WESSWEB - Western European Specialists Section

Discussion Groups

Article VII, Section 3, WESS Bylaws:

"Discussion Groups. Informal discussion groups, to meet under the auspices of the Section at the time and place of the Annual or Midwinter meetings of the American Library Association, may be formed by any five or more members of the Section with the approval of the chairperson."

How to form a discussion group:

In accordance with the Bylaws, new discussion groups may be established by petitions addressed to the Chair bearing at least five signatures of WESS members and requesting the formation of the group. The Section Chair may seek advice from the Executive Committee but has final authority to approve the formation of the discussion group or not.

Membership and Officers of Discussion Groups:

Discussion groups are open to anyone interested in the subjects under discussion. The content and organization of discussions is at the discretion of the participants. Unless noted otherwise, discussion groups meet at both Midwinter and Annual meetings of ALA.

Each discussion group must have a chair, serving for one year, who takes responsibility for submitting time and space needs for meetings to the WESS Chair, develops and distributes agendas, and runs meetings. The Chair is elected by those present at the discussion group meeting held at the Annual Conference, or by a ballot mailed to current participants. The term of discussion group chairs begins after the Annual Conference at which selection is made, and continues through the next year's Annual Conference. Like the chair of a committee, the chair of a discussion group is responsibile for submitting an ACRL Meeting Highlights form to the ACRL desk in the ALA office area, with copies to the WESS Secretary and Chair. In addition, the discussion group chair reports on the activities of the discussion group to the WESS Executive Committee and twice a year provides a summary of recent activities and planned topics for the upcoming meeting to the editor of the WESS Newsletter.

Beyond a chair, each discussion group determines its own organizational structure. Some elect a chair and vice-chair or secretary who in turn becomes chair the following year; others elect a new chair every year.

Existing Discussion Groups:

General Discussion Group.

To discuss topics of current interest relating to the acquisition, organization and use of Western European materials.

This discussion group typically meets after the WESS program during the Annual Meeting. The Member-at-Large of the WESS Executive Committee has responsibility for organizing its meetings. This responsibility includes choosing a topic for discussion, publicizing it if possible in the WESS Newsletter, and leading the discussion. The first part of the meeting is devoted to business, leaving the last one to one-and-a-half hours for discussion.

Cataloging Discussion Group

Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Discussion Group

To provide a discussion and information-sharing forum for librarians with particular interests in Western Europe (including Greece) in the ancient, medieval and early modern periods.

Established in 1984, this discussion group has a chair, selected annually, and a secretary, who is also chair-elect.

College and Medium-sized Libraries Discussion Group.

To discuss topics of current interest pertaining to the acquisition, organization and use of Western European materials as these relate to the special situations of smaller library collections.

Established in 1988, this discussion group has a chair and chair-elect.

Germanists Discussion Group

To provide a discussion and information-sharing forum for librarians with particular interests in the German-speaking nations or in any aspect of German studies.

Established in 1988, this discussion group has a chair and a secretary/chair-elect.

Romance Languages Discussion Group

To discuss topics of current interest relating to the acquisition, organization, and use of materials emanating from the Romance-language-speaking countries of Western Europe, or pertaining to any aspect of the study of these countries.

Established in 1990, this discussion group has an annually elected chair and a secretary/chair-elect.

Scandinavian Discussion Group

To discuss topics of current interest relating to the acquisition, organization, and use of materials emanating from the Nordic countries of Western Europe or pertaining to any aspect of Scandinavian study.

Established in 1990, this discussion group has an annually elected chair, and a secretary.

Social Sciences and History Discussion Group

To provide a discussion and information-sharing forum for librarians with interests in Western European history and the social sciences.
Established in 1997, this discussion group has an annually-elected chair and secretary/chair-elect.

Special Topics Discussion Group

To provide a forum for thematic and geographical Western European topics not covered by other WESS discussion groups.
Established in 1997, this discussion group has an annually elected chair.


Copyright © 1995 by the American Library Association. This document may be reproduced or reprinted for educational, non-commercial use, in whole or in part, without permission as long as the above copyright statement and source are clearly acknowledged. Neither this document nor any reproductions may be sold.






Last revised: March 9, 2004
Please send questions or comments about this page to Reinhart Sonnenburg