ALCTS Annual Report 2002-2003
Olivia M.A. Madison, ALCTS President
Editor's note: 2002-2003 annual reports for the five sections of ALCTS and CRG appeared in the August 2003 issue of the ALCTS Newsletter Online. Previous division annual reports are posted on the ALCTS Web site: from the home page select "About" and then "Annual Reports."
The strategic mission of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services succinctly states that "The ALCTS Division must continue to be on the forefront of recognizing and influencing these fundamental changes as envisioned in our strategic plan: ALCTS envisions an environment in which traditional library roles are evolving. New technologies are making information more fluid and raising expectations. The public needs quality information anytime, anyplace. ALCTS provides frameworks to meet these information needs." During 2002/2003 it was my distinct privilege to lead this vital and distinguished division of the American Library Association in meeting this challenging mission.
As I mentioned in my first presidential column, we continue to face dynamic, challenging, and increasingly legalistic times within our profession. Our times are characterized by fundamental changes in the nature of our collections, acquisitions processes and policies, Web-based online catalogs and systems, and evolving bibliographic, authority and preservation standards. These changes are deeply embedded in rapid technological advances and a difficult narrowing yet expanding marketplace. Furthermore, we are in a demanding transition where the traditional and the new must coexist. These fundamental changes impact not only how we conduct business, build online access tools, and preserve our collections but also on shifting staff needs to develop effective expertise and technical skills. Collectively we met these challenges and made extraordinary progress in carrying out our strategic goals and strategies.
This annual report reflects the ALCTS Division's many and diverse accomplishments as they relate to its six strategic goals: Standards, Best Practices, Education, Professional Development, Interaction and Information Exchange, and Association Operations.
STANDARDS AND BEST PRACTICES (Goal #1 and Goal #2)
Standards development and best practices were essential program themes at the annual conference and included:
ALCTS remained highly involved in several issues related to the Library of Congress Action Plan's action items for bibliographic control of Web resources. Last year the ALCTS Board charged a task force to review the plan's "Bibliographic Control of Web Resources" and recommend action items suitable for ALCTS to develop in partnership with the Library of Congress. Karen Calhoun is serving as the task force chair. The task force appointed three subgroups to carry out the work of three identified action items ( Task Force Report (March 23, 2003):
During the Toronto meeting, the Board approved ALCTS co-sponsorship with Library of Congress, OCLC, and ALISE of a forum at the 2004 ALA midwinter meeting on preparing metadata and cataloging educations and trainers. the Board will invite Beacher Wiggins or John Byrum to attend the Board's midwinter meeting to update the Board on the progress that has been made on the LC Action Plan for Bibliographic Control of Web Resources.
EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (Goal #3 and Goal #4)
Education and professional development successes abounded this year - virtually, physically, and within and outside conference venues. Moreover, in recognition of significant contributions of our ALCTS colleagues, we conferred major awards and citations to many outstanding recipients and, with heartfelt memorial resolutions, formally noted three of our respected colleagues who died this year.
The "Fundamentals of Acquisitions" Web course was given four times during the year, twice to more than 110 people. The AACR2 and Metadata Institute was given also four times - in Arlington, Virginia and Chicago, Illinois in November; Orlando, Florida in February; and in San Jose, California in April.
Unfortunately ALCTS's scheduled preconferences suffered from the lower registration levels for the annual conference. While the Knowledge Without Boundaries Pre-Conference was cancelled due to low registrations, we still provided three noteworthy preconferences - Business of Acquisitions: Working Together to Get it Done - Acquisitions Librarians as Collaborators; Dewey Decimal Classification 23 and Beyond: An Introduction to the New Edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification; and Serials Cataloging Cooperative Training Program (SCCTP): Electronic Serials Cataloging Workshop - Integrating Resources Cataloging Workshop.
The annual conference programs covered an extensive and exciting array of current topics, including digital rights/wrongs, repair options at the point of circulation, ISBDs - is there still a need, mentoring library school students for cataloging, consortial pricing processes, metadata harvesting for the deep Web via OAI, training for effective subject cataloging, approval plans for today and tomorrow, preservation reformatting, and getting published.
