By Charlene Kellsey
Inspired by the variety of interesting and stimulating papers given at the Paris
Conference last March, the Research and Planning Committee decided to try incorporating
a paper session into our regular ALA conference meetings. We issued a call for
papers for the ALA Midwinter meeting in Boston in January and two very interesting
papers were presented by Jim Niessen and Heather Moulaison at the meeting on Saturday
afternoon . Jim spoke about his project on "German Book Acquisitions in Budapest
Research Libraries: Quantitative and Qualitative Indicators." The paper touched
on the historical status of German in Hungary, teh nature of the three libraries
he investigated, and methods for discovering book acquisitions in these libraries.
A number of interesting questions and discussion followed. Heather spoke about
"The French University Library and Access to Information in the Humanities."
She was investigating the availability of top English language journals in French
university libraries, but found that because of cultural differences in higher
education systems, her methodology was not useful. Suggestions from the audience
for alternative methods that might be useful for investigating this question included
citation analysis of French theses, and structured interviews with French students
Attendance at the session was good and comments on the new meeting format were
enthusiastic. The committee felt that the papers met our goal of providing a
forum for works in progress, with the opportunity for the presenters to receive
comments and suggestions that could help them further develop their papers.
We decided to hold another paper session at our meeting at the Annual conference
in the hope that more people could participate, both by submitting proposals
and by attending the session. An official call for papers will go out soon on
WESS-l, so be thinking about a work in progress that you might like to present.
WESSies are a very knowledgeable and appreciative audience!
For further information contact the chair of Research & Planning, Charlene
of College & Research Libraries
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