Executive Committee Minutes - 2009 Annual

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Western European Studies Section
Executive Committee Meeting, ALA Annual Conference 2009

Meeting held on July 13, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Conference Center, Room 11a in Chicago, Illinois.


Committee members: Gordon Anderson (Univ. of Minnesota; Chair of 2009 Conference Planning Committee), Laura Dale Bischof (Univ. of Minnesota; Chair), Adán Griego (Stanford Univ.; Chair of 2010 Int’l Conference Planning Committee), Dick Hacken (Brigham Young Univ.; WESSWeb editor), Sarah How (Cornell Univ.; Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect), Jon Marner (Texas A&M; Chair of Publications Committee), Anne Oechtering (Staatsbibliothek Berlin; Member-at-Large) Timothy Shipe (Univ. of Iowa; Chair of Research and Planning Committee), Brian Vetruba (Washington Univ.; Secretary), Sarah G. Wenzel (Univ. of Chicago; Past Chair; Chair of Coutts-Nijhoff Study Grant Jury)

Guests: Adam Burling (ACRL staff liaison), Mary Carr (Spokane Community College; ACRL Board Liaison, John Cullars (Univ. of Illinois-Chicago), Gaby Divay (Univ. of Manitoba), Dennis Lambert (Villanova Univ.), Jim Niessen (Rutgers Univ.), Frances Ott Allen (Univ. of Cincinnati), Louis Reith (Georgetown Univ.), Bryan Skib (Univ. of Michigan)


The meeting was called to order at 1:33 pm.

1. Welcome and Introductions.

Bischof welcomed Executive Committee members and guests. The attendees introduced themselves and signed an attendance sheet.

2. Approval of and Additions to the Agenda (Laura Dale Bischof)

Bischof suggested striking item New ALA Conference Schedule from the agenda as this was discussed during the WESS General Membership meeting. Marner suggested discussing the title of the WESS Newsletter.

The Executive Committee approved the revised agenda.

3. Ratification of Decisions approved previously by Email (Laura Dale Bischof)

The Executive Committee ratified its email approval of the Executive Committee minutes from the ALA Mid-Winter meeting as well as the charge for the SEES/WESS Joint Taskforce.

4. WESS Budget Update (Sarah G. Wenzel reported)

WESS Fundraising Committee had another successful of raising funds. Contributors were Aux Amateurs, Bludeau Partners International, Casalini Libri, PraXess Associates, Proquest-Chadwyck-Healey, Puvill, and Touzot.

Funds were raised for the WESS 2010 Int’l Conference in Madrid. Despite the conference not being realized, WESS may be able to roll over funds to for next international conference. Wenzel will check with ACRL.

Fundraising Committee needs the amount vendors sponsors contributed toward the dinners at Brasserie JO on Sunday. Paula Carns and Megan Griffin will be contacted about this.

It is possible WESS will have funds which will need to be spent before the end of the ALA fiscal year, Aug. 31st. WESS Exec will need to make a quick decision about how to spend the money. Research and Planning created a list of professional development activities entitled "Professional Development and Western European Travel."

5. SEES/WESS merger discussion (Sarah G. Wenzel)

Background: Terri Miller, then SEES Chair, contacted WESS Executive prior to Midwinter 2009 about exploring a merger of the two sections. With representatives of SEES, a possible merger was discussed at WESS Executive Committee’s meeting at Midwinter 2009. A join ad hoc committee of SEES and WESS members was formed to explore a merger and make a final recommendation to both executive committees at Annual 2010.

A question was raised whether there are any precedents within ALA of sections or groups merging.

At the SEES Executive Committee meeting a loss of visibility was one major concern noted, especially with how this will be viewed by library administrators. The American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) is not as valid in the eyes of library administrators.

The ad hoc Committee needs to state the reasons for a merger to both sections. Ad hoc committee members will write up something for the WESS newsletter.

The ad hoc Committee held an open discussion on the possible merger at Annual 2009. Members of SEES and WESS were asked to voice how an ideal combined section would look. The ad hoc Committee will synthesize the ideas presented and form a possible blue-print of a merged SEES-WESS section which will be forwarded to the members.

Per ACRL, there is no limit on the number of committees a section can have.

Members of both sections will need to vote on the merger. If the merger does not occur, the reasons or rationale need to be clearly identified as this is the second time a merger was explored. The first time was in 2004.

