Chapter 10: Policy Statements

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Archives

ASCLA maintains official files for all ASCLA groups. These files are retained in the ASCLA office for five years and then are transferred to the ALA Archives at the University of Illinois/Urbana. If ASCLA units have materials for the ALA Archives, they may send the materials to the ASCLA office.

The following types of materials should be preserved: constitution and bylaws; statements of function or duties of offices, chairs, etc.; lists of offices, members of committees; reports; minutes; programs and proceedings; records of all projects and other activities proposed; policy decision statements; questionnaires (one copy, annotated to show to whom and when sent); forms (one copy); treasurer's report; biographical information, and unpublished papers.

The following types of materials should be discarded: general correspondence; duplicate materials; materials superseded by more complete reports; materials pertaining to other units that would otherwise be retained by the issuing unit; miscellaneous business records such as invoices, payment records, etc. Source: Instructions for preparing materials for the ALA Archives, 1985.

Research agenda

Introduction

The topics and questions listed below are intended to address research needs of those who provide state library services, cooperative library services, and services to special populations (e.g. people with a visual or physical disability, the deaf community, people with developmental disabilities, people who are mentally ill, or people in prisons or institutions). The questions are grouped into five general topics: Futures, Funding and Education; Planning and Decision Making; Measures of Productivity and Value; Client/User Satisfaction Measures; and Cooperation. The phrase "specialized and cooperative library agency" is meant to be an inclusive term that would refer to one or more of the following organizations:

State library agencies (those organizations created or authorized by the state government to promote library services in the state through the organization and coordination of a variety of library services);

Specialized library agencies (those organizations that provide materials and services to meet the information needs of persons whose access to library services is limited because of confinement, sensory, mental, physical, health or behavioral conditions);

Library agencies providing interlibrary cooperation and networking (which cross jurisdictional, institutional, or political boundaries, working together to achieve maximum effective use of funds to provide library and information services to all persons above and beyond those that can be provided through one institution).

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), with membership from state library agencies, specialized library agencies and other library agencies providing interlibrary cooperation and networking. ASCLA and its members are aware that adequate information and insight from research is necessary to support the planning, decision making, and prioritizing necessary for developing specialized and cooperative library services. It is hoped that the questions in this research agenda will stimulate projects that will provide this information and insight for ASCLA members.

Futures, Funding and Education

  • What services will best be provided by specialized and cooperative library agencies in the coming 10–15 years?
  • What will be the roles of state libraries and cooperative library agencies in the next 10–15 years?
  • What economic, political and leadership factors contribute to the success of specialized and cooperative library services?
  • What aspects of library and information science curricula teach and foster the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed by future professionals providing specialized and cooperative library service?
  • What kind of continuing education programs would improve the performance of veteran specialized and cooperative library agency staff professionals?
  • What emerging technologies will impact specialized and cooperative library agencies? How will these technologies impact?
  • What factors (e.g. architectural, technological, staffing, budget, leadership, etc.) best enable libraries to provide services to special populations?

Planning and Decision Making

  • What are the leadership styles and tools of successful specialized and cooperative library agency managers? How can leaders create an environment that encourages innovation, creativity, and efficiency?
  • What impact does the increasingly diverse clientele have on planning in specialized and cooperative library agencies?
  • What impact does the increasingly diverse clientele have in planning service to special populations?
  • What are some internal economic models of financially well managed specialized and cooperative library agencies?
  • How can specialized and cooperative library agencies collaborate with users and other communities in the design of services?

Measures of Productivity and Value

  • What existing cost/benefit methodologies can be used by specialized and cooperative library agencies?
  • What forms of evaluation and measurement are the most realistic and meaningful when analyzing specialized and cooperative library agency services?
  • What forms of evaluation and measurement are the most realistic and meaningful in evaluating services to special populations?
  • What measures can specialized and cooperative library agencies use to demonstrate the contribution of the agencies to larger public goals (such as economic development, education, environment protection, etc.)?

Client/User Satisfaction Measures

  • How can existing consumer satisfaction measurement methods be adapted to the needs of specialized and cooperative library agencies?
  • How can existing consumer satisfaction measurement methods be adapted to measuring library services to special populations?
  • What effective strategies can be adapted to marketing the services of specialized and cooperative library agencies?
  • How can state and cooperative library agency effectiveness support client use of information and adaptive technology?

Cooperation

  • What impact does membership in a library cooperative have on member libraries' clients' access to information?
  • What private sector/public sector issues affect specialized and cooperative library agency policies?
  • What factors best facilitate cooperation among member libraries of specialized and cooperative library agencies?
  • For what services is geographic proximity important for regional cooperation?
  • How can libraries serving special populations collaborate with users and other agencies to provide best services?
Source: ASCLA Board, February, 1994