Board Key Actions
Association for Library Collections & Technical Services Annual Report 2009–2010
Mary Case, ALCTS President
Ed.’s note: This annual report will also be published in Library Resources & Technical Services, and in a slightly different form.
Creating Our Future has been the primary goal of ALCTS this year as we have continued our focus on reshaping the organization to meet the needs of those working in the rapidly changing fields of technical services, collections, and preservation. At both the Division and Section levels, we have sought to decrease the barriers to performance and increase the opportunities for participation. Our effort is all the more urgent in the face of economic challenges that demand that we provide products and services that are of significant value to attract and retain members. While this is an ongoing task, we have made significant strides in a number of areas this year as outlined below.
Reshaping Our Organization
Input from members over the last several years through surveys, focus groups, and discussion led the ALCTS Executive Committee to conclude that it was time to reshape our organization. The primary concerns expressed by our members were:
- ALCTS no longer reflects the diversity of job functions performed by those employed in collections and technical services
- members are frustrated by competing and overlapping programming
- processes are slow and not always clear due in part to redundancy in governance
The Executive Committee, with input from the Board, worked over the course of this year to construct alternative organizational scenarios that we have now shared with the entire membership for comment. In developing the scenarios, we were looking at options to achieve the following goals:
- members must be able to find a community of colleagues doing the same work or with similar interests
- the structure and processes must be transparent
- the structure must be flexible enough to respond quickly to emerging trends
- the organization must provide opportunities for service and leadership
We look forward to reviewing the feedback from the member survey and from the animated discussions at the Annual Conference and plan to present a refined plan for a member vote sometime next year.
In the meantime, the division undertook a process to revise its bylaws so future changes that would result from reorganization would not be slowed by outdated and ambiguous documentation. While the Organization and Bylaws Committee (O&B) accomplished the bulk of its work in 2008–09 under the leadership of Dale Swensen, the bylaws were put to a membership vote in fall 2009. The new bylaws passed with an overwhelmingly positive vote.
Expanding Continuing Education
While working toward an overall reorganization of the Division, the Executive Committee recognized last year that there was a need and opportunity to address issues related to continuing education. In-person workshops were no longer drawing an audience unless they were attached to a conference; members were expressing concerns about travel support from their institutions; and the multi-layered education-committee structure of the division and sections slowed the move of new ideas and products to market. We decided that a change to the education committee structure could move forward before changing the entire organization and might serve as a model for streamlining other product-driven committees such as publications.
To this end, the ALCTS Board approved the dissolution of the ALCTS Education Committee and the creation of a new Continuing Education Committee that began work in summer 2009. Chaired by Pamela Bluh, this committee has quickly coordinated a robust program of web courses and webinars that complement programming at conferences. Web courses, offered by ALCTS for several years now, continue to be popular. These four-week modules cover Acquisitions, Electronic Resource Acquisitions, Collection Development and Management, and new this year, Preservation. Under development are courses in Collections Assessment, Cataloging, and Serials. With the energetic shepherding of CE members, sixteen webinars were offered this year, almost tripling the number presented last year. These webinars covered institutional repositories, cataloging of unusual formats, metadata, disaster planning and response, among other topics. The popular e-forums begun last year by then President Dina Giambi now have a coordinator, Kristin Martin, who is an ex-officio member of the CE Committee. Generally held monthly, these e-mail based conversations continue to attract members and non-members with over 1,000 participants on the e-Forum list. We are grateful to the many members who participate in CE by developing the content for webinars and web courses, who suggest topics, and who participate in and evaluate these events. We are looking forward to the assessment by the CE Committee of its first year lessons learned and in particular how the liaison relationships with the Sections have worked.
