WESS Executive Committee Minutes

WESS Newsletter

Fall 2000, Vol. 24, no. 1

Association of College & Research Libraries
© American Library Association





July 11, 2000

Palmer House Hotel, Crystal Room

Present: John Cullars (Chair), Kathleen Hunter Rutter (Secretary), Emily Horning (Secretary-elect), Roberta Astroff (incoming Chair, Membership Committee), Elisabeth Remak-Honnef (Newsletter editor), Marje Schuetze-Coburn (Chair, Germanists Disc. Group), Helene Baumann (Member-at-large-elect), Reinhart Sonnenburg (WESSWeb editor), Barbara Walden (Vice chair-elect), Dick Hacken (Chair, Publications Committee), Gordon Anderson (Chair, Membership Committee), AnnMarie Mitchell (Chair, CMR), Leena Siegelbaum (member, Publications Committee), Kati Radics (Member-at-large), Nancy Boerner (member, Research and Planning Committee), Candace Miller (member, Membership Committee), Heleni Pedersoli (Chair, Romance Languages Disc. Group), Jeff Garrett (Chair-elect), Theresa Byrd (ACRL board liaison), Marianna McKim (Chair, Scandinavian Discussion Group)

Introduction and announcements: John Cullars convened the meeting. As individuals introduced themselves, they were encouraged to make announcements.

Helene Baumann asked for ideas for the Member-at-large’s contribution at Midwinter.

Leena Siegelbaum attended the SEES Executive Committee Meeting, and reported that Terry Miller would agree to be liaison to WESS.

Roberta Astroff, incoming chair of the Membership Committee, expressed concern that that position has too much responsibility for the social events. Beth Remak-Honnef agreed to help with local arrangements for the next annual meeting. The Executive Committee then expressed approval that SEES be invited to cosponsor future social events.

Jeff Garrett discussed WESS participation in book fairs. WESS proposed to the ACRL initiative board that WESS continue participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair as a collaborative ACRL event. ACRL approved $500 in travel subsidies for two ACRL members (not necessarily from WESS) and funding for one ACRL staff member who would attend to judge the usefulness of this participation. ACRL needs clarification of the benefits of participation as well as the need for Internet access as a reference function. Althea Jenkins feels the choice of the funded participants is up to WESS. Jeff expressed his hope that we could invite a participant from another section (Women’s Studies or SEES). The focus this year is Poland, so SEES may be more appropriate. Barbara Walden emphasized that this has been a WESS initiative from the start and should not be totally subsumed by ACRL.

Jeff explained the international nature of the fair, and that it is not limited to German interests but includes Eastern Europe, Canada, etc. Selection criteria for the participants were discussed. It was agreed that the process should remain open, and that others are welcome to attend and participate using their own institutional support. The application process needs to be completed within two to three weeks. Barbara and Jeff will then send a short list of applicants to the Executive Committee. They will also send out a request for other volunteers who wish to attend. Five rooms have already been reserved and three spaces are still open (one for SEES, one for WESS, one open). Jeff will contact Knut Dorn about other accommodations in Wiesbaden and Kati Radics will email Jeff the names of inexpensive hotels.

Theresa Byrd was introduced and commented that ACRL seems pleased with the Frankfurt program. She is willing to commend WESS development of this program to the ACRL board. Theresa Byrd then gave an update on ACRL activities:

Information literacy is a major ACRL concern. A consultant has been hired to deal with this issue.

A "best practices" web page is being set up for all library areas.

A job shadow day for mentoring is scheduled for February 2, 2001.

The strategic plan is posted on the ACRL homepage.

An academic excellence award has been established for various types of libraries.

ACRL has set competency standards for information literacy.

ALA’s Public Information Campaign information will be released during National Library Week.

UCITA deals with state attempts to change copyright laws and can have drastic implications for libraries.

WESS Manual Revision Group: John Cullars asked everyone to look at the web’s descriptions of their groups and to email all suggestions for changes to the Revision Group. These suggestions will be presented to Publications at Midwinter and then to the Executive Committee. Jeff will ask Melissa Cast about ACRL backing for handbook revisions. Dick recommended that the Secretary and committee chairs check for accuracy of everything to be posted to the web.

