ALCTS Annual Report 2008–2009
Dina Giambi, ALCTS President
The year was full of accomplishments, new initiatives, and the start of a thorough review of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) organizational structure. The impact of the current global economy has been far-reaching and has affected ALCTS members and their organizations, membership renewals and division participation, conference attendance, and the operation and financial management of the division.
The survey of the ALCTS membership conducted in 2007–2008 based on The 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don’t continued to provide valuable insight into member needs, concerns, perceptions, and expectations. 1 Additional analysis including the Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) study on “Changing PARS Discussion/Interest Group Structure” and the Membership Committee’s review of ALCTS members in public libraries provided additional useful information. The “Membership Research Study” conducted by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Research & Statistics also revealed demographic and employment data.
Increasing and improving communication with and among the membership and implementing new modes of communication were accomplished. The ALCTS Newsletter Online and a rejuvenated ALCTS@Glance featured conference and meeting previews and reports and news and announcements of education opportunities. An assortment of electronic discussion lists enabled members to examine topics ranging from digital preservation to the future of subject headings. The ALCTS e-Forum, which debuted in May 2008, has attracted over 900 subscribers for lively discussions on subjects including disaster preparedness, coping with shrinking resources, and national cataloging standards versus local policies. The social networking tool ALA Connect, introduces in spring 2009, offers another method for sharing documents and information that ALCTS members will find very useful.
Midwinter and Annual Events
Midwinter forums in Denver during the ALA Midwinter Meeting attracted large audiences to hear experts discuss a variety of hot topics. Particularly noteworthy were “ RDA [ Resource Description and Access] Update Forum” and “Who’s at the Wheel? What We’ve Learned About Patron-Driven Collection Development.” “Creating and Sustaining Communities Around Shared Library Data,” a forum that focused on OCLC’s proposed change to their record use policy, drew over 150 attendees.
The Annual Conference in Chicago featured an excellent schedule of events. “ALCTS 101 Primer: Who We Are, What We Do & How You Fit” provided new members with an overview of the opportunities that the division offers. Programs included “Leadership Development in Transition: Steering the Ship from the Helm and Deck” and “Swingin’ with the Pendulum: Facing Cancellations in the Age of E-Journal Packages.” An audience of 300 attended the ALCTS President’s program “Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage” that featured James Cuno, President and Eloise W. Martin Director, The Art Institute of Chicago. The recipient of the 2009 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award, Cindy Hepfer, was recognized at the awards ceremony for her “exceptional service to ALCTS and to the library profession-at-large, as a library leader, educator, author, scholar, and mentor.”
Library Resources and Technical Services
The division’s highly respected peer reviewed journal, Library Resources and Technical Services ( LRTS), adds to its deserved reputation for quality articles under the leadership of editor Peggy Johnson. The LRTS article, “Approaches to Selection, Access, and Collection Development in the Web World: A Case Study with Fugitive Literature” authored by Karen Schmidt, Wendy Allen Shelburne, and David Steven Vess won the 2009 Blackwell’s Scholarship Award and the 2009 Best of LRTS Award. It appeared in LRTS, v. 52, no. 3, July 2008, pages184-191. LRTS has seen slowly declining subscriptions over the last several years. A new marketing effort will be launched in the next year along with an electronic version.
In July 2009, PARS implemented a streamlined organizational structure with a reduced number of committees and interest groups. A comprehensive review of the bylaws by the ALCTS Organization & Bylaws Committee resulted in a bylaws document with greater consistency. A Public Libraries Technical Services Interest Group was established and held its first meeting at Annual. ALA and the Western Council of State Libraries were awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush-Librarians for the 21st Century grant to maintain the Library Support Staff Certification Program. ALCTS was awarded $2,500 to serve as a field test site for the program. A proposal by PARS to establish a Preservation Awareness Week “to raise public and professional awareness of the importance of preservation to libraries and their users” received start-up funding of $15,000 from ALA for fiscal year 2010. Look for more information on this project prior to a limited launch in spring 2010.
Close review and analysis of ALCTS’ revenue and expenses were vital to the division’s successful management of fiscal operations during the year. Division expenses were carefully monitored with cost savings implemented wherever possible. The three main revenue sources for the division are membership dues; registration fees for education offerings, including Midwinter symposia, Annual Conference preconferences, web courses, and webinars; and publications. Through the third quarter of the fiscal year, membership numbers showed a decrease of 7.5 percent.
