ALCTS Committees: 2017 Annual Conference

ALCTS committees and interest groups submit reports to the ALCTS Office after each conference. Following are the reports submitted by the ALCTS Division-level committees.

Advocacy and Policy Committee

The Advocacy and Policy Committee met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25.

Committee members received business cards for the committee, with a new public email address on one side and the URL of our Issues web page, which was recently refreshed, on the other. Following up on the ALA Virtual Membership Meeting on June 8, we determined what actions the committee needs to take around S.960 – Preserving Data in Government Act of 2017. Other agenda items included discussion of an elevator speech and more advocacy ideas. We are interested in modeling after ALA’s Quotable Facts About America’s Libraries, which means we need ALCTS-related research to provide the statistics. We will investigate establishment of a research agenda (like YALSA’s) in the coming year.

Throughout the conference, committee members handed out business cards at several ALCTS Section meetings, the division chairs meeting, and to individuals as opportunities arose. We asked ALCTS members to let us know their top concerns related to legislation in progress in Washington, DC—for example, copyright? net neutrality? LSTA funding? Raising awareness was as much of a goal as soliciting membership input.

Submitted by Lauren Corbett

Affiliate Relations Committee

The Affiliate Relations Committee met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25.

The meeting began with introductions. We then discussed the Affiliate Showcase program, which was held on Saturday, June 24. This year the committee decided to change the Showcase format. Instead of hosting presentations on various topics from affiliate group members, we decided to hold a discussion about affiliate groups and their issues. Committee members were assigned table topics that we hoped would appeal to people in state or regional technical services associations, including video streaming, finding speakers, and leadership continuity. Unfortunately, we had very low attendance: only three people, most of whom did not know what the discussion was about. Despite the low numbers, we had a good conversation and generated some ideas. Low attendance at the Showcase has been a problem for several years. We speculated this is partly due to time slot (late in the afternoon) and partly to competition with othe programs. But we feel that many of our affiliate group members who would be interested in the discussion do not regularly attend the Annual Conference. The committee members in attendance felt that we would better serve affiliate groups by pursuing online opportunities, such as an e-Forum or webinar, and no longer hosting a program at the Annual Conference. We will seek input from the rest of the committee.

We also discussed possible collaborations with the ALCTS Membership Committee. The co-chair reached out this spring, and we discussed several ideas to recruit ALCTS members from the affiliate groups and to increase liaising opportunities. Also discussed were technology updates and issues. ALA Connect will be replaced in August, so we will wait to make major updates in our page until that has occurred. The new Connect will have some communication features, so we may not need to rely so heavily on electronic mailing lists. The affiliate directory on the Connect page and the affiliate electronic mailing list will need to be updated at the same time. ALCTS is now offering committees access to the Springshare LibGuides software, and we discussed how the Affiliate Relations Committee could use that rather than a traditional web page. The committee was visited by ALCTS President Vicki Sipe and President-Elect Mary Beth Thomson, who provided updates on ALCTS budget and membership issues, as well as the new mentoring program and the very successful ALCTS Exchange.

Submitted by Shannon Tennant

Budget and Finance Committee

The Budget and Finance Committee met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25.

Committee chair James Dooley reported on ALA financial documents distributed at the Planning and Budget Assembly, as well as the Council and Membership Information Session. The overall financial condition of ALA is good; however, ALA Publishing and Conferences and Meetings did not meet revenue projections in FY17. This shortfall will result in cuts being necessary in the FY18 ALA budget.

The ALCTS President and President-Elect provided updates on activities of the ALCTS Board.

The Executive Director reported on the current status of the FY17 budget. Although the Board approved a recommended deficit budget for FY17, it now appears likely that FY17 will finish with a positive balance. This surplus is due to revenues from registrations for the series of linked data web courses being significantly above projections.

