WESS General Membership Meeting

ALA Midwinter Meeting, 2003

WESS Newsletter

Spring 2003, Vol. 26, no. 2

Association of College & Research Libraries
American Library Association


The West European Studies Section Executive Council met during the ALA Midwinter Meeting on January 28, 2003 in Philadelphia. Bryan Skib, Member at Large, called the meeting to order at 8:35 A.M. Attending were Sarah Wenzel, Barbara Walden, Heleni Pedersoli, Katalin Radics, Henry Harkin, Kathleen Hunter Rutter, John Warner, Jane Faulkner, Gordon Anderson, Jonathan Marner, Rebecca Malek-Wiley, Thea Lindquist, Yvonne Boyer, John Cullars, Nancy Boener and Candace Miller.


Reports from Discussion Groups:

Jonathan Marner reported for the Cataloging Discussion Group. They discussed the following issues: The need to grow some leadership within the committee. He would like for someone else to take over as chair. Charlotte Kelsey is heading their task force on recruitment. They would like to interest people with relevant foreign language skills to enter librarianship and are developing a recruitment flyer. They also suggested that librarians obtain release time so they can visit college foreign language classes and discuss librarianship as a career. Other items included the new German translation of AACR2, IFLA cataloging meetings in Glasgow, Scotland and possible topics for their meeting in Toronto.

Rebecca Malek-Wiley reported for the Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Group. Bruce Swann has asked for volunteers to take over the WESS-L listserv. Rebecca thanked the past chair for help with the L’Année Philologique database.
Margaret Class discussed Feminae (The Medieval Women and Gender Index). Catherine Chu gave a talk on the marketing of the Christian faith. They have several possible topics for their meeting in Toronto including the changing role of subject specialists and a tour of the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies.

Hank Harkin reported for the Colleges and Medium-Sized Libraries Group. They need a new chair and would like for WESS to organize a pre-conference on recruiting for leadership roles in the section. They need to develop a FAQ list to address questions that repeatedly come up. They are inviting French language materials vendors to their meeting in Toronto.

Yvonne Boyer reported for the Romance Languages Discussion Group. They will have three guest speakers at their meeting in Toronto to talk about Portuguese and Italian women authors.

Nancy Boener reported for the Scandinavian Languages Discussion Group. They will have a speaker from the National Library of Denmark at their meeting in Toronto.

Rebecca Wiley-Malek reported for the Social Sciences & History Discussion Group. She urged members to subscribe to the WESS-L listserv. Barbara Walden and her graduate student have put together a database, Historical Research in Europe. It is free to all users. The group considered the Royal Historical Society Bibliography, a cooperative CD for European materials and the availability of the H-History One list as possible future discussion topics.

Thea Lindquist reported for the Germanists Discussion Group. The meeting opened with Barbara Walden reporting group news. Erika Banshee and the other German Study Tour participants shared the highlights of their tour. Thea and Arne discussed their favorite German history resources.


Reports from WESS committees:

Barbara Walden reported for the Coutts-Nijhoff Committee. The jurors are Barbara, Sue Waterman, Fred Jenkins and two Coutts representatives. Barbara will ask ACRL to include independent research libraries in the Coutts-Nijhoff eligibility guidelines and change the five year post-MLA experience requirement.

The committee will announce the award winner at the annual conference in Toronto.

Thea Lindquist reported for the Membership Committee. Membership statistics have increased 1.3% since August 2002. Mailing new members encourages them to actively participate in WESS so Thea began doing this last summer. The committee is adding new members to the WESS-L listserv. They also discussed the WESS cruise in Toronto on Sunday June 22. Thea and Gordon Anderson will investigate short cruise lines and recommend a boat to the committee. The committee is also investigating mentorship opportunities with NMRT. They met with the Research & Planning Recruitment Task Force to discuss possible joint recruiting efforts. They’re targeting undergraduate and graduate students studying WESS-related subjects. The ACRL Membership Committee is contacting former memberships to find out why they let their membership lapse. ACRL is also inviting all new members to a reception at the ACRL conference in Charlotte.

Richard Hacken reported for the Nominating Committee. They would like to have at least two candidates for each office. As of today, Sam Dunlap is running for vice-chair, Alan Diego is running for secretary and Beth Ramacones is running for member-at-large.

Louis Reith reported for the Publications Committee. Sarah Wenzel is the new editor and her deadline is February 28, 2003. The committee discussed the need to evaluate the WESS newsletter and made the following suggestions: The classics and individual language areas need more work. The revised brochure looks good. The committee also discussed how we can use our publications as advertisement and recruiting tools.

Sharon Brown reported for the 2003 Conference Planning Committee. Their theme is new relationships and alliances between European and North American libraries. Their program is “Across the Pond: New Research Libraries Alliances in Europe and North America and will feature speakers from Scotland, Canada, the U.S., Iceland and Italy. The committee has enough money to pay for speakers’ expenses and reserved a room that can hold 125 people. The speakers will be our guests on the WESS cruise.

Jeffrey Larson reported on the 2004 Paris Conference Planning Committee. ACRL has approved their budget provided they receive $30,000 from their sponsors by the end of February 2003. The non-governmental organizations they contacted about possible funding haven’t been receptive so they will need to contact the vendors who have provided financial support for past WESS programs. The committee has found prospective locations for the meetings and speakers from the French book trade. They also have reserved hotel rooms but need to negotiate hotel deposits. The Goethe Institute has agreed to pay the German speakers’ expenses and act as a speakers’ bureau. The committee is issuing a call for papers with an April 1, 2003 deadline. They should have the registration flyers ready by the annual conference in June.


Other updates, issues and matters arising:



Sarah Wenzel shared a few observations about the German research libraries she visited during the Goethe Institute Study Tour: The State Library in Berlin has closed stacks and places more emphasis on collection development than public service. The State Library in Berlin and the Bavarian State Library in Munich have limited circulating collections. Ancient card catalogs in archaic scripts make conversion projects particularly challenging. What happens if the Anglo world moves beyond AACR2 since the German libraries are currently converting their records to AACR2? The German libraries use a traffic light system to indicate varying levels of access to electronic journals. A red light means the patron can’t access the journal from her IP address. A yellow light means the patron can access the journal from her IP address. A green light means anyone can access the journal.

Gordon Anderson discussed the 2003 Frankfurt Book Fair. ACRL would like to have a higher profile at the book fair and has set aside grant money to help ACRL members with their travel expenses. Russia will be the guest country and Russian president, Vladimir Putin, will attend the opening ceremony. WESS librarians are planning a program on how to sell books to American libraries. Friday evening hours will be from 4:00-10:00 PM. Libraries and individuals will be able to purchase books at the book fair, a change from past policy.

The meeting adjourned at 10:09 A.M.


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