ANSS Currents – Vol. 15, No. 2 November 2000

American Library Association
Association of College and Research Libraries


The Newsletter of the ACRL Anthropology & Sociology Section

Vol. 15, No. 2 ISSN 0888-5559 November 2000


As we approach our 30th anniversary as a section in ACRL, we will need to draw on the dedication and hard work of all our members. ANSS has several committees that are working on a number of professionally rewarding projects. For example, the Bibliography Committee is preparing new critical reviews of bibliographic resources for publication in ANSS Currents. The Liaison Committee is developing a new “Ask a Reference Librarian” service and is working on other initiatives that will promote collaboration with other professional associations. Our Conference Program Planning Committees continue to organize outstanding, well-received programs at annual conferences.

The Publications Committee continues to produce the section newsletter, ANSS Currents. The section also provides two excellent electronic forums for sharing information — our listserv, ANSS-L, and web site, ANSSWeb. ANSS also has discussion groups for anthropology and sociology librarians that provide ongoing forums for discussing issues.

These activities not only support the interests of ANSS members, but also support the goals of our umbrella organization. ACRL has a new strategic plan through 2005, and announced that it has approved a one-time allocation for each section to be used during FY2001 for activities that support that plan. We also have the opportunity, as the other sections do, to use ACRL Initiative Funds to fund cutting-edge projects.

Of course, ANSS can not accomplish anything without you, its members. In recognition of this fact and to provide more support for membership activities, ANSS has a new Membership Committee. I want to thank all of the folks who responded to my requests for committee volunteeo my requests for committee volunteers this past year. With your support, I was able to make over twenty-five new committee appointments including those of several members new to the Section.

Subscribe to our listserv, ANSS-L, and “talk” to your colleagues. If you are interested in serving on a committee or as a discussion group convenor, please contact our Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Anna DeMiller at (970) 491-1858, If you have any ideas, questions, or just want to let us know how the section can better support you, please contact me at (316) 978-5080 or

Preliminary Midwinter Schedule

Saturday, January 13th
Executive Committee (1 of 2) 8-9 am
Bibliography Committee (1 of 2) 9:30-11 am
Liaison Committee 9:30-11 am
Nominating Committee 9:30-11 am
Publications Committee 9:30-11 am
Review and Planning Committee 9:30 – 11 am
Sociology Librarians Discussion Group 11:30-12:30

Sunday, January 14th
Conference Program Planning 2001 8-9 am
Bibliography Committee (2 of 2) 9:30-11 am
Membership Committee 9:30-11 am
Anthropology Librarians Discussion Group 4:30-5:30

Monday, January 15th
Conference Program Planning 2002 8-9 am
Executive Committee (2 of 2) 9:30 am-12:30

Please check a conference schedule for schedule changes. All meetings, except those of the Nominating Committee, are open to ANSS members and visitors.

Candidates for ANSS Offices

Submitted by Christina Smith, Chair, Nominating Cmt.

Royce Kurtz, University of Mississippi
William Wheeler, Yale University

Wade Kotter, Weber State University
Katharine Whitson, University of Washington, Bothell

Erin Daix, University of Delaware
Stephen Fowlkes, Tulane University

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect Candidates’ Statements:

Kurtz, Royce D. Education: MacPherson College, B.A., 1971; University of Arizona, M.L.S., 1974, University of Iowa, Ph.D. in anthropology. 1986. Present Position: Head of Informational and Instructional Services, University of Mississippi, 1998-present; Social Sciences Reference Librarian and Bibliographer, University of Mississippi, 1988-present; Official Representative to ICPSR, 1989-present. ALA Divisions: ACRL: ANSS: Program Planning Committee, 1990-92; Bibliographning Committee, 1990-92; Bibliography Committee 1994-98. Publications: “Review of America; History and Life on the Web.” ANSS Currents, November 1999; “Review of the ICPSR Web Site,” ANSS Currents, May 1998; “Review of Christine Schultz White and Benton R. White: Now the Wolf Has Come,” Ethnohistory, 1997. “Looking at the Ledgers: Sauk and Mesquakie Trade Debts, 1820-1840,” The Fur Trade Revisited, 1994. “Timber and Treaties; the Sauk and Mesquakie Decision to Sell Iowa Territory,” Conservation and Forest History, April 1991.

