College & Research Libraries News

ACRL Chapters

• The ACRL Iowa Chapter (Iowa Library Association, College and University Librarians Section) held its annual meeting October 21 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Guest speaker was Barbara Evans Markuson, executive director of the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority. Her topic was “Considerations in Network Planning.”

The business meeting included: (1) a vote to endorse the “Joint Statement on Faculty Status”;

(2) a report on the past spring workshop and the selection of the site for next year’s workshop; (3) election of officers; and (4) a recommendation made to the I LA executive board that a representative from the ACRL Iowa chapter participate on the planning committee for the forthcoming Governor’s Conference on Libraries.

• The ACRL New York/Ontario Chapter held its fall meeting on October 15 at Niagara College, Welland, Ontario. Twenty-nine librarians attended the one-day session, representing university, college, and research libraries.

The theme, “Economic Backlash: Its Implications for Libraries,” focused on an ACRL Eastern New York Chapter videotape entitled “Retrenchment In Higher Education: Implications for Libraries.”

Following the morning’s videotape presentation, four guest panelists spoke on specific areas being affected by budgetary constraints in the library field:

John Black, associate librarian, McLaughlin Library, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, spoke on “Reader Services”;

Tom' Drynan, chief librarian, Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology Library, Hamilton, Ontario, discussed “Technical Services”;

Hendrick Edelman, assistant director, development of collections, Cornell Unversity Libraries, Ithaca, New York, talked on “Collections”; and

Robin Murray, director, Scholes Library, Alfred University—New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred, New York, talked on “Administration.”

The afternoon session was given to group discussion under the leadership of the four panelists. An informal exchange of common problems and possible solutions provided a stimulating atmosphere for the participants.

• The ACRL Eastern New York Chapter was formed in the fall of 1975 and within two years has become well established. The chapter’s fell workshop was held at the Colgate University Library in Hamilton, New York, on September 30, 1977.

The meeting focused on six important topics of librarianship: copyright, closing the card catalog, collection development, library budgeting, library instruction, and OCLC for reader services. The format of the meeting was to have round table discussions on these topics in the context of the problems and challenges that librarians face today.

Madeleine Cohen Oakley of Cornell University and Karen Wittenborg of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany led the “copyright” discussion group. The consequences of the new copyright law, which will go into effect in January, were discussed, and participants considered the impact of the new copyright rules on interlibrary loan and reserve materials. The feeling of the group was that there would be some confusion in the beginning but that once librarians, professors, and students get used to the new copyright law, there may not be as many problems as are now foreseen.

The “closing the card catalog” discussion group was led by Linda West of Cornell University. There appears to be much interest, in large libraries, at least, in closing their card catalogs. One reason is that the Library of Congress will close its catalog in January 1980. Other reasons include the space consumption and size of existing card catalogs. It was an interesting discussion in which many alternatives, such as on-line systems, book catalogs and supplements, computer output, and microforms, were discussed. Many large libraries are thinking along these lines, and most changes will be made in the 1980s. The group also discussed how such closing would affect service patterns in libraries, staffing, budgeting, and the attendant problems of serials publications and nonroman alphabets. One question asked was: How much can we afford to depend on modern technology in view of the energy crisis?

The “collection development” group, led by Mary Beilby of SUNY Cortland, talked about the roles of reference librarians, bibliographers, acquisition librarians, and faculty members in collection development. Most of the participants agreed that, due to the tight money situation, subject specialists will play a greater role in the development and weeding of collections in the future.

Library budgeting is a problem for many library directors because libraries never seem to get their fair share of institutions’ budgets. Whenever there is a budget cut, the library is often the first department to suffer. Various budgeting strategies were discussed. The participants felt that library budgets depend a great deal on budget presentation, budget creditability, and librarians’ abilities to form strong interpersonal relations between themselves and the faculty and administration. Politics, of course, is always an important factor. This round table was led by Mahlon Peterson from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.

Jacquelyn Morris of SUNY Forestry and Anne Roberts of SUNY Albany were the leaders for the “library instruction” group. The discussion centered mainly on the credit course, with some emphasis on course-related instruction. It was mentioned that faculty backing and good planning are very important to successful programs in library instruction. Though there are problems involved in creating effective programs, the feeling was that it is essential for every institution to have an instruction program for the benefit of students and faculty.

OCLC is a good but expensive tool at this time to use in reader services. It seemed too early to judge the success of the system in this area, as only a few libraries have terminals for reader services. These terminals are also limited by OCLC’s current capabilities: no subject access, limited author access, limited weekend availability, etc. The participants at this session, led by Jane E. Roberts of SUNY Central Administration, Albany, concluded that, though OCLC is a compact tool and very helpful and fast in searching for books, conference proceedings, and government documents and in providing locations for these materials for interlibrary loan and other purposes, it still cannot replace a reference librarian.

This workshop was attended by more than 125 librarians. Many participants have expressed the need for more meetings of this kind.—Ravindra N. Sharma, Colgate University

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