sessions at Midwinter Meeting, concentrating on focus on medium-size academics and publics. Members of the focus group teams will select invitees by September. The outcome of this is a best practices document that can be mounted on ALCTS Web site.

CMDS Collection Development and Electronic Media Committee discussed an invitation to participate in a RUSA task force to compile, review, and disseminate selection criteria for electronic resources that will supplement traditional collection criteria. One member was selected to serve in this capacity. They discussed other groups with whom they could partner. Two ideas were discussed for 2004 programs: the effects of breaking up big “package deals” and challenges to CD when acquisitions budgets are consumed by consortial costs.

CMDS Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Committee worked on their proposal for a program, “Monitoring and Evaluating an Approval Book Plan,” for 2003 and reviewed the committee’s accomplishments during the past two years.

CMDS Policy and Planning Committee discussed the three-hour visioning session held for CMDS leaders with a professional consultant, Louella Wetherbee. The committee will take on a Web survey of all CMDS members that will also summarize CMDS successes and hopes for the future. The survey was drafted and will be sent out for comment this summer before going to the membership. As part of ongoing committee review, the committee members will interview the chairs of other CMDS groups by spring 2003 to discuss their viability and future directions. Results of the interviews will be collated and discussed, and if an in-depth review is then warranted, Policy and Planning will use the ALCTS self-review format and process.

CMDS Publications Committee met with Margaret Rohdy, new ALCTS Web editor, and Kirsten Ahlen, ALCTS publications manager. They mused about the need and utility of a CMDS section-level newsletter but decided articles in the ALCTS Newsletter Online are sufficient for the moment. Upon learning that division publications generate ~5 percent of the division’s revenue, considering the CMDS Strategic Plan and citing of a lack of training materials for bibliographers and the “mentor in the box” concept, the group will pursue two to three guides by identifying topics (area studies or academic disciplines) and finding willing authors. There is a disjunction between the various visions of the publications process. The ALCTS office favors this committee as talent scouts with minimal editorial duties, while the ALCTS Publication Committee’s outlook includes that function and using this committee to act as preliminary editor and liaison to the author(s) of the works. A written resolution of this ambiguity in the coming months will be useful to this committee.

CMDS Quantitative Measures for Collection Development Committee heard an update on the North American Title Count Project (NATC). Release of the NATC CD-ROM has been delayed due to technical problems but is expected by August 2002. ALCTS funding was obtained to go forward with the pilot project for the next NATC, in 2005, whereby data will be mounted on the Web.

CAROL (Collections and Acquisitions Research Online), a “research clearinghouse” database, and an unofficial ALCTS publication, has been live for some months. CAROL needs better publicity and needs to settle the question of who will give ongoing technical support and where a permanent home within ALCTS might be found; it is currently managed by an ad hoc CMDS committee. The group also heard a report on IPEDS, which was part of our ongoing, larger discussion of new-measures initiatives among libraries smaller than ARL institutions, where formal programs exist.

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Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS)

PARS Books and Paper Committee is planning a program for 2003 on conservation treatment, focused on how to set up a small operation to deal with circulating collection repair needs more effectively, geared to institutions without a preservation professional on staff. If the program is successful, it might be enlarged to a preconference for 2005 and also result in a brief publication or guide.

PARS Education Committee discussed staging a film festival of preservation movies and presenting a program on preservation education abroad at 2003 Annual Conference; publishing the eighth edition of the Preservation Education Directory online; updating the directory entries as needed; requesting updates and additions using electronic discussion lists; and preparing a new edition by 2007. They also discussed a program on the preservation of digital materials for 2004.

PARS Management Committee is planning a preservation microfilm guidelines project to identify what standards and procedures to follow when purchasing existing microfilm to replace brittle materials. The committee initiated an announcement at all PARS discussion groups telling attendees how to volunteer for ALCTS committees, and they heard reports from the discussion group sessions in Atlanta.

