Notes from the Chair

by John Cullars

WESS Newsletter

Spring 2000, Vol. 23, no. 2

Association of College & Research Libraries
© American Library Association

One of my and past-chair Stephen Lehmann's major concerns during the last year has been the Section's efforts to increase membership after changes in ACRL's membership structure resulted in individuals having the choice of one less sectional membership for free. WESS's newest standing committee, the Membership Committee, has experienced a gratifying success in its recruitment activities: the latest ACRL figures show the gain of 65 individual and two new institutional members. (I don't recall seeing any institutions on our Mississippi River extravaganza in New Orleans.) I offer the Section's heartfelt gratitude to the Membership Committee and its very proactive chair Gordon Anderson. The Executive Committee has endorsed the idea of a social event for each ALA meeting that will serve as a recruitment opportunity as well as allowing all of seasoned (stale?) WESSies to relax and become better-acquainted outside of our several hundred committees and discussion groups. (Really, people, the schedule is groaning, and so am I.)

These socials are the latest membership perks, joining our splendid newsletter-and I salute new editor Beth Remak-Honnef and offer the Section's gratitude to splendid service from past editors Marje Schuetze-Coburn, Jeffry Larson, and Charles Fineman - and the

Martinus Nijhoff International West European Study Grant. And speaking of Jeffry Larson, my congratulations to him as this year's recipient of the Nijhoff Award. In addition to our gratitude to Nijhoff's continuing support, I wish to thank Jean-Denis Touzot in the second year of Touzot's support of WESS's annual program.

As I mentioned in my previous chair's message, we will be using the Touzot contribution to bring distinguished scholar Dante Della Terza, from Rome to be the keynote speaker of our program in Chicago which is dedicated to the memory of Mario Casalini, whose loss is still deeply felt by all who knew him in WESS. The traditional close association of WESS with individuals of Mario Casalini's qualities is something that will always render WESS membership very special. WESS will continue to go beyond a preoccupation with the mechanics of our mundane duties as librarians and continue to value the richness of all those, on both sides of the Atlantic, who have come to be associated with books, the booktrade, and librarians.

A final, still developing advantage to WESS membership is that over the last two years a relationship between the Frankfurt Book Fair and WESS has been growing. The U. S. Embassy in Bonn is interested in expanding the relationship between German and North American librarians and is willing to sponsor the attendance of librarians recommended by WESS at the Frankfurt Book Fair. In my role as WESS liaison to the ACRL Board, I can testify to the enthusiasm of the Board for the continuation of WESS/ACRL participation. Nor is this the only such WESS presence at a European book fair; Adan Griego and Jeffry Larson attended LIBER in Madrid. It appears to me that our Section is really living up to its name. On to the next chair Jeff Garrett…

John Cullars, April 17, 2000

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