The President's Program Committee (Jennifer Younger (Chair), Pamela Bluh, Anne Kinney, Joyce Ogburn, Helen Reed, and Anne Kinney) did a superb job of building upon last year's highly successful president's program in Atlanta, which focused on the theme of workplace. How do we reaffirm and build upon the need for a positive work environment? At the 2002 annual conference, Dr. Edward Hallowell and a panel explored interpersonal connection/disconnection in the workplace - the value of the human moment (how we connect) in an increasingly isolated technological environment. For the Toronto conference we continued to explore the theme of a positive work environment. Lynne Lancaster (of Bridgeworks) was the featured speaker and Jessica Albano, University of Washington, serving as a respondent. Ms. Lancaster, an author and consultant, in a highly enjoyable manner with thought-provoking examples, described the characteristics of four generational groups, and explored generational differences encountered within general and library workplaces. She offered pragmatic suggestions for ways staff of all generations could work together effectively, be successful in recruiting individuals from all generations, and meet the needs for an effective work environment. Jessica Albano gave an equally enthusiastic response by personally underscoring Ms. Lancaster's points regarding the joys and, at times, difficulties in mixing generations within the library workplace. The program ended with virtually all attendees remaining to participate in a lively question and answer period - testament to their interest in and the quality of both presentations. Ms. Lancaster and her publisher, HarperCollins, generously provided the audience with free autographed copies of her latest book, When Generations Collide (co-authored with David Stillman).
At the midwinter meeting we held our first ever midwinter symposium "Managing Electronic Resources: Meeting the Challenge." It was a sell out according to the report written by Pamela Bluh published in the ALCTS Newsletter Online (v.14, no.1) article - "On Friday, January 24, 2003, a bitterly cold Philadelphia morning, an attentive audience of approximately 150 librarians, vendors, publishers and other industry professionals assembled to hear presentations from eight speakers on managing electronic resources Ã¯Â¿Â½ [which] provided a broad overview of the topic as well as a variety of specific options for organizing the universe of electronic resources." ALCTS is planning a second midwinter symposium for San Diego that will also address the management of electronic resources.
A vital part of any staff development program is recognizing excellence. ALCTS and its sections annually recognize significant achievements and accomplishments of our members. Our awards and their honored recipients for 2003 were:
In addition to these formal ALCTS awards, I had the honor of awarding three ALCTS Presidential Citations at our membership meeting. While each year ALCTS and its sections give several prestigious awards, the ALCTS President, beginning last year with Past President Bill Robnett, also has the special opportunity to give presidential citations to recognize important contributions that would not easily "fit" the criteria used for other standing division/section awards. From many excellent nominations suggested by the ACLTS Board of Directors, Past-President Bill Robnett, President-Elect Brian Schottlaender and I selected four outstanding individuals for recognition.
I would also like to mention that an extremely valued and contributing ALCTS colleague, Ross Atkinson , was recognized as the Academic/Research Librarian of the Year by the Association for College and Research Libraries. Ross had just completed a three-year term as the ALCTS Division Councilor. The award committee chair, Susan Nutter, noted "Ross Atkinson is arguably the foremost thinker in collection management in libraries today."
The ALCTS Board of Directors also formally recognized three of our ALCTS colleagues through memorial resolutions: Seymour Lubetzky, Marilyn Nordstedt, and Ellen Rappaport. The complete resolutions may be found in the ALCTS Newsletter Online ( ANO).
INTERACTION AND INFORMATION EXCHANGE (Goal #5)
Our strategic plan calls for ALCTS to "create opportunities to interact and exchange information with others in the library and information communities." ( ALCTS Strategic Plan: 2001-2005). We do this in numerous ways, including providing venues for informal interactions and promoting the use of technology to increase communication between conferences.
Improving communications is always a critical issue for organizations, no matter how small or large they might be. ALCTS has a membership of over 5,000 individuals across the United States and from 47 countries. Moreover, it has probably the most expansive divisional/sectional committee structure within ALA. As such, a strong and extensive communications program is important for such a vital organization as ALCTS, and it was a focal point of activity for seeking ways to increase our abilities to interact and exchange information.
Our publishing program, whether through Library Resources and Technical Services ( LRTS), the ALCTS Paper Series, Web publishing through ALCTS Publishing, or publishing our scholarship through Scarecrow Press, has made significant progress.
Two search processes were initiated for new editors of LRTS and the ALCTS Paper Series. While the search proceeds for the permanent LRTS editor, the ALCTS Executive Committee appointed Peggy Johnson, Associate University Librarian at the University of Minnesota and former ALCTS President, as the interim editor through volume 48 of 2004. Edward Swanson is serving as the LRTS Book Review Editor during her tenure as LRTS Editor.
The Publications Committee, under the dynamic leadership of Genevieve Owens, continued its serious review of the publications program. The committee assumed oversight of the Library Materials Index Committee, now a subcommittee, and finalized an ALCTS Web site policy (subsequently approved by the ALCTS Board of Directors). The ALCTS publications catalog is now available on the ALCTS Web site, the US Periodicals Price Index & Serials Pricing will be accessed through the ALCTS Web site, and LMPI will be published via LRTS. The result of all this hard work is a revitalized, proactive, and forward-looking ALCTS publication program.
