Executive Committee Minutes - 2007 Annual

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WESS Executive Committee
Monday, June 25, 2007, 1:30-3:30
Washington Convention Center, Room 141

Draft Minutes

Bryan Skib opened the meeting at 1:35.

1. Approval of Minutes from ALA Midwinter 2007 Seattle — minutes were approved with minor changes.
2. Budget update and priorities (Emily Stambaugh)
Emily sent around the budget report. She is still waiting to hear about all the expenses for the 2007 cruise. Tom Izbicki will be the incoming chair of the Fundraising Committee. Emily met with him during the conference to get him up to speed with the financial situation. The committee did well this year and was able to cover all the bills. Emily encouraged the chairs of discussion groups and committees to get their action plans to Sarah Wenzel, the in-coming Chair, so that the Fundraising Committee can see what the section needs for funds for next year. Estimates are acceptable. Please note that these plans are distinct from ACRL’s action plans. The Fundraising Committee uses them to determine the need for additional funds from ACRL. For instance, plans need to be submitted for the buffet proposed for Annual 2008 in Anaheim and for the proposed domains for WESS Web.

On another note, this year the Fundraising Committee wants to start up a gifts-in-kind program and will be starting slowly with a single proposed exchange. Emily has gotten general positive feedback from supporters for funding for fairs and other WESS activities. One question that arises in this matter is who will select the recipients? Would a juried body working independently from the committee judge the award?

3. Alternative social event for Annual 2008 (Rowena Griem)
Emily has brought up the idea of an alternative social event for Annual 2008 in Anaheim. Due to a lack of water and the added cost for speakers, the Membership Committee proposes holding a buffet or a field trip, but is open to suggestions. There are several positive reasons for holding a buffet. It seems that many WESS members are reluctant to go on a cruise, either because of the expense or shyness (afraid they will be stuck on a boat for several hours with no one to talk to). The Executive Committee approved the idea of the buffet. Many on this year’s cruise thought that the yellow badges given by ALA to new members was a great way to identify and meet the individuals who had recently joined.
The Membership Committee proposes holding a “no host happy hour” (everyone pays for their own drinks) at Midwinter 2008, perhaps on the Friday evening in one of the hotels. Participants will pay for their own drinks. Following traditional terminology the committee will call it a “no host happy hour” so that everyone would know that they are expected to pay for beverages. Everyone approved this idea. However, the Executive Committee will need to approve the announcement for the happy hour before publicized. Wording must express that WESS is not paying for the event.

4. Proposal on travel support (Timothy Shipe)
In response to ACRL’s decision to no longer provide funding for the Frankfurt Fair in the form of stipends to WESS members, at Midwinter 2007 Bryan Skib requested that the Research and Planning Committee look into how WESS might offer support for its members’ travel activities. Hank Harken drafted a proposal, which the Research and Planning Committee approved. Hank presented the Executive Committee with highlights of the report. In it, the committee proposes that bookfairs would be the best events to fund, though other sorts of activities would be considered. The committee recommends that the first funding be given to the fairs. Applications for both national and international travel would be accepted. Younger librarians needing professional development and those from smaller universities and college, where funding might be limited, would be more readily funded. The committee strongly feels that the applicant, not the judging body, should determine the need. With regards to the application process, the committee proposed accepting funding proposal twice a year with three awards made each time. At first, the Executive Committee would serve as judges, with another (perhaps newly created for the express purpose) committee being assigned this task later on. The proposal lays out a schedule and suggests $800. as a standard amount. The only obligation on recipients would be report back to WESS on how they spent the money, perhaps doing so through the Book Fair Wiki..

The Executive Committee responded with the following comments and questions (recorded as delivered):
• Make sure to include cataloguers. Perhaps reword the current proposal to clarify that cataloguers are welcome to apply.
• Make sure that all applicants are WESS member in good standing.
• How are the applications to be ranked? Based on need or merit? Hank responded that the committee feels that it is important to give priority to first-timers.
• We should not assume that larger institutions necessarily give more money.
• As part of the application, the requester should stress how the event will have an impact on them.
• Highest priority will be given to applicants who have never received the award.
• Reword the document to suggest that the impact of the event is a top priority in receiving funding.
• Merit should not be on the event but on the impact on the recipient.
• In the future the event might not need to be an established one, such as a conference or a fair.
• It was suggested that the Coutts Nijhoff Committee might serve as jurors.
• There was a long discussion about the calendar for submission. Generally speaking, everyone thought that two application dates per year would be good. Will the calendar allow applicants enough time to use the money? Giving of money would follow our fiscal year which starts on Sept. 1. Mary Carr will look into the issue of timing and funding. We need additional info from ACRL to see about timing of awards. It was suggested that the schedule be passed by the Fundraising Committee. Adam arrived to discuss the possibility of allowing individuals to get awards at the Annual conference, though the fiscal year ends on Aug. 15. Unless there is a special request, the money will roll over, which is not good for an annual funding. One could do airfare and registration but not hotel. It was suggested that WESS do the awards by email so that people can get the money as soon as possible. Initially perhaps only do once a year. Once we figure out what works, then decide on twice a year.
To do:
• The report needs input from the Fundraising Committee—they will begin early next year with the “asks.”
• Needs additional clarification from ACRL on how to set up this awards program.
• RPC please tweek, send to the Fundraising Committee, which should contact ACRL to see if the proposed schedule fit in with their fundraising cycle.
• Mary will look into ACRL’s concerns/ thinking/ what we need to do and think about/ about funding rollover/ formal considerations?
• Bryan suggested leave the timing section in before it goes to the Fundraising Committee.
• Tighten up the proposal through an email exchange in the fall.

