Professional Development

Lauren C. at ALA Annual 2011, New Orleans

Thursday, June 30, 2011 12:35 pm

Like Lauren P., most of my hours in New Orleans were spent on responsibilities as an elected representative: Chair of Acquisitions Section (AS) in ALCTS.

I attended 2 programs organized by committees of AS on Saturday morning, had a quick Aramark lunch in the convention center, ran by the Serials Solutions booth to check with Mary Miller about finalizing a contract for the Summon discovery service, then spent the rest of the afternoon in the ALCTS Board meeting. Monday was very similar, right down to the fast Aramark lunch. Sunday was my big day though: I ran the AS Executive Committee meeting, pinch-hit on a panel discussion about print-on-demand after lunch, and that evening, handed a leadership award to Eleanor Cook and a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Knut Dorn.

About a week ago I was asked to substitute for librarians who had to pull out of the panel discussion, so I was prepared, but having never served on a panel outside of my own library, I was really nervous! It helped that there were only about a dozen people who attended. Also Lynn gave me good advice — to think of how calmly and slowly Dr. Ed Wilson speaks — which helped me even more for the awards ceremony, while reading the citation on the certificate for Dr. Dorn! I also announced ALCTS’ decision to rename the award to: HARRASSOWITZ Award for Leadership in Library Acquisitions, In honor of Dr. Knut Dorn, Senior Managing Partner. Dr. Dorn is retiring as the Senior Managing Partner and Director of Sales with HARRASSOWITZ, which has sponsored the award for about 15 years. I still cannot believe how smoothly my day went in spite of having to change location between each major event. I even found the earring I lost that morning in the bottom of my backpack when I got home. Good thing I didn’t throw its mate away!

I feel good about the accomplishments of the Acquisitions Section and the ALCTS division this past year. I’m happy that one particular issue will be seriously addressed in the coming year: I strongly believe that in this era, we should have one conference per year, and that governance shouldn’t be limited just to those who can afford to attend two conferences in person. Finding and implementing solutions is now in the ALCTS strategic plan and the incoming ALCTS President pledged to give her attention to this. The Board approved a strategic plan linked to ALA’s strategic plan. One major initiative of ALA’s plan is Transforming Libraries (see the picture of Lynn and the ACRL Excellence Award at a new portal, http://transforming.ala.org/ ). ALCTS’ linked strategic intitiative is Transforming Collections, with a task force to brainstorm actions. I hope Derrik forgives me that the Board extended the term of the task force, since I got him into that! In addition to strategic planning, my section caught up on getting our web pages updated, put several publications into the pipeline, participated in ALCTS 101, and held 2 well-attended programs and a successful pre-conference on patron-driven-acquisitions of e-books. Once I turn in my section’s annual report, I’ve finished my work on the ALCTS Board, but will still serve a year as Past-Chair for the Acquisitions Section.

Here’s an interesting tidbit I got from Paul Courant, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Michigan, who was the speaker for the ALCTS President’s Program:

Costs of storage:
$4.26 open stacks
$0.86 high density (but not as usable)
$0.22 HathiTrust average

Courant also said that we owe it to students and faculty to do what we do cheaper. He is an economist, and his presentation definitely connected with me, especially with my strong acquisitions focus at this conference. Another point he made that resonated with me is that we should learn to share ownership, going beyond the type of sharing that we’ve typically done via ILL. It made me feel good about our role in ASERL’s journal retention initiative, as a start.


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