Executive Committee Minutes - 2008 Annual

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Western European Studies Section
Executive Committee Meeting, Annual 2008

Meeting held on June 30, 2008 in Anaheim, California


Committee members: Gordon Anderson (Univ. of Minnesota; Chair of 2009 Conference Planning Committee), Laura Dale Bischof (Univ. of Minnesota; Vice Chair/Chair Elect), Adan Griego (Stanford Univ.; Chair of 2010 Int’l Conference Planning Committee), Tom Izbicki (Rutgers; Chair of Fundraising Committee), Rebecca R. Malek- Wiley (Tulane Univ.; Chair of Nominating Committee), Jon Marner (Texas A&M; Member-at-Large), Timothy Shipe (Univ. of Iowa; Chair of Research and Planning Committee), Bryan Skib (Univ. of Michigan; Past Chair; Chair of Coutts-Nijhoff Study Grant Jury), Brian Vetruba (Washington Univ.; Chair of Recruitment to the Profession Committee; Acting Secretary), Sarah Wenzel (Univ. of Chicago; Chair of Executive Committee)

Guests: Eileen Bentsen (Baylor Univ.), Adam Burling (ACRL staff), Paula Carns (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign; Acting Chair of Membership Committee), Mary Carr (ACRL Board), John Cullars (Univ. of Illinois at Chicago), Michelle Emanuel (Univ. of Mississippi), Dick Hacken (Brigham Young Univ.), Sarah How (Cornell Univ.), Inmaculada Megia (Rutgers Univ.); Heleni Pedersoli (Univ. of Maryland), Louis Reith (Georgetown Univ.), Paul Vermouth (Harvard College Library; WESS Newsletter Editor)


The meeting was called to order at 1:32 pm.

1. Introductions

The attendees introduced themselves and signed an attendance sheet.

2. Acknowledgment of work done by the Executive Committee via email (Wenzel)

  • Midwinter 2008 minutes were approved.
  • Action Plan 2009 was approved.
  • Charge of 2010 International Conference Planning Committee approved.
  • Comments to ALA were submitted regarding open access to all ALA-hosted discussion lists.
  • Recognition of work in WESS by retirees Barbara Walden and Stephen Lehmann.

Unanimously passed.

3. Submission of Barbara Walden’s name to ALA Council for a resolution recognizing her work in WESS. (Skib) Unanimously passed.

4. Action Plan 2009 (Bischof)

No Exec Committee approval or decision needed.

5. Action Plan 2010 (How)

As incoming Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, How, suggests a two-part plan which would 1.) fund US librarians in the form of a stipend or scholarship for presentations at the WESS 2010 International Conference in Spain; and 2) fund European librarians outside of Spain to attend the WESS International Conference. The Action Plan needs to be submitted to ACRL by mid-July 2008. How will send a draft to the Exec Committee.

6. 2010 International Conference in Spain (Griego)

Griego reported on progress on planning for the International Conference in Madrid, Spain. Griego met with a number of representatives from governmental institutions and the publishing industry, all of whom have verbally promised support in the form of providing a venue and/or hosting a coffee or cocktail reception.

Conference dates in either March or end of May were discussed. Although the end of May coincides with a local book fair, an end of May date is not favored by ACRL, because it would conflict with preparation for ALA Annual. Dates in March, when airfares would be less expensive than many other times of year, were discussed .

Griego reported that the ACRL Board generally approved of the International Conference but have the following requirements or issues which need to be addressed:

  1. A budget needs to be submitted, including likely ACRL staff labor involved with supporting conference planning. 22.9% of every dollar must be budgeted for staff time.
  2. The hotel contract needs to specify what happens if not all rooms in the block reserved for the conference are occupied. This was a problem during the previous conference in Paris.
  3. Once specifics have been worked out, a survey needs to be sent to WESS members gauging genuine interest in attending.
  4. Planning Committee needs to specify a conference theme and have a promotional plan.
  5. With the assistance of ACRL staff, WESS should obtain conference insurance.

7. Fundraising (Izbicki)

Izbicki noted that Fundraising through vendor donations had to cover overhead costs for WESS Reception due to lower than expected attendance (i.e. ticket sales). There appears to be a discrepancy with the amount quoted to Membership and the amount billed for the drink service. Fundraising needs to follow up with Membership Chair.

The consensus of the Fundraising Committee is that the 2010 International Conference should be given top priority the next two years and WESS should plan conservatively for the cruise/reception at Annual 2009 in Chicago. Izbicki will look at final cruise costs for the cruise during Annual 2005 in Chicago.

Izbicki noted the generous donations from a number of vendors, including Touzot for the WESS program, Cou[t]ts-Nijhoff for the WESS Coutts Nijhoff study grant, Casalini Libri, DeGruyter, Harrassowitz, Proquest, Bludeau Partners, Brepols, Aux amateurs - for the Social event or to the General fund.

The topic of rollover of funds was brought up. Carr noted that donations received from vendors, the vendor needs to specify if the donation is for a specific purpose, if it can be held over the next fiscal year, and if it can be repurposed. Funds from ACRL cannot be rolled over from one fiscal year to the next.

