Committee Reports

These reports summarize ALCTS committee activities up to and during the 2012 ALA Annual Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, Texas, held January 19–23, 2012.

ALCTS Division | Acquisitions (AS) | Cataloging & Metadata Management (CaMMS) | Collection Management (CMS) | Continuing Resources (CRS) | Preservation & Reformatting (PARS)

ALCTS Division Committees

Affiliate Relations Committee

The Affiliate Relations Committee is pleased to report that the transition from a section to a committee looks well enough in hand that we all agreed that we no longer need to meet on Friday evenings at conference for our Planning Meetings. We have planned what we needed to, and the regularly scheduled committee meeting slot on Sunday is sufficient.

Major discussion at the meeting on Sunday concerned the progress of our “Affiliates Showcase” program for ALA Annual in Anaheim. Susan Mueller, the coordinator of the showcase, reported that after tweaking the call for presenters, we have enough presenters to fill the showcase, including presenters from both academic and public libraries. We are still a couple of months ahead of the deadline, so we may have more to choose from.

We divided the states up among the committee members, and everyone went forth to get updated continuing education and directory information from their state and regional organization. With the new ARC structure, we have a reasonable ratio of groups to committee members, roughly 3 to 1. Info is already being updated on ALA Connect.

Louise Ratliff volunteered to put all of the CRG wiki documentation on ALA Connect, so that the treasure trove of documents is not lost as we move to the new ALA Connect world.

We realized that Susan Mueller, who has been coordinating the Affiliates Showcase, isn’t an official member of ARC. At the ALCTS Board Meeting on Monday, a request was made to Carolynne Myall, the ALCTS Vice-Chair, to officially appoint Susan to ARC.

Budget and Finance Committee

Fiscal year 2011 ended on August 31, 2011 with the final close being at the end of October. ALCTS had a good year once again, despite the poor economic conditions and their impact on library budgets. Final revenue was $683,633, nearly $170,000 more than the budgeted figure, and the gains continued to be with continuing education. Final total expenses, including contribution margin and overhead, were $544,446. This figure was also over budget by just over $44,000 due to continued cost-cutting measures and continual monitoring. Salaries and other employee expenses were the largest single expense. This produced net revenue of $139,481 and the reserve stood at $348,163 giving us both the required cushion and the ability to fund some specific projects outlined at the end of this report.

The first quarter of fiscal year 2012 finished at the end of November. Trends so far are similar to last year and membership dues continue to trend down lagging budget by 3 percent; LRTS revenue and book sales continue to be below budget. The Continuing Education registration fees continue to be a good source of revenue, but they are about half what they were this time last year. Other expenses that support Continuing Education and Preservation Week were also higher, but such expenses support items that are of direct benefit and value to the membership at large. At the end of the FY12 first quarter we had revenue of $120,070; expenses were $109,960 with a net of $10,110.

There were some initiatives that we felt we could fund due to the relatively healthy fiscal balance. Some expenses were approved for the upcoming PLA conference in March, including a booth that was not previously budgeted. The Transforming Collections Task Force requested two micro grants for up to $1,500 each, and these were approved. There were also some preliminary discussions at Midwinter on creating a budget line for an institutional repository for ALCTS.

ALA trends are similar to those that ALCTS is seeing, but overall ALCTS is in a better financial position.

Continuing Education Committee


The CE Committee presented five e-forums between August and December 2011. The first e-forum of 2012, on “The Incredible Shrinking Cataloging Department: How to Do More With Less” generated a great deal of interest and an equally large number of responses to the post e-forum survey.

Membership on the e-forum list is fairly stable, with nearly three thousand subscribers. Feedback on the e-forums continues to be positive and there is a consensus that monthly sessions of two days is appropriate. Summaries of the e-forums will be published in ANO.

Online Courses

ALCTS web courses continue to attract attendees. In calendar year 2011, five courses were offered:

  • Fundamentals of Collection Assessment ( one session; 14 students)
  • Fundamentals of Collection Development & Management (five sessions; 87 students)
  • Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions (five sessions; 93 students)
  • Fundamentals of Acquisitions (four sessions; 79 students)
  • Fundamentals of Preservation (five sessions; 52 students)

Responses to postcourse surveys are generally favorable. The maximum number of students per session is twenty. Some courses attract more students than others. As new courses are added, older courses may be offered less often. Several of the courses are currently being revised or will be revised in the near future.

Satisfactory progress is being made on the long-awaited Fundamentals of Cataloging and a new course on Digital Preservation will be developed in the second half of 2012, with testing scheduled for early 2013.