Section Restructuring Initiatives
The Division has not been alone in its focus on reshaping its structure. Several Sections have been working to simplify their structures over the last several years. The Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) completed its transition this year to a slimmed down committee structure. Several topic-based committees were reconstituted as interest groups. The Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS) has decided to revise its mission and change its name to the Collection Management Section (CMS) to take effect after the 2010 ALA Annual Conference. It has also reduced its committees from eight to six and converted three committees to interest groups. The Continuing Resources Section (CRS) has also been streamlining by combining its Education Committee with its Research and Publications Committee. The new Education, Research and Publications Coordinating Committee with a new mission will take effect with the 2010–11 appointments. The Council of Regional Groups (CRG), ALCTS’ connection to its affiliate members, has proposed changing its status from a section-like structure to a division-level committee with a new name, Affiliate Relations Committee. We believe that the good work of CRG will be more visible and integrated with such a change.
National Preservation Week
In addition to efforts at reorganizing, ALCTS and its sections have undertaken many other initiatives during this year. One of the highlights was the first national Preservation Week successfully launched May 9–15, 2010. Initiated by PARS, Preservation Week is a collaborative effort involving ALA, the Library of Congress, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, the Society of American Archivists, and Heritage Preservation. Local libraries and other institutions were encouraged to use Preservation Week to offer events, workshops, and resources to highlight the need for preservation while sharing expertise to help individuals and communities preserve personal and shared collections. A web site was developed to provide resources, to allow posting of local activities and events (about thirty five nationwide), and to allow participants to share stories. ALA designed a poster and bookmark with the theme of the week—Pass it On—which were available for purchase by the Midwinter Meeting. ALCTS events during the week included the pilot online course, Fundamentals of Preservation, two free public webinars, “Archival 101” and “Mold Prevention and Remediation,” together attracting over 700 participants. Key participants in Preservation Week included the New Jersey State Library, Regional Alliance for Preservation, FLICC, and NDIIPP. Corporate sponsorship includes Gaylord Brothers, FamilyArchives.com, Archival Products and the HF Group. A program at the ALA Annual Conference (Pass it On: National Preservation Week) and a PARS working group will ensure that knowledge and participation in Preservation Week grows over the years. Congratulations to PARS and Preservation Week Task Force chair Jeanne Drewes!
New Members and Emerging Leaders
With the initiative of both seasoned and new members alike, a New Members Interest Group was started this year. The group had its first formal meeting at the Midwinter Meeting under the energetic leadership of Keisha Manning and worked with the Membership and Leadership Development Committees to design the ALCTS 101 Event at Annual. We hope this new group will help new members find each other and learn about ALCTS at the same time.
ALCTS sponsored an Emerging Leader again this year. Shilpa Rele (Metadata Librarian, University of Miami) and her cohort chose the ALCTS proposal as their project. The group worked to help the Leadership Development Committee transform content for new ALCTS leaders onto the Web using Web 2.0 technologies where appropriate. The group has solicited several brief videos from current ALCTS leaders to provide bits of advice to their successors.
Year of Cataloging Research
During the fall, the ALCTS Board approved a resolution to declare 2010 the Year of Cataloging Research. The resolution emanated from the ALCTS Task Force working on implementing recommendations from “On the Record,” the final report of the Task Force for the Future of Bibliographic Control commissioned by LC. ALA Council approved the recommendation at the Midwinter Meeting. A web site was created to provide information and resources. Programming by the Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) was presented to encourage more research.
Among the many individuals honored by ALCTS this year at its award ceremony were Olivia Madison, Dean of the Library, Iowa State University, winner of the Margaret Mann Citation; Michele Cloonan, Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, recipient of the Banks/Harris Preservation Award; Peggy Johnson, Associate University Librarian for Access Services, University of Minnesota, winner of the Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award; and Kelley McGrath, Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian, Ball State University, recipient of the Esther J. Piercy Award.
As usual, ALCTS and its sections continued their tradition of offering many outstanding programs during the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. Programs on e-books, electronic resource management systems, RDA, the strategic future of print collections, Preservation Week, converging metadata standards, social tagging, collection development in tough times, and many, many more. The President’s Program at the Annual Conference featured Francine Berman, Vice President for Research, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who spoke to an enthusiastic audience on the new role for libraries in shaping 21st century research.
