WESSWEB - Western European Specialists Section

1990 WESS Section Review


Asssociation of College and Research Libraries
Planning Committee
Section Data and Review Form

1. Name of Section: WESS (Western European Specialists Section)

2. Name of person filling out form: John R. Kaiser

3. Phone number:

4. Number of members during each year since the last section review:

5. In your review of the section's charge during the preparation of this review, did you identify needed changes? Please note needed revisions if any.

The charge as listed in the 1989-90 ALA Handbook of Organization remains a valid one. The charge is broad enough to allow for a variety of activities.

6. When you reviewed the section's committee charges during the preparation of this review, did you identify needed changes? Please list needed changes.

No needed changes.

7. Are there committees which are no longer needed? New committees which should be formed? If so, please discuss.

All established committees are functional and should be maintained. The Continuing Education Committee, an ad hoc committee, was dissolved. During its tenure, the Continuing Education Committee had prepared a session at the RBMS pre- conference in Minneapolis in June 1990 on collecting strategies for West European Special Collections. It also designed and produced the recent WESS brochure and was being considered as the body to oversee the selection of WESS liaisons to other ALA groups as well as to non-library professional organizations. The committee was commended for its work. However, to avoid a proliferation of meetings it was decided that the Publications Comittee would overtake the production of the brochure, and Research and Planning would oversee the choice of informal liaisons. Three new discussion groups have been formed- College and Medium-Sized Libraries, Scandivanianists and Romance Languages.

8. List the programs or other events, such as pre-conferences, sponsored or co-sponsored since the last section review.

New Directions in Old World Research: Western European Studies from Classical Antiquity to the Renaissance: Implications for Libraries, June 1987 (Co-sponsored by the History Section of RASD and by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ACRL): ALA Annual Conference Program.

Shared Resources, Shared Responsibilities: Libraries and Western European Studies in North America and Europe. Florence, April 1988. This was a highly successful international conference and the first of its kind to be sponsored by ACRL.

Strangers in New World: Migration Studies in Europe and America. July 1988 (Jointly sponsored by ACRL/ANSS): ALA Annual Conference Program.

Austria, Switzerland and the two Germanies: Collection Building and Bibliographic Control. June, 1989. (Co-sponsored by the RASD Collection Development and Evaluation Section and the RTSD Resources Section): ALA Annual Conference Program.

The Next Decade: Issues, Strategies, and Opportunities for Special Collections in the 1990's. June, 1990. (Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Preconference. WESS co-sponsored)

Translation: The Craft, Politics, and Access. June, 1990. ALA Annual Conference Program.

9. List the publications or other products issued by the section since the last review.

Western European Specialists Section (pamphlet prepared by the WESS Ad Hoc Continuing Education Committee, August, 1989)

Directory of Western European Specialists in North American Libraries, 2nd edition, June, 1990

The Papers of the Florence Conference are being compiled for publication as a special double issue of Collection Management.

Western European Studies: Current Research Trends and Library Resources. WESS Conference Program papers (1987-1989) have been published by ACRL as WESS Occasional Papers, #3.

10. List any projects completed during the review period which were not listed in the previous two questions.

WESS Manual underway in 1990-1991. Guidelines are being written to describe the function, qualifications, selection, and term of appointment for the Newsletter editor.

11. Has the ACRL Strategic Plan been helpful to you in planning your unit's activities? Please discuss.

The Strategic Plan provides a structure for planning. Copies of the Strategic Plan could be useful to chairs of standing committees and discussion groups whereby proposed programs and projects could be geared to meet the inventory goals or sub- goals.

12. Are there goals or activities of your unit, whether formal or unstated which are not directly related to the ACRL Strategic Plan? If so, should they be added to update and extend the plan? Please discuss.

An unofficial brief history of the past projects and activities of WESS was compiled. In addition, a chart was made of all committees and discussion groups, listing members over the years. This was shared with the Research and Planning Committee to give the members some idea of WESS' past. It was felt that it was important to know where WESS had been in order to assess where it might go in the future.

13. Are there goals you had to drop or curtail due to insufficient resources? If so, please discuss.

No. Absence of ACRL funds have limited options of selection of speakers.

14. Are there additional goals or kinds of activities which the unit would like to undertake in coming years? If so, please describe and indicate how the unit's charge or goals and objectives statements would be affected.

In order to have the WESS Section function effectively, a WESS Manual will be completed (Outline by Martha Brogan attached). This will include a brief history of WESS as well as giving the functions and responsibility of committees, chairs, etc.

There will be an ongoing review of the WESS Newsletter so that it best meets the needs of WESS members. A new newsletter column, featuring new and noteworthy references works has been developed. To keep members abreast of what's happening with WESS, a "Wess' Chair's Column" has been included as well as a new and attractive newsletter format.

15. If new activities are contemplated, are there existing activities which could be curtailed (or goals which have now been achieved), so that the unit can reallocate existing resources?

The Directory Subcommittee of the Publications Committee has been discontinued.

16. Does the unit have a formal review or evaluation process to examine its structure, goals, or activities? If so, please describe.

The Research and Planning Committee has been charged to "systematically evaluate the structure, goals, and activities of WESS." The committee already has the charge "To plan and review the activities of the section under the direction of the Executive Committee."

17. To help the Planning Committee review the following committees, please discuss the effectiveness of your interactions with them: Budget and Finance Committee, Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Membership Committee, Publications Committee, Standards and Accreditation Committee.

Please add any additional comments you may wish to make.

To sum up, it is felt that WESS has a tight, effective structure. It will continue to sponsor and co-sponsor programs of interest to WESS members and others. The development of a WESS officer's manual should strengthen its structure and enable all WESS members to operate efficiently within the Section. New life has been breathed into the Section by the recent chairs. Assunta Pisani, John Dillon, and Martha Brogan are to be commended for their outstanding leadership.


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