ALCTS webinars continue to deal with timely topics and attract substantial audiences. Sixteen webinars were offered between August and December 2011 including the free session on August 1 with Deanna Marcum and Beecher Wiggins on LC’s plans for implementing RDA.

Nineteen webinars have been scheduled between February and June 2012, including two free sessions for Preservation Week, and a complimentary session scheduled for February 29 entitled “The Black, White, and Gray Areas of Licensing: a Review and Update for Librarians and Publishers.”

Webinars for the second half of 2012 are now being scheduled. RDA continues to of great interest and webinars on a variety of RDA related topics will be offered. At the same time, the committee realizes that new and emerging topics must be identified. Keeping an eye on quality is also an important factor.

Virtual Midwinter Symposium

Although the virtual midwinter symposium “Launching Your Star Potential: Leadership for Today’s Libraries” was not technically an ALCTS CE Committee event, three CE committee members (joined by the chair of the ALCTS Planning Committee) were engaged in planning and members of the CE Committee’s Technical Support Sub-committee provided technical support.

Seventy-three individuals and thirty-four groups registered for the virtual symposium. Anecdotal information suggests that there may have been as many as five hundred people attending some of the sessions.


In 2011, publicity releases were made on a quarterly basis, followed by individual announcements for each CE event (online courses three weeks before the start of the course; webinars and e-forums two weeks in advance). The transition to in July 2011 went smoothly.

Other Matters

Using revenue from continuing education, ALCTS hired Alyssa Novak for a period of one year as a part-time assistant for Julie Reese to provide support for webinars.

Reviewing workflow and timing when scheduling new events is a high priority for 2012.

CE committee members have promised to provide technical support for the virtual preconferences planned for June 2012. However, a solution for providing technical support for virtual events (symposia, preconferences, programs) on an ongoing basis will be considered jointly with the ALCTS Program Committee and a proposal brought forward before Annual.

There is interest in collaborating with the ALCTS Papers Series. If the timing for a publication cum webinar could be arranged that could be a valuable marketing strategy.

Membership on the CE Committee requires a high level of commitment and constant engagement. The committee’s success is due to the active participation and contribution of every member and subcommittee member.

Fundraising Committee

The Committee secured a $1,500 sponsorship from OCLC for the Midwinter Symposium, “Libraries, Linked Data and the Semantic Web,” and a $1,500 sponsorship from Harrassowitz for the ALCTS Online Course, “Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions.”

Committee member Beth Callahan is serving as the committee’s liaison to the Preservation Week Working Group. Beth is helping to coordinate the group’s sponsorship tasks with the Committee’s work.

  • At our in-person meeting the committee:
  • Planned for ways to create a takeaway item for potential sponsors using the 2007 Sponsorship Opportunities document as a foundation. A draft will be complete by March 1.
  • Reviewed the list of ALCTS programs and preconferences planned for Annual 2012. The committee generated lists of possible sponsors for each program and assigned individual committee members to follow up with asks.
  • Reviewed webinars with similar discussion of potential sponsors and assigned some asks to committee members. Webinar sponsorships were more difficult to identify than other ALCTS offerings.

International Relations Committee

The IRC reviewed plans for our program at Annual 2012, “RDA Worldwide.” We have four speakers representing Germany, Mexico/Central America, New Zealand and China. Troy Linker of ALA Publishing will be invited as well. The program will be cosponsored by the CaMMS RDA Forums and Programs Task Force and CC:DA.

We are currently ranking applicants for the 2012 ALCTS Online Course Grant Awards. We received approximately 90 applications for the eleven course sections beginning between February and August. Those not awarded seats will be considered for the remaining 2012 course sections, as well as put on a waiting list for potential additional empty seats in course sections. We have received applications from librarians in Palestine, which is not a recognized nation in the United Nations/World Bank lists. After consultation with ALCTS Executive Director Charles Wilt, we will notify these colleagues that their applications will also be ranked with the others, to be considered for additional empty seats if available.

The Committee discussed the ALA IRC’s 2015 Strategic Plan, which parallels ALA’s overall 2015 plan. We noted those suggested activities in the ALA IRC plan that we could either contribute to, or to some extent already address. The Chair provided a response to the ALA IRC team following the meeting.

Leadership Development Committee

ALCTS Board’s consideration of adopting policy of virtual meetings for Midwinter was discussed.

  • Cynthia explained that Board wants to figure out “how to make virtual work”
  • Part of proposed change would be to have new members attend meetings at Annual immediately prior to their official appointment
  • LD Committee may be asked to provide guidance on training for leading virtual meetings (both technical and non-technical aspects of such leadership)
  • ACTION: interested committee members will begin gathering information on best practices for virtual meetings and potential platforms for such meetings

Online orientation for incoming committee chairs.

