College & Research Libraries News

Philadelphia Conference Highlights

Philadelphia’s summer heat and stickiness and the frequent taxicab rides down narrow, crowded streets did not deter the 12,819 conference attendees from their busy schedule of meetings, programs, tours, informal discussions, receptions, and visits to the exhibit area.

Among the conference events were ACRL- sponsored tours of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and the Bucks County Community College Library, and fifteen program meetings. After ALA business was over, librarians had many opportunities for fine dining, visits to Independence Hall and other historic spots, enjoyment of the musicians, jugglers, and other street performers in Head House Square, and side trips to the zoo, the race track, the Society Hill shopping area, and even some of the many local libraries.

ACRL’s Program Meeting*

The ACRL program, “Fiscal Challenges and Responses in Higher Education,’’ was held in the Philadelphia Civic Center on July 12. After a business meeting in which Richard D. Johnson was officially congratulated for his successful year as acting editor of Choice, Frank Newman, president of the University of Rhode Island, opened the program with some thoughts on higher education in the 1980s. He envisioned the next decade as an era of intense competition for students and resources that will be made bearable by the universities’ recovery from their drop in prestige of the 1970s, an improved job market for graduates, and a shift towards the realistic use of advanced technology and human creativity. Newman said that librarians will need to become skillful managers who not only can choose successful programs, but who can also convince administrators that those programs comprise a solid plan for the future.

Herman Kahn (left) and Frank Newman in debate.

William Budington receives ACRL’s Research Librarian of the Year Award.

Oscar & Associates

Herman Kahn, futurist and director of the Hudson Institute, Croton-on-Hudson, New York, presented several scenarios of what may be in store for the world in the coming decades. He foresees five major technologies that will shape the 1980s (microprocessing, biotechnology, space transport, robotics, and superconductivity), but he believes that through all this advancement books will not become obsolete. Kahn peppered his talk with many remarks that were designed to generate controversy or at least to stimulate thought, such as: “Many modern troubles are caused by the inability of sociologists and engineers to deal with problems that would have been simple without graduate training”; and, “Libraries are in trouble, not because there are not enough funds around—they are hurting because people who earn now want more of a say in how to spend their money.’’

The ACRL Reception was held afterwards at the University of Pennsylvania Faculty Club. The Baker & Taylor Company provided abundant refreshments and presented the ACRL Research Librarian of the Year Award to William Budington, librarian at Chicago’s John Crerar Library.

The ACRI/Baker & Taylor reception

Oscar & Associates

Audiovisual Committee*

“The Use of Non-Print Resources for Scholarly Inquiry” was the program sponsored by ACRL’s Audiovisual Committee and co-sponsored by the Library Research Round Table and the RTSD Audiovisual Committee. Cathleen Flanagan, University of Utah, gave an overview on non-print resources, while specific case studies were presented by Jane Lange, National Archives and Records Service Audiovisual Division, and Marie P. Griffin, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University.

Bibliographic Instruction Section*

BIS sponsored an interesting program on bibliographic instruction theory entitled “Back to the Books: Bibliographic Instruction and the Theory of Information Sources.’’ Patrick Wilson, School of Library and Information Studies, University of California, Berkeley, presented his humanistic theory of bibliographic instruction called “Pragmatic Bibliography,’’ and was followed by Frances Hopkins, reference librarian at Temple University, who offered a practical application of Wilson’s method. A quantitative approach to BI was offered by Conrad H. Rawski, School of Library and Information Science, Case Western Reserve University, who spoke on “The Nature of Literatures: A Synergetic Attempt.” Comments on Rawski’s interpretation were then made by Thomas Kirk, Berea College.

Black Studies Librarianship Discussion Group "

A panel of librarians and scholars discussed “Prospects for the Future of Black Studies Collections and Librarianship” at this group’s annual meeting. Valerie Sandoval, acquisitions librarian for New York Public Library’s Schaumburg Center for Research in Black Culture, spoke about specific methods of selecting and acquiring Afro-American studies materials. Ann K. Randall, Brown University, observed that bibliographic control of Black studies collections has increased dramatically since the 1960s and the current thrust is toward resource sharing and the use of online databases for describing and locating unique resources.

College Libraries Section*

“Theft in Libraries” was the theme of the well-attended CLS program, co-sponsored with the University Libraries Section, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, and ALA’s Resources and Technical Services Division. Some of the approaches toward solving the theft problem were: creating a security officer position for ALA who might be a contact person and who would be knowledgeable about procedures to take in specific instances (William Moffett); performing a self-inventory of security needs (Richard Boss); identifying in the open stacks materials that should be removed to special collections or other high-security areas (Daniel Traister).

* Cassette recordings of this event are available for purchase. Write ALA Cassettes, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, for further information. The quality of the recordings is very high, even for speakers who may have veered away from the microphone occasionally.

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“23 Years of Service To College and University Libraries”

Community and Junior College Libraries Section*

The CJCLS program, “Fiscal Challenges: The Two-Year College Response,” addressed the specific budgetary problems that community and junior college libraries face. Speakers included Alice B. Ihrig, Moraine Valley Community College, who discussed fiscal politics, and Keith W. Russell, Council on Library Resources, who shed light on federal policies.