5. Newsletter format (Shawn Martin)
Shawn passed along the Publication Committee’s suggestion that WESS no longer produce a lengthy print Newsletter and instead offer a longer electronic version. The reasons for this switch are time, money and reader preferences. The committee suggests that WESS produce a one-page document with WESS announcement to replace the traditional print version. Those present approved the proposal to go with the electronic version of the WESS Newsletter plus a “print teaser”.

6. Wikis and WESS Web (Dick Hacken)
Dick proposed that the WESS Web be moved to a wiki format, as Reinhart gets more requests for changes that he can easily deal with. A wiki format will allow all WESS members access and thus to share the burden. At present the WESS ALA conference schedule and Iberian and Scandinavian pages are in a wiki format. Dick assured us that we need not be worried over the quality of the editing. The WESS Web editors will be notified of changes and can review them. If the change is not acceptable, then the editor can use the history function to return the page to an earlier iteration. There is also the possibility for privacy for those committees who wish it. In this case, editing will require a password.
The Executive Committee responded with the following comments and questions (recorded as delivered):
• Many thought a wiki format would make for greater participation.
• Some liked the MediaWiki help screen.
• It was suggested that we get additional people to edit those sections that are wikified.
• Have first-timers add only simple text for practice.
• Laura Dale would like the Dutch pages to be wikified.
• Wikis make sure that links are live; easy to move to another university—yes!
• ACRL software for wikis is also available.
• Some vendors might be willing to offer some consultations as gifts-in-time.
• How will a wiki work with images—it does work, but differently.
• Committee web pages, especially those of the Executive Committee, should remain internal.
• Could rosters be in a wiki format? Back-ups are done by the IT people.
• Printing of pages for ALA archiving? This can be done. Reinhart would still be editor but with less work. We should try to find additional times with archiving.
• All present were excited about this direction.
• Reinhart would still be editor but would share the work with a multitude of “guest” editors.

7. Proposed changes to LC cataloging (Brian Vetruba)
Brian brought up the Library of Congress’s proposal discontinue adding subject headings as part of its cataloguing. LC’s Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic control (http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/) is asking for feedback on the importance of subject headings. They have gotten little feedback from user services librarians. Thus Gerry Heverly is asking the WESS Executive Committee to support the need for subject heading. He strongly feels that it is wise to voice concern about this issue.
The Executive Committee responded with the following comments and questions (recorded as delivered):
• Is there something special about WESS in this issue?
• Do LCSH help WESS?
• We should go on record with our opinion for future reference.
Motion: The Executive Committee motioned and all approved that Gerry and Brian draft a letter foregrounding the importance of subject headings to reference services for non-English language materials to go to WESS Executive Committee by Monday July 2, 2007 which, once approved, will go to the LC Working Group by July 13, 2007.

8. ACRL business, including the proposed changes to structure and bylaws (Carr, Burling)
• Minutes should go to Adam by July 27th.
• Official ACRL Action items are due on July 13th for the 08/09 year.
• If you have ideas for funding, send to Sarah Wenzel. Those planning to send in funding requests should so by July 15th and make sure that they tie in with ACRL’s strategic plan.
• Please note that structural changes to ACRL, such as the proposed addition of interest groups, will mean changes to our bylaws.
• One proposed change to ACRL bylaws is: An increase in dues consistent with the cost of living can be requested without a vote. However, an increase in dues exceeding the cost of living needs approval by ACRL. The ACRL board will be voting on this change to the bylaws.
• A second proposed change to ACRL’s bylaws is: the inclusion of interest groups to the organization’s structure. The reason for this addition is so that ACRL can be more flexible. At present the interest groups will be only for 3 years. After which time, their play in the organization will be evaluated. Please note that the addition of interest groups will not affect annual dues.
• ACRL is trying to make it easier for sections to change their bylaws. They feel that as long as the changes conform to ACRL’s mission statement, then they can be made. However, section will want to postpone any changes to bylaws until ACRL makes their changes.
• A concern was raised about the possibility of interest groups attracting people away from discussion groups. Perhaps this issue should be raised at leadership council. To avoid this possibility, perhaps ACRL could make formal ties between interest and discussion groups.
• An environmental scan is coming out that will be posted to the web—look for it on the ACRL website. Environmental scanning will not be done next year.
• It was pointed out the scan does not include WESS, which needs to add. Brian will talk to Adam about this.

9. Updates on old business and matters arising

The meeting adjourned at 2:48

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