Committee Reports

Membership Committee: Gordon Anderson announced that over 130 people attended the cruise, our social event for this year. The committee’s plan for the upcoming years includes an investigation of how to increase participation and conference attendance of the nearly 600 existing members and how to attract new members. Ideas included contacting library school students, approaching members of other ALA/ACLR groups, and attracting minorities.

2000 Program Planning Committee: John Cullars reported than about 100 people attended the program, Italian Studies and Italian Cultural Presence in North America: A Tribute to the Life and Contributions of Mario Casalini. The program was very successful, and there is a desire to publish the proceedings in consultation with ACRL and/or Casalini Libri.

Publications Committee: Dick Hacken summarized the meeting. An archive of past newsletters is being formed. Bruce Swann will work on a link between the ACLR/WESS membership roster and the WESS directory. The WESS brochure needs revision to reflect changes such as the new name. We need to apply for funding a year and a half in advance and can repeat the request every two years, since there is ACRL funding available. Jeff Garrett will talk to Melissa Cast about this. We need a new text editor to help with changes. WESSWeb has a new Dutch Page (Laura Dale Bischoff); we are looking for a replacement for Jennifer Vinopal for the French Page; Reinhart Sonnenburg is investigating effective search engines; and the 2001 program papers will be added to in order to create a monograph for publication. Martha Zarate will serve as editorial liaison.

2001 Program Planning Committee: The program title is tentatively: "Exploding Canons: Including the Voices of Spain’s Excluded Communities." Three speakers have been identified.

WESSWeb: This group will meet next formally at the Annual ALA.

Scandinavian Discussion Group: Marianna McKim reported that 13 people attended, exchanged institutional news, and discussed the Scandinavian Studies web page, indexes compiled by various agencies, and national cooperative collection development in Scandinavian studies. Gordon Anderson is the new chair.

Germanists Discussion Group: Marje Schuetze-Coburn reported that 30 people attended. Mike Olson and Steven Schuyler (US representative of the Leipzig Book Fair) reported on that fair, comparing it to the Frankfurt Book Fair and describing its emphasis on East German publishing.

Christine Frodl gave an overview of the Deutsche Bibliothek and its national bibliographic services. Gary Handman and Dick Hacken gave an overview and demonstration of DVD technology in Germany. Marje announced that Marlene Manoff, Chair of WSS, reported that WSS would like to co-sponsor the WESS 2001 Annual Program.

Romance Languages Discussion Group: 30 people attended this session on both opera libretti and the Princeton Dante Project. Jane Penner spoke on the RISM project and Lyle Neff spoke on research tools with an emphasis on Internet resources. Dr. Robert Hollander demonstrated the Princeton Dante Project for the group. Sarah Wenzel is incoming chair.

Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Discussion Group: 15 members visited the Newberry Library on a tour led by Dr. Paul Saenger, George A. Poole III Curator of Rare Books, who also described the focus of collection development at the Newberry and research fellowship opportunities sponsored by the library. A highlight of the tour was the exhibit "Florentine Humanism and the Church Fathers" curated by Paul Gehl. Heather Ward is the designated Secretary/Chair-elect of the discussion group.

History and Social Sciences Discussion Group: Ceres Birkhead submitted a description of this meeting. Sam Dunlap reported on the History and Social Sciences web page. The group offered suggestions for additions to the page, including a travel book site at the Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen; ACUNET; German parliamentary papers; links to antiquarian bookdealers and bookstores; and electronic map collections. Discussion followed about future plans for the page, dialogue with SEES, and future program topics.

Research and Planning Committee: The program, European Initiatives in Library Cooperation and Technology, cosponsored by WESS, the ALA International Relations Round Table, and the Goethe-Institut USA/Canada was well-attended. Patricia Manson spoke on European Commission initiatives, and Dieter Fellner and Elmar Mittler spoke on European digital library projects. Kathleen Hunter Rutter is the incoming chair.

Newsletter: Beth Remak-Honnef will add a "Help Wanted" column to the Newsletter, noting opportunities for WESS member to contribute to the various WESS publications and web sites.

Kathleen Hunter Rutter, Secretary


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