Education offerings have been successful with good numbers of registrants. Two one-day symposia presented in Denver “Implementing an Institutional Repository: Benefits and Challenges” and “Breaking Down the Silos: Planning for Discovery Tools for Library 2.0” had the two highest registration numbers of all the divisions. However, two spring regional workshops were cancelled due to low registration and three programs scheduled for the Annual Conference in Chicago were cancelled because the speakers could not attend.
Much energy was devoted to increasing revenue from all the education offerings, particularly web courses and webinars. The web-based “Fundamentals Series” offered courses focused on acquisitions, electronic resources acquisitions, and collection development and management. ALCTS ventured into webinars for the first time this year. Three webinars on institutional repositories were developed to follow up on the success of the Denver symposium and meet an expressed need for more detailed coverage on this topic. Additional sessions are planned through the end of 2009. A series of free webinars for ALCTS members were offered in March to train potential web instructors. The development of an expanded continuing education curriculum with increased revenue will enable ALCTS to support the many services and activities that do not generate revenue. To facilitate this initiative, a new ALCTS Continuing Education Committee has been established for 2009–2010 which replaces the disbanded ALCTS Education Committee.
The ALCTS Fundraising Committee, led skillfully by Susan Davis, was successful in securing repeat support from many of our continuing sponsors. However, due to the economy, ALCTS saw lower levels of support. Several new sponsors were identified.
Creating the Future of ALCTS
A significant new initiative to review the ALCTS organizational structure began with a facilitated discussion by the Board of Directors in Denver. Follow-up meetings with section/Council of Regional Groups executive committees and division committees were also held. E-Forums and a forum on Monday morning at the ALA Annual Conference solicited additional member input. More discussion on a new structure for ALCTS is anticipated during 2009–2010 with possible implementation in 2010-2011.
The year proved to be a challenge with the overall economic condition of the country having an impact on ALCTS at many levels. During the process of offering committee appointments for 2008-2009, several individuals declined reappointments or new appointments because their libraries had significantly reduced support for travel funding or abolished it completely. Efforts were made to offer alternate appointments such as virtual member. Unfortunately, some of our members experienced layoffs, furloughs, and frozen salaries or salary reductions. A furlough week was mandated for all ALA staff.
ALCTS members and the ALCTS staff made possible the successes of the past year with creativity, flexibility, and perseverance. In the coming year, ALCTS will continue to serve as an advocate and expert for the areas of specialization that it represents; offer opportunities for service in appointed and elected positions; and develop and present education offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of members and non-members. The prospect of a new organizational structure will bring new energy to the members and the division.
1. Center for Association Leadership, The 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don’t (Washington, D.C.: American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership, 2006).
Section Annual Reports
The following reports summarize the accomplishments of ALCTS and its sections during the year ending with ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.
Acquisitions Section | Cataloging and Classification Section | Collection Management and Development Section | Continuing Resources | Council of Regional Groups | Preservation and Reformatting Section
Katharine Treptow Farrell, AS Chair, 2008–2009
The Acquisitions Section (AS) has a program and a preconference on track for Annual 2010. The Organization and Management Committee is sponsoring a full-day preconference on licensing, and the Research and Statistics Committee is planning a program on e-book assessment. The Technology Committee proposed a program for the 2010 Annual Conference on next-generation library systems, which apparently duplicated in large measure a similar proposal from the Continuing Resources Section’s (CRS) Acquisitions Committee. The ALCTS Program Committee has recommended that the Technology Committee work with CRS Acquisitions on the program, which has been accepted pending revisions.
The Publications Committee reported that one manuscript is near completion and should be submitted to the section executive committee (EC) shortly. There are several other publications in the pipeline.
The EC discussed the Acquisitions Section structure and name. The survey of members, completed last year, indicated that the majority of respondents did not think the name of the section reflected the reality of organization in their institution. One possible remedy is to reconceptualize the section as the Resource Acquisition Section or the Resource Acquisition and Access Section. A conversation both with the ALCTS Board and with the Continuing Resources Section seems in order. The EC also considered the developments in education at the division level, and considered whether an education committee at the section level is still warranted. The EC concluded that there are education functions that require attention at the section level, such as choosing among candidates to present acquisitions content webinars. However, this function might be assigned to a task group working under some other committee, or at the section level directly. Another possible direction might be to incorporate education into the charge of Organization and Management. Further discussion, both among the EC, with AS membership, and with the ALCTS Board is planned. The AS Education Committee had no continuing members at the close of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference.
