College & Research Libraries News

ACRL President’s report

By Barbara J. Ford

ACRL’s 52nd President

Diversity and excellence characterize 1990-91.

Diversity and excellence are words that can be used to describe the past year for ACRL. Most of the work of ACRL is carried out by the sections, committees, discussion groups, and chapters. Members and staff work together to ac- complish ACRL’s goals of contributing to the professional develop- ment of librarians; en- hancing the capability of libraries to serve the needs of users; promot- ing and speaking for the interest of academic and research librarianship; and promoting study, re- search, and publications relevant to academic and research librarianship.

Barbara J. Ford

This year two topics have taken much more time and energy than could have been anticipated. With considerable staff turnover, recruiting and training new staff has been an important activity. The 1992 conference, with a change of site from Phoenix to Salt Lake City, has involved considerable time and emotional energy for staff and officers. Our values and priorities were put to the test as we attempted to balance a number of concerns and issues. In order to highlight the relation of ACRL activities to its goals, this report is organized according to the four goals of ACRL.

Professional development of librarians

ACRL offered a number of preconferences before the ALA Annual Conference. Topics ineluded accommodating change, financial and cost accounting, time management, cultural diversity in the academic library, library performance, cultural diversity and higher education, keeping the facts in artifacts, preparing for accreditation, and new technologies and new services,

ACRL provided the largest-ever funding for section and committee conference programs. ACRL and ALA funds were allocated by the Conference Program Planning Committee. Some program topics included: Glasnost and Perestroika; Folk Cultures of the Modem South; Video Collections and Copyright and Public Performance; Technology as a Barrier to Information Literacy; Staff Development; European Unification-1992: Impact on Information and Libraries; Initiating Performance Measures; Empowering the Public: Information Literacy for Environmental Issues; Accreditation Trends and Their Impact on Academic Libraries; Canceling Serials Titles; Excellence Through Cultural Diversity; Women’s Studies and Ethnic Diversity; WPA and the Arts; Black Families and Literacy; Institutionalizing Information Literacy in Higher Education; Information Literacy Issues in the African and Asian Context; Teaching Study Skills: The High School to College Experience; Alternative Sources of Revenue; Cooperation Between Academic and Special Libraries; Promoting Scientific Literacy and Education.

Planning for the ACRL 6th National Conference to be held in 1992 continued. “Academic Libraries: Achieving Excellence in Higher Education," will be the theme of the conference to be held in Salt Lake City, April 12-14, 1992. Joseph A. Boissé (University of California, Santa Barbara) is the chair of this important committee.

The College Libraries Section developed a mentoring program for new library directors and training for consultants for college libraries. Some ACRL award winners are Richard De Gennaro (Harvard College), Academic or Research Librarian of the Year; Donald E. Riggs (University of Michigan), interdivisional ACRL, ALCTS, LAMA, LITA Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award; and Carla J. Stoffle (University of Michigan), Miriam Dudley Bibliographic Instruction Librarian Award.

Enhance capability to serve needs of users

Information literacy products and activities have been emphasized this year in support of the ALA President’s focus on literacy. Activities included publishing articles in College & Research Libraries News; developing posters, pamphlets, and folders that are available from ALA graphics; presenting programs at ACRL chapter meetings; identifying advisors on information literacy; joining approximately 50 educational organizations affiliated with the National Forum on Information Literacy; and planning programs for the Atlanta conference. The President’s Program Planning Committee Chair is Mary Reichel (University of Arizona).

The Final Report of the study of “Alternative Sources of Revenue for Academic Libraries,” funded by H.W. Wilson Foundation, was published and a program on its findings was presented at the annual conference.

Pilot projects for linking Choice reviews to online public access catalogs at Carnegie Mellon University and the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries were initiated.

Members of the Afro-American Studies Librarian Section are studying indexing terms used by indexing services to identify trends to providing access to periodical literature in this area.

A bibliography project between ACRL and other ALA divisions was begun with the Modem Language Association.

In recognition of the importance of world issues to academic and research libraries and librarian- ship, the ACRL International Relations Committee was established. Maureen Pastine chairs this committee. Advisory boards were established to prepare directories of academic library advisors on accreditation, information literacy, and managing academic libraries.

ACRL worked with the Coalition for Networked Information to promote the National Research and Education Network (NREN), which will interconnect colleges, universities, and research organizations.

The Historically Black College and University Library Project (chaired by Beverly P. Lynch, University of California, Los Angeles) completed its final year with a variety of programs and activities. Projects have included a statistics project, accreditation workshops, and an NEH program grant for the humanities.

Promote and speak for interests of librarianship

A Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee was established in response to the recommendations of the Task Force on the Recruitment of Underrepre- sented Minorities. The ACRL Executive Committee approved a resolution on racial and ethnic diversity. The Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee began a column on diversity in College ir Research Libraries News and a survey of involvement in ACRL. This new committee is chaired by Susana Hinojosa (University of California, Berkeley).

