From the Chair

By Tom Izbicki

WESS Newsletter
Spring 2005
Vol. 28, no. 2

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A Word about WESS Discussion Groups

Our discussion groups are our outreach to the profession. Through them we recruit new members and communicate with other professionals who do not join us. Despite the limitations on travel budgets afflicting many of us and the need of ALA to economize on expenses, it is essential that we continue holding two meetings of most of our groups every year, one at Midwinter and one at summer ALA. It is essential too that successive WESS chairs work with ACRL staff to provide the technical support that WESS groups need in order to fulfill their important function.

A Word about WESS Committee Meetings at ALA

Many WESS committees have-long established habits of meeting at both Annual and Midwinter ALA, requiring their members to attend both in order to participate. Meanwhile, support for attending conferences is weakening at many institutions; furthermore, ALA is concerned about increasing space and equipment costs.

How will we balance costs against the need to transact section business? One way is by shortening meeting schedules. Both Kati Radics and I have tried to keep the WESS schedule within 3 days. That requires our either holding concurrent meetings or reducing their number. Among the means of doing that are:

A discussion during the WESS Executive Committee meeting in Boston showed that there are committees that only need to meet face-to-face once a year. This is all ALA requires, although it prefers that these single meetings be at Annual. The WESS Executive Committee would like to encourage committee chairs to consider holding only one meeting per year and to transact other business by e-mail or other virtual means. Feel free to select either Annual or Midwinter. Discussion groups are encouraged to continue meeting twice a year since their emphasis is on open discussion and outreach.

Editor: Sarah G. Wenzel

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