Statement of Concern: I strongly support the section’s efforts to increase membership and participation in standing committees, to form liaisons with other professional organizations, and to increase our presence on the Web. ANSS must also continue to stress the importance of subject specialties in a profession too enamored of technical expertise. ANSS should also review how it can further the ACRL goareview how it can further the ACRL goal of information literacy and add the missing component of knowledge expertise. E-mail and electronic chat should be tools to facilitate the work of ANSS committees, involve more librarians in the work of the section, and reduce time spent at conferences. I recommend more critical reviews of Web products and their speedy posting on the ANSS Web site. If elected chair of ANSS, I will work diligently towards these goals as Chair, Anthropology and Sociology Section, ACRL.

Wheeler, William. I am not sure I want this position of responsibility: it looks like a lot of work, I am relatively new to the library science field, and the other candidate looks to be more qualified. That said, however, if elected I would serve to the best of my ability. I would work to increase awareness of ANSS programs and initiatives, to develop broader relnd initiatives, to develop broader relationships with other ACRL groups (such as increased co-sponsorship), to increase our interaction with other professional entities (such as AAA) and to maintain our historic strengths (for example in bibliography). My defining interest as a librarian is to understand the relationship between research in subject fields (such as anthropology and sociology) and the librarian’s ability to enhance subject access for users. Therefore, as chair, I would also ask ANSS to revisit its fundamental purposes and assumptions in light of our new era of online databases and services, electronic invisible colleges, increased possibilities of communication, and increasing problems with information overload.

Qualifications: I hold a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology and Folklore (anthropology minor) from Indiana University, a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Carleton College and an MLS from Illinois where I worked in Latin American collection development and reference. At Yale I am coordinator of collection development for the social sciences and librarian for anthropology, sociology and international affairs. A fairly complete resume of my background can be read at:


Submitted by William Wheeler

The 2000 ACRL/ANSS Program, “Sociological and Anthropological Research in Transition: Transdisciplinary Collaboration and Qualitative/Quantitative Rapprochement,” was held on Sunday morning, July 9. There were about 50 people in attendance.

Four speakers in this session spoke to various aspects of the topic. William Wheeler provided an overview, suggesting that the increasing use of data is at least one of the factors contributing to changes in social science research. Tom Smith, Director of the National Opinion Research Center, provided information on the International Social Survey Programme, a cross-national collaboration on social science topics he helped found (see Jennifer Hiselman, a research associate at the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (see, presented information on state-level criminal justice statistics. She advocated a central site that links to state statistical analysis centers (see Two Yale librarians ended the program with examples of interdisciplinary research and the expansion of data services. William Wheeler provided examples of current interdisciplinary research and data use at Yale. Jocelyn Tipton noted the increasing necessity for librarians to have data literacy in guiding researchers to relevant sources. She recommended librarians consider the Association of Public Data User (see and the International Association>) and the International Association for Social Science Information Service & Technology (


Executive Committee

Submitted by Sally Willson Weimer, Past Chair

This following report provides an overview to some projects and activities of the ANSS and the ANSS Executive Committee. The Section’s Strategic Plan Implementation “Activity Report” for 1999-2000 has been placed on the ANSS Web. To make our meetings more effective, it was suggested that we try to schedule many, not all, of our Section committee meetings at the same time – all committees meeting concurrently in a large room at ALA Midwinter Meeting, Washington DC. In addition, our section membership has declined about 5 percent or so, so we are looking at trying to recoup or recruit new members.

Sally and Cathy Moore-Jansen reported briefly about the ACRL Sections Council meeting and its activities. Some attendees had questioned > Some attendees had questioned whether the Sections Council is serving the purpose they think it should. Should it be a policy making body or should it be a forum for sharing ideas? If you have suggestions, please send them to Cathy Moore-Jansen or Anna DeMiller.

Bibliography Committee

Submitted by Wade Kotter, Chair

The Bibliography Committee met once during the Annual Meeting in Chicago. The major activity of this meeting involved editing Katie Whitson’s review of Sociological Abstracts, which was approved, with modifications, for publication in the November 2000 Issue of ANSS Currents. Several future projects were also discussed.

