College & Research Libraries News

Notes from the president

By Barbara J. Ford ACRL President

Executive director search

The first meeting of the search committee for the ACRL executive director was held in mid- September. Members of the search committee are: Maureen Sullivan (chair), Hiram Davis, Barbara Ford, Lee Hisle, Bill Moffett, Elizabeth Salzer, and Patricia Wand. Letters involving nominations and applications for the position have been sent, and the committee has begun screening applicants. A special effort has been made to ensure that we have a diversified pool of applicants for this important position. The timetable calls for interviews this fall and early winter and (if possible) an executive director in place by January 1, 1991. We will keep you informed about the progress of the search in future issues of C&RL News.

Executive Committee fall meeting

The ACRL Executive Committee (Barbara Ford, Anne Beaubien, Bill Moffett, Rochelle Sager, Leslie Manning, and Cathleen Bourdon) will meet November 9-10 in Chicago. The fall business meeting is held at the same time as other ALA divisional boards so that we have the opportunity to discuss topics of interest with the officers of other divisions. Items on the agenda at this point are the ACRL Strategic Plan revisions, the report of the ACRL Financial Development Task Force, the final report of the ACRL Task Force on Recruitment of Underrepresented Minorities, recommendations of the ACRL Task Force on Paraprofessionals in Academic Libraries, and recommendations from the ACRL Appointments and Nominations Committee. Please contact us if there are other topics you think the Executive Committee or ACRL Board should be discussing.


Elsewhere in this issue you will find information inviting you to volunteer for ACRL committees. There is also an article by a recent chair of the ACRL Appointments and Nominations Committee answering some of the questions ACRL members have had about committee appointments. This year we made an effort to appoint members who volunteered and did not have any other appointments. I have been impressed by the many talented ACRL members who have volunteered to serve on ACRL committees. We will continue to make appointments to special committees throughout the year and to fill vacancies when there are resignations. I encourage you to send in the volunteer form if you are interested in getting more involved in ACRL. Even if you have volunteered before and not been appointed, try again, since there are always more volunteers than positions.

Liaison activities

The Association of American Colleges invited ACRL, an affiliate organization, to host a session during their annual meeting in January 1991 in Washington, D.C. We have accepted their invitation, and Evan Farber from Earlham College, who is also a member of the ACRL Board, agreed to organize a session for ACRL. The program will be titled, “The Coming Information Overload: Issues for Teaching and Learning.”

The chair of the Libraries Liaison Committee for the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers has asked ACRL to help them plan a session for their annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in February 1991. They are interested in any issues and concerns that we might want to address to publishers. The one topic that does not fall within the mission of this committee is journal pricing—that is within the scope of another committee.

ACRL is now a member of the National Forum on Information Literacy, which was formed in response to the report of the American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. More than 20 national organizations are members of the Forum. ACRL is invited to attend the Forum meetings and to participate in plans relating to information literacy.

International activities

In August I went to Stockholm, Sweden, to present a paper prepared by JoAn Segal and myself on performance measures and academic libraries. The University Libraries and Other General Research Libraries Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) invited JoAn to present a paper on the manual for performance measures that ACRL has developed. We decided that presenting the paper jointly would highlight the importance of staff and member cooperation on association projects. Since JoAn was busy with her new position, I presented the paper. There was much interest in the ACRL project and many requests for information on how to purchase the new manual at the ALA booth in the IFLA exhibit hall.

In June I represented one of six libraries participating in a meeting of the Libraries Working Group of the Mexican/American Commission on Cultural Cooperation in Mexico City. Working with seven Mexican librarians from public, government, and academic libraries we established recommendations for cooperative programs in three areas: human resources, materials resources, and library and information services. These recommendations will be presented to the entire commission at its next meeting.

While international activities were not at the top of issues ranked by ACRL members in the recent membership survey, I continue to be impressed by how these issues remain of great concern and interest to members. International topics were discussed in a variety of ACRL program and committee meetings in Chicago. In Stockholm at IFLA there were a considerable number of academic and research librarians who are active ACRL members. Despite this, several members have expressed concern that many of the recommendations in the report of the Task Force on International Relations have not been acted upon. In the months ahead I plan to work with the ACRL Board to address these issues.

Information literacy

A special thank you to everyone who has responded to my request for help in defining information literacy and finding quotations or other information relating to the topic. In a future issue of C&RL News I will share some of the ideas I have received. A special committee has been working with ALA Graphics to develop some products relating to information literacy, and another committee has been soliciting articles on information literacy for C &RL News. A program related to the topic is also planned for the ALA Annual Conference in Atlanta next year. Please let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions about how we can continue to work with the concept of information literacy.

Help needed with casebook on library support staff

At the 1990 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, the ALA Standing Committee on Library Education (SCOLE) and the Office for Library Personnel Resources (OLPR) Advisory Committee received one of the 1990 World Book-ALA Goal Awards to carry out a year-long project to address issues relating to education and staffing of library support staff. The project will include development of a “casebook” characterizing the status of library support staff issues, focus group interviews with selected support staff and librarians, a preconference at the 1991 ALA Annual Conference, and recommendations for fostering effective articulation and role definition of support staff.

OLPR is asking for your assistance with this project in the following ways:

1. For the casebook, a bibliography of relevant research since 1965 will be compiled. Your help is needed to identify both past studies and researchin-progress that you may be aware of, especially informal studies and in-house projects.

2. Your comments and suggestions for ideas to be included in the casebook are welcome. ALA is interested in what you see as the most pressing issues related to support staff education and personnel utilization/staffìng.

3. At the 1991 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago (January 12-17), SCOLE and OLPR will be conducting focus group interviews to gather information on support staff issues from both support staff and librarians. Interviewers will also be trained to conduct focus groups within their own locales. If you know of someone who would be interested in being interviewed or trained as an interviewer, write to OLPR and they will contact them at a later date regarding specifics. State library associations are especially urged to consider funding at least one support staff person from their state to attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

4. ALA needs to identify both support staff and professionals who would be interested in attending a 1991 preconference at the 1991 Annual Conference (date still to be determined, possibly June 27 or 28).

For further information, contact Margaret Myers, ALA/OLPR, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795; (312) 280-4278.

Copyright © American Library Association

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