Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Annual Report 2007-08

Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Annual Report 2007-08

Article excerpt

The past year has been one of contrasts. The nostalgia and excitement of the fiftieth anniversary celebration in the summer of 2007 was followed by period of tranquility throughout the fall and winter, culminating in renewed energy and enthusiasm in the spring of 2008.

Future of Bibliographic Control

Throughout 2007-08, attention was focused on activities related to the Library of Congress Working Group (LCWG) on the Future of Bibliographic Control, particularly drafting testimony for the working group's public hearings and preparing a detailed response to the final report On the Record on behalf of the American Library Association (ALA). In the spring of 2008, a task group appointed by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) board analyzed the recommendations in the Working Group's report and identified and prioritized those recommendations that ALCTS is best suited to address. (1) A second task group will continue the work by overseeing the implementation of these recommendations in the coming year.

Non-English Access

A steering committee appointed to oversee the implementation of recommendations made by the Task Force on Non-English Access began its work in the summer of 2007. The work is complex and time-consuming and requires collaboration and consultation with numerous groups within ALCTS as well as in the information community at large. An implementation plan developed by the committee provides structure and focus and has helped clarify the committee's role within the community. An electronic discussion list (NonEnglish@ala.org), initially designed to facilitate discussion among steering committee members, is now open to the entire library community and has greatly enhanced the committee's visibility.

Organizational Effectiveness

"The role of libraries is certainly in a state of transformation ... [as is] the change in library user expectations." (2) Recognizing the validity of this statement, the ALCTS Board of Directors surveyed the membership using The 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don't. (3) Response was outstanding and revealed that the members consider ALCTS to be a remarkably successful organization. The survey pointed out, however, that improvements in the areas of communication, effective utilization of data, and organizational adaptability are highly desirable.

To address the concerns that were voiced about communication, an electronic discussion forum (alcts-eforum@ ala.org) was launched to give members and nonmembers a vehicle where topics of immediate interest could be discussed for brief periods of time. The inaugural discussion, on communication, attracted 112 subscribers and indicated very clearly that perceptions about the suitability and effectiveness of the association's communication channels differ widely and there is a definite need for different forms of communication depending on the audience. Nearly two hundred subscribers have registered for the e-forum and a second discussion on the use of vendor~~~~- and publisher-supplied cataloging records generated enthusiastic responses. New discussion topics will be featured on a regular basis and will be announced in advance.

After a careful review of the association's organizational structure, the Organization and Bylaws Committee submitted a ballot proposal to convert all discussion groups to interest groups. The proposal was approved by an overwhelming margin, a clear indication that ALCTS members are eager to support changes that will create a more nimble organization where emerging issues and changing industry conditions can be addressed spontaneously.

Legislative Affairs

Throughout 2007-08, ALCTS was invited to comment on a variety of matters of national significance, ranging from the ALA Preservation Policy to increased funding for cataloging at the Library of Congress to support for shared regional depositories. …

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