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#4 -- [1984]

Biblio-Notes (ISSN 1076-8947) is published twice a year by the English and American Literature Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. Paper subscriptions are free to members of the section.


TIME: Sunday, June 24, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
: Dallas Convention Center, Room N-214
DISCUSSION TOPIC: Serials Selection and De-Selection for English and American Literature

: The panel will include three presenters.

Stephen Wiberley -- Bibliographer for the Social Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago. Mr. Wiberley published an important article on citation analysis in Library Quarterly (October, 1982) pp. 348-59. Just recently his article on subject access in the humanities appeared in LQ (October, 1983) pp. 420-33. He is an active member of an RTSD Serials Section Committee looking at the core serials list concept.

Richard Centing -- Head, English, Theatre and Communication Graduate Library, Ohio State University. Mr. Centing has been a frequent contributor to Serials Review. He is currently editor of "Periodicals for College Libraries" published in each issue of Choice. He edited the journal Under the Sign of Pisces: Anais Nin and Her Circle published between 1970 and 1982.

Wendy Bousfield -- English and American Literature/Linguistics Bibliographer, Syracuse University. Ms. Bousfield, formerly at Wichita State University, has recently published an article (which has received considerable praise) in Samore's second edition of Acquisition of Foreign Materials for U.S. Libraries (Scarecrow, 1982). She handled a major serials cancellation project while at Wichita.

Discussion will follow the presentations. Please bring any forms you use for serials evaluation in multiple copy (approximately 30) and be ready to share questions, comments, and experiences.

BUSINESS MEETING: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.



William McPheron is the new Vice Chair/Chair Elect and Stephen Lehmann will take on the secretary duties for the Discussion Group. Elected members at large are: John Dillon, Mina LaCroix, and Judy Reynolds. Craig Likness, currently Vice Chair/Elect, will become Chair.


William Miller, Michigan State University, supplies the following report on a session held at the 1983 MLA Conference in New York:

Several librarians addressed the question of the physical and intellectual state of literature collections in academic libraries at the recent Modern Language Association conference in New York. "Literature Collections in Academic Libraries: A Crisis Situation" was organized by Connie Thorson, of the University of New Mexico library. Thorson, in a paper entitled "Is Development of Literature Collections Still Possible?," was pessimistic. She worried about a lack of money, a proliferation of new courses, and an expansion of the areas which English and American literature bibliographers are expected to cover within their allotted sums, such as technical writing, area studies, Black literature, rhetoric and writing courses. She worried also about the unbridled proliferation of new journals and new faculty research interests. She called upon faculty members to make some choices, consult the library before launching new programs, and "ask themselves whether they want a collection that can support their narrow research interests of this week" or a more-broadly-based collection to serve diverse groups over time.

William Wortman (Miami of Ohio) focused on the physical condition of collections in his paper "The Decay of That Colossal Wreck." He worried about the decay of collections through sheer overuse, and suggested that many primary as well as secondary materials may no longer be available in many libraries. He worried also about the desultory and unplanned way in which collections have been compounded out of gift books, cheap paperbacks, and superceded [sic] editions which are never removed. He worried about uneven growth and commitments made during the 1960's which have not been maintained. Like Thorson, Wortman was concerned about the enlarging scope of English department interests, and the consequent need to have research-level collections in areas such as technical writing and film. In the midst of these problems, Wortman sees no decrease in the demand for and use of collections. He suggested that subject specialists as well as library directors might get together to promote sensible resource sharing, and suggested also that librarians and faculty members need to consult more about restricting the scope of graduate programs so that the library will not need to support dissertations in all areas.

Jeanne Sohn (University of New Mexico) discussed "Cooperative Acquisitions and Resource Sharing: Solutions or Placebos?" She presented an overview of the options, including interlibrary loan, the Center for Research Libraries, and RLG's work with joint collection development policies. She discussed the factors which inhibit cooperative efforts, and concluded that the solution rests in large part with the faculty, who must be willing to accept the concept of cooperation and not insist that their particular institutions be self-sufficient and all-encompassing.