An ACRL Task Force on the White House Conference on Library and Information Services produced “Academic Libraries: A Source of National Strength,” prepared a series of articles for College ir Research Libraries News‚ and worked with academic delegates to the Conference as well as other parts of ALA. Patricia A. Wand (American University) has chaired this very active committee.

The ACRL Legislative Network became operational this year through the efforts of the ACRL Government Relations Committee (formerly the Legislation Committee) and the Chapters Council. Hiram L. Davis (Michigan State University) chaired the Legislation Committee and Victoria A. Montavon (Rider College) chaired the Chapters Council.

The Professional Association Liaison Committee (chaired by Melvin R. George, Oregon State University) continued its efforts to promote strong relationships between libraries and other appropriate units. Programs were presented for the American Association for Higher Education and the Association of American Colleges.

ACRL participated with other ALA units in preparing “Libraries as Partners in Meeting Basic Learning Needs,” in response to the World Conference on Education for All.

ACRL cooperated with other ALA divisions in preparing “Implementing the National Goals for Education through Library Services,” in response to the National Education Goals from the Governor’s Conference.

ACRL President-elect Anne K. Beaubien (University of Michigan) announced that she has targeted recruitment as her theme for 1991-92.

Promote study, research, and publication

ACRL continues to publish College & Research Libraries‚ College & Research Libraries News, Choice, a monthly collection development journal, and the twice-yearly Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship. Beginning in 1991, Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship was indexed in Library Literature and the MLA International Bibliography.

The Research Committee (chaired by Charles T. Townley, Pennsylvania State University) began a mentoring project for new researchers using Bit- net.

The Bibliography Instruction Section’s Read Me First: An Owner’s Guide to the BI Model Statement was published this summer.

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section completed and published a second edition of the popular Genre Terms: A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloguing.

Audiovisual Policies in College Libraries, CLIP Notes #14,prepared under the direction of the College Libraries Section, was published this year.

An ACRL liaison effort with the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) resulted in the publication of the book Recruiting the Academic Library Director: A Companion to the Search Committee Handbook. The companion piece, written by Ruth J. Person (University of Missouri-St. Louis) and Sharon J. Rogers (George Washington University) is packaged with AAHE’s Search Committee Handbook and is available from ACRL.

With Gloriana St. Clair (Pennsylvania State University) as its first female editor, College & Research Libraries has worked to increase the number of book reviews and articles by college and minority librarians.

Organizational activities

Many staff changes took place at ACRL this year. A new ACRL executive director, Althea Jenkins, was selected; Mary Ellen Davis became the new editor and publisher of College & Research Libraries News; and Mattye Nelson served as professional development officer. During this time of change and flux, Cathleen Bourdon served very effectively as acting executive director. Chapters Council’s quarterly newsletter, Chapters Topics, has been expanded and reports in a timely manner about the wide variety of activities in each of the 41 chapters. Ray E. Metz (Case Western Reserve University) and Gail Junion-Metz edit the newsletter.

The Special Grants Committee (chaired by Natalie M. Schatz, Tufts University) reviewed proposals for ACRL funding and awarded grants to five ACRL chapter projects.

ACRL Board members were available to talk with members in an informal setting during poster sessions following the President’s Program.

After discussion of recommendations from the Appointments and Nominations Committee (chaired by Pat Rom, College of Wooster), the Executive Committee voted to increase the size of ACRL Committees to expand opportunities for involvement by ACRL members.

The Membership Committee and Chapters Council presented a workshop on membership recruitment. A survey of former members was also completed. Vicki R. Kreimeyer (Washington State Library) chaired the Membership Committee.

A Task Force on Organizational Members (chaired by Maxine H. Reneker, Stanford University) was established to address the needs of organizational members.

The Planning Committee simplified some its procedures and began reviewing the strategic plan. Michael D. Kathman (Saint Johns University) served very ably as chair.

The ACRL Board adopted an ACRL endowment policy and separate Choice endowment policy.

The Budget and Finance Committee monitored the 1991 budget performance to ensure that ACRL ends the year in good fiscal shape. Leslie A. Manning (University of Colorado) was a very effective chair of this important Committee.

By working together, we have been able to accomplish many important activities.


This report includes only a small number of the many important activities carried out by ACRL’s more than 11,000 members, 16 sections, 48 committees, 21 discussion groups, and 41 chapters.

I have found it rewarding and stimulating to be ACRL’s president and to work with so many talented and enthusiastic academic and research librarians. The association staff is excellent and without them the many important ACRL activities could not continue. Members and staff working together have contributed their time and energies to make ACRL a very successful organization. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with you as president.

Cooperating with other ALA divisions and committees on activities to advance librarianship has also been an important focus of the past year. By working together, we have been able to accomplish many important activities.

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