Recruitment Committee Minutes - 2009 Midwinter (Virtual Mtg.)

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WESS Recruitment to the Profession Committee

Virtual Midwinter Meeting (via email)

Jan. 15-20, 2009


Members: George Paganelis (chair), Elisabeth Pankl, Virginia Cole, Eileen, Bentsen, Michelle Emanuel, Claudia Alcala-Iniguez, Kathryn Brooks

Guests: Brian Vetruba, Kathy Rutter, Sarah Wenzel, Alison Hicks, Frances Ott Allen, Anna Shparberg

Recruitment Committee Web site (wiki):

Since ALA Annual 2008, a great deal of work was put in updating and enhancing the content of the Committee's site. Apart from Committee agendas and minutes back to 2006, much new content was added under Recruitment Resources. It was discovered that many links were broken owing mainly to changes on ALA's Web site. The chair has since fixed all broken links.

Job Shadowing Program:

Since the program was launched in early September, nine individuals have completed the interest form and two of those matched for job shadowing experiences hosted by members of WESS. Discussion ensued about ways to continue to promote the program and get more members of WESS to volunteer to host. One idea presented was to gather the e-mail contact information of all ALA-accredited library schools and send out a promotional message to be passed on to their students. Beyond library schools, an updated promotional message sent to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and other select scholarly groups would be another target audience. The need to promote the program to other sections within ACRL, at the ALA Recruitment Assembly, and in other venues (e.g., ALA's NMRT and student chapters) was also identified.

Another line of discussion focused on alternative means of contacting interested individuals who may not be in close enough proximity to engage in job shadowing. E-mail, IM, and telephone contact were suggested as ways to connect with these persons.


  • Eileen Bensten volunteered to undertake contacting ALA-accredited library schools. George will work with her on a message that could then be adapted to scholarly societies and related groups which WESS has identified as liaison partners.
  • George will also seek to expand the list of e-mail contacts so that individuals who cannot job shadow or who have not been matched can still communicate with a working librarian about his/her career, etc.

ACRL funding of two WESS members to present on recruitment at learned society meetings:

With funding from ACRL and WESS a pilot program was established that would provide reimbursement funding for up to two WESS members to give recruitment presentations on academic librarianship at meetings/conferences of learned societies. This program was launched in early September and announced on WESS-L, but has thus far had no applicants. Some possible reasons for this include an insufficient level of funding ($600 max.), conference planning far in advance of the current program's timeframe, and general unawareness of the program. The funding, if unexpended by Aug. 31, 2009, cannot be carried over and will revert to ACRL.


  • An announcement was to be made at the WESS General Membership Meeting at Midwinter. George will follow that up with another announcement about the program on WESS-L the week of Feb. 2.

Liaising with professional groups & other ALA units:

Updated information about the Committee has been added to a number of areas on ALA's and ACRL's respective wikis. The Committee has also had a representative attend the ALA Recruitment Assembly for the past several years (Kathy Rutter volunteered to attend at Midwinter). Other sections within ACRL will be a particular focus in the near future. Other external groups such as liberal arts colleges and career counseling/development groups were suggested as further partners for liaising.


  • In conjunction with the job shadowing promotion message, a broader message regarding the Committee and its work will be sent to a consolidated list of library and scholarly groups, including the ACLS, the umbrella group for many learned societies.

Personal/local recruitment efforts

Committee members continued with their personal/local recruitment efforts. Together, committee members participated in two in-person meetings since ALA Annual 2008. Discussion focused on this aspect of recruitment as being somewhat neglected in the bigger picture of recruitment within WESS, with suggestions for how to proceed at one's institution or local area.


  • Committee members were encouraged to focus on one local effort they could engage in either at the library, campus, or regional level.

ALA Recruitment Assembly at Midwinter 2009

Kathy Rutter volunteered to represent the Committee at the ALA Recruitment Assembly, whose meeting conflicts with the WESS General Membership Meeting, at which George would need to be present. Owing to illness, however, George was unable to attend Midwinter at all.

New business

Vetruba proposed the creation short Web videos of WESS librarians for recruitment purposes and offered to create a pilot video for this purpose.

WESS Recruitment to the Profession Committee main page

WESSWeb > WESS Committees > Recruitment to the Profession Committee > Recruitment Committee Minutes - 2009 Midwinter (Virtual Mtg.)

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