College & Research Libraries News

ACRL Membership Meeting, 1973

Russell Shank, the president of the Association of College and Research Libraries, presided at the 1973 membership meeting of the association held Monday, June 25, 1973, in the Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. The minutes of the 1972 membership meeting were approved. Dr. Shank summarized his annual report to the membership (CRL News, July/August 1973) and introduced the newly elected officers of the association. Beverly Lynch, executive secretary of ACRL reported on some of the activities of the headquarters staff.

Action of the ACRL Board of Directors

Dr. Shank reported on three actions taken by the ACRL Board of Directors at its meeting that morning:

Support of the Recommendations of THE FOURTH REVOLUTION—The first matter discussed was the ACRL board’s resolution supporting the report and recommendations of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education as stated in its report, The Fourth Revolution (American Libraries, Sept. 1973). In addition to its own endorsement, the board felt that the report should be endorsed by the American Library Association. Since it appeared that ACRL could not bring this matter directly to ALA Council for action, Dr. Shank asked whether there was a member of council present in the audience who would submit the resolution. Janice Gallinger, Chapter Councilor, New Hampshire, volunteered to submit the resolution to ALA Council. (Ed. note: ALA Council endorsed the resolution unanimously on June 28, 1973.)

ALA Dues Proposal—The second action of the board concerned a proposed new dues structure for ALA. The element of the proposal that was considered by the board was that dues be set at $35 a person per year. For $35, a person joins the American Library Association and selects membership in any divisions he wishes to join without further charge; all division journals would be available only by subscription, but monographs published by ALA would be available at a 10 percent discount to ALA members. The ACRL Board of Directors passed the following motion:

The ACRL Board of Directors supports the notion of lower ALA membership dues, but rejects the proposal that the basic dues permits selection of membership in divisions at no extra charge and that all journals be available only through subscription. The Association of College and Research Libraries offers the following alternative proposal: That upon payment of the ALA membership dues, one primary divisional affiliation may be specified and that $15 of the $35 basic membership fee will be allocated to the division for whatever purpose it deems necessary to carry out its programs, including the publication of a journal, and that additional divisions may be joined for additional fees.

Comments on ACRL’s action regarding the dues proposal were invited. The membership was urged to be sensitive to the impact of decisions like the dues proposal upon the powers of divisions of associations like ALA to mount their own programs.

Report of the ALA Committee on Standards—The third board action reported to the ACRL membership concerned ACRL’s response to the report of the ALA Committee on Standards. The essential part of the ALA report considered by the board was that all standards to be offered as ALA Standards must be submitted first to the ALA Committee on Standards for that committee’s approval or disagreement. In the ACRL Board of Directors’ view, the proposal would take from the division the right it now has to speak for the American Library Association in matters of concern to college, university, and research libraries and librarians. Approval of the ALA Committee on Standards’ report would change the present policies of ALA that assign to the division authority and responsibility for the evaluation and establishment of standards in its field (ALA Bylaw VI, sec. 3. (b) .2). The ACRL Board of Directors passed the following motion:

The ACRL Board objects strongly to the report of the ALA Committee on Standards insofar as adoption of that report would centralize authority for approval of all standards prepared by ALA units in the ALA Committee on Standards. The ACRL Board therefore insists that the approval clause of the report be deleted.

(Ed. note: Following discussion on the floor of ALA Council, Friday, June 29, 1973, the report was referred back to the ALA Committee on Standards for deletion of the approval clause.)

ACRL Committee Reports

Two ACRL committees reported to the membership, the Committee on Standards and Accreditation and the Committee on Academic Status.

Standards and Accreditation—Jasper Schad, chairman of the Committee on Standards and Accreditation, reported on several meetings he and members of his committee had with representatives of various regional accrediting associations and the Federation of Regional Accrediting Commissions of Higher Education (FRACHE). The Standards and Accreditation Committee will continue its work with accrediting agencies during the next year.

Mr. Schad introduced Johnnie Givens, the chairman of the Subcommittee to Revise the 1959 Standards for College Libraries. Miss Givens outlined the approach the subcommittee will take in the revision and the time table the committee will use. Miss Givens urged ACRL members to write to her regarding the revision. The subcommittee continues the work on revision begun by the committee chaired by Stanley McElderry.

Academic Status—Eldred Smith, chairman of the Committee on Academic Status, reported that the membership of the American Association of University Professors approved unanimously the “Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians” (CRL News, Sept. 1972) at its 59th annual meeting in St. Louis, April 1973. The Association of American Colleges still is considering the statement. Several state library associations and other agencies have endorsed the statement, and ACRL is continuing to further such endorsements.

Mr. Smith reported that the Academic Status Committee is providing information, advice, and help to academic librarians with respect to problems that arise in the area of academic status. The committee is implementing ACRL’s program of furthering academic status of librarians through contact and work with other organizations.

Mr. Smith informed the membership that ACRL has been hampered in its efforts to upgrade the kind of information and assistance ACRL provides academic libraries since ALA has not provided sufficient funding to support this program. The committee continues to press for financial support for the establishment of an academic status office in ACRL; it is critical if the program of academic status for college and university libraries is to be strengthened and expanded.

The draft of the “Model Statement of Criteria and Procedures for Appointment, Promotion in Academic Rank, and Tenure for College and University Librarians” (CRL News, Sept. 1973, Oct. 1973) written by the committee, was distributed to the ACRL membership at the meeting. Mr. Smith reported that the form was an attempt by the committee to elaborate the principles of the ACRL ‘‘Standards for Faculty Status for College and University Librarians” (CRL News, Sept. 1972) and the Joint Statement. The committee felt a sense of urgency in developing model documents in this area that could be of use to the membership of the association, since for some academic librarians the need is fairly critical. The Joint Statement and the Standards provide the rationale for academic or faculty status for college and university librarians; the model criteria essentially implements these statements by providing a general model that can be adapted from one institution to another. A long discussion followed on the various aspects of the model.

(Ed. note. Some revisions were made in the Model Criteria following the membership meeting and the second meeting of the ACRL Board of Directors.)

Other Business

Supporters of librarians whose positions were abolished at the library of the University of Chicago read a statement at the membership meeting. ACRL took no action in the matter, referring the librarians to ALA’s “Program of Action for Mediation, Arbitration and Inquiry”

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