  • Discussed outline for hour-long orientation to be presented in a webinar format between committee chair appointments (April) and Annual (June 22-25, 2012)
  • See attached outline and timeline for details
  • ACTIONS: See timeline; please note need for committee volunteers for specific tasks

Joint discussion with Membership Committee followed. The ALCTS 101 event will be held Friday, June 22, 7:45-9 pm; volunteers needed to participate in speed dating format.

LRTS Editorial Board

Tim Strawn, chair of the LRTS Editor Search Committee, gave a status report. The goal is to have a new editor appointed by May 1, with July 1 as the start date. This will allow overlap with the current chair.

Christine McConnell reported that progress is slower than hoped with implementing e-LRTS.

Peggy Johnson reviewed her annual editor’s report, previously distributed to the Editorial Board. She noted a drop in the number of submissions and reported that other LIS journal editors have seen a similar trend, coupled with an increase in foreign submissions.

Norm Medieros, LRTS Book Review Editor, outlined highlights of his previously distributed report.

The meeting concluded with reports from Board members on their activities to solicit submissions and a brief discussion of possible topics for submissions.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee approved its minutes from its 2011 annual conference in New Orleans. The minutes of that meeting have been posted in the committee’s space in ALA Connect.

The ALCTS Organization & Bylaws Committee is conducting its five-year review of the Membership Committee. At its meeting in Dallas, the Membership Committee discussed this review and what information it needed to submit to the Organization & Bylaws Committee for the committee’s review and renewal. The committee examined its charge, the ALCTS Strategic Plan, and the questions sent to the Chair by the Organization & Bylaws Committee in December 2011. After a lively discussion, the committee answered questions about its work, activities, structure, and governance. The chair will compile this information and submit it in a report to the Chair of the Organization & Bylaws Committee by April 2012.

The committee discussed plans for the upcoming ALCTS 101 program that will be held on Friday, June 22, 2012 from 7:45-9 pm in Anaheim. As with last year’s ALCTS 101, this year’s will be a collaborative event planned by the Membership Committee and ALCTS New Members Interest Group (ANMIG). Members of the committee stated a preference for holding this year’s event in the Convention Center in order to take advantage of traffic from the opening night of the exhibits. The committee offered suggestions for the content of the ALCTS 101 program as well as how to publicize it and what type of giveaways to have at the event. The committee agreed to do a better job of advertising the event to library school students and library school faculty. Library school student attendance at last year’s ALCTS 101 in New Orleans was lower than in previous years.

Since ALCTS 101 typically ends after the conference shuttle buses have shut down for the evening, committee members proposed ideas for how ALCTS 101 attendees could get back to their conference hotels after the event. Ideas included: make an announcement at the opening of the event, informing guests of their transportation options; prepare a handout with the bus schedules and routes for local transit and distribute it at the beginning of the evening; offer to pair attendees for taxi sharing; and call taxis in advance and have them waiting for guests once ALCTS 101 ends.

Additionally, the committee discussed staffing the ALCTS space in the ALA Pavilion in the exhibits in Anaheim. The committee would like to have a presence there during the opening of the exhibits on the Friday evening of conference. Ideas for hand-outs and giveaways were suggested along with publicity for the event.

Many members of the committee staffed a table at the ALCTS member reception on January 21, 2012, where they greeted current and potential ALCTS members and handed out ALCTS giveaways. Those committee members who participated in this activity enjoyed the event and the evening. The ALCTS giveaways and ribbons were a big hit with the reception-goers, according to the committee members who participated in the evening. After a brief discussion, the committee agreed that it would like to participate in this event again at Midwinter in Seattle in January 2013.

The chair gave the committee an update on the messaging project it worked on in the spring of 2010. The messages the committee had created then have not been used or sent out, but the chair reported that Christine McConnell is thinking about how best to send out and use these messages in 2012. Late in 2010, the committee revised these messages to include information about the ALCTS New Members Interest Group (ANMIG) in its “welcome to ALCTS” message and to add a personal touch and signature to all of its messages. Virtual committee member Emily Nimsakont took on the task of revising the four messages and will be the committee’s contact person on the messages. The messages created by the committee include: a “Welcome to ALCTS” message, a “Thank-you for renewing your ALCTS membership” message, a “Congratulations on your membership anniversary with ALCTS” message, and a “Did you forget to renew your ALCTS membership?” message.