ALCTS has also published a number of new works this year. A Guide to Video Acquisitions by Mary Laskowski will be available after the 2010 ALA Annual Conference. Available online now is the ALCTS/PARS Metadata Standards and Guidelines Relevant to Digital Audio, and Chapter One of the book, Institutional Repositories: The Promises of Yesterday, the Promises of Tomorrow. This book, edited by Pamela Bluh and Cindy Hepfer, is an experiment for ALCTS with chapters being made available online for free as they are ready. The first chapter was written by Greg Tananbaum. Once all chapters have been published, a print volume will be available for purchase. ALCTS will also be introducing this summer a new online series of white papers focused on issues in the profession intended to stimulate thinking and debate.
The activities cited above are only a snapshot of the many achievements of the committees, sections, and interest groups that make up ALCTS.
I am honored to have been given the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful, dedicated individuals both within ALCTS, within the other ALA Divisions, and within ALA itself. Thank you for the opportunity. I look forward to continued progress on our important agenda under the leadership of next year’s President, Cynthia Whitacre.
Katharine Treptow Farrell, Acquisitions Section Chair, 2009–2010
The AS Executive Committee heard brief reports from Section committees:
- Technology has had a program for the 2011 ALA Annual Conference accepted.
- Acquisitions Organization and Management (AOM) and Research and Statistics have both submitted program proposals for the 2011 Annual Conference. The preconference planned by AOM was successful although attendance was slightly smaller than anticipated.
- Policy and Planning will review the charges of Section committees to insure that the charge to create at conference education is explicit in their charges. They are drawing up a calendar for self-reporting.
- Publications reported that potential authors of two publications in the Acquisitions guides series have withdrawn their proposals. They also note that a single annual face to face meeting is adequate for them to conduct business. They will henceforth plan to meet in person only at ALA Annual.
Pamela Bluh met with the AS Executive Committee to discuss CE programming. She noted that there are resources on Connect to support members in creating CE content. The AS Executive Committee is exploring ways to foster the creation of CE content.
Cataloging and Classification Section
Qiang Jin, CCS Chair, 2009–2010
CCS Task Force to Review FRSAD: joint group of CC:DA and SAC approved by CCS EC and submitted to IFLA by July 31, 2009—ALA Response to FRSAD
At the request of the ALCTS Board of Directors, the CCS Executive Committee established a CCS Task Force on Cooperative Cataloging in January 2010 to review the R2 Consulting report for the Library of Congress: "Study of the North American MARC Records Marketplace." The goal was to identify issues that could be addressed by ALCTS or actions that ALCTS could take to further discussion within the cataloging community leading to recommendations for increasing the sharing of bibliographic data and expediting cooperative cataloging. The CCS Executive Committee approved the report in June 2010 and will work with the ALCTS Board to move forward with the recommendations listed in the report.
The CCS forums at Midwinter and Annual were successful. The CCS Midwinter forum was devoted to presentations and discussion about cataloging research as well as examples of current research. The theme of the CCS forum at Annual was cooperative cataloging. Both CCS forums were well attended.
The CCS Executive Committee approved a new CCS Interest Group, CCS Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group.
CCS Executive Committee members discussed issues regarding RDA planning and training.
The CCS Executive Committee finished draft position descriptions for the CCS Interest Group: Job descriptions for Officers and Mentoring and for the CCS Chair, Chair-Elect, and Past Chair.
The CCS Executive Committee nominated Edward Swanson to the IFLA Cataloging Section Standing Committee and John DeSantis to the IFLA Classification and Indexing Section Standing Committee.
Collection Management and Development Section
Kathy Tezla, CMDS Chair, 2009–2010
Current Member-at-Large, Reeta Sinha will replace Harriet Lightman (CMDS vice-chair/chair elect) as CMDS secretary for 2010–2011. The remaining term for the Member-at-Large will not be filled.
Restructuring of Section
All of the CMDS Executive and committee chairs spent a good part of the year completing the reorganization of the Section. The section will now be known as Collection Management (CMS), reflecting the profession as a whole and implies a philosophical shift from collection development to collection management by the section.