PARS Photographic and Recording Media Committee reviewed items referred to the CoOL Audio Preservation site since Midwinter Meeting (per the committee’s charge to keep information on the site current) and discussed further possible items. They heard reports on a proposal from IPI to develop diagnostic tools for magnetic tape similar to the AD strips and a condition survey matrix; preliminary investigations of a possible invitational meeting on selection and prioritization of audio materials for preservation; establishment and aims of the National Recording Preservation Board established in spring 2002 on the model of the National Film Preservation Board; and educational opportunities, including an AMIGOS workshop coming up, and the possibility that the Texas program will offer a week-long intensive session for mid-career people. The committee’s related discussion group has been talking about better description of collections, more tools for identification of media, and levels of risk and for prioritization of preservation activities. The greatest emphasis of that group is on the need for communication and information sharing across all the communities that deal with audio and video materials.

PARS Policy, Planning and Research Committee regrouped and discussed how to proceed after the meeting in terms of achieving goals identified in the Tactical Plan, attendance requirements for members, and how to handle the mechanics of reporting what to whom regarding new goals, goals in progress, and completed goals.

PARS Program Planning and Publications Committee approved two publication proposals: A Sourcebook for Library Binding; and Cost Assessment Tool: A Guide to Cost Assessment of Library Preservation Activities. They returned Survey of Cooperative Groups in the U.S. for further editing. They also approved four program proposals for 2003: “Preservation Abroad,” “Managing Preservation Technologies for the New Century,” “Repair Options for Circulating and Reference Collections,” and “Two Thumbs Up: Preservation Film Festival,” as well as a proposal for a preconference for 2004 on mold.

PARS Reformatting: Analog and Digital Committee heard reports on their related discussion groups and on AIIM activities, suggesting an ALA liaison to help track what AIIM is doing with regard to standards for digital technologies. They discussed the program on hybrid systems planned for 2003. There was some discussion of pricing issues related to the long-term storage of digital files. Questions regarding the availability of data were relayed to the Cost Study Task Force.

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Serials Section (SS)

SS Acquisitions Committee reviewed their program held in Atlanta, work done on a supplement to the Acquisitions Glossary, and future directions for the committee, including a respite from planning formal programs, a possible joint meeting with the Education Committee in the future, and how to get involved in a mentoring program.

SS Education Committee has completed three syllabi, which are posted on the committee’s Web site: Syllabus for Serials Cataloging Teaching and Training; Syllabus for Serials Collection Development and Acquisitions Teaching and Training; and Syllabus for Serials Collection Management, Records Systems, and Preservation Teaching and Training. They are planning a preconference for 2003 to provide provide SCCTP training for electronic serials and integrating resources.

SS Policy, Research, and Publications Committee is responsible for soliciting and shepherding the section’s publication process. The process has been streamlined to be a continuous process rather than one tied to the conference schedule. Manuscripts will come through PRPC for a review of content and scope. They discussed the ALCTS Publishing Business Plan, the Web glossary, and the participants’ guide. Committee members will attend other section meetings to speak about the publishing process. They also reviewed section proposals for programs.

SS Committee to Study Serials Cataloging held a program on AACR2 Revised Chapter 12 in lieu of holding a committee meeting.

SS Committee to Study Serials Standards reviewed a draft of guidelines for updates to Serials Standards Bibliography . They would like to work towards becoming a conduit to standards bodies by holding meetings and programs, the first in 2004. They plan to review and draft comments on the statistical standard now available for review at Midwinter Meeting 2003.

SS Union Lists of Serials Committee directed their discussion from the past into the future. The committee was formed in 1980 as a temporary committee and became a standing committee in 1982. Without much draw to the committee, and not much necessary activity, the question came up about the differences between union lists over the twenty intervening years. Paper products were much more common in the 1980s when compared to now. Regional subsets, either derived from or which contribute to the OCLC union list, are almost universally electronic. The committee seems to essentially be made up of OCLC member library UL staff. The value of the online union list, to those who input and maintain it, is unquestioned. Scrutiny of the file tends to come from ILL folks who either effectively use the available data . . . or do not. And “other” bibliographic utilities sometimes are forgotten in the semimonolithic world we work in.

They recommended that a liaison continue to meet as a member of the RUSA MOUSS ILL Committee ULS working group; that professional responsibilities be considered as a way to expand the intellectual makeup of the committee; and that committee membership be further enhanced with non-OCLC library staff participation. ILL people incorporate many activities and systems into their conversation, and this committee could benefit from a similar variety. ALA program ideas continue to simmer, with the interest of cosponsors a constant consideration.

SS Worst Serials Title Change of the Year Committee once again presented its much anticipated awards during the ALCTS Awards Ceremony.

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