ALCTS Liaisons and Representatives Report on Midwinter 2004 Activities

Editor's note: We are featuring reports on groups outside of ALCTS to which we have formal liaisons, and joint groups with other divisions, in this separate article.

American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) reported on the following programs of interest to technical services librarians held during the 2003 annual conference:

  • AALL Committee on Relations with Information Vendors: sponsors a Web site for acquisitions librarians, with information for members on working effectively and efficiently with vendors. The Web site includes tips on negotiating license agreements, sample letters to vendors for dealing with problems, and suggestions for resolving library/vendor conflicts.
  • Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Group: ABA statistics program, addressing different ways of counting and recording volumes and titles. This is a new forum for discussion between AALL libraries and the ABA regarding annual statistics collected.
  • Online Bibliographical Services Special Interest Group: Open linking and e-journal management; OCLC Connexion.
  • Technical Services Special Interest Group: FRBR; integrating resources; Is there a book doctor in the house?; Judaic and Islamic classification; Negotiating license agreements revisited; Favorite acquisitions websites.

Programs proposed for 2004 include OPAC usability, staff technology training and E-resources.

ALA Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) considered a range of topics for the committee's upcoming 2004 Orlando annual conference program, and decided to develop two skits addressing ethical issues that will stimulate audience discussion. One skit will focus on library book sales; another skit will focus on the ethics of library staff wearing campaign/political buttons and/or promoting candidates' books during an election year. Writers were identified and asked to share draft scenarios with the Committee by April 16th. COPE will pursue attracting a library school professor who teaches courses on ethics to moderate the discussion following the skit and analyze issues presented.

The Committee also considered that the 2005 annual conference program be an open hearing, soliciting ALA member input whether the ALA Code of Ethics should be broadened. A panel discussion of the codes of ethics of various organizations would help frame this discussion. Committee members supported inviting John D. Berry to represent the American Indian Library Association, in light of his recent article on ethical dilemmas for indigenous librarians, as well as representatives from the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the ALA Board.

They considered the possibility of changing the order of the questions and answers in the committee's "Q&A on Librarian Speech in the Workplace," which was initially adopted by COPE in July 2001. The Committee voted unanimously to approve the proposed changes.

The Committee reviewed avenues for committee communication with ALA members regarding ethical issues. These include: responses to emails regarding ethical questions, the COPE website, the committee's annual programs, ongoing dialogue with ALISE. The Committee will continue investigating these and other possible avenues for communication at future meetings.

ALA Planning and Budget Assembly: President-elect Carol Brey-Casiano greeted the assembly and reported on the grassroots advocacy campaign, "Stand Up and Speak Out for Libraries," that will be the theme of her ALA presidency.

Mary Ghikas, Senior Associate Executive Director of ALA, provided a brief update on continuing education issues being discussed at the ALA level. She noted that almost every unit in ALA is providing continuing education programming. ALA is looking at streams of content to identify content cutting across all units; looking at the potential for using new technological mediums for delivery of content; and discussing whether ALA can serve as an umbrella for marketing continuing education. Ghikas reported that there had been little activity concerning these issues since the annual conference in Toronto.

The main focus of the Assembly, however, was on the issue of development. Susan Roman, from ALA's Development Office, presented the ALA Development Plan for FY04-06. This (and all other documents distributed at the Assembly) will be available on the ALA Treasurer's web pages. The plan describes ALA's mission, a brief history of development, the charge to the ALA Development Office, the ALA Development Office's guiding principles, and fundraising information. Roman's presentation was followed by small group discussion. Among questions asked of the groups were:

What role do you see the Development Office playing in helping you establish or build your unit's endowment? What specifically can the Development Office help you with? How can your unit contribute to the overall success of ALA's fundraising efforts? The discussions focused primarily on the first two questions. Some of the ideas mentioned were: provide historical information on past donors; work in partnership with the divisions--let the divisions know when ALA is pursuing a donor who might be interested in a particular division's programming; provide training for units doing fundraising, or perhaps outline best practices for fundraising; highlight planned giving opportunities, and work with division boards on planned giving campaigns; meet with the chairs of fundraising committees. These and other ideas will be posted on the ALA Treasurer's web pages.

ALA units are asked to provide feedback to the Development Office by February 15, 2004. Development will prepare a draft plan based on the discussions and the feedback, to be reviewed by the ALA Executive Board at its spring 2004 meeting. After this meeting, a draft plan will be made available to ALA unit heads. A final draft of the ALA Development Plan will be presented to the ALA Executive Board at Annual Conference in Orlando.