The Publications Committee also reviewed/approved several manuscripts for publication, two of which will be published by Scarecrow Press in its guide series:
As mentioned earlier in this report, ALCTS continued its extensive educational and staff development programming through the ALA conference structure and through an innovative Web-based course, Fundamentals of Acquisitions. The hardworking Education Committee (chaired by Peggy Johnson) and Program Planning Committee (chaired by Helen Reed) were responsible for guiding the division and sections in the creation of an impressive array of programs, pre-conferences, workshops, courses, etc. - all of which fit comfortably in our tactical plan. For the first time, we held a symposium at the midwinter meeting, and at the annual conference we held a large number of successful pre-conferences and programs, despite concerns regarding conference attendance.
The Planning Committee is developing a "Program Planning Highlights" for future leadership orientation sessions and is conducting a well-needed survey to be sent to program planners for the 2003 conference. This is a new initiative that is designed to solicit input from program planners on how the process worked, where they ran into problems and ways to streamline the process. All of which should help all program planners be successful!
Perhaps the most sweeping governance change for promoting interaction took place when the ALCTS membership approved the ability for ALCTS members to form interest groups. This change ensures that "any group of ten or more individuals with a common interest within the scope of ALCTS may establish a forum to exchange ideas and experiences; sponsor formal conference programs, institutes, and seminars; or prepare publications" ("Procedures for Establishing an ALCTS Interest Group", ALCTS Web site).
ASSOCIATION OPERATIONS (Goal #6)
Throughout the division, ALCTS governance received substantial attention this past year by emphasizing the role and function of the Board of Directors, examining a governance mechanism to promote interaction and information exchange - Interest Groups, and creating a more focused legal definition for division officers. ALCTS is ending the year in good fiscal health and is blessed with an efficient, dedicated, responsive, and far-sighted Office Staff - under the excellent leadership of our Executive Director, Charles Wilt.
Under the able leadership of Carlen Ruschoff as committee chair, the ALCTS Nominations Committee (Myron Chase, Williams Garrison, Linda Smith Griffin, Debra Hackleman, Karen Schmidt, and Nancy Stanley) identified a superior slate of nominations for ALCTS leadership positions. The ALCTS membership elected Carol Pitts Diedrichs as Vice President/President-elect, John Duke as Member-at-large, and Cynthia Clark as the Council for Regional Groups Vice Chair/Chair Elect.
The Board of Directors and Executive Committee have spent much of the year exploring the future role of the ALCTS Board of Directors as part of divisional management and as it is articulated in divisional governance policies. The goal of the review was to enhance the board's policy role and lessen its functional management role with an outcome of a more facile and agile division management (using the often repeated phrase of ALCTS Past President Bill Robnett).
To these ends, the Board of Directors approved the following governance changes at its annual meeting in Toronto. Several of them will be submitted for approval by the ALCTS membership with its first electronic vote later this fall:
As mentioned above, the ALCTS Membership approved the concept of Interest Group with the spring ballot. The Board of Directors and the Executive Committee had begun serious discussions on the viability of adding interest groups as a new governance unit under the previous presidency of Bill Robnett. The interest evolved out of our strong emphases on programming and our long-standing interests in bringing more people together who are interested in the same topics. Both groups, along with the Organization and Bylaws Committee (O&B) concluded that IGs could efficiently merge the best of the committee structure and the discussion group structure into one entity (i.e., the programmatic and publications functions of committees and the broad open forum nature of discussion groups). Moreover, IGs could be easily created or dissolved as interests grow and ebb. At the request of the Executive Committee, O&B (under the enthusiastic and dedicated leadership of Ann Swartzell) prepared enabling language for IGs at the division and section level for the midwinter meeting and essential background information for the ALCTS membership. At the Board's midwinter meeting, it was agreed to put forward enabling language for divisional and sectional interest groups on the spring ballot. The membership subsequently approved overwhelmingly the creation of interest groups.
At its annual meeting, the Board recommended the discontinuation of seven ALCTS committees with the expectation that they would be reconstituted as either discussion groups or interest groups or dissolved permanently: Catalog Form and Function, Commercial Technical Services, Legislation, Media Resources, and Networked Resources and Metadata, Publisher/Vendor-Library Relations, and Research and Statistics. The Board plans for these committees to remain constituted through the midwinter meeting with the expectation that the individuals present from each committee (and with any others present) would decide whether or not to reconstitute the respective committee into an interest group or discussion group. The Board changed the four ALCTS awards committees into juries (Blackwell's Scholarship Award, Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award, Best of LRTS Award, and Esther Piercy Award) and left the remaining ALCTS committees as currently constituted.