At the end of its meeting, the committee met jointly with the members of the Leadership Development Committee for fifteen minutes. The purpose of this joint meeting was to determine if there were common areas of interest and/or programming where the two committees could help each other. The Membership Committee talked about its upcoming plans for ALCTS 101 in Anaheim and asked the Leadership Development Committee if they would be interested in participating in the event; the Leadership Development Committee updated the Membership Committee on their plans for hosting webinars on topics related to leadership, and how to be a successful leader or committee chair in ALCTS. To increase communication and familiarity with each other, the committees will try this joint meeting approach again in Anaheim.

On behalf of ALCTS and the Membership Committee, the chair attended the meetings of the ALA Membership Committee and ALA Membership Promotion Task Force. The topic of discussion for the ALA Membership Promotion Task Force’s meeting: outreach to library school students and library school faculty. The chair’s notes from these meetings will be sent to committee members electronically and posted in the committee’s ALA Connect page.

Organization & Bylaws Committee

Discussed renewal of MARBI (Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information, an interdivisional ALA committee). Form was good, decided to digest further and take electronic vote. Still waiting for rest of responses; we usually get them after Midwinter. Agreed on outline of updated Schedule Form of Renewals for Committees, Interest Groups and Sections. Cheri Folkner volunteered to put together form for committee to examine by March.

Betsy Simpson and Carolynne Myall visited to discuss virtual meetings and implications. Also went over the new meeting schedule. Committee members are pleased with it.

Planning Committee

The Planning Committee held a fairly brief meeting to discuss early feedback to the tracking mechanism. We discussed the structure of posts, and agreed to some minor changes to the instructions document. We also heard reports from section reps about work pertinent to furthering the Strategic plan.

Program Committee

Planning Annual 2012 Programs and Preconferences

The primary task of the Program Committee during Midwinter was to meet with each 2012 program or preconference planner. The program schedule for Annual 2012 is shaping up with 11 programs now confirmed, not counting the President’s Program. Currently, we have three confirmed preconferences, one in-person and two virtual. By March, program planners will have confirmed speakers and refined program descriptions, with assistance from the Program Committee. A preliminary program list for all ALA divisions is available at Watch the ALCTS and Annual 2012 web sites for updated program information.

Midwinter 2012 Symposia

ALCTS presented two Midwinter Symposia this year, one in person and one virtual. Both of these were well attended and well received.

  • Libraries, Linked Data and the Semantic Web: Positioning Our Catalogs to Participate in the 21st Century Global Information Marketplace (in-person), organized by Linda Smith Griffin and the ALCTS President’s Program Committee
  • Launching Your Star Potential: Leadership for Today’s Libraries (virtual), organized by Pamela Bluh, Keri Cascio, Cindy Hepfer, and Norm Medeiros.

Read coverage of the symposia in this issue.

Program and Preconference Forms

Following Midwinter, the Program Committee and ALCTS staff will update the program and preconference proposal forms to reflect that sponsorship (i.e., section/interest group approval) is optional. This will reflect our current practice. Another change will rewrite the “Program Chair” section to read “Your Name and Contact Details,” ensuring that the person using the form to propose a program understands that their own contact information is to be entered. Planning guides and more are available at

Annual 2013 Programs and Preconferences

It’s not too early to begin planning an ALCTS program or preconference for Annual 2013 in Chicago! An announcement will go out in late spring soliciting program and preconference proposals. We welcome proposals on the topics ALCTS covers from any source--ALCTS sections, interest groups, committees, task forces, as well as from individuals or other groups. Please contact co-chairs Angie Ohler ( and Susan Wynne ( or any member of the Program Planning Committee for more information.

Publications Committee

Guide to Patron-Driven Acquisitions by Suzanne Ward will be moved into the production phase by Christine McConnell. The Guide to Ethics in Acquisitions Librarianship manuscript is scheduled to be completed for review by the Acquisitions Section in summer 2012.

Sudden Selector’s Guide to Biology by Flora Shrode and Sudden Selector’s Guide to Chemistry by Elizabeth Brown were in the galley proofs stage in December 2011. The manuscripts of two additional guides on physics and geography and geographic information systems (GIS) are nearly ready for the review process. Sudden Selector’s Guide to Business Resources by Robin Bergart and Vivan Lewis, published in 2007 in print, is now available for purchase as a PDF.

The Planning & Construction of Book & Paper Conservation Laboratories: A Guidebook edited by Jennifer Hain and Eric Alstrom will be published in 2012.

Promoting the value of publishing with ALCTS was discussed and will continue to be pursued by the committee.