The section committee structure was modified by reducing the number of standing committees from eight to five. Two standing committees were renamed and given new charges: the section Planning Committee (formerly Policy and Planning Committee) and Continuing Education Committee (formerly Education Committee). The section Planning Committee’s new focus will be to advise the Executive Committee on the establishment, functions, and continuation of committees and interest groups on a regular cycle and will provide a semi-annual update of goals and accomplishments of the section’s committees and interest groups. An interest group coordinator will be appointed from within the committee. The Continuing Education (CE) Committee was renamed to match the division-level committee’s name; it will continue to manage continuing education content for our membership and will direct its efforts to identify existing content and potential content developers in the area of collection development both at conferences and online. The division CE committee has appointed a liaison from its web course subcommittee to work with the section committee in managing web course content updates. The issues surrounding negotiations and license agreements were incorporated into a third standing committee, Collection Management and Electronic Resources.
Three former standing committees will be converted to interest groups—Collection Management in Academic Libraries (formerly Collection Development in Academic Libraries) and Collection Evaluation and Assessment, and Collection Management and Electronic Resources, bringing the total number of interest groups in the section to seven. These three committees will organize petitions for IG creation during 2010–2011.
Timeline for transition: Chair-elect Harriet Lightman will appoint committees under the new structure during spring 2011; the last meeting under the old structure will be the 2011 Annual Conference. Starting July 1, 2011: Committees and interest groups begin functioning under the new structure.
During the transition year, 2010–2011, In-coming Chair, Ginger Williams, will compose a FAQ clarifying the roles of the interest groups as distinct from the roles of the committees. The FAQ will be distributed to the membership as well as being posted on Connect. Current members who were appointed under the old structure will be asked to establish steering committees within their old committees to help with the transition to the new organizational structure.
Six manuscripts in the Sudden Selector series are in various stages of development, and another six proposal are in the pipeline. Discussion is underway for the development of a collections blog.
The program on cooperative collection development held at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference was well attended. The program may be converted to into a webinar. For future reference, the CMS Forum will be held at Midwinter and the Emerging Research session will be scheduled for Annual in the same timeslot as the CMS Forum, on Sundays 4–5:30 pm.
One program for the 2011 ALA Annual Conference has been approved (purchase-on-demand via ILL) with several other topics being considered: managing assessment data, assessment of the “Big Deal” and bundled packages, what is “collection management?,”marketing and promotion of collections by embedding collections into various portals and assessment of such efforts just to name a few. Due to the short time frame for programs for the 2011 Annual Conference, Ginger Williams will work via e-mail with the chairs of the committees who are interested in sponsoring programs.
Continuing Resources Section
Connie Foster, CRS Chair, 2009–2010
Executive Committee Actions
- Consolidated the section executive meetings into one (Sunday) and will make more efficient use of the All Committees meeting on Saturday.
- Merged two committees: Education with Research and Publications to become: Education, Research and Publications Coordinating Committee. The new charge is:
Serve as a resource and think tank for education, research, publications, and program planning for the section and as a liaison within ALCTS and other divisions within ALA.
Encourage, identify, and collaborate, where needed, on ideas, issues, events, and outcomes that reflect the section’s interest and the work of its committees and interest groups.
Coordinate research, training and publications in those areas.
Facilitate creation of task forces, interest groups, and ALA Connect Communities in response to identified needs and issues.
Examples of activities that might be encouraged among section committees and interest groups could include a focus on events at and outside of conferences, revenue-generating or not, including forums, programs, e-forums; development of webinars, online courses, online discussions; publications in any form as originally conceived or repurposed from ALA programs, presentations and poster sessions.
- Seek collaborative efforts with affiliate groups, such as NASIG, CONSER.
- Maintain coordination with ALCTS Publications Committee, Program Committee, and Continuing Education Committee.
- Les Hawkins is the ALCTS CRS Liaison to CONSER (an initiative begun by Felicity Dykas during her term as CRS chair); Linda Smith Griffin accepted appointment as liaison to NASIG.