Continuing Education Courses

ACRL’s Continuing Education Program sponsored eight CE courses in Philadelphia on July 8-9. The oneand two-day courses attracted 137 ACRL members and non-members from academic, public, and special libraries across the country.

Maureen Sullivan, Association of Research Libraries, led participants in “Librarians As Supervisors” in a discussion of current managerial concepts and practices. Abandoning the total lecture approach, Sullivan strongly encouraged participation by members of the group.

Participants in Dennis Robison’s “Establishing the College Bibliographic Instruction Program:

The Director’s Role” considered the components essential to establishing a BI program within the academic institution. In a relaxed atmosphere participants were able to ask questions and voice concerns while Robison provided information and practical advice on dealing with a variety of situations.

Through a series of exercises and surveys, Grady Morein, University of Evansville, led a group of 29 participants toward an understanding of the factors which influence the library’s position within an academic institution. The program, “Strategies and Tactics for Enhancing the Role and Position of the Library within the College or University,” was conducted informally and afforded participants an opportunity to share ideas and meet colleagues with similar concerns.

In “Time Management and Conducting Effective Meetings,” Sheila Creth, University of Michigan, provided means of identifying and solving those most frequent time problems as well as the most frequent and frustrating problems related to committee meetings. Creth’s enthusiasm and the clarity of her presentation inspired the group’s confidence.

David Cobb of the University of Illinois and Charles Seavey of the University of Wisconsin explored the information potential of maps in “An Introduction to Maps in Libraries: Maps As Information Tools.” The knowledgeable and personable duo entertained participants’ questions and discussed the resources available to librarians interested in map collection development and reference.

Frank Newman (left) chats with David Weber after the program.

In “Teaching Methods for the Bibliographic Instruction Librarian,” Cerise Oberman, University of Minnesota, presented information on learning theory and practice in instruction methods to a group of 24 participants. Those attending were able to evaluate their own teaching approaches and learn new ones. Oberman’s own presentation reflected many of the teaching methods she discussed.

Participants in “Writing the Journal Article and Getting It Published” were supplied with an overview of the publishing process as well as a discussion of how participants might devise effective strategies for publishing their own work. Through handouts and a writing exercise Richard Johnson, State University College at Oneonta, led the group through a review of some grammar basics and proceeded to a thorough treatment of manuscript presentation and submission.

To “Survey Research Methods” instructor Gary Golden, University of Illinois, participants brought specific questions related to their respective research work. Golden dealt with these individual questions in a well-organized fashion and went on to provide an overview of the methodology involved in conducting survey research.

In addition to course content, participants in general were pleased by the size of the classes which were small enough to allow for maximum interaction between instructors and students. Participants were also lavish in their praise of the well-air conditioned classrooms.

Barbara Macikas, ACRL program assistant for continuing education, noted: “Overall, the program in Philadelphia was a great success. The fact that we did get such a good turnout in these economically hard times is encouraging. I hope that the local offerings ACRL plans to co-sponsor with interested groups will bring the CE program out to those who might be unable to attend the national conference.”

Education and Behavioral Sciences Section

The EBSS program was entitled “Videodisc Applications in Education and the Behavioral Sciences.” The keynote speaker was William H. Ford, executive vice president of the International Institute of Applied Technology, who discussed specific programs developed for the U.S. Army and the University of Maryland, a College Careers Program, and the PATSEARCH system, all on videodisc. One of the panelists discussing the topic was Thomas Suprenant, University of Rhode Island Graduate Library School, who spoke on the effect of the electronic cottage on society.


The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section held its 23d preconference, “Growth in the Face of Diversity: The Business of Special Collections in the 1980s,” at the University City Holiday Inn, Philadelphia. Focusing on the practical work that librarians perform in a variety of institutional setings, the nine speakers raised issues both of simple coping and of continued growth even at a time of economic uncertainty. A particular emphasis was on the situation of smaller special collections. David H. Stain, Andrew W. Mellon director of New York Public Library’s Research Libraries, delivered the keynote speech and Samuel A. Streit, Brown University, spoke on deaccessioning. The 235 conferees also attended receptions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library and the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Rare Books and Manuscripts Section*

The RBMS program dealt with “Friends of Libraries in Support of Special Collections.” Presiding was Stephen Ferguson, Princeton University Library, who introduced the speakers who discussed their experiences with both formally and informally organized groups of friends. The speakers were Richard M. Ludwig, Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University; Margaret Maloney, Osborne Collection, Toronto Public Library; Anne-Marie Bouche, Albert M. Bender Collection, Mills College Library, Oakland; and Brian Rogers, Connecticut College Library, New London.

Slavic and East European Section*

M. Mark Stolarik, executive director of the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, moderated the SEES program entitled “Preserving Cultural Heritage: Ethnic Press and Ethnic Research Centers in the United States and Canada.” The five speakers detailed the problems encountered in collecting ethnic materials and the methods that their collections used to deal with specific situations.

Western European Specialists Section

“Resources of German-Speaking People” was the WESS program topic. Knut Dorn, of Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, and board member of the Deutsche Bibliothek, provided a general overview of publishing trends, patterns of cooperation, and bibliographic control of literature in the German-publishing countries. The text of his talk will be published in a future issue of the WESS Newsletter. Peter R. Frank, curator of the Germanic Collection at Stanford University, mentioned specific online search strategies, key reference works, and particular institutions that might help librarians keep up-to-date in the German language field. ■■

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