News From ALCTS

New Interest Groups

Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group

The new Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group will meet for the first time at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The group’s formal charge is “To provide a forum for the discussion of technical services issues in public libraries, particularly those unique to public library operations, with the aim to encourage discussion of all aspects of technical services activities and to include all levels of technical services staff within public libraries.” The idea for this group was raised in a meeting of the ALCTS Implementation Task Group on the LC Working Group at the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. Attendees were discussing how there are a number of ALCTS interest groups that focus on academic libraries, while there were none for public libraries. Then, the brainstorm hit: this could be changed by submitting a petition for a new ALCTS interest group! Marlene Harris, the first chair of the group (through Annual 2010), and Cynthia Whitacre, current temporary Vice-Chair, agreed to pursue this with the support of this group. A group of ALCTS members stepped forward to sign the petition and the ALCTS Board acted swiftly to approve the group.

The group’s first meeting will be 8-10 am on Saturday, July 11 in the Chicago Hilton Northwest 1 Room. The discussion topic will be what differentiates public library technical services from technical services operations in other types of libraries. Marlene Harris, Alachua County Library District, will moderate the discussion. A representative of Quality Books will discuss how their cataloging and processing operation provides services to public libraries that differ from other types of libraries. All attending are invited to participate in the discussion.

Organizational topics will be discussed, and a Vice-Chair will be elected. The Vice-Chair will become the chair following the 2010 ALA Annual Conference. Program ideas and discussion topics for future meetings will be solicited. We also hope to launch active virtual participation on ALA Connect space following ALA Annual. All public librarians and others who are interested are enthusiastically invited to be part of this interest group. Contact Marlene Harris for more information.

Digital Conversion Interest Group

The former Recording Media Discussion Group has been reconstituted as the Digital Conversion Interest Group. The new interest group’s charge follows:

The group will provide a venue for ALA members to discuss:

  • the preservation of audio, photographic, and moving image materials in both analog and digital formats
  • digitization or reformatting of audio, photographic, print, and moving image materials for preservation and access

Potential discussion topics include:

  • Assessing the preservation needs of audio, photographic and moving image collections
  • Standards and/or best practices for care and handling, disaster recovery, storage, stabilization, and digitization (both in-house and out-sourced)
  • Updates on conferences & other educational opportunities, case studies and funding opportunities
  • Education, instruction, and outreach related to the above areas

The interest group will report any program ideas, publications, educational tools, and training generated by the discussion group to the PARS Preservation Standards and Practices Committee. Contact co-chairs Preston Cabe and Janet H. Ahrberg for more information on the interest group.

LRTS Backfile Growing: Volunteers Needed to Create Metadata

After 53 years of LRTS, the entire backfile will finally be accessible online in the fall of 2009. Thanks to the generosity of Haverford College and Publications Committee Chair Norm Medeiros, more than forty volumes of the journal (over 160 issues!) were digitized. The ALCTS office staff is posting the files, with tables of contents and abstracts, to a web server and is making the files accessible via the LRTS web page and the archive page. Volumes 1 through 14 are complete.

This hosting plan is temporary, as we hope to eventually make all of the issues, from v.1, no. 1 through the current issue, available online (eLRTS) through Ebsco’s MetaPress system. Watch ANO for details on eLRTS’ rollout, availability, and pricing.

Call for Volunteers

Looking for individuals or team to create metadata for each LRTS article in the backfile. Library students or anyone who is interested in increasing online accessibility are welcome to contact Christine Taylor at the ALCTS office with project ideas.

Council of Regional Groups’ First Online Membership Meeting

The Council of Regional Groups (CRG) held its first online membership meeting on April 15, 2009, 1-2 pm CDT using the GoToWebinar software.

CRG holds membership meetings at both the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. However, the attendance of affiliate members at these face-to-face meetings has been decreasing. The economic downturn will make travel more difficult, and a lower attendance rate at membership meetings is anticipated. CRG has already experienced success in virtual membership for committee work, and in keeping with ALA’s E-participation initiative, an online membership meeting seemed a natural next step in facilitating and encouraging more participation from members of the affiliate groups.

Over fifteen attendees participated in the first online membership meeting. CRG basics were the primary focus of the meeting. The Chair, Chair/Elect, Past Chair and Chairs of the Affiliate Relations and Speakers’ Bureau Committees made brief presentations on CRG’s mission, committee structures and the benefits of being an affiliate group. The CRG wiki and notable current happenings at ALCTS were also highlighted. The meeting concluded with a brief questions/answers/comments period and a quick poll on future meetings.

A survey was conducted following the online meeting to gauge the success of the first meeting and to solicit feedback for future online meetings. Attendees expressed interest in having biannual online membership meetings with more opportunities for affiliate groups to participate. The desire to have more online meetings was also reflected in the postmeeting survey results.

