Executive Committee Minutes - 2009 Midwinter

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Western European Studies Section
Executive Committee Meeting, ALA Mid-Winter Meeting 2009


Meeting held on January 26, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency, Capital Ballroom 5 in Denver, Colorado.


Committee members: Gordon Anderson (Univ. of Minnesota; Chair of 2009 Conference Planning Committee), Laura Dale Bischof (Univ. of Minnesota; Chair), Paula Carns (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign; Chair of Membership Committee) 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), Tom Izbicki (Rutgers; Chair of Fundraising Committee), 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 Wenzel (Univ. of Chicago; Past Chair; Chair of Coutts-Nijhoff Study Grant Jury)

Guests: Diana Brooking (Univ. of Washington; SEES Member), Adam Burling (ACRL staff liaison), Mary Carr (Spokane Community College; ACRL Board Liaison), Jon Giullian (Univ. of Kansas; SEES Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect), Charlene Kellsey (Univ. of Colorado-Boulder), Jeffry Larson (Yale Univ.), Thea Lindquist (Univ. of Colorado-Boulder; History and Social Sciences DG Convener), Rebecca R. Malek-Wiley (Tulane Univ.), Terri Miller (Michigan State Univ.; SEES Chair), Marcus Richter (Truman State Univ.; Cataloging DG Convener), Kelly Janousek (California State University (CSU)-Long Beach; ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect candidate)

The meeting was called to order at 1:34pm.

1. Introductions

Bischof thanked officers, committee chairs, discussion group (DG) conveners, and WESS members for their hard work and for attending the conference. The attendees introduced themselves and signed an attendance sheet.

2. Approval of agenda (LD Bischof)

The meeting’s agenda was unanimously approved with a slight change in the ordering of agenda items.

3. Approval of Executive Committee email approvals (LD Bischof)

a. Executive Committee Minutes approved for Annual 2008
b. Agreed to explore the merger of WESS and SEES

Both unanimously approved.

4. Approval of WESS Governance Procedures (LD Bischof)

WESS Governance Procedures

Bischof thanked the detailed reading of Governance Procedures by Executive Committee members and in particular, Tim Shipe and Sarah Wenzel.

Bischof and Vetruba suggested an amendment for the Secretary’s functions and responsibilities. In addition to the other duties listed, the Secretary will also be “responsible for maintaining current committee and discussion group rosters on Wess Web”. See: [[Governance_Procedures_of_the_Western_European_Studies_Section - F._Officers|WESS Officers. This change and the Governance Procedures as a whole were approved unanimously.

5. International Conference (Sarah How and Adán Griego)

As previously announced in the WESS General Membership meeting, Griego noted that WESS was unable to come to sufficient funds for the planned international conference in Madrid in 2010 while maintaining an affordable registration fee. Griego provided the Executive Committee with copies of the budget, which must include about $40,000 of ACRL/ALA overhead costs. Griego asks Exec to extend to the life of the ad hoc International Planning Committee to:

  • Continue investigating more affordable options in Madrid
  • Investigate options in Berlin which was the leading city in the survey about possible conference sites. Rowena Griem, Thea Lindquist, and Anne Oechtering will form a subcommittee to look into Berlin.

Continuance of the ad hoc International Conference Planning Committee was approved. The Planning Committee will archive planning documents on WESSWeb.

An international conference would most likely occur in 2012. 2011 was another possible year; Exec was reminded that ACRL’s next national conference is in 2011 which could pose a problem. 2010 is still a slight possibility although unlikely.

Griego noted that WESS could organize the conference without ACRL’s overhead costs for local arrangements. WESS would need to find another organization for local arrangements. How acknowledged the hard work of ACRL staff in planning and assistance to International Conference Planning Committee.

Griego noted problems with using ACRL’s conference planning document and suggests making submissions with a plain Word document. For the expenses spreadsheet, Izbicki suggests creating a spreadsheet for the expenses that has all necessary categories to aid in financial planning.

Carr notes that ACRL Board still supports a WESS international conference but that it’s concerned with bottom lines. Wenzel noted that at times it seemed there were misunderstandings between WESS and ACRL over what ACRL needed. Wenzel suggests better communication about what specifically needs to be in the budget. Carr suggests WESS get on the ACRL Board’s agenda for Annual 2009. Communication needs to start early. Also, Carr should be kept informed so she can answers questions as they arise.

How thanked Griego and the rest of the committee members for their work on organizing the conference.

6. Visit from ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect candidate Kelly Janousek

ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect candidate Kelly Janousek spoke about her experience and highlighted some of the policy areas and directions she wants ACRL to take. She is a librarian at California State University (CSU)-Long Beach and has responsibilities in collection development, instruction and reference. She previously chaired the Law and Political Science (LPSS) Section and has leadership experience in RUSA, and on a foundation board. She has served as treasurer and has done conference planning.

