Report on ACRL Chapters Council Meeting at ALA Annual 2017

The ACRL Chapters Council meeting took place on Sunday, June 25, 2017, at the ALA Annual meeting in Chicago.  Cheryl Middleton, current ACRL president, welcomed everyone and spoke about ACRL’s participation in the American Council of Learned Societies fellows program.  This is a career building program that is working to expand the reach of the humanities.  The ACRL sponsored fellow will start at the end of August and will be focusing on the Assessment in Action (AIA) work that has been ongoing.  Middleton mentioned that changes to Connect, the ALA communication/discussion group tool are forthcoming.  Keep an eye out for further information from ALA.  Based on member feedback ACRL is working to reduce the physical footprint of the annual conference in 2018.  The goal is to spend less time traveling between venues so attendees can get to more programs.  All ACRL paper/program submissions will continue to be peer reviewed.   As Cheryl plans her president’s program she will be focusing on change management and how to operate in an environment of doing more with less.  Additionally, new roadshow programing will continue in order to help those who can’t attend conferences stay involved nationally.  Some ideas for roadshows include scholarly communication, engaging with the framework, data management and assessment.

Irene Herold, the outgoing ACRL president spoke next, thanking the local chapter in Kentucky for hosting her. Herold reminded the chapter representatives that their local chapters can host a speaker from ACRL national at no cost to the chapter.

Irene reminded us all of the importance and power of legislative days in Washington, D.C.  Outgoing ALA president,  Julie Todaro, spoke during the ALA annual meeting of LSTA and IMLS funding reminding members it was not a quick sprint but a minimum nine month process to get funding into the budget for 2018.  Members need to keep contacting their representatives to remind them of the importance of library funding.

Next Mary Ellen Davis, ACRL Executive Director spoke about the current opening at ACRL for a new program coordinator.  The position is posted and actively accepting applicants.  In the area of action research ACRL has contracted with OCLC research to update the Oakleaf report to address outstanding research questions.  OCLC will be providing a data visualization tool with the report.   They are hoping this report will be released in the fall.   Davis reminded everyone that ACRL/Choice will continue to offer sponsored webinars.  Some of the areas that will be covered include standards for libraries in higher education,  a community college engagement task force, and focus group research results.  Planning for ACRL 2019 is underway.  Trevor Dawes, University Librarian at the University of Delaware is the conference chair.  Keep an eye out for ways to get involved, to submit ideas etc.

The board is looking at guidelines for use of ACRL funds for chapters Currently the guidelines are written as  “funds can be used for activities and support charitable and educational purposes.”  The board is thinking of removing the word charitable.  They want funds to exclusively support professional development.  Davis reiterated that ACRL really needs help with legislative issues.  She suggested we all sign up for updates from the ALA Washington office, send postcards, email, or tweet with hashtags.  Letters take too long to get to Congressional offices.

A quick election for new Chapters Council board members was held.  There were openings in the vice chair, and secretary positions.  Members voted Edward Rock in as the new Vice Chair and Natalie Burclaff as the new secretary.

The final presentation of the Chapters Council meeting was by Kim Boyd who led a Best Practices discussion.  She discussed her work with team members on the creation, launch and growth of the Georgia State Library Association Carterette webinar series.  This series of webinars is free and open to anyone, not just Georgia librarians.  Kim detailed the amount of work and time it takes to run these webinars but the response has been overwhelmingly positive and it has increased the Georgia Library Association membership and member engagement significantly.

— Submitted by Jessica Brangiel, Chapters Council Representative and ACRL-DVC Secretary