College & Research Libraries News


Activities and Plans

In the early months of 1964 Ward Morehouse (director of the Foreign Area Materials Center, State Education Department of New York) and Jackson Bailey (professor of history, Earlham College) as members of the Committee on Undergraduate Education of the Association for Asian Studies, wrote to the officers of ACRL, expressing the concern of the Association for Asian Studies in developing programs of Asian studies at the undergraduate level. In promoting these programs the Association realized the inadequacy of library collections and that many librarians had neither the experience nor the knowledge to develop such collections. The Association hoped that librarians might become concerned about this matter as well.

This appeal to ACRL resulted in the establishment of the Committee on Non-Western Resources under the College Libraries Section. The first meetings, spaced and paced by the ALA sessions of Midwinter and annual conferences, were exploratory. Representatives from groups interested in these developments were invited to meet with the committee: the Asia Society, the Association of American Colleges, the Library of Congress, the United States Office of Education. One element recurred throughout all the discussions: the work of the committee should be directed towards librarians of those undergraduate colleges with small library collections. Their problems were completely different from the large universities which were developing extensive and specialized collections. In these institutions there were usually both librarians and faculty with knowledge and experience of materials in non-Westem areas. It was the librarians of the smaller colleges who needed to be informed and assisted in the scope of materials in the subject field as well as in their acquisition and processing.

The activities of the committee have taken two directions. One has been in the form of instructional meetings: a pre-conference at Douglass College in 1966 prior to the ALA meetings in New York, the program meeting of the College Libraries Section in 1967 at the time of the ALA meetings in San Francisco, and for this year, another preconference before the ALA meetings in Kansas City. The format of these sessions were influenced by a week-long institute held at Earlham College by the Great Lakes Colleges Association in 1965. Teaching faculty were asked to participate and the essence of these programs has been the exchange between faculty and librarian—between those who were teaching courses on non-Western areas and those whose responsibility it was to develop the library collection which is needed to support the teaching program. Representatives from professional associations and related organizations were also involved: the Middle East Institute, the American Universities Field Staff, Education and World Affairs, and others.

The committee’s other role has been as advisor and consultant to the Foreign Area Materials Center in a contract it has with the United States Office of Education. The project involves the preparation of a series of bibliographies on East Asia, South Asia, and Africa south of the Sahara which are specifically directed towards undergraduate libraries. These bibliographies, in their preliminary form, will be ready for discussion by the committee at the time of the preconference at Kansas City in June.

With the Kansas City preconference the committee will have carried its message from the East Coast to the West Coast and South. The planning of its future activities will be reviewed at that time, but they will be in line with the Statement of Purpose of the committee:

The role of the Committee on Non-Western Resources of the College Libraries Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries is to identify the bibliographic, staff and acquisitions problems with which college libraries are faced in supporting and implementing programs for the study of non-Western areas at the undergraduate level; to identify professional associations and information sources concerned with such programs; to maintain liaison with these associations as well as with other American Library Association committees also concerned with non-Western programs; and to disseminate information thus acquired to college librarians through whatever means seem appropriate.

The first chairman of the committee was Charles M. Adams (University of North Carolina at Greensboro); the second, Anne C. Edmonds (Mount Holyoke College); and the present one, André Nitecki (School of Library Science, Syracuse University). Past and present members of the committee are: Paul H. Bixler (Antioch College), Bruce M. Brown (Colgate University), Jean Black (Portland State College), Dorothy Drake (Scripps College), Evan I. Farber (Earlham College), Mother E. O’Connor (Manhattanville College), James H. Richards, Jr. (Carleton College), J. Michael Rothacker (Wabash College), and David Wilder (University of Manitoba)—Anne

C. Edmonds.

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