8. Fund to professional conferences (Wenzel)

A proposal was brought forth by Research and Planning Committee that if there are any funds which cannot be rolled over to the next fiscal year, WESS will fund travel of WESS members to professional conferences.

As there are still outstanding expenses for this fiscal year, we’re still not sure how much of a surplus there will be. Izbicki guesstimates that we probably can only fund one WESS member.

The proposal to fund travel with surplus was passed unanimously. Sarah How, Heleni Pedersoli, and Bryan Skib agreed to serve on the selection subcommittee for selecting the awardees.

9. Changes to by-laws (Wenzel)

General jubilation was expressed about ACRL’s decision to allow a section’s by-laws to be changed by a vote of the section’s Executive Committee. The text of existing by-laws will need to be amended to reflect the change from “by-laws” to “policies and procedures”. Publications Committee agreed to make these changes with the assistance of an ACRL template. The Executive Committee will need to approve these revisions at Midwinter 2009. Further revisions can be taken up by the Executive Committee.

10. Hosting of WESSWiki and Web domain for WESS (Hacken)

The Publications Committee made a motion that WESS acquire its own web domain address and a neutral permanent commercial site for hosting the Wiki. This will avoid the problem of having to rely on an academic institution’s server space which can be problematic if an institution changes its hosting policies. Publications researched commercial sites and found one: Godaddy.com which offers a three year plan at $180 for registration of the domain name and web hosting. The domain name “wessweb.info” is currently available and favored by most. Godaddy.com can handle the php format (e.g. Wiki format).

Publications noted that a re-design of the front page of the Wiki is desired and will investigate whether a gift-in-kind or a monetary donation could be used for this.

Motion carried unanimously.

11. Minutes and Updating Committee rosters on Committee wikis (Wenzel)

Incoming chairs and discussion group conveners were reminded to update information on the appropriate wiki pages.

Committees need to submit minutes in MS Word format to Adam Burling and copy Laura Dale Bischoff by July 17, 2008. Discussion groups are not required to submit minutes but are encouraged to do so. Minutes should be posted on WESSWeb wiki. Program committees should also submit minutes of programs.

12. No endorsements or statements about political candidates on ALA email lists or at ALA-hosted events (Wenzel)

Given ALA’s 501c3 status, all ALA members are reminded that they should refrain from making any endorsement or statements about political candidates in any ALA-related email or at ALA-sponsored events. One can talk about specific political issues just not candidates. ACRL will be forwarding a statement of this policy which should also be included in welcome emails to new WESS members. The Publications Committee was asked to add this statement on the wiki page about WESS email lists.

13. Web 2.0 (Vetruba)

Given the rise of traffic on social network sites, Vetruba wonders if WESS should become more visible on Facebook and other Web 2.0 sites. Cason Snow created a WESS page on Facebook and Wenzel asked Publications to update this and link it to the ACRL facebook page. Izbicki volunteered to create an entry for WESS in Wikipedia [There’s an entry for ALA but none for WESS or ACRL].

14. College & Medium-sized Libraries DG (Emanuel)

Given the low attendance at the CML discussion groups in the last few years, Emanuel raised the question whether this group should exist. Usually, there have been no more than three or four participants. No interest has been expressed on the WESS CML listserv for meeting virtually either. The focus and intended audience of this DG does overlap with ACRL’s College Libraries’ Section’s discussion group for medium-sized academic libraries.

The consensus of the Executive Committee was to suspend the CML discussion Group for the time being. Emanuel will gauge interest on the WESS CML listserv about maintaining the group or disbanding it. Emanuel will report back at the Executive Committee meeting at ALA Midwinter 2009.

15. Changes to program proposals to ACRL (Wenzel)

Previously, ACRL sections and the ACRL President were the only ones who could submit program proposals to the ACRL Board. Now, any ACRL member or ACRL interest group can make submission; which will mean increased competition for approval. The ACRL Program Committee, whose members are appointed by the ACRL Board, will approve programs as well as decide on the level of funding. Carr noted that the quality of the program and not the number of potential attendees will be the primary factor in approving programs.

Concern was raised by Executive Committee members about representation of the sections on the Program Committee. Greater concern was expressed about the timing of ACRL’s decision for programs; since much of a program’s committee work is done well in advance to submitting the proposal to ACRL for approval. If a program is rejected, that section would not be able to raise funds from an outside source. Groups or individuals whose programs are rejected will receive comments.

It was noted that ALA is trying to shorten the conference. Collaboration among sections and other groups for programs and other events is encouraged. It was noted that the establishment of interest groups by ACRL contradicts ALA’s goal of shortening the conference.

16. Conference Meeting Room Requests (Wenzel)

Wenzel reminded committee chairs and DG conveners that if they wish to meet together with another group, the chair of WESS needs to know this well in advance. Also, last minute changes for rooms or AV equipments does end up costing ALA. Requests for collocation (all in one hotel) over room setup can be specified.

17. Acknowledgement of Sarah Wenzel (Skib)

Skib voiced the appreciation of WESS Executive and WESS members for Sarah’s outstanding leadership and guidance over the past year.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:32 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Brian Vetruba, Acting WESS Secretary

WESSWeb > WESS Committees > Executive Committee > 2008 Annual Minutes

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