The recording of the meeting, the PowerPoint presentations, and the survey results are available on the CRG wiki.

Many thanks to Julie Reese from the ALCTS Office and ALCTS Intern, Jordan Fields, for their help and support in making the first CRG online membership meeting a success and for conducting the postmeeting survey.

Call for Bloggers

The ALCTS Networked Resources and Metadata Interest Group (more commonly known as NRMIG) is soliciting ALA Annual attendees with an interest in metadata and digital library development. They are seeking bloggers to report on selected sessions on the NRMIG’s Blog.

If you would like to blog any of the sessions, please contact Kristin Martin at with your name, e-mail address, and preferred session.

Program Proposals for Annual 2010 Sought

Approach your colleagues and encourage them to submit program or preconference proposals for the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Interested program planners should contact Tim Strawn, chair of the ALCTS Programs Committee or other committee members, and they will be guided through the initial stages, and hopefully meet with them during Chicago to review and enhance their proposals.

See the ALCTS web site for more information on the ALCTS Programs Committee. Access the proposal form online. The link to the form is located on the ALCTS home page (scroll to the bottom, right-hand side of the page and look under Member Tools: Forms).

An Introduction to the ALCTS Papers Series and a Call for Submissions

Do you want to publish? Have you organized or participated in an ALA program recently that you think would be of interest to a larger audience? Then the ALA ALCTS Papers Series may be for you.

The ALCTS Papers Series consists of papers originally presented during ALCTS continuing education offerings (e.g. preconferences, workshops, symposia, and web courses) and conference programs (individual or in combination), reworked into publishable papers, and collected by volume editors into thematic volumes.

The ALCTS Papers Series Editor works with the four members of the ALCTS Papers Series Editorial Board to produce volumes in the series. They work with individual volume editors to assist them in the development and coordination of their publications. Recent volumes published in the Series include:

  • #14 Salsa de Topicos=Subjects in SALSA: Spanish and Latin American Subject Access
  • #15 Perspectives on Serials in the Hybrid Environment
  • #16 Commemorating the Past, Celebrating the Present, Creating the Future: Papers in Observance of the 50th Anniversary of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services

The process for creating a volume of the ALCTS Papers Series begins with ALCTS members who want to publish the content of conference and continuing education programs that they organize. To have your project considered for the Papers Series, complete the proposal form available from the ALCTS web site. The ALCTS Papers Series Board reviews proposals as they are received and makes recommendations to the ALCTS Publications Committee. When a proposal is approved by both groups, an ALCTS Papers Series Board member, who will provide assistance in developing the volume, is assigned to the volume editor. The authors and volume editor are responsible for creating and compiling original content into a manuscript within one year of the approval of the proposal. Once the manuscript is received, it is reviewed by the ALCTS Papers Series Board and returned if there are any required revisions. The manuscript then moves into production at the ALCTS Office after the final manuscript is approved by both the Papers Series Editorial Board and the ALCTS Publications Committee.

If publishing through ALCTS and sharing your program with a larger audience sounds good to you, please submit a proposal for a volume of the ALCTS Papers Series. While the series is intended to provide a forum for content created for ALCTS programs, ideas from ALCTS members for other collections of papers will be considered as well.

For further information or to discuss an idea, please contact ALCTS Papers Series Editor, Anne Sleeman, (410) 583-5835 or (443) 840-4751.

risk and entrepreneurship: new alcts title

Risk and Entrepreneurship in Libraries to be Available

The latest release from the ALCTS Papers Series will debut at Annual Conference 2009. Risk and Entrepreneurship in Libraries: Seizing Opportunities for Change, edited by Pamela Bluh and Cindy Hepfer, is a compilation of the speaker content from the 2008 ALCTS Midwinter Symposium that argued that imagining new ways of working, managing risk, sharing experiences and supporting each other will help librarians seize and create opportunities and succeed.

James Neal of Columbia University says that the book offers, “a diversity of perspectives and case studies by authors who speak to us with authority about risk and with confidence in [librarians’] entrepreneurial spirit.”

The ALCTS web site features the book’s introduction, table of contents, and a sample chapter by Joyce L. Ogburn, “Moderately Risky Business: Challenging Librarians to Assume More Risk in an Era of Opportunity.”

The book will be available in the ALA Store at Annual Conference in Chicago and will appear in the ALA Online Store after Conference. Risk and Entrepreneurship in Libraries: Seizing Opportunities for Change, Pamela Bluh and Cindy Hepfer, eds., ALCTS Papers on Library Technical Services and Collections Series, #17 (Chicago: ALA/ALCTS, 2009) 6x9, 120p. ISBN 978-0-8389-8516-8.