The Executive Director and the committee discussed the FY18 budget that the committee would recommend for approval by the ALCTS Board acceptance on Monday, June 26. The chair reported that on Friday, June 23 the Board approved the dues increase proposal first presented to the Board by the committee at the 2017 Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. The dues increase will take effect on September 1, 2017 at the beginning of the FY18 fiscal year. Including the dues increase, the recommended FY18 budget is projected to be in deficit by approximately $20,000.

Submitted by James Dooley

Continuing Education Committee

The Continuing Education Committee met during the 2017 Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25.

The committee’s accomplishments during the 2016–2017 year include:

  • The Webinar Development Subcommittee contributed to a successful 2016–2017 webinar schedule by identifying webinar topics and potential speakers.
  • The Webinar Production Subcommittee hosted 22 webinars and helped with three others this fiscal year. Their work included working with presenters, arranging and facilitating practice sessions, giving introductions and closings, and facilitating Q&A for live webinars. They also helped with two Virtual Preconferences.
  • The Technical Support Subcommittee provided effective technical support to the webinars and the ALCTS Virtual Conference and worked with webinar hosts and ALCTS Office staff to improve the quality of webinars.
  • Marketing Co-Coordinators, Jeremy Myntti and Gina Solares, sent announcements to 20 different electronic mailing lists, updated the Continuing Education Committee and ALCTS Division calendars on ALA Connect with all of ALCTS continuing education offerings as well as for ALCTS Virtual Preconference, ALCTS Preconferences, ALCTS Exchange, and a Call for ALA Annual Conference session reporters.
  • E-Forum Co-Coordinators, Nadine Ellero and Rebecca Kemp Goldfinger, coordinated the e-Forums this year. They held 11 successful e-Forums from July 2016–June 2017. This year, the average number of messages was 126, and the average number of unique individuals contributing to the e-Forums was 36. Approximately 4,500 people currently subscribe to the e-Forum electronic mailing list. Since e-Forums are freely available to all, including non-ALCTS members, and they are advertised on electronic mailing lists that include non-ALCTS members, they increase participation in ALCTS activities. The evaluation surveys for e-Forums consistently indicate that the e-Forums are valuable, current and relevant, collegial, and informative.
  • The Web Courses Subcommittee worked extensively with course instructors. Fundamentals of Metadata (FOM) sold out within a week of the announcement. Fundamentals of Cataloging (FOC) continues to run two courses for each of the five sessions in order to meet demand. Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions (FERA) added three new course instructors. The Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) hopes to develop the Fundamentals of Digital Preservation course in the future, as reported by PARS Representative Jessica Bitely.
  • The ALCTS Exchange piloted a fully online forum, with several goals including creating a highly interactive online forum, increasing general awareness of ALCTS as a continuing education provider, and increasing membership. The ALCTS Office is working with the Exchange Committee to fully assess the pilot.

During our meeting, we received positive feedback from ALCTS President Vicki Sipe who recognized our hard work during the year and noted that ALCTS is still benefitting from the outstanding revenues from the fall 2016 webinars. She said the ALCTS Exchange presented a learning curve but successfully introduced a number of people to ALCTS and brought in new members.

We also thanked Julie Reese and Megan Dougherty from the ALCTS Office for all of their support throughout the year. As of June 5 ALCTS offered 22 webinars, with 2,226 individual and 260 group registrations. ALCTS also offered six web courses, with a total of 32 sections and 674 registrations so far.

Finally, we celebrated Pamela Bluh, Felicity Dykas and Maria Pinkas who received Certificates of Appreciation for their service to the Continuing Education Committee and Julie Reese for receiving an ALCTS Presidential Citation. Join us in congratulating Pamela, Felicity, Maria, and Julie!

Submitted by Alison Armstrong

Fundraising Committee

The Fundraising Committee met virtually on Thursday, June 15 and in-person during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25.

During these meetings, we reviewed the final tracking spreadsheet and shared updates on the last round of donations. We also discussed strategies for next FY and changes to the committee structure. Next year, we will have two co-chairs with staggered two-year appointments in the hope that this structure will strengthen the continuity of this important committee.

