WESS Membership Meeting Minutes

WESS Newsletter

Spring 2000, Vol. 23, no. 2

Association of College & Research Libraries
© American Library Association

January 18, 2000

Time: 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Present: Tom Izbicki, John Cullars, Kathleen Hunter Rutter (recording), AnnMarie Mitchell, Dick Hacken, Martha Hsu, Dennis Lambert, Charlotte Droll, Sarah G. Wenzel, Jeffry Larson, Glenn McGuigan, Gordon Anderson, Sem C. Sutter, Stephen Lehmann, Louis Reith, Susanna Nevin, Sarah How, Marianna McKim, Reinhart Sonnenburg, Heleni Pedersoli, Jeff Garrett, Nancy Boerner, Helen Baumann, Karl Fattig, Candace Miller, Kati Radics, Larry Hardesty, Ray English.

Introduction: John Cullars, chair, explained that scheduling issues and ACRL "no conflict" slots made it necessary to schedule the Membership Meeting on Tuesday this year. John introduced current members of the Executive Committee and candidates running for WESS offices in the next election.

The candidates are:

vice-chair/chair elect: Reinhart Sonnenburg and Barbara Walden; secretary: Emily Horning and Dennis Lambert; Member-at-Large: Helene Baumann and Fred Jenkins. He also introduced visitors from ACRL, including Larry Hardest, ACRL President; Ray English, candidate for ACRL President-elect; and Teresa Byrd, ACRL liaison to WESS.

John mentioned issues to be discussed in the meeting: the proposed WESS name change; the focus of the new membership committee; program support by Touzot; and a call for WESS Newsletter sponsors and news items.

WESS at the Frankfurt Book Fair: Jeff Garrett reported on WESS participation at the Frankfurt Book Fair, October 1999. He and Barbara Walden attended as representatives of WESS at this ACRL pilot project. On the fair’s "U.S.A. Day" they, as well as Mike Olson, Marcia Pancake and Jim Niessen presented papers. The booth attracted about 100 visitors, including U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Kornblum and Enes Kujundzic, director of the National Library of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The fair organizers are anxious to have WESS return and ACRL funding options are being explored as a means to continue U.S.-German library cooperation and to provide more opportunities for participation of WESS members.

ACRL Board: WESS and several other sections requested that language reflecting the international or global scope of ACRL activities be added in several places to the ACRL Strategic Plan 2005, which was done. It was suggested that WESS recommend a scholar of international renown to be a paid speaker at the ACRL meeting to be held in Denver in March 2001. Based on concerns expressed at Sections Council, suggested non-librarian speaker honoraria will be set at no more than $500 from ACRL, although a section may petition the ACRL chair for more if it feels circumstances warrant a higher honorarium.

Announcements:. Kati Radics distributed copies of the WESS newsletter. Nancy Boerner announced the new editors of Reference Reviews Europe, and made a call for both subscribers and abstractors. Larry Hardesty, president of ACRL, introduced himself as a visitor to the meeting. Jeffry Larson described his and Adan Griego’s October, 1999 visit to and presentations at the Spanish book fair LIBER.

Committee Reports:

2000 Conference Planning: John Cullars reported for Assunta Pisani that the program on Italian cultural topics, dedicated to the memory of Mario Casalini, has four confirmed speakers. Program support will come from the Touzot WESS Program grant, ACRL and other contributions.

Nijhoff: Stephen Lehmann, chair, announced that the committee and Nijhoff representatives had met and chosen a grantee. The committee noted the small number of applications, and is examining the application process, including the possibility of encouraging potential applicants to discuss their proposals informally with past Nijhoff recipients. Dick Hacken reported on his research on Jewish library collections of Vienna during and after World War II, describing visits to various archives and leads for further investigation, and concluded by thanking the Nijhoff company for its support.


Membership: Gordon Anderson reported that the committee met Saturday. A riverboat cruise on Chicago’s First Lady will take place Sunday, July 9. The cruise will be free for new members in order to further the WESS recruiting mission. Food and a cash bar will be provided.

2001 Conference Planning: Tom Izbicki announced that the 2001 program will focus on the Iberian peninsula, with emphasis on emerging groups such as non-Castilian women writers, gay and lesbian publishing and writing, and North African immigrant literature. The committee is currently pursuing financial support.