Cataloging and Classification Section
Mary Woodley, CCS Chair, 2008-2009
Communication with the Profession
During the 2008–2009 year, the Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) Executive Committee (EC) continued to address issues concerning the future of cataloging. The EC presented forums both at the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. At Midwinter, the hot topics forum featured a panel discussion on “FRBR and RDA: a Glimpse into the Future of Cataloging and Public Displays”. At Annual, the forum addressed the “Future of MARC.” Both forums were well attended with the slides and audiorecordings made publicly available.
Resource Description and Access
The CCS continued its involvement in the development of Resource Description and Access (RDA). The Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA; John Meyers, chair) has been the primary body responsible for working with the ALA liaison to the Joint Steering Committee (JSC). Their work has been intensive, time-consuming, and fraught with delays. The CCS Chair acknowledged their general concerns about the feasibility of implementing RDA, the format of the product, and the timeline. The work of CC:DA is applauded by CCS EC.
CSS EC reviewed the efficacy of a single taskforce managing the RDA implementation and programming responsibilities. CCS concluded that the workload was too heavy for a single group and redefined two new task forces: the RDA Update Programs Taskforce (June Abbas, appointed chair) and the RDA Planning and Training Taskforce (Luis Mendes, appointed chair). The outgoing RDA Task Force organized a successful preconference “ RDA, FRBR, FRAD: Making the Connection” as well as a Saturday program “Look Before You Leap: Taking RDA for a Test Drive.” CCS EC acknowledges Shawne Miksa for her productive leadership as outgoing chair of the RDA Taskforce.
Margaret Mann Citation
The Margaret Mann Citation Jury (Margaret Dyer Brown, chair) selected Francis Miksa, retired, University of Texas as the 2009 recipient of the Margaret Mann Citation. Miksa was honored for his research as shared through his numerous publications, and his contributions to teaching of cataloging and classification.
ALCTS revised the name and charge of its Division-level Education Committee to focus on continuing education, whose responsibilities include the oversight of the development of CE initiatives and to reduce the amount of duplicative effort. Following this model, the CCS EC redefined its education committee (details below), the CCS Committee on Education, Training and Recruitment for Cataloging (CETRC). After working with Policy and Planning, the EC dissolved the current CCS Education Committee and created two new committees in its place; one focusing on continuing education, the other focusing on recruitment and mentoring. The CCS EC is in the process of finalizing their charges and making the appointments.
Executive Committee Decisions
The EC continued to streamline its meetings by using the listserv to conduct business. It adopted ALA Connect to support the distribution of documents and voting on issues before the EC. Although there were some minor issues, EC successfully migrated to the new platform.
CCS EC submitted a nomination for an IFLA committee, and continued to work on the CCS website redesign. Following recommendations from the CCS Policy and Planning Committee (Sara Shatford Layne, chair), the EC approved the restructuring of CETRC and the CETRC Subcommittees. The Policy and Planning Committee also populated the Strategic Plan database and discussed purpose and maintenance issues.
Approved Future Programs: Annual 2010
- 2010: Year of Cataloging Research: Metadata and Beyond
- Boot Camp for the 21st Century Metadata Manager
- Vendor Plans for RDA
- Preconference: RDA 101
Collection Management and Development Section
Genevieve Owens, CMDS Chair, 2008-2009
CMDS members continued their active contributions in programming, continuing education, publications, and networking to support library staff engaged in collection development activities and to further ALCTS’ goals. Members of the CMDS Executive Committee this year were Betty Landesman, Past Chair; Genevieve S. Owens, Chair; Kathy Tezla, Chair-Elect; Harriet Lightman, Secretary; and Members-at-Large Jeff Kosokoff, Kathy Mitchell, Reeta Sinha, and Susan E. Thomas.
The Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management was presented to Judy Luther, president of Informed Strategies, and Selden Lamoureux, electronic resources librarian at North Carolina State University Libraries, for their role in developing SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding, currently a recommended practice of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).
Sudden Selector’s Guide to Communication Studies Resources (Published June 2008) Author: Lisa Romero
Manuscript for Sudden Selector’s Guide to Chemistry (Author: Elizabeth Brown) approved.
Proposal for Sudden Selector’s Guide to Children’s Literature for Academic Libraries (Author: Cindy K. Schofield-Bodt) approved.
Proposal for Sudden Selector’s Guide to Geography and Geographic Information Systems (Authors: Carl P. Olson and Kim Ricker) approved.
Proposal for a revised version of the Guide to the Evaluation of Library Collections (Author: Cory Tucker) approved.
