ALCTS Annual Reports for 2003/2004
The reports below summarize the accomplishments of ALCTS and its sections during the year ending with ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. We did not receive a report from the Preservation and Reformatting Section by the submission deadline, so it is not included in this article.
Brian E.C. Schottlaender, ALCTS President, 2003-2004
As articulated in its Strategic Plan for 2001-2005, the mission of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is to provide leadership to the library and information communities in developing principles, standards, and best practices for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms. ALCTS strives to provide this leadership through its members by fostering educational, research, and professional service opportunities. Of the many objectives included in the ALCTS Strategic Plan, the division focused during 2003-2004 on three: organization, publication, and education.
At its Annual 2003 meetings in Toronto, the ALCTS Board substantively addressed its own composition and its relationships with division- and section-level groups within ALCTS. One of the outcomes of these discussions was the notion of the "business committee,"defined as one whose role is primarily management of the business of the division. It was agreed that such committees included Budget and Finance, Education, Fundraising, International Relations, Leadership Development, Membership, Nominating, Organization and Bylaws, Planning, Program, and Publications. In addition, the Board agreed that all other division-level committees were topical in nature and that their work would best be carried forward in the Interest Group format. Each was, therefore, offered the opportunity to reconstitute itself as an Interest Group or to disband. To date, three have chosen to reconstitute themselves as Interest Groups, three are considering the possibility, and one has decided to disband.
While, as noted above, the International Relations Committee will continue to function as one of the division's business committees, the ALCTS Board has reconstituted the committee's membership and has revised its charge in order to expand the work of the committee in support of the division's goals in the international arena.
2003-2004 saw turnover in two of the division's key editorial positions, namely the editors of the scholarly journal Library Research & Technical Services ( LRTS) and the monographic series ALCTS Papers on Technical Services and Collections. Search committees chaired by Jack Montgomery and Rosann Bazirjian facilitated, respectively, the appointments of Pamela Bluh as editor of the ALCTS Papers series and Peggy Johnson as editor of LRTS. Finally, Ms. Owens brought the Library Materials Price Index ( LMPI) into line with this same editorial model by recommending to the ALCTS Board the dissolution of the Publications Committee's LMPI subcommittee and the creation, instead, of an LMPI Editor position. Board approval of this recommendation completed the division's reimagination of its publications program.
The ALCTS Publishing Business Plan includes the following amongst its objectives: "Create an electronic product that enables online access to all ALCTS publications on a fee basis utilizing PDF, e-commerce, and rights management software." It has become abundantly clear that our dependence on the Association's own eCommerce capabilities (or lack thereof) is hampering our ability to accomplish that objective. It is imperative that ALA further develop its eCommerce capabilities if ALCTS is to realize new revenue streams and more effectively reach a new, younger demographic of membership.
The progress made by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services toward accomplishing the objectives identified in its 2001-2005 Strategic Plan is palpable and deliberate. The instantiation of strategic and tactical planning as the framework for demonstrating success is truly division-wide. ALCTS is now engaging in second-generation planning, in concert with ALA's Ahead to 2010 Initiative and with an eye toward actively contributing to that initiative's realization.
Nancy Gibbs, Acquisitions Section Chair, 2003-2004
As I finish my term of office as the chair of the ALCTS Acquisitions Section I want to tell you about the exciting things that are transpiring in our organization and the people who are leading these efforts. Each of you as members of ALCTS and the Acquisitions Section should take pride in the organization and the people who serve. They are hard working, dedicated members working as volunteers for your professional organization. Each is also doing his or her regular job in libraries, dealing with family and personal lives, and giving to ALA. My thanks to each of you who volunteered to serve in many capacities. I could not have managed without your help and support.
This past year has seen changes within ALCTS. Discussion Groups are forming into Interest Groups, giving them greater autonomy and greater assistance from the ALCTS office. This has also led to discussion groups looking at their organizational mission and seeking a wider audience to promote library issues. Two discussion groups within the Acquisitions Section have combined and another has changed its direction: The AS Acquisitions Administrators and the AS Acquisitions Librarians/Vendors of Library Materials have combined and will be offering a revised mission at their meeting in Boston. The Gifts and Exchange Discussion Group has dropped the word Exchange from their name and are now dealing mainly with gift issues. Each of these groups would enjoy having new members and participants; stay tuned for volunteer opportunities.
One of the liveliest and most interesting meetings I attended in Orlando was the ALCTS Planning meeting to brainstorm on the direction for the association in the 2006-2011 Strategic Planning cycle. What fantastic energy came out of that meeting: heads of each of the sections and division wide committees discussed ways to improve, continue and change ALCTS to meet the changes we are all seeing in our profession. There will be many more opportunities for each of you to have input in this process and I urge you to attend and see the vitality of ALCTS.