ALA Web Advisory Committee passed a motion in support of ALA's Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) that "ALA adopt a communications preferences 'opt in' policy for commercial programs and services other than those originating within ALA." It approved a revised charge for consideration by ALA's Committee on Organization (COO) and reviewed progress in making ALA URLs shorter. The Committee discussed usability testing, a new search engine, the content management system, archiving the site, the site's audience, a database of ALA activities over time, and site performance. It requested that ALA Publishing advise WAC on the major issues that it sees as needing correction. It also discussed ways to improve communication and functioning of WAC. The Committee passed a motion to add ALA's Web Development Manager as a member of WAC. It asked a Membership Subcommittee to: develop guidelines for when to remove content from the site; develop a standardized template for committee charge pages appearing on the site; and review the calendar of business meetings held outside Annual and Midwinter. The Committee reviewed progress on the site and upcoming projects, including an outline of proposed standards and guidelines for the site, security and access, compression software, association management information system, a dues manager, an on-line community system, a new on-line store, a clearinghouse job placement center, and new list processing software. The WAC will develop a list of priorities to assist ALA staff in planning development of the site.

Association for Information and Image Management International (AIIM) during the period June - December 2003, AIIM has considered and asked for votes on standards, as follows:

  • Micrographics - Colour microfilm - Application of the exposure technique to prepare line originals and continuous-tone originals and evaluation of test exposures (ISO/DIS 11142). Committee ballot closed on October 3, 2003. ALA vote: Affirmative.
  • Micrographics - Microfilming of documents on 16mm and 35mm silver-gelatin type microfilm - Operating procedures (ISO/DIS 6199). AIIM Committee C23 received this committee ballot, which asked for input by U.S. standards committees concerning a draft international standard (DIS). Ballot results are forwarded to the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the Technical Committee (TC) 171. The latter committee is the unit for ISO ballots. The ballot closed on September 29, 2003. ALA vote: Affirmative.
  • Micrographics - Microfilming of newspapers for archival purposes on 35mm microfilm (ISO/DIS 4087) Committee ballot sought approval to submit the draft international standard to the AIIM Standards Board. Ballot closed October 15, 2003. ALA vote: Affirmative.
  • Micrographics - Reader-printers for transparent microforms - Characteristics (ISO 10197: 1993). Committee ballot closed on October 7, 2003. ALA vote: Affirmative.
  • Micrographics - Readers for transparent microforms - Measurement of characteristics (ISO 7565: 1993). Committee ballot closed on October 7, 2003. ALA vote: Affirmative.
  • Micrographics - Readers for transparent microforms - Performance characteristics (ISO 6198:1993). Committee ballot closed on October 7, 2003. ALA vote: Affirmative.
  • Standard Recommended Practice - Production, Inspection, and Quality Assurance of First-Generation, Silver Microforms of Documents (ANSI/AIIM MS23-1998). The ballot to reaffirm this document closed on March 7, 2003. There were no negative ballots, but the majority of ballots had comments. At a C10 meeting on April 7, 2003, the comments were answered. Posting replies to the comments on the C10 listserv fostered more comments, and the latter comments subsequently were resolved via e-mail. During November, C10 issued a committee ballot to record agreement with the consensus comments. The committee ballot closed on December 8, 2003. ALA vote: Affirm the resolved comments.

During the fall, AIIM proposed consolidating standards committees C10 and C23 into a single committee. Members of both committees who responded to the e-mail proposal offered tentative approval. One question is whether this proposed merger will provide an opportunity to review the list of standards for both committees to determine if some standards should be shifted to other AIIM committees.

AIIM's standards director, Betsy Fanning, expresses an interest in learning if there are any joint projects where ALA and AIIM can work together.

An AIIM bimonthly publication is AIIM E-DOC MAGAZINE, which is the official magazine of AIIM International. Usually, each issue has a section devoted to standards. The section contains well-written articles on challenges to creating and maintaining standards. One point each article makes is to ask readers to consult AIIM's website for more and current information about AIIM's standards work.

A long-time standards stalwart in preservation microfilming is Robert Mottice (ProQuest). He also has been a good friend and consultant to preservation librarians. He has retired (and he assures all that this time retirement is permanent). Walter Cybulski is assembling words of thanks and best wishes to Bob.

Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies/Americans With Disabilities Act Assembly: Discussed a possible name change from ADA Subcommittee (too narrowly focused) to something that reflects the broader issue of access for people with disabilities. No decision was reached. Satia Orange, director of OLOA (Office for Literacy and Outreach Services), attended the meeting to request assistance in putting together a web page on learning disabilities. Michelle Visel of Conference Services attended the meeting to discuss the problem of members canceling interpreter service for meetings at the last minute, leaving Conference Services to foot the bill for the service. Michelle suggested that if interpreter service is not cancelled in a timely manner requestors may be responsible for paying the service. The subcommittee will work with Michelle to help resolve this issue.

Dewey Decimal Editorial Policy Committee: ALA held a preconference on Dewey 22 during the Annual Conference in Toronto in June 2003, and attendees' evaluations were very positive. Dewey 22 was published in July. Work proceeds on the Abridged Dewey, 14th edition, scheduled to be published in 2004. A planning retreat will be held in Columbus, Ohio in February 2004.