- Changed Costs of Continuing Resources in Libraries IG name to “Access to Continuing Resources IG,” to expand charge to journal access and not just pricing issues.
- Added the Electronic Resources IG to the CRS schedule. The IG chair attended the Executive meeting at Annual.
Nancy Poehlmann is the new CRCC liaison to CC:DA, replacing Jennifer Baxmeyer.
Steve Shadle agreed to act as CRCC co-chair, with Jennifer Young, for an interim period.
Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship Award Jury : Recipient was Steve Shadle, University of Washington.
Wiley Blackwell’s First Step Award: Recipient was Rebecca Kemp, University of North Carolina
Chair-Elect (2010–2013) Margaret Mering (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Member-at-Large Eugene Dickerson (U.S. Department of State–Washington, D.C.)
Connie Foster and Anne Mitchell held a webinar session with Christine Taylor at the end of February to review content and learn how to manage changes, with more training to follow for Anne, CRS secretary. The CRS web site content was reviewed and updates begun. With the assistance of ALCTS staff, content was converted to the new CMS.
Felicity Dykas volunteered to serve as technical support for webinars given through ALCTS Continuing Education.
Publications, programming and education are areas that CRS needs to really focus on.
Liaison Report: Lynda Wright, CRS Representative to ALCTS Membership Committee
The ALCTS 101 program on Friday night at the 2010 Annual Conference was a successful, collaborative effort by the ALCTS Membership Committee, the ALCTS Leadership Development Committee, and the ALCTS New Members Interest Group.
CRS Programs at 2010 Midwinter Meeting
College and Research Libraries Interest Group
Continuing Resources Cataloging Forum
Holdings Information Update Forum
Costs of Continuing Resources in Libraries Interest Group: Open Access: Entitlement, Opportunity, or Peril?
Standards Update Forum
CRS Programs at the 2010 Annual Conference
Holdings Update Forum: "Next Generation OPACs: Making the Most of Local Holdings Data”
ALCTS-AS, ALCTS-CRS Forum: “Open to Change: Open Source and Next Generation ILS and ERMS”
Standards Update Forum: The Standards Update Forum looks at developing and revised standards, best practices, and guidelines and their application that pertain to continuing resources.
Cataloging Committee Forum: Brief updates from representatives of the ISSN Center, the Library of Congress and CONSER Program, and CC:DA, followed by a special program on the Testing of RDA records for serial resources.
CRS Acquisitions co-sponsored the ALCTS CMDS program: “Acceptance, Tolerance, Elimination: Making decisions about retaining multiple formats in a Digital Age.”
Council of Regional Groups
Susan Mueller, CRG Chair, 2009–2010
The Council of Regional Groups (CRG) held two meetings at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington., D.C. The first meeting was held Friday evening, June 25, 2010. This is the usual time slot for the CRG Planning Session. This has become an integral part of CRG in the last several years. The membership meeting held on Sunday afternoons is not long enough to conduct all of CRG’s business. The group discussed the topic that has occupied CRG’s time this past year: reorganization.
The CRG Executive Committee sent forth a recommendation to the ALCTS Board of Directors that CRG would better serve the membership as a division committee rather than being in a comparable position with the sections. Since CRG’s mission is to serve all those involved in technical services and collections, it seemed a bad match to have it comparable to sections which are focused on particular functions within technical services. When the Executive Committee of the Board presented three scenarios for possible change to ALCTS, CRG was reflected in all of them as a division committee. This pleased the group as it seemed to reflect their willingness for us to become a committee.
The ramifications of this change were discussed during the CRG planning session. The possible reorganization of CRG committees to reflect its two main foci were also discussed. One focus is to request information from the affiliate groups and maintain a list of the affiliate groups to facilitate that. The other is to push information out to the affiliate groups, such as programs being held elsewhere and the availability of speakers for programs they may be providing locally. In addition, there was an expressed need for a communication group to handle the technology needed to handle these areas, such as our wiki, our ALA web page and our ALA Connect page, as well as our affiliates directory and speakers bureau.