Proposal for a revised version of the Guide for Training Collection Development Librarians (Authors: Reeta Sinha and Andrea Wirth) approved.
Helene C. Williams was selected to succeed Doug Litts as Editor of the ALCTS/CMDS Sudden Selector's Guide series.
Collecting for Digital Repositories: New Ways to Disseminate and Share Information—CMDS Collection Development and Electronic Resources Committee
Collection Development 2.0: The Changing Administration of Collection Development—CMDS Policy and Planning Committee
New Selectors and Selecting in New Subjects: Meeting the Challenges—CMDS Education and Publications Committees
The Open Knowledge Commons and Library Collections: The Other Scan Plan—CMDS Administration of Collection Development Committee
Resuscitating the Catalog: Next-Generation Strategies for Keeping the Catalog Relevant (co-sponsored with RUSA: RSS Catalog Use Committee and the LITA Next Gen Catalog Interest Group)
Program Plans for 2010
Acceptance, Tolerance, Elimination: Making Decisions about Retaining Multiple Formats in a Digital Age—CMDS Collection Assessment Committee
Cooperative Collection Development: We Really Mean It This Time—CMDS Policy and Planning Committee
Emerging Research in Collections—CMDS Publications Committee
Resisting the Downturn: Innovative Collection Development in Tough Times—CMDS Collection Development and Electronic Resources Committee
To Catch a Thief: Cataloging and the Security of Special Collections (ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section program co-sponsored by CMDS)
Midwinter 2009: Collecting Free Web Resources: Selection, Archiving, Metadata,
Access—coordinated by CMDS Chair Genevieve S. Owens
Annual 2009: Keeping the Best in Challenging Economic Times: Evaluating and Assessing Collections for Cancellation Decisions—coordinated by CMDS Collection Assessment Committee Chair Cory Tucker
The section’s first web course, Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management, was offered to sold-out audiences.
The section’s next web course, Fundamental of Collection Assessment, has been developed and is ready for Moodle.
Susan Thomas completed the inventory of current CMDS content on the ALCTS website. She also received training on Collage, the site’s content management system.
A CMDS Restructuring Task Force (chaired by Ellen Safley with members Keri Cascio and Cory Tucker) prepared a report recommending a new organizational structure for CMDS that: (1) reflects current terminology for collections work, (2) allows the section to manage its operations effectively, and (3) maximizes its ability to deliver substantive programs, publications, and continuing education. The Executive Committee discussed the report at Annual 2009 and will continue to work with it during the fall. They expect to have a draft to share and begin discussing with the CMDS membership during the Midwinter 2010 Forum.
Appointments and Elections
The Nominating Committee (Linda Phillips, Chair) prepared a strong slate of candidates for the 2009 elections. Joining new CMDS chair Kathy Tezla will be Ginger Williams, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect and Members-at-Large Gregory K. Raschke and Ellen Derey Safley.
Continuing Resources Section
Felicity Dykas, CRS Chair, 2008–2009
Council of Regional Groups
Janet Lee-Smeltzer, CRG Section Chair, 2008-2009
The Council of Regional Groups’ (CRG) Executive Committee’s agenda included the usual reports from various officers and liaisons. In addition, the EC discussed the future roles of the CRG CE committee, Wiki development/maintenance and the main ALCTS CRG website and CRG’s portion of the division bylaws. Most of these discussions were carried from the CRG Planning session that was held on Friday evening, July 10, 2009. CRG feels very strongly that they play an important role of providing affiliates information about CE opportunities and providing to ALCTS information about what the affiliates need in terms of CE courses and opportunities.
The CRG CE committee established the CRG Wiki and is now ready to turn it over to the Council to maintain. This was discussed along with the need to have a committee or working group dedicated to coordinating our various electronic methods of access to our affiliate groups. CRG currently provides information on the ALCTS CRG website, the ALA Connect website and the CRG Wiki. CRG chair-elect Susan Mueller agreed to take the recommendation for such a committee or working group under advisement and have something in place before Midwinter 2010.
The final discussion item was the review of the ALCTS bylaws and those areas that pertain to CRG. The EC approved the suggested changes and made some additional ones. These were carried forward to the Board meeting’s discussion of the bylaws by Mueller.
Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS)
Walter Cybulski, PARS Chair, 2008-2009
Highlights from the past year in PARS include a successful transition following a Section restructuring effort; launching of a major initiative for a National Preservation Week; a disaster preparedness E-forum; presentation of a successful program; and recognition of colleagues with awards.