Donations raised in FY 2017 totaled $25,000. These donations supported ALCTS events including Preservation Week, the Midwinter Symposium, the ALCTS Exchange, receptions and awards ceremonies, webinars, and web courses. Donations came from 23 sponsors, and nine were new to supporting ALCTS. One sponsor is already committed for FY 2018, and committee members are ready to work on asks this fall.

Submitted by Harriet Wintermute 

Leadership Development Committee

The Leadership Development Committee met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25.

During our meeting, we reflected upon the program entitled “How to Be an Influential Librarian: Leading and Mentoring from Wherever You Are” held on Saturday, June 24 and hosted by three members of the Leadership Committee (Maggie Dull, Erin Leach, and Zach Stein). Maggie Dull moderated the event, which included three speakers who represented early-career (Madison Sullivan, University of Washington), mid-career (Rachel Fleming, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), and later-career professionals (former ALA President Maureen Sullivan). Madison Sullivan advised attendees to not perpetuate practices that irritate them and to care about the success of others; she also emphasized the importance of letting people make messes and fix them themselves. Rachel Fleming challenged attendees to consider early in their careers whether or not they aspire to pursue an administrative position and what they have to offer, asking themselves, “What does it look like for me to be a leader?” Maureen Sullivan also emphasized being intentional about leadership, as well as cultivating a growth mindset and strong relationships with a variety of people. The program drew over 300 attendees, many of whom participated in a lively Q&A session following the panelists’ prepared remarks.

The topic of the Leadership Development Committee’s program was especially timely as it supported the July 1 launch of the ALCTS Mentoring Program. During the committee’s meeting, the Mentoring Subcommittee provided an update on the program’s launch. The first cohort includes 41 mentor-mentee pairs, each of which has been assigned a subcommittee member as a liaison to help ensure its success. The subcommittee also reported on the training webinar that it presented in late May for all participants and discussed the Mentoring Program’s website and the LibGuide supporting program participants. The committee discussed options for enabling participation by non-ALCTS members in the second cohort and for providing additional professional development resources for participants via the LibGuide such as links to videos from the ALCTS Exchange.

The committee then discussed next steps for a gap analysis white paper and accompanying data analysis of professional development opportunities for ALCTS members to improve their leadership skills. Committee members Erica Findley, Maggie Dull, Jessica Harris and Linda Smith Griffin developed the analysis by examining opportunities across ALA (such as programs, webinars, symposia), reviewing job descriptions for recent professional postings, and collating and coding the data into broader themes of soft and hard skills to identify opportunities for ALCTS activities in the future. The white paper will now be shared with other ALCTS committee leaders to guide and inform future activities, especially partnerships with other ALA divisions such as LITA and LLAMA. The committee also brainstormed a variety of programming ideas for the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans, especially sessions that would build upon the success of the “How to Be an Influential Librarian” program, and planned next steps for maintaining and expanding the committee’s LibGuide for ALCTS leadership materials.

Submitted by Jennifer Bowen

Planning Committee

The Planning Committe met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25.

Since the approval of the current ALCTS strategic plan, the Planning Committee has monitored committee and section reports and analyzed how groups’ activities address strategic plan goals. The Committee completed our review for the period from January–May 2017 and submitted it to the President on June 12. The review compiled statistics for which goals have been addressed and how often, so that it can be used in strategic planning activities in 2018. At our meeting, the Committee discussed our upcoming 5-year committee renewal, which is due on September 30, as well as the possibility of performing an environmental scan to aid in next year’s strategic planning.

Submitted by Michele Seikel 

Program Committee

The Program Committee met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24.

Two ALCTS preconferences, “Cataloging and Metadata for the Web” and “Building Successful Digital Programs for Small Libraries,” were held this year, and both were a success. The biggest challenge faced by both planners and presenters was reaching a shared understanding of timeline, roles, and responsibilities. The Program Committee suggested establishing a preconference subcommittee to develop documentation on the planning process and provide hands-on guidance to planners and presenters. Nannette Naught volunteered to help establish this new subcommittee.