Heritage Preservation (The National Institute for Conservation): a summary of 2003 programmatic activities includes:

Heritage Health Index ready to launch -- The first comprehensive national survey of the condition and preservation needs of collections in libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and archaeological repositories in the U.S., will be implemented in 2004. The past twelve months have been a time of intensive preparation as the staff has established the survey universe, compiled mailing lists, identified a survey firm, and raised funds. Staff is eager to receive information about collections that are in need or have benefited from a preservation effort; these examples will be used to illustrate the project's final report. Libraries that have case studies to suggest are encouraged to contact Kristen Laise at

Libraries take the lead in emergency response forums -- While many libraries and museums have stepped up emergency planning efforts, even the best-prepared institutions cannot protect collections without the help of their neighbors and professional first responders. To help foster these critical partnerships and create effective local networks, Heritage Preservation's Heritage Emergency National Task Force has launched Alliance for Response, a series of forums in three U.S. cities. The first forum was held in Dallas, under the leadership of Amigos Library Services. The second, in Boston, was led by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in cooperation with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Naval War College Library, and several museum organizations. The final forum of the year, organized by OCLC, OHIONET, and other members of the Ohio Preservation Council, took place in Cincinnati. All forums featured extensive participation from emergency response professionals. A fourth forum will take place in New York City early in 2004.

Monumental sculpture exhibit travels nationwide -- Preserving Memory: America's Monumental Legacy is a traveling panel exhibition that tells the story of America's collection of outdoor sculpture, and educates the public about the need to care for these often overlooked treasures. With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, in 2003 the panel exhibit traveled to several dozen venues in many states. Some of those venues have been libraries, including the Peacedale Library in Rhode Island and the Oshkosh Public Library in Wisconsin. Both libraries used the exhibit as the centerpiece of extended public programs.

Mertz Library receives distinguished award -- The LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden was one of three recipients of the 2003 Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections, presented annually by Heritage Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation. The 2004 awards will be announced in the spring; for information on nominating a library for the 2005 award please contact Clare Hansen.

North American Standards Institute (NISO): held its fall board meeting in September. The Board approved three new policy documents: a patent policy addressing the inclusion of patented technologies in NISO standards; an intellectual property rights policy; and a conflict of interest policy. The Board approved a 5% fee increase and realigned the top two fee categories. It signed a memorandum-of-understanding transferring responsibility for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-developed Framework for Good Digital Collections to NISO. It approved the appointment of the Colorado State Library as the maintenance agency for the NCIP standard (ANSI/NISO Z39-83, the national protocol to facilitate the interchange of circulation records).

NISO held two one-day conferences in Washington, D.C., on October 29-30, 2003. The subjects were "The Next Generation of Access: OpenURL and Metasearch".

A White Paper on Patents and Open Standards, by Pricilla Caplan, was published on December 11, 2003. It was originally published as the feature article in the October 2003 issue of Information Standards Quarterly. The white paper reviews the relationship between standards, patents, and the policies of standards development organizations. It is available as a free electronic download at

NISO is preparing to update its RFP Writer's Guide to Standards for Library Systems, published a little over a year ago. Cynthia Hodgson, who wrote the first Guide, will be doing the revision. She has asked for comments by January 23, 2004. I E-mailed the LITA Standards Interest Group. The Guide can be downloaded from the NISO website at

Revision of Z39.18, Scientific and Technical Reports, was completed in December. Revision of Z39.19, Thesaurus Construction, Format, and Management, is due in the spring. Z39.29, Bibliographic References, will be issued in the spring.

During ALA Midwinter 2004, the NISO/AVIAC meeting focused on the new NISO Networked Reference Protocol and its trial implementations to be launched in first quarter 2004. There was a standards briefing at LITA Standards Interest Group. The NISO Annual meeting and program featured guest speaker was Bruce Parens, a leader in the Open Source movement. The ISBN briefing reported on considerations for the transition to a 13-digit ISBN. The ALTCS liaison
gave a brief overview of standards activity to CC:DA.

North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG): The 2004 NASIG Conference will hold both changes and traditions. "Growth, Creativity, and Collaboration: Great Visions on a Great Lake" is the theme for the June 17-20 meeting in Milwaukee at the historic Hilton Milwaukee Center Hotel. The opening session will be at the historic Milwaukee Public Library. The program sessions will be renamed "Vision," "Strategy" and "Tactics." Product demonstrations on a particular product or product area will offer vendors a chance to share information in a focused way. Also, there will be three preconferences held at Marquette University. Another change for the 2004 conference is a reduction in student grants from five to three, in order to remain fiscally healthy. Conference information is updated frequently and available on the NASIG Web site. Registration costs will be less for members than for non-members; this tiered approach is new.

The online NASIG Newsletter has been enhanced with digitized photographs that make the reading all the more interesting; no username or password is needed to access it. The newsletter editor is now an ex-officio, non-voting board member, formalizing a provision already permitted in the bylaws. Activity on NASIG-L has been dynamic this season with many discussions about specific points of the Strategic Plan and site selection for forthcoming conferences. Membership remains steady: as of October 10, 2003, there are 1,338 members.

NASIG has signed an agreement with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign archives to house NASIG's print archives; memorabilia from conferences will continue to be retained by the NASIG archivist.

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