This past annual meeting in Orlando featured a great program, "Acquisitions Technology Trends: Changing the way we do business," sponsored by the AS Technology Committee. Even though it was held at a faraway hotel, it was a great program playing to a packed audience. My thanks to each of you for that effort. It is so heartening to hear someone on a Gale bus rave about a program, and to know that was an Acquisitions Section meeting!
During the final hours of ALA Annual the ALCTS program planning committee approved several new programs for Chicago, one of them billed as a preconference on ERMS (Electronic Resource Management Systems). The planning committee for this event is already hard at work organizing speakers and planning a day's events. Another program percolating through the program process concerns research methods. These programs promise to be hot topics and will fill up fast. Make sure to get registered early.
The Publications Committee is another group that is really taking off in the Acquisitions Section and ALCTS. We had a very dedicated committee this past year and they have garnered several writers who are producing some great publications. Writing a book or pamphlet for ALA is a big undertaking and I always stand in amazement that they do this with such aplomb! Be on the lookout for these books in the next year.
The Leadership in Acquisitions Award committee did an outstanding job of presenting a recipient for this award. Please take some time to review the criteria for this award, and think seriously about nominating a colleague or person you recognize as a leader in Acquisitions. Sometimes it is hard to find a full compliment of nominees, and that is amazing to me, as I know there are many of you out there who are doing unbelievable things in your own organizations. Please take some time to send in a nomination form so we can have many applicants to choose from.
This past year the Members-at-Large that you elected last year served in a different role. They aligned themselves with two specific committees and a discussion group. This allowed them to become familiar with the inner workings of these groups and also to be spokespersons when we had executive meetings. I believe this worked well, and am glad this opportunity will continue this coming year.
In September membership in ALA and ALCTS and the Acquisitions Section will be opened to the Allied Professional Staff. This is a great opportunity for our library workers to become part of our organization. It will allow us to gather new members and become advocates together as we work in ALA. Please encourage your staff members to take advantage of this opportunity. There will be special membership rates for these new members and it will provide many opportunities for all of us to be involved in the Acquisitions Section. I know I could not survive one day in my organization without the help, assistance and input from these valuable staff members. I hope to see many of them joining our ranks in the coming year.
You have elected a talented slate of officers for next year and I know they will do a great job. This past year has been fun and enlightening. I wish each of you could avail yourselves to come to an ALCTS Board Meeting and see the solidarity of the ALCTS section heads and the energy within the Division. You would be proud of the organization. I must also say a great work of gratitude for the ALCTS office staff. They are great and helped me in so many ways.
Remember to complete a volunteer form (found on the ALCTS Web site) and continue to be an involved ALCTS Member! See you in Boston and Chicago.
Nancy Singleton, Council of Regional Groups Chair, 2003-2004
The ALCTS Council of Regional Groups (CRG) exists to encourage and facilitate the activities of state and regional groups having a collections or technical services focus, and to provide a forum for discussing common interests and concerns among the regional groups and between them and ALCTS. As part of fulfilling its mission, CRG maintains online directories of affiliated groups with their officers ( CRG Directory of Affiliate Groups), and of ALCTS members who are willing to serve as speakers for CRG affiliates without reimbursement other than expenses (Speakers' Bureau). There is also a CRG Web site and listserv.
Two important organizational changes have had a positive impact on the Council of Regional Groups this year. The first was the ALCTS bylaws revision, which placed CRG on a par with the Sections and accorded CRG full member status on the ALCTS Nominating Committee. In addition, the ALCTS Executive Committee endorsed the creation of a CRG Nominating Committee parallel to those of the ALCTS sections, with the Chair of that Committee serving as the CRG representative to the ALCTS Nominating Committee. In the future, the CRG ballot will be distributed as a separate ballot to all ALCTS members instead of being part of the ALCTS division ballot. The second was the creation of a Continuing Education Committee within CRG. This committee is charged with facilitating the delivery of continuing education to librarians and library staff outside the ALA conference setting by: 1) Serving as a conduit from CRG affiliate groups to ALCTS for examples of successful training and CE workshops offered around the country; 2) Serving as a conduit from ALCTS to the CRG affiliate groups to promote training and CE offerings to be held at local venues; 3) Working with the ALCTS Education Committee to identify CE programs with broad appeal; and 4) Working with the ALCTS Office and CRG affiliate groups to assist in setting up and scheduling CE offerings at local venues. With the establishment of the CE Committee, CRG hopes to be instrumental in helping ALCTS achieve its continuing education goals.
