Volume 29, Number 3, Fall 2007

State Librarians Form Council to Meet Needs of Public Libraries in the Southeast

State librarians from twelve southeastern states have formed the Southern Council of State Library Agencies. The purposes of the Council are to: improve library services and further the development of library services; enunciate a position of members on regional and national issues of common interest; facilitate the sharing of ideas; provide a mechanism for cooperative activities; and enhance staff development for council members.

Twelve state libraries are members: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The initial board includes the following state librarians:

  • Carolyn Ashcraft, Arkansas
  • Mary L. Boone, North Carolina
  • David Goble, South Carolina
  • Rebecca L. Hamilton, Louisiana
  • Rebecca Mitchell, Alabama
  • Wayne Onkst, Kentucky
  • Judith Ring, Florida
  • Sharman Bridges Smith, Mississippi
  • Jeanne Sugg, Tennessee
  • Lamar Veatch, Georgia
  • J.D. Waggoner, West Virginia
  • Nolan Yelich, Virginia

The group recently met to adopt bylaws, elect officers, establish a dues structure, and determine the date, time, location, and topics of discussion for the next meeting. In addition, they discussed possible collaborative projects including mentoring and common services. The council plans to meet at least three times a year, generally in conjunction with another meeting where all member institutions are represented. The next meeting is scheduled for October in Omaha, where all state librarians gather for the annual Chief Officers of State Library Agencies meeting.

“I am very excited about the possibilities of the Southern Council of State Library Agencies,” stated Sharman Smith, executive director, Mississippi Library Commission. “Having such a forum among southeastern state library agencies will give state librarians an opportunity to discuss issues and strategies that affect our libraries and ultimately library services in the region. While each state library agency is unique, there are commonalities on which we can build. The Southern Council will facilitate sharing, networking, mentoring, and collaborating.”

Cal Shepard, SOLINET manager of consortial outreach, will act as the liaison between the group and SOLINET. SOLINET was instrumental in the establishment of this group and will provide ongoing assistance and support.

For more information, contact Cal Shepard or by phone at 404-592-4876.