Publications: Dick Hacken reported that the committee met Monday. Kati Radics announced that the newsletter has received many accolades for content and coverage. More volunteers are needed for the "New Publications of Note" column. Members were reminded to report changes in WESS directory listings to Bruce Swann. The WESS brochure will need to be updated. The committee also discussed other areas that overlap with WESSWEB concerns such as maintaining an archive of newsletters retrospective to 1989, approving a Benelux section of WESSWEB, adding art/performing arts subpages in each of the geographic areas, and how a religious studies subpage would be Western European-specific.

WESSWEB: Reinhart Sonnenburg agreed with the main points summarized by Dick Hacken and also stated the need for accuracy in updating official information. He asked new members to submit entries to the directory.

Research & Planning: Jeff Garrett reported that the meeting, the third in a series of discussions of quality and comprehensiveness of North American research collections, was well attended and successful. Previous sessions included meetings with Harrassowitz and Casalini representatives. This meeting had a French focus, featuring presentations by Gilles de La Rochefoucauld (Aux Amateurs de Livres) and Jean-Denis Touzot (Jean Touzot, libraire-editeur). Nancy Boerner distributed information on her project to spot check national collection adequacy, and found that a high percentage of the bibliographic entries searched were represented in U.S. database holdings. The attendees discussed relative pricing issues, trends in emphasis on French studies, and the influence of Quebec. The speakers provided statistics and insights related to French publishing and material ordered by North American libraries. The committee hopes to make the papers presented available on the WESSWEB, and Jeff and Nancy will supply the search results as requested.

Discussion Group Reports:

Scandinavian: Marianna McKim announced that ten people attending the meeting discussed Scandinavian periodical indexing. Various members have agreed to post information relevant to this topic. Possible subjects for the annual meeting were also discussed.

College and Medium-Sized Libraries: Karl Fattig reported for Fred Jenkins that about twenty people attended. Sarah Wenzel reported on the group’s new listserv. Subscription information is on WESSWEB. Tom Izbicki reported on the annual lists of scholarly European titles published in the December, 1999 issue of Choice. General discussion focused on various online products and web resources for Western European studies.

Germanists: Events of the meeting included the German Resources Project progress report, Jeff Garrett’s presentation on WESS participation at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and reports on dealing with collections budget issues.

Special topics: John Cullars read a report from Diana Chlebek describing the main focus of the meeting which was to report on activities in groups outside of WESS, either within ALA or in other organizations relevant to WESS’s interests. Presentations from WESS members active in EALS, GODORT, and RUSA were made. There was a discussion about the benefits and necessity of closer cooperation with other groups. A recommendation was made that future reporting be done through the WESS Newsletter due to logistical problems in the conference schedule.

Ad Hoc Cataloging: Karl Fattig announced the topics for discussion at the annual meeting - a forum on vendor-contributed cataloging, to which a representative of OCLC may be invited, and an examination of the intersection of library economics and cataloging standards. The attendees asked whether it was now time for the group become a formal discussion group. The mechanism for accomplishing this will be investigated.

Romance Languages: Heleni Pedersoli remarked that the members attending felt that the one hour allotted was too short to allow for the presentations and discussion. Barbara and Michele Casalini presented the history and development of their web site and new enhancements to their operations, which will soon provide shelf-ready books. A summary of their report has been requested. Jeffry Larson and Adan Griego talked about their LIBER participation. Sarah Wenzel described attending the Guadalajara Book Fair. The theme of the program planned for the Chicago meeting, in keeping with the theme of recognizing the contributions of Mario Casalini, is collecting and providing access to opera libretti.

Classical, Medieval and Renaissance: AnnMarie Mitchell described Berkeley professor Arthur Askin's demonstration of an NEH project to take a census of Iberian manuscripts. In Chicago, the group will sponsor a tour of the Newberry Library.

Social Sciences: Gordon Anderson reported for Ann Snoeyenbos on the meeting. Discussion topics included the role of WESS in creating print or electronic resources for the social sciences and history, the need to identify indexes of foreign publications, and proposals for the annual meeting program. Suggestions for the latter included a panel of speakers to cover such topics as French resources for regional newspapers, HAPI, and IBZ on-line.

Kathleen Hunter-Rutter, Secretary

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