Strategic and tactical planning has been central to ALCTS for the past several years - the current planning process started under the past leadership of Brian Schottlaender when he chaired the ALCTS Planning Committee. The ACLTS Planning Committee (chaired this year by Laura Sill) worked closely with divisional committees and sections to identify and update tactical initiatives - including programming and education initiatives. The result was a broad-based continuing planning process that involved the entire divisional and sectional governance structure thereby ensuing its overall success. This year the Strategic and Tactical Planning Database became operational and it received positive feedback from users. Laura Sill and William Sill built the database infrastructure to support the maintenance of the Division's Strategic and Tactical Plan - it facilitates tactical planning initiatives from conception through implementation. The committee is now working to develop qualitative measures for determining successful outcomes of our divisional and sectional initiatives as reflected within our strategic and tactical plan.
The overall financial state of ALCTS remains generally positive for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2003. The Executive Director, Charles Wilt, and the Budget and Finance Committee (chaired by the long-term member Judith Niles) provided strong leadership and foresight on carefully managing the current budget and forecasting the needs for the following fiscal year. We continue to have a healthy reserve for unexpected financial shortfalls - an amazing accomplishment for a division with a recently constituted single-office structure. Given the positive state of the division finances, the Budget and Finance Committee (as part of its annual review of membership-based revenue) did not recommend any increases in the various dues categories.
In brief, the Metadata Institute and fund raising successes were key reasons why the budget should remain on target this fiscal year. Overall registration revenues were not as expected due to cancellation of two key pre-conferences, Knowledge Without Boundaries for the Toronto conference and an anticipated pre-conference at the IFLA annual conference held in Berlin. Membership and royalty revenues remained stable; however, advertising and subscription revenues remained below expectations. Strong reliance must continue on an aggressive continuing education program, continued development of pre-conferences and institutes, a profitable publications program, a steady reliable increase of our membership base, and a successful fundraising program.
The Fundraising Committee (ably chaired by Pamela Bluh with Frank D'Andraia, Susan Davis, Harriet Lightman, Ann Sandberg-Fox, Basil Sozansky, and Dale Swensen) garnered outstanding successes in raising support for our midwinter reception, the midwinter symposium, and an extensive array of prestigious sponsors for our annual conference. Our partner sponsors included:
The Board of Directors and the Fundraising Committee benefited from a superb workshop on ALCTS Sponsorship Fundraising with Irene Hoffman as its facilitator. The outcomes were a much clearer view of fundraising opportunities and an awareness that all ALCTS members should assist in our sponsored fundraising efforts. The committee also drafted a revised list of giving levels and benefits of corporate sponsorship that was approved by the ALCTS Board.
The ALCTS Office staff has the challenging tasks of scheduling over 300 meetings in any given year; supporting 100 committees, subcommittees and task forces, 39 discussion groups, and 47 discussion lists (20% of all ALA-sponsored lists); managing an impressive array of staff development programs (in and out of conference as well as physical and virtual); and supporting the appointment process for all nominating officers and the annual election process. The staff also faced the enormous tasks of completely redesigning the ALCTS Web site (in concert with ALA's redesign) and implementing a new content management system for maintaining the ALCTS Web site. All these activities were accomplished by only four people - Charles Wilt (ALCTS Executive Director), Julie Reese (Continuing Education and Meetings), Kristen Ahlen (Publications and Membership), and Andrea Tobias (Administrative Services). Furthermore, we have a staff that ALA looks to for leadership within the ALA organization. Kirsten Ahlen served on two ALA staff committees: Web Advisory Committee and Membership Marketing Committee. Charles Wilt served on a working group to examine distance learning possibilities (Web-based, audio, etc.) for ALA, a working group to re-write part of the ALA/Division operational practices on telecommunications, and a task force to establish criteria for allowing ALA members to participate in electronic meetings. He also organized the ALA-sponsored division leadership program for division president-elects.
In conclusion, I am pleased to report that the ALCTS Division is operating at full capacity and it is due to the service of hundreds of talented ALCTS members, and an energetic and dedicated office staff. Its accomplishments for 2002/2003 are clearly reflected by this report. The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services has a bright and demanding future ahead of it and a formidable infrastructure (a futuristic and practical planning process, technical know-how and systems, and financial backing) to ensure the continuation of its many challenging activities and strategic programming for an engaged membership and the professional communities it serves.