Some policy areas Janousek wants to develop as ACRL President:

  • Empowerment and networking – need to develop this further as well as promote librarians empowering students and faculty
  • Professional/continuous learning – Sections and local ACRL chapters need to collaborate more in providing training and professional development learning opportunities.
  • Information Literacy – Sections need to work with learned societies and academics in formulating information literacy standards. LPSS worked with the American Political Science Association in establishing information literacy standards which were recently published.
  • Passion for librarianship – The ACRL president needs to be passionate about the profession and needs to bring this energy to general public

Janousek was asked about her opinion of virtual versus face-to-face meetings. She stated that all LPSS meetings were held virtually, except for the general membership meeting. For the virtual meetings, cell phones with speakers, an Internet connection, chat, and web cameras were used. LPSS paid for the Internet connection. There many advantages to holding meetings virtually and the LPSS chair received positive comments. The LPSS general membership was held in a hybrid format with a face-to-face meeting at the convention center and members who could not attend Mid-Winter connected remotely. Most members of the section participated in this meeting. Janousek noted that free conferencing software was provided by ACRL for holding the meetings. The new ALA Connect will be useful in providing virtual meetings. It was noted that a decrease in face-to-face meeting at Mid-Winter may decrease conference attendance which could impact ALA/ACRL financially. ALA and ACRL are considering virtual conference registration fees.

Bischof stated that the other candidate for ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, had a meeting conflict and could not attend WESS Executive. She does welcome questions.

[Additional information on both candidates can be found at: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/crlnews/2009/jan/candidates09.cfm]

7. Memorial Minute Honoring Jean Touzot (Jeffry Larson)

Larson submitted two drafts for a memorial minute for Jean Touzot, who passed away in August, 2008. The second draft was unanimously approved.

Approved memorial minute for Jean Touzot:

The Western European Studies Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries takes note of the passing in August 2008 of Jean Touzot, found and former head of Jean Touzot Librarie Internationale. He was one of the leaders in the French export book trade toward North American libraries and a long-time sponsor of WESS’s activities and publications. He will be missed. We would like to express our sympathy to his family and associates and our appreciation for his generous support.

[Anderson said that he will read this statement at the beginning of the 2009 WESS Program, to which the Jean Touzot Librairie Internationale contributes a substantial grant for the funding of speakers—added subsequent to meeting].

The memorial minute will appear in the next issue of the WESS newsletter.

Bischof thanks Larson for composing and submitting the drafts.

8. Possible merger of SEES and WESS (Terri Miller, SEES chair, Jon C. Giullian, SEES vice-chair/chair elect, and Diana Brooking, SEES Member)

SEES website

Discussion of a possible merger began after Annual 2008. Previously, discussion of SEES possibly merging with WESS had taken place at SEES’s Executive meeting in 2004. SEES’s total personal membership is 184 (229 including corporate members) as of November 2008 but only 20 are active members. Also, some are only active virtually. SEES has the problem of not being able to fill leadership positions. It often has trouble getting enough volunteers for section officers and committee appointments. 61 of SEES’s members are also members of WESS.

SEES is particularly strong in providing resources for Slavic Catalogers. It maintains a Slavic Cataloging Manual and has an : Automated Bibliographic Control Committee. Other committees include the Access and Preservation Committee and Newsletter Editorial Board: http://www.gwu.edu/~sees/committees.html. SEES publishes an extensive annual newsletter for which it acquires separate funding from ACRL: http://www.gwu.edu/~sees/newsletter.html.

SEES is more aligned with learned societies than WESS is. Many SEES members also attend the librarians' meetings held at the annual conferences of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies . SEES has no separate listserv but uses SLAVLIBS: http://www.columbia.edu/~jsi19/slavlink.html.

Given the change of scope of many Slavic and Eastern European groups, a merger of SEES and WESS would also need to include Eurasian Studies. The name of European and Eurasian Studies Section (EESS) was put forth as one example of a name for such a combined section.

SEES members' perspectives on a possible merger:

  • Some members of SEES Exec completely support the idea of a merger while others are concerned about losing their section’s identity.
  • SEES would lose its visibility as a section and national organization.
  • Concern about the opportunity for SEES members to get committee assignments in a European/Eurasian Studies Section as they have been able to in SEES.
  • Increased competition for committee assignments/nominations could impact SEES members’ funding for ALA conferences. Often easier to get funding as a section chair or committee chair rather than chair of a discussion group.
  • [In regard to decisions about advancement, promotion, tenure, etc. section chair carries more weight than a committee chair and committee chair carries more weight than chair of a discussion group—added subsequent to meeting]
  • The arrangement of the possible merger would affect how SEES members felt about it.
  • Per ACRL and the new Governing Procedures, SEES does not need to get approval from membership as a whole for the merger. However, a referendum of the membership was suggested as a good idea.
  • East European cities could offer less expensive venues for WESS’s international conference.