A Restructured PARS
PARS successfully completed the transition to a new structure, reducing committees from ten to five and consolidating nine discussion groups into five interest groups. The interest, cooperation and support of PARS members made this a smooth transition. The new structure is accounted for in the appointments database. Large memberships in two of the committees (Program, Planning & Publication and Preservation Standards and Practices) will be reduced as previously appointed members go off committee. Scaled back versions of the committees will be meeting beginning with the 2010 Midwinter Meeting.
The idea of creating working groups to ensure that initiatives undertaken by task forces or actions requiring ongoing effort receive appropriate attention beyond their appointed terms has received favorable response from PARS membership. Two examples of charges that could be assigned to working groups are: (1) maintaining and updating the PARS web page; and (2) sustaining the activity generated by the National Preservation Week Task Force (see below).
National Preservation Week
The first Preservation Week has been scheduled for May 9-15, 2010. The idea was originally proposed by Jeanne Drewes (Library of Congress) and has received approval and funding support from the ALCTS Board. This is a collaborative effort involving ALA, the Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Since Preservation Week activities may be of broad general interest, the following summary of task force activity prepared by Karen Motylewski (Special Projects Liaison, LC) is included in its entirety.
“The Preservation Week task group has met by phone at least once a month in the past six months, distributing responsibilities between phone conferences. The following summarizes key activities:
- Preservation Week objectives: (1) increase knowledge and interest in preservation through personal, family, and community collections; (2) increase awareness of library preservation information resources, and (3) connect local libraries to preservation interests in their communities (through Preservation Week partnerships with museums, archives, community organizations)
- The PW program structure is designed to help libraries create local events (exhibits, workshops, talks, etc.) and celebrate preservation and collecting, especially in partnership with other local organizations
- The PW emblem is an hourglass, using “Pass it On” as the catch phrase
- Preliminary web site designed and mounted (additions are in progress)
- ALA Graphics is designing a bookmark and poster for the October catalog (products available at Midwinter)
- ALA Development is exploring Preservation Week tie-in with ALA’s Woman’s Day partnership
- Contact lists have been built for Preservation Week organizing
- A Preservation Week “Mini-101” was presented at 2009 Annual
- Program proposal accepted by ALCTS for June 26, 2010, 8–10 am (Add New Audiences and Keep the Old: National Preservation Week), with cosponsorship by AASL and (in process) PLA
- CALM and SAA have indicated support and interest in promoting archives’ participation.
- The Library of Congress will host an invitational stakeholders’ meeting on November 6, 2009; invitees will represent professional associations and other organizations with a strong stake in preservation awareness; invitations will be issued in early September
- PW will be the focus of a PARS Forum at Midwinter 2010
Disaster Preparedness E-forum
Nancy Kraft and Walter Cybulski co-hosted an ALCTS e-Forum on Disaster Preparedness on February 10-11, 2009. Over 800 subscribers participated in discussion of a wide range of disaster-related topics including response planning, disaster relief, and mold hazards in collection storage areas.
Ann Russell, recently retired Director of the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in Andover, Massachusetts, was selected to receive the LBI George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Award in recognition of her outstanding preservation advocacy work and contributions to cooperative preservation efforts during her thirty year tenure in the field of library preservation.
Barclay Ogden was honored with the Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award, sponsored by Preservation Technologies, for his local, national and international promotion of a wide range of library preservation issues including library binding, disaster preparedness, collection assessment, preservation prioritization and digitization.
PARS presented the ALCTS Board with a motion to formally recognize the career accomplishments of Robert Schnare (a former student of George Cunha), who retired as Library Director of the Naval War College Library after a long career in Federal service that included support for the Preservation Resolution at the White House Conference in 1991, the preparation of a Bibliography of Preservation Literature, 1983-1996 (Landover, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2001), and the revision of a Disaster Preparedness Workbook for Cultural Institutions within the Military (2009).
Past PARS Chair Andrew Hart received an ALCTS Presidential Citation for his outstanding leadership and dedication in managing, promoting and facilitating the reorganization of PARS.
On July 12, 2009 PARS cosponsored a program on “Managing Preservation Without a Preservation Librarian” with PLA and LLAMA BESS. This well-received program included options for organizing preservation program without a full-time preservation administrator, demonstrated the need for administrative support, policies and planning in establishing a preservation program, and identified preservation roles and responsibilities that could be assumed by staff.
A second program originally scheduled for Annual on “Conserving and Stabilizing Materials for Digitization” was cancelled because travel funds were not available from speaker institutions.