Questions/Issues for ACRL:

  • The question of funding a merged section needs to be addressed. How much of each section’s funding would be allocated to the merged section.
  • Procedures for combining two sections need to be created.
  • SEES/WESS (Committee on) Proposed Merger (ad hoc) needs a Board liaison

Earliest timeline of the merger:

  1. Proposal to both executive committees at MW 2010.
  2. Refine proposal during Spring 2010.
  3. Sentiment of SEES and WESS members gauged via survey during Spring 2010.
  4. Combined Executive Committee meeting endorses or rejects merger proposal at Annual 2010.
  5. If approved by both executive committees, referendum on merger by SEES and WESS members during ALA election in Spring 2011.
  6. 2011-2012 SEES and WESS still separate sections.
  7. Election of officers of the merged section—ALA election in Spring 2012.
  8. Newly formed merged SEES-WESS section comes into being-after Annual 2012.

6. WESS International Conference (Adán Griego)

Due to the inability to raise sufficient funds, the 2010 international conference in Madrid has been abandoned. The ad hoc committee is looking at a conference in Berlin as it was the highest ranked location in the survey to WESS members. Anne Oechtering and Brigitte Doellgast are assisting with investigating our options in Berlin. An initial thought was to have the conference in the beginning of June 2011 to coincide with a meeting of German librarians. However, it was felt this would be too close to ALA Annual as well as in the same year as ACRL’s conference. The ad hoc committee is now looking at 2012. Michael Seadle, who is head of the library school at Humboldt Universität in Berlin, has offered to host and provide meeting space. No official invitation has been provided by Seadle; the ad hoc Committee will follow up with him.

Question for ACRL Board: If Humboldt Universität handles registration and hosting, for what do we need to pay ACRL? How much does WESS need to raise to cover those costs and keep the registration fee at a reasonable rate? Tory from ACRL will need to answer these questions.

The ad hoc Committee needs to be reestablished. The charge should not be specific for Berlin or for 2012, simply planning an international conference. Griego agreed to remain as a place holder chair until a new chair is found.

The motion to reestablish the ad hoc WESS International Conference Planning Committee was approved unanimously. The exact charge will be decided on via email.

How will send out email to WESS-L soliciting volunteers for the committee.

7. Action Plan Ideas for 2011 (Brian Vetruba and Timothy Shipe)

With the assistance of Tim Shipe and other members of Research & Planning, two action plan ideas were formulated: 1) Funding of newer librarians to attend the WESS International Conference; and 2) funding LIS students and newer librarians from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups with interest in European Studies for an ALA conference. As the international conference will not occur in 2011, this idea was tabled but can be resurrected for a future year.

Funding LIS students and newer librarians from underrepresented groups to attend an ALA conference for purposes of recruitment into WESS and ACRL address one of ACRL’s strategic goals. The funding would be in the form of stipends and each recipient would be mentored by a WESS member throughout the conference. A suggestion was made to partner with other sections, such as AFAS, AAMES, and SEES. Vetruba will consider.

Another suggestion for an action plan was to fund graduate students with language skills or European Studies subject expertise to attend an ALA conference to recruit them into librarianship.

Burling noted that the “Strategic Initiative Action Plan Proposal Overview” notes that attendance at professional conferences will not be funded through action plans. It’s unclear whether ALA is included. The Board will need to clarify.

8. Proposal to rename WESS Newsletter (Jon Marner)

WESS Membership Committee suggested to Publications to rename the WESS Newsletter, as it also includes scholarly articles. Publications Committee decided to have a list of 5-6 suggestions of possible title changes which will be sent to the membership to vote on. In anticipation of the possible merger, the names will be kept generic. Some suggestions are: Inquiries into European Studies, Euro Focus, European Librarianship in North America, Encompass Europe.

The question was raised whether Publications should go ahead with this. The consensus of Executive Committee was that the first step is for Publications to solicit input from membership as to whether the newsletter title should be changed, what sort of publications WESS should have and support, and for which type of publication would they contribute. Publications will conduct a survey and report back at Midwinter 2010.

9. Updating Committee Charges (Laura Dale Bischof)

As committees are still in the process of being formed, updating charges of committees and discussion groups should be shelved until Midwinter 2010.

10. 2010 Conference Planning (Sarah How)

Together with LES and with SEES in name only, WESS is planning the conference “Contemporary European Fiction in Translation” The Committee envisions a panel of three speakers discussing various perspectives on translation. One speaker will cover publishing, another will be a reviewer of translations, and the third will be a researcher or scholar on translation studies. A two-hour time slot has been secured for the program.

11. Updates from ACRL (Mary Carr)

Board liaisons are now also liaisons to ACRL-division committees. The committees are working on fulfilling the strategic objectives of the section. In particular, the Board is working on the following issues: justifying libraries and librarians to colleges and universities (i.e. their return on investment), retention and recruitment.

The Board is also doing more of its work via ALA Connect.

12. Thanks to outgoing committee chairs (Sarah How).

Meeting adjourned at 3:25pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Brian Vetruba
WESS Secretary

WESSWeb > WESS Committees > Executive Committee > 2009 Annual Minutes

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