Whether you are a library school student or new library professional, navigating the ALCTS committee-scape can be overwhelming. To illustrate what committee work entails and how you can get involved, Sarah Cruz and Kumiko Reichert of the ALCTS New Members Interest Group (ANMIG for short) talked with committee leaders from each ALCTS section and asked them to tell us first-hand about their roles. Their interview with Mary Gilbertson, chair of the ALCTS Acquisition Section (AS) Publications Committee, is the second of six leading up to the 2019 ALA Midwinter Meeting.
What would you like new ALCTS members to know about you?
My name is Mary Gilbertson. I am the head of monographs at the University of Arkansas. My earlier experience includes government documents, working at the reference desk, and managing the day to day activities of a small public library. My publications interests include topics related to acquisitions and also metadata.
How long have you been part of the committee, first as member and then as chair?
This is my third year as a member of the ALCTS AS Publications Committee and my first year as chair.
Why were you interested in serving on this committee?
I chose to serve on the committee in order to be a small part of ALA publications.
The committee’s most recent publication is “Guide to Streaming Video Acquisitions” edited by Eric Hartnett. We are also currently working on proposals for a book about zines and another book about legacy collections.Mary Gilbertson, chair of the AS Publications Committee
What is the mission of the committee?
“To coordinate the development and review of publications prior to submission to the as executive committee; to refer proposals and manuscripts approved by the as executive committee to the ALCTS publications committee and to expedite their progress through the publication process; to identify appropriate topics for new publications (including titles for the acquisition guides series); to establish subcommittees to develop guides and other publications; to serve as consultant to other as units that wish to prepare documents for publication.”
What are the committee’s current or future projects?
The committee’s most recent publication is “Guide to Streaming Video Acquisitions” edited by Eric Hartnett. We are also currently working on proposals for a book about zines and another book about legacy collections.
I encourage new librarians to work with a mentor to learn about publishing and to schedule time to write. A mentor (or co-author) helps to make the process of publishing less daunting. Scheduling time specifically for writing helps us to pull ourselves away from other duties that may seem more pressing.Mary Gilbertson, chair of the AS Publications Committee
Are student members encouraged to serve on this committee? Or is it a better fit for professionals with experience in that department?
My belief is that the work of this committee is best suited for professionals with experience in that department, but there could be a role for this committee to teach up-and-coming librarians more about publishing.
How time intensive is the committee’s work? What is expected of members?
Working on this committee can be time consuming. I ask everyone on the committee to read and offer suggestions for any books that we send forward. One member serves as a book’s official editor, and that role is more demanding.
What is the best way for a new member to join your committee?
Fill out the ALCTS volunteer form. You can also let the co-chairs of the ALCTS Publications Committee know about your interest. If you log in using your ALA username and password while viewing the committee’s leadership roster, you can see the co-chairs’ contact information.
Do you see the committee’s duties or mission evolving if ALCTS, LITA, and LLAMA merge?
I believe the duties and mission of the publications committees will be the same if ALCTS, LITA, and LLAMA merge. The committee members will still need to identify topics of interest for publication.
Do you have any tips for librarians early in their career who would like to publish their work one day?
I encourage new librarians to work with a mentor to learn about publishing and to schedule time to write. A mentor (or co-author) helps to make the process of publishing less daunting. Scheduling time specifically for writing helps us to pull ourselves away from other duties that may seem more pressing. Helpful information about publishing with ALCTS is available on the website, including topics of interest and a proposal guide.
The AS Publications Committee meeting at ALA Midwinter 2019 will take place on Saturday, January 26 at 2:00 p.m. Typically, the meeting is only attended by committee members. Others are welcome to attend to see if they would like to know more about serving.