The Affiliate Relations Committee (Janet Lee-Smeltzer, chair) performed its annual updating of affiliate officers for inclusion in the online directory. In October, a survey of the affiliated groups regarding the types of continuing education programs they are offering in their areas was conducted, fulfilling objective 3.2.65 of the ALCTS Strategic and Tactical Plan. The results were reported at the CRG business meeting during Midwinter and were further discussed at Annual (objective 3.1.62).
The Speakers' Bureau Committee (Penny Schroeder, chair) completed a review of all entries in the Speakers' Bureau Directory to verify continued willingness to serve and currency of contact information. The Speakers' Bureau Directory is now up-to-date and operational. This is a major achievement, since the information in the directory had not been current for a number of years because of problems updating the ALA/ALCTS Web site.
Jennifer Bowen, Cataloging and Classification Section Chair, 2003-2004
The ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section is charged to "…contribute to library service and librarianship through encouragement, promotion of, and responsibility for those activities of ALCTS relating to cataloging and classification of library materials in all types of institutions…". During 2003/2004, CCS members engaged in a variety of activities in these areas through its committees, task forces, and discussion groups.
Honors and Awards
Other Committee Activities
During my term as Vice Chair and Chair of CCS, it has been a real pleasure for me to work with all of the CCS members who volunteer to serve the section on its various groups, as well as those who attend our many events. Thank you for making the past two years so successful!
John Haar, Collection Management and Development Section Chair, 2003-2004
The CMDS Executive Board formulated strategic priorities for the section, based on the findings of a member survey conducted by our Policy and Planning Committee. The Committee designed the survey to solicit information about members' level of participation, satisfaction with CMDS services, and recommendations for the section's focus areas in the future. About 20% of the membership responded.
Members reported that they found publications, programs, and discussion groups particularly relevant to their jobs, and they clearly indicated that they would like to see the section emphasize continuing education. The Board agreed that continuing education (CE) is especially important in collection development, because many persons find themselves assigned selection or even coordinator responsibilities without formal collection development training or experience. Practitioner-oriented educational initiatives are highly valuable services for these librarians.
The Board determined that practitioner-targeted continuing education will become a strategic focus of the section. We directed section committees to stress these themes in programming, publications, and discussions, and we intend to create new teaching tools, such as Web-based tutorials, that can provide training for persons unable to regularly attend conferences. Subsequent steps may include appointing a faculty to offer CE modules and possibly an "ask the expert" function. Our committees and discussion groups began to implement the Board's directive during the year, and in the future they will increase their emphasis on CE.
The Education Committee is planning the next iteration of our popular collection development institute. They are redesigning the institute as a Web-based course on competencies for collection development librarians, modeled after the successful Fundamentals of Acquisitions courses. The curriculum is directed toward new practitioners and focused on basic content.
The Publications Committee is developing a series titled "The Sudden Selector," to teach basic collection management principles and offer selection guidance in various subject areas. The series will be targeted toward persons appointed as selectors without experience or academic background in the subjects they have been assigned.
The Collection Development for the Practitioner Committee converted to a special interest group, to acquire the flexibility to host discussions on timely topics without the burden of a long planning cycle. It will also develop and participate in CE and publication projects.
Two of our committees planned and hosted programs at the 2004 Annual Conference:
Mary Page, Serials Section Chair, 2003-2004
The Committee to Study Serials Cataloging presented a standing room only program at the annual conference in Orlando: "Now That We Have Revised Chapter 12, Where Do We Go From Here?" The program was co-sponsored by the Cataloging and Classification Section's (CCS) Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA).
The Education Committee presented an outstanding program at the annual conference in Orlando: "Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe (LOCKSS): A Solution for Archiving and Accessing Web Materials."
The Journal Costs in Libraries Discussion Group presented a panel of experts on the topic of
The Committee to Study Serials Standards presented a panel discussion on current standards and the status of standards development in the areas of holdings, statistics, identifiers, serials subscription information, and acquisitions.
The SS Executive Committee approved a proposal from the Committee to Study Serials Cataloging to change its name and revise its charge. The new name is Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee (CRCC).
A taskforce will be formed to explore the synergies between NASIG and the Serials Section. The task force will be made up of three representatives from each group. Its report should be complete in time for the 2005 Midwinter meetings of both groups.
The Serials Section and the Acquisition Section will be sponsoring a program in 2005 entitled, "Who is driving the E-resource Collection Bus?" The Collection Management and Development Section is planning the program.