ACRL

College & Research Libraries News

ACRL President’s report, 1985–86

By Sharon A. Hogan ACRL’s 47th President

ACRL’s past year in perspective.

For the Association of College & Research Li- braries, 1985–86 was a year of looking ahead: ex- pectations had been raised among members by the membership survey and President’s Program; ALA was reviewing its goals as an organization and its relationship with its divisions; a fourth National Conference was in the offing. En- ergy was high. Enthusi- asm abounded. The mis- sion of the organization was clearly going for- ward.

Five priorities had emerged from the Presi- dent’s Program: publications, continuing education, standards, liaison activity, and chapters. During the program, com- ments were solicited from members about ACRL activities in each of the priority areas, and ideas were generated for new initiatives or revitalization of ongoing programs. Worksheets from the confer- ence program were collated and reviewed by both the Strategic Planning Task Force and by the exec- utive officers. Suggestions from the membership thus became incorporated into the long-range planning effort as well as the immediate ongoing activities.

Issues of interest to ACRL members are as varied as the members themselves and activity among committees, sections, discussion groups and chapters reflects that diversity. However, some of the initiatives this year particularly reflect the priorities and interests of the members at large.

Sharon A. Hogan

•Several publications initiated by various ACRL units were published or in progress during 1985–86, including one new journal (Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship), and five new monographs. At least 15 publication projects are currently under consideration.

•The ACRL Board voted to build the Choice reserve over the next eight years to 15 % of its running expenditures.

Standards for College Libraries were approved by the Board of Directors in January and went to the ALA Standards Committee for review.

•The University Libraries Section appointed a task force to review the Standards for University Libraries. Hearings were held at ALA Annual Conference in New York.

•The ACRL Board voted not to charge for copies of the standards.

•A Standing Committee on Statistics was appointed and charged to review the work of the Task Force and to recommend a plan by which ACRL could assure its members that there would be a regular source of current library statistics.

•The Committee on Performance Measures moved closer toward drafting an outline for a manual.

•The Academic Status Committee revised the ACRL Model Statement of Criteria and Procedures for Appointment, Promotion in Academic Rank, and Tenure for College and University Libraries. Hearings on the Model Statement were held at Annual Conference in New York.

•The Strategic Planning Task Force revised the mission and goal statements for ACRL and drew up a list of high priority objectives for review by the membership at Midwinter. The strategic plan was presented to the ACRL Board at Annual Conference in New York.

As ACRL moved ahead quickly with strategic planning, ALA was also progressing with an association-wide plan, albeit at a slower pace. ACRL Board members participated in the ALA planning effort at the Midwinter Meeting and the ACRL staff have been quite involved at headquarters.

In other ALA/ACRL interaction, the ACRL Board voted to allocate money to help underwrite a continuation of the Divisional Leadership Enhancement Program and provided the ACRL President with extensive comments to take before a COPES hearing on the operating agreement. The Division President’s breakfast, an outgrowth of the Divisional Leadership Enhancement Program, began evolving into a more formal body with the agreement to formally address the operating agreement, to respond to COPES’ call for comment on the accounting procedures and to support a continuation of the Divisional Leadership Enhancement Program.

Continuing professional education is one of the goals of every professional organization and ACRL provides its members with a wide range of professional educational opportunities: journals, monographs, conference programming, chapter participation, workshops, and CE courses. This year certainly the biggest event was the Fourth National Conference held in Baltimore in April. Deemed a success by all measures, the 2,309 attendees from 48 states and 19 foreign countries were treated to engaging theme sessions, provocative research and idea papers, fascinating new product lines, extensive exhibits and a dazzling array of entertainments and feasting. All in all, the goal of providing an opportunity for talking and thinking of what we are all about as academic librarians was accomplished in an elegant and relaxing setting.

In addition to the National Conference, there was expansion in other areas of CE. The numbers of course offerings available to ACRL members was increased from 15 to 25. A research clinic, piloted at the Annual Conference in Chicago, was repeated at the Midwinter Meeting. Workshops intended for larger audiences than the traditional CE courses were introduced for the first time and finally two courses which evolved from chapter Special Programming Funds allocated to the California Chapter will become part of the ongoing CE courses.

ACRL is healthy. Personal and organizational membership both increased slightly over 1984-85. Margaret Beckman, executive director for information technology at the University of Guelph, Ontario, has been named Research Librarian of the Year; the naming of Ms. Beckman not only recognizes her many contributions to library management, automation, and building design but also underscores the geographic breadth of ACRL membership. Kentucky petitioned the ACRL Board for chapter status and in January became the 36th chapter. The Women’s Studies discussion group formally applied for section status and became the Women’s Studies Section, ACRL’s 14th section.

The past year has been very enjoyable for me. As president, for a brief moment of time, one has the unique perspective of seeing many individuals working on this problem, that issue or that publication, all of which will, in the end, become part of the fabric that makes up the whole of ACRL. It is an intensely exciting, humbling and stimulating experience and I am grateful for the privilege of having served as your president.

Choice ’s outstanding list

Choicemagazine published its 22nd annual list of “Outstanding Academic Books and Nonprint Materials” in the May 1986 issue. The 1985-86 list includes 36 titles selected from over 6,500 reviews published in Choice from March 1985 through February 1986. The breakdown of the 636 titles is: 601 books from 202 publishers and 35 nonprint titles (4 are microcomputer software packages) from 28 producers. Choice’s “Outstanding” list ranges between 9% and 10% of the total number of titles reviewed annually.

The actual title selections are made by Choice subject editors based on the reviewer’s opinion of the book; final selections are reviewed by the editor. Choice reviewers are teaching faculty and librarians in U.S. and Canadian institutions. The selection criteria include the importance of the work compared with other literature in the field, whether the material is the first of its kind published in book form or otherwise unique or definitive, and whether the work is of value to undergraduate students, and essential in building library collections.

Choicepublishes the list as a service to collection development and acquisitions librarians who are looking for the best books in an area to add to their libraries’ collections. Choice’s list meets this information need by identifying these “best books.” The list is also a tribute to quality scholarly publishing in the US today.

Reprints of Choice’s “Outstanding Academic Books and Nonprint Materials” list are available for $2.00 each, prepaid, from the Choice offices, 100 Riverview Center, Middletown, CT 06457.

Copyright © American Library Association

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