News from ALCTS

2011 Award Winners Announced

The following individuals have received awards and will be honored at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Congratulations to all the award winners!

ALCTS Outstanding Publication

Karen Coyle is the winner of the 2011 ALCTS Outstanding Publication Award for her article “Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata” which was published in Library Technology Reports 46, no. 1 (January 2010) | more

Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement

Jan Merrill-Oldham, Harvard University (retired) is the 2011 winner of the Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. | more

Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award

Roberta Pilette, Yale University, is the 2011 winner of the Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award. | more

Best of LRTS

Whitney Baker and Liz Dube are the 2011 winners of the Best of LRTS Award for their article “Identifying Standard Practices in Research Library Book Conversation” which was published in Library Resources & Technical Services 54, no. 1 (January 2010): 21-39. | more

Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resource Management

Jason Price, The Claremont Colleges, is the 2011 winner of the Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resource Management.| more

Leadership in Library Acquisitions

Eleanor Cook, East Carolina University, is the 2011 winner of the Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award. | more

LBI George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Award

The 2011 winner of the LBI Cunha/Swartzberg Award is California Preservation Program, Julie Page and Barclay Ogden. | more

Margaret Mann Citation

The late Edward Swanson is the 2011 recipient of the Margaret Mann Citation. | more

Outstanding Collaboration Award

The 2011 winner of the Outstanding Collaboration Award is the Open Folkore Project, Indiana University Libraries and American Folklore Society. | more

Esther J. Piercy Award

Marielle Veve, University of Tennessee, is the 2011 winner of the Esther J. Piercy Award. | more

Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship Award

Peter McCracken,, is the 2011 recipient of the Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship Award. | more

New Library Collection Management Blog to be Launched by the Collection Management Section

The ALCTS Collection Management Section launched a blog entitled Collection Connection: The Library Collection Management Blog ( in March.

Steven Harris, Director of Collections and Acquisitions Services, University of New Mexico Libraries, will serve as Blogmaster. Harriet Lightman, Head of Academic Liaison Services, Northwestern University Library, will serve as Associate Blogmaster.

The Collection Connection provides an online forum for discussion, announcements, and current information related to the issues of collection management and development. Although it is located on the ALA web site, the blog is available to all and will not require ALA, ALCTS, or CMS membership. All librarians and individuals interested in library collection management are welcome.

New blog posts will appear at least once each week. Harris and Lightman will be regular contributors to the blog, and occasionally, an invited guest will expound upon some collection management issue or activity. Readers will be able to respond to blog posts, and all are welcome to get involved in the Collection Connection. Please check out Collection Connection, and join our discussion about library collection management.

Enter the Interest Group Coordinator

Dale Swensen, Brigham Young University

Shortly before the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, I was given the great honor of being appointed ALCTS’ first-ever Interest Group Coordinator. As one of my first acts, I set my sights on writing an article for ANO to explain all there is about interest groups—a sort of “everything-you’ve-always-wanted-to-know-but-didn’t-know-who-to-ask” kind of affair. When I mentioned this to ALCTS President Cynthia Whittaker, she was kind enough to take me under wing and explain—in her own unassuming way—that she had essentially done that in the September issue.

So, humbly acknowledging my oversight, I refer you to Cynthia’s article, “ALCTS Interest Groups.” It offers a wonderful, concise explanation of what interest groups do and how to get involved in one. I recommend it to any ALCTS member who wants to know about this critical component of ALCTS organization. Since Cynthia has already taken care of my original task, I thought I would devote my article instead to discussing my new assignment.

The position of Interest Group Coordinator was originally proposed as a part of organizational restructuring that the ALCTS Board has been discussing for the past two years. While many, if not most, of the suggested outcomes of those discussions are still being debated, the Board members were fairly certain from the start that they wanted someone to help facilitate and manage the forty-some odd interest groups that would continue to form a crucial part of our association. Thus, they took action on that part of the discussion right away.

My charge is fairly simple: to serve as an information conduit to and from all interest groups on behalf of ALCTS and the Program Committee, to manage communications among interest group chairs via an electronic list and a special space on ALA Connect, and to serve as a resource and contact to anyone wanting to form an interest group or seeking advice on how to manage one.

I must admit that my qualifications for this job did not come from many years of participation on interest groups. I am sadly lacking in that area, a deficiency I am now trying to remedy by attending as many interest group meetings as I can whenever I go to the ALA Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference. I did, however, gain a deep appreciation for the important role these groups play from the four years I served on the Organization & Bylaws Committee.

I look at interest groups as the part of ALCTS that puts power into the hands of lay members. Anybody can start one—all you have to do is have an interest that falls within the ALCTS’ scope and find nine other ALCTS members that share it—and there you go. Once begun, interest groups have the potential to help you establish new contacts at other institutions, make new friends in ALCTS, broaden your understanding of relevant issues, and discover new and improved practices.

Several weeks ago I noticed a cartoon in the newspaper that caught my eye. In it a man walks up to a teller at a bank and says “I’d like to open an account.” The teller looks at him with an expression of boredom and replies “Who cares?” A caption below the scene makes an odd sense of this rude encounter: “interest-free checking.”

The humor of this little comic drew an immediate smile from me, but later on in the day I started thinking about this word interest and what it means in the contexts of the cartoon and of our own interest groups. If “interest-free” means that nobody cares, it must follow that “interest” means “caring.” Could this possibly mean that we have interest groups because people care about our profession, because they are passionate about what they do? I believe the answer to that question is yes.

Contact Dale at

WANTED: Book Reviewers for LRTS

Norm Medeiros, Haverford College

I have been appointed LRTS Book Review Editor following Edward Swanson’s untimely passing on December 10, 2010. Having served with Edward on the LRTS Editorial Board for several years, I can attest that his will be a tough act to follow. A successful book review column, like the one Edward oversaw, is reliant on enthusiastic volunteers willing to share their expertise—a microcosm of the way ALCTS remains a vibrant, productive organization. To this end, among my early goals is to build a broad and diverse set of reviewers with whom to match books. Please contact me if you are interested in serving ALCTS in this way or if you are simply intrigued by the opportunity and would like to learn more. I am happy to discuss the process with you. I may be contacted at