Keri Cascio (ALCTS Executive Director) updated the committee on the status of the conference planning process. This new process will enable ALA to assign timeslots to accepted programs and release a preliminary program before bundled registration opens. ALA has placed a limit on the number of programs each division can offer. Forums hosted by ALCTS sections are included in this number, so the Program Committee can approve 14–15 additional programs for the 2018 ALA Annual Conference. Also starting with the 2018 Annual Conference, all programs will be limited to one hour. We therefore highly encourage planners not to have more than 3 speakers per program. At the request of the committee, ALCTS staff will work with ALA Conference Services to share proposals for ALCTS programs with the committee as they are submitted.

The committee articulated recommendations for program planners to consider:

  • Prioritize interactive presentation formats, such as moderated conversation, for in-person sessions. People come to conferences for the conversation!
  • Offer potential conference speakers who cannot attend should seek opportunities to present in alternative venues—such as webinars, e-Forums, and virtual preconferences—due to constraints of budget and staff time.
  • Repurpose program content to reach audiences beyond conference attendees. Reach out to the Continuing Education Committee and Publications Committee to learn about other available formats.
  • Plan Interest Group meetings that complement rather than duplicate accepted program topics.

Following the implementation of the new conference system (Scorecard), the committee plans to offer a “How to Submit a Proposal” webinar for program and preconference planners. Speakers would include successful ALCTS presenters and planners.

Starting with the 2018 Midwinter Meeting, the Program Committee will repurpose its second meeting time slot from a business meeting to “office hours” for planners to meet with the committee.

Submitted by Hayley Moreno

Publications Committee

The ALCTS Publications Committee met during the 2017 ALA Annual conference on Sunday, June 25. The committee heard updates from the editors of ALCTS NewsLibrary Resources & Technical Services (LRTS), ALCTS Monographs, and the Library Materials Price Index (LMPI).

LRTS submissions doubled in 2016, but so far are on par with submissions from years prior to 2016.

Narda Tafuri will rotate off as editor of LMPI, and George Aulisio will assume that role. Prices of U.S. and Foreign Published Materials has been submitted, and pricing updates will take place on the ALCTS website in August. Starting with next year’s edition, all indexes will use the same base year of 2010 to ensure that data is more comparable. The committee discussed methods for marketing the publication, including announcements on electronic mailing lists and ALCTS News articles.

Rebecca Mugridge will complete her term as editor of ALCTS News, and Chelcie Rowell will assume that role. Chelcie plans to expand the publication’s social media and web presence.

Four ALCTS Monographs are being published by ALA Editions in August, and four other titles in progress. Six Sudden Position titles in progress, and three more topics have been identified and are in need of authors: preservation (including digital), scholarly communication, and serials and continuing resources. Other titles are in various stages of development.

The Publicity Subcommittee provided updates on its work. The group develops monthly electronic mailing list “blasts” that highlight specific ALCTS publication venues or solicit proposals for a particular topic. As Scott Phinney (chair) completes his term, the group discussed future directions, including expanding its messaging into social media.

Finally, the Publications Committee reviewed a Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) Publications Committee survey and discussed possible next steps. The survey went out to CaMMS members to find out about their research and publication needs and received 96 responses. The survey identified interest in professional development opportunities that did not require travel and an interest in mentoring related to publishing. The group discussed a number of strategies to address these needs, including partnerships for virtual and in-person sessions and publication “fairs,” as well as a possible “ALCTS Guide to Research Methods.”

Submitted by Mary Miller

Standards Committee

The ALCTS Standards Committee met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25.

Prior to the conference, the committee distributed a list of standards-related ALCTS programming to colleagues and during the meeting discussed ways to track where it had been disseminated and any feedback received. The committee discussed at length the standards webliography currently in-progress and decided to review the 2013 Task Force report on our committee’s creation and revisit the original intent of the webliography before proceeding further. Members also brainstormed ideas on how to engage with the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee and our NISO representative as needed. Finally, the committee discussed its upcoming five-year review.

Submitted by Miranda Nixon

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