William Miller (Michigan State University), in "Prognostication," stated that for the most part the problems of literature collections were not unique to these collections, but that literature collections do have some additional problems associated with them such as the continued relevance of older materials and the feeling among the users of literature collections that all items must be immediately at hand for potential use. Miller predicted that preservation and storage problems would eventually overshadow current concerns with acquisitions questions, and that efforts to deal with preservation problems would be too-little, too-late. He suggested that much material of a literary nature will eventually be available only in online form, and that this would be disconcerting if it occurred now, but will not be disconcerting by the time it does occur.

Disconcerting to the four speakers was the fact that their audience consisted almost exclusively of librarians, who were not the intended audience. The speakers decided after the fact that future programs held at MLA need to be presented and advertised in ways which faculty will perceive to be more immediately relevant to their interests. Such programs might focus on collection development in particular areas, or on computer developments which are currently of great concern in the teaching professions.


The following is taken from the ACRL Minutes of the Board of Directors, 1984 Midwinter Conference:

--The English and American Literature Discussion Group requested that the ACRL Board support the cost of printing and mailing its newsletter twice yearly which amounts to $35 or to permit them to charge a small fee of $3 per member to defray printing and mailing costs. Julie Virgo explained that at the present time discussion groups do not receive any money from divisions. In reality discussion groups are very active groups and some to [sic] have newsletters. The present policy is not to provide funding of any kind. If the first recommendation was accepted, it would require a change in policy. If the discussion group wanted to get funding it could become a section, but it would cost ACRL far more than to change the policy. Millicent Abel moved that the ACRL English and American Literature Discussion Group be permitted to charge a fee to members as necessary to defray production and distribution costs of its newsletter and, further, that the Board encourages the Group to use C & RL News as a vehicle for communication among its members. Imogene Book seconded the motion. The motion carried.

This matter will be scheduled for the June Business meeting.


Some of you were probably flabbergasted to receive the following two pieces of information from Professors Fulton and Colee, Washington State University in March. We supply them for those of you who did not. The Discussion Group responded quite negatively to this prospect several years ago. First Fulton's memo to cooperating libraries:

--Those of you who follow the grants section of the Chronicle of Higher Education know that the ULVS has not received support from any national source. An official at NEH confided that the Research Resources division was not prepared to fund anything like ULVS that did not make use of national computer networks, even though the project is clearly not adaptable to any existing system. However, the Washington State University Office of Grants and Research Development has extended its support to cover completion of the project.

--And the project will be completed--in August, rather than in February. The enclosed letter explains our present progress and set of deadlines. Incidentally, Michael Colee was recently invited to the annual meeting of the Art Libraries Society of North America where he read a paper on "Problems in the Control of Victorian Serials: A Report on the Union List of Victorian Serials."

--Thank you again for your support. The ULVS is going to be a very impressive piece of work, thanks to all of you.

Next Mr. Fulton's letter to Julia Johnson, an editor at Garland:

--This letter is to confirm some of the matters we discussed over the telephone two weeks ago, regarding progress on the North American Union List of Selected Victorian Serials.

--As of today, it looks as if we will have most or all of the Victorian serial holdings in over 400 libraries loaded on the computer. Shortly after everything is loaded, we will run two copies; a master copy and the one to break up into sections for editing. Our editors will each receive about 100 pages of rough copy, which they will return to us by June 15. Through June and July we will be loading corrections onto the disks and experimenting with type faces and formats. If all goes well, we will have a camera-ready manuscript to you in August.

--We plan to have the manuscript printed by computer (I'm not certain of the process as yet); are there any pitfalls we should be aware of? What is Garland's policy about computer-generated copy?

--Thank you for your patience.


Linda Sellers, Head of the SMU Reference Department, supplied the following pages on Dallas. We hope they prove useful. Of special note: the new Dallas Theatre Center company is getting rave reviews for all its recent productions. Hopefully something will be scheduled.

We not [sic] been able to determine if there will be any easy way established to get to the Fort Worth Art Museum district. If this service is not supplied by the convention staff, the only reasonable way to do it is rent a car.

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