Statements/Perspectives from WESS Executive Committee members:

  • WESS is very welcoming and there would be ample room for participation on committees (Wenzel).
  • WESS already has regional discussion groups and could accommodate additional ones (Shipe).
  • Anderson notes that WESS too would lose its brand name but thinks the positives far outweigh the negatives.
  • WESS has a Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance discussion group which covers various geographic regions.
  • SEES has co-sponsored many of the past WESS programs, including the upcoming 2009 one. Incoming chairs would be sensitive to submit program proposals relevant SEES interests. Sections can also submit more than one program proposal.

SEES-WESS merger ad hoc group: A motion was put forward to establish in conjunction with SEES Executive an ad hoc group of WESS and SEES members to explore the union of the two sections. Wenzel, Anderson, Miller (SEES chair), and Giullian (SEES vice-chair/chair-elect) volunteered to serve. The ad hoc group will report back to WESS Executive at Annual 2009. The motion was approved. It was understood that this group could begin its work immediately.

From ACRL’s perspective, there are no problems with a possible merger. A joint SEES-WESS section could possibly receive additional funding from ACRL due to the increase in membership.

9. Casalini 50th Anniversary (LD Bischof)

Jeff Garrett is working with Casalini Libri in organizing an event at ALA Annual 2009 celebrating Casalini’s 50th year anniversary. The event will be at the Newberry Library and WESS members will be invited. Bischof will ask Garrett to send a save-the-date email to WESS-L.

Anderson submitted a motion to congratulate Casalini Libri. The motion was approved. Round of applause.

[Per an email to WESS-L sent on Feb. 1, 2009, the event will be held late afternoon/early evening on Monday, July 13, 2009].

10. Updates

a. Program (Gordon Anderson, Program 2009 Chair)

The WESS Program at Annual 2009 “Situating Area Studies Librarianship in a Globalised World: New Directions, New Collections” will be held on Monday, July 13, 2009 from 12:00-1:30pm. The program is co-sponsored by LES and SEES.

The panel includes Christopher Bush, Prof. of French, Northwestern University, Sabine Engel, Director of the Center for German & European Studies, University of Minnesota, and Christine Ingebritsen, Prof. of Political Sciences & Scandinavian Studies, University of Washington. Stephen Corrisin, Head of Acquisitions at the New York Public Library—The Research Libraries will be the moderator.

The Committee will publicize the program on various listservs and publications. The Committee will also record the program and post video and audio files on WESSWeb. Applause from Exec Committee.

See also:Committee’s Mid-Winter 2009 minutes & 2009 Program wiki page

b. Fundraising (Tom Izbicki, Fundraising Chair)

Izbicki is documenting the Committee’s procedures which will be made available to present and future committee members.

Committee members are working on adding new vendor contacts so WESS is not always soliciting same vendors for funds. Representatives from vendors (both old and new) should be invited as guests to WESS’s socials and not have to pay.

Fundraising is also looking at where WESS can reduce its costs. One example noted is the social at Annual.

Kudos to ACRL staff member Meghan Griffin for all of her help with the Fundraising Committee.

c. Coutts-Nijhof update (Sarah Wenzel)

Coutts-Nijhof provides a grant of $3,000 for research pertaining to Western European Studies, librarianship, or the book trade. Recipients need to be members of ACRL but not necessarily of WESS. It was noted that research areas have not been exclusively Western Europe. Dale Askey focused on German literature in Czechoslovakia and Jim Niessen on German acquisitions in Hungarian libraries.

Coutts-Nijhof has been bought by Ingram. It is still not known whether the name of the award will change.

Coutts-Nijhof asks recipients to provide a quick report or summary of their findings upon their return. Larson noted that in the past it was has been difficult to get a report from some recipients in a timely manner.

d. Annual Program 2010 update (Sarah How)

Upon conferring with LES, How came up with a draft title and working theme for the 2010 conference: “Contemporary European Fiction in Translation”. There will be a moderator with three speakers. One speaker will focus on Translation Studies, the second on translation from a publishing perspective, and the third will a practicing literary translator. This will be joint program between LES and WESS.

It is thought this topic will be highly relevant for English Studies, Comparative Literature, as well as European Studies. It will introduce members to new publishers and new materials. The Committee will use web resources, LibraryThing, Good Reads, and WESSWeb to organize materials and promote the program.

How hopes that DG conveners can use this theme for further discussion at Annual 2010. Heidi Madden has agreed to chair the 2010 Planning Committee with Deb Raftus, Anna Schparberg, Brian Vetruba, and Sarah Wenzel as members.

Larson suggests that the Committee also consider adding translations into other European languages to the theme.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:20pm.

Respectfully submitted, Brian Vetruba, WESS Secretary

WESSWeb > WESS Committees > Executive Committee > 2009 Midwinter Minutes

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