At the second meeting, the membership meeting on Sunday afternoon, affiliates reported on their activities. They reported on the programs they are creating and other local news. Reports were given by the Potomac group, the California Technical Processing group, the California Library Association Technical Services Interest Group, the Minnesota Technical Services group, the Wisconsin group and the Nevada group. A sample of the programs include a workshop with Terry Reese on metadata, a workshop on rare book cataloging, a program on disaster preparedness, programs on RDA, and a program on social tagging in the library.
The reports from CRG committees were limited. The Speakers Bureau is now a virtual committee and the other two committees, affiliate relations and continuing education, were waiting to see what happens in the ALCTS and CRG reorganization, but Affiliate Relations made a brief report:
There were two main points of discussion:
- The Midwinter Meeting is officially virtual. Any members of the committee attending ALA Midwinter will meet informally
- The list of affiliate assignments is currently in ALA Connect and will be reviewed in light of the new roster.
The nominating committee is also a virtual committee. As a group, it was agreed that a communication group or at the least an individual with this responsibility, should assigned to handle CRG’s communication functions.
The CRG Executive Committee also met during the 2010 ALA Annual Conference. They focused on the reorganization and future of CRG and ALCTS.
For all the details of CRG meetings, see the CRG Wiki, CRG page on the ALCTS web site, and CRG’s Connect space.
Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS)
Karen E. K. Brown, PARS Chair 2009–2010
The first national preservation week had a successful launch this year (May 9–15, 2010). ALCTS events included the pilot online course, “Fundamentals of Preservation” (a LSSC approved ALCTS course), two free public webinars "Archival 101" and "Mold Prevention and Remediation" (together attracting more than 700 participants), and approximately thirty-five events nationwide posted on the Preservation Week web site. This was a collaboration that continues to grow. Founding partners include:
- Library of Congress
- Institute of Museum and Library Services
- American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
- Society of American Archivists
- Heritage Preservation
Key participants include the New Jersey State Library, the Regional Alliance for Preservation, FLICC, and NDIIPP. Preservation Week now has corporate sponsorship from Gaylord Brothers, FamilyArchives.com, Archival Products and the HF Group. A working group has been established in PARS to continue the work of developing this key ALCTS initiative.
The PARS Executive Committee unanimously approved the revised version of the Definition of Digital Preservation (September 2009). PARS published the Metadata Standards and Guidelines Relevant to Digital Audio online. This key tool, cited by NEH to assist applicants with grant proposals for audio projects, was prepared by the PARS Task Force on Audio Preservation Metadata in cooperation with the MLA BCC Metadata Subcommittee.
In addition to the courses cited above, ALCTS/PARS members provided several e-forums, including "Preservation Practices Today: Managing Shrinking Budgets and Changing Formats" (Peter Verheyen and Stephanie Lamson), "Disaster Preparedness" (Walter Cybulski and Nancy Kraft). Upcoming webinars include Disaster Response (June 9, Nancy Kraft), and Continuity of Operations (COOP) After a Disaster (August 18, also Nancy Kraft). A webinar on digital preservation is planned for fall, with a second offering of “Fundamentals of Preservation” in late August. ALA Annual meeting events, in addition to several exciting IG agendas, included Metadata Standards in Cultural Institutions (Saturday, June 26), Strategic Future of Print Collections (also Saturday), and National Preservation Week: Pass It On! (Sunday, June 27).
Winners of the two PARS awards were Michèle V. Cloonan (Banks/Harris), and Robert Harriman and Jeffrey Field (Cunha/Swartzburg). Karen Motylewski and Jeanne Drewes were the recipients of an ALCTS President’s citation to acknowledge the successful development of Preservation Week.
Karen Brown is working with the ALCTS Office on a PARS Member Needs Survey (in progress). In addition to making recommendations to the PARS Executive Committee as the outgoing Chair to improve the work on the Section, Brown plans to publish her results in 2011 (with E. Holmes). Three new Working Groups, appointed by the incoming Chair, include the Preservation Week WG, New Members WG, and Web WG. All PARS web pages have been migrated to the new format and updated as of May 2010.