Conference Program Planning Committee 2001

Submitted by Erin Daix, Chair

The committee met on Saturday, July 8, 2000, and finalized the panel of four speakers. Marc Becker teaches Latin American history at Truman State University, and is the founder of NativeWeb. Harry Cleaver is an economist from University of Austin Texas, and has researched the role of the Internet in the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas. Itibari Zulu is a librarian at the UCLA Center for African American Studies, and is involved in research dealing with Information Apartheid. The last speaker will be from the Institute of Global Communications (IGC). This group is the host of such web sites as PeaceNet, EcoNet, and AntiRacismNet.

Daix reported on the budget and a discussion on fund-raising followed. The committee decided to approach several vendors to raise funds for speaker travel support. The program title will be “Social Movements, Marginalized Groups and the Internet: Issues for Librarians and Researchers.”

Liaison Committee

Submitted by Christine Whittington, Chair

The Committee discussed the possibility of submitting a proposal for ACRL Initiative funds for liaison activities, i.e., for a program /activity at the meeting of an anthropological or sociological organization. The Committee will survey ANSS members about their membership in other organizations. This survey will go to ANSS-L and to the list of ANSS committee members. A copy may also be obtained by e-mailing the Liaison Committee Chair at

The Committee is working on an “Ask-a-Librarian” form that would be a link from the ANSS web page. The form would be available for anyone to submit reference questions to sociology and anthropology librarians. Questions would initially go to a Liaison Committee member who could make referrals. We could eventually contact anthropology and sociology organizations and volunteer to have the service linked from their pages.

Publications Committee

Submitted by Gary A. McMillan, Chair

Principle items under discussion were the brochure, the newsletter, and the web site. The Committee discussed the new design of the brochure as well as the frequency of updating and the process of reproduction. Production of updated editions (at least annually, preferably for each meeting) will be arranged on an ad hoc basis. The latest newsletter was critiqued, including the graphics clip art books available for use. Erin Daix has agreed to scan the newsletter backrun into Adobe Acrobat PDF format to enable us to post the newsletter archive. The committee also discussed creating a comprehensive online index.

A major item of business discussed was a new home for the web site – currently maintained through the generosity of the Old Dominion University Libraries. It was decided that we would eventually find a permanent home at a library affiliated with an organization having a vested interest at least one of the core ANSS disciplines. Joyce Ogburn has been steadily adding and updating content, including the ANSS Manual. The Committee’s primary function is to make ANSS information and resources available online. The Committee also discussed other web-based projects such as maintaining a “web scrap book” commemorating events in the history of the Section.

Review and Planning Committee

Submitted by J. Christina Smith, Chair

The Review and Planning Committee met on Monday, July 10. We held a brief discussion about scheduling meetings for the 2001 Midwinter and Annual Conference meetings and determined that an all-committee meeting time slot would not be able to accommodate every committee. It may be possible to schedule several meetings concurrently, however.

We also discussed a proposal by ANSS member Mary Jane Brustman, chair of the ACRL Criminal Justice/ Criminology Discussion Group, that the discussion group become a committee within ANSS. We suggested revisions to the proposed charge of the committee and referred the request to the Executive Committee.


Anthropology Librarians’ Discussion Group

Pauline Manaka and Brita Servaes, Co-conveners

The topic was “Different Publishers in Anthropology: Quality, Selection, Prices.” Brita Servaes presented a sample list of major US anthropology publishers, noting that one cannot establish a true master list, since anthropology is very interdisciplinary. Suzanne Calpestri then led a discussion about anthropology selection and the problems anthropology selectors have with approval plans. The changing context of selection work and the vastly complex nature of anthropology was noted, and the importance of liaison work with teaching departments and with other subject selectors was stressed.

Sociology Librarians Discussion Group

Submitted by Brian Quinn, Convener

Stephen Fowlkes and Dana Edwards have volunteered to serve as the new co-conveners. The general topic of discussion was collection development. Budget allocation was discussed, including factors considered by selectors such as the number of students, number of degrees offered, number of faculty, course offerings, and faculty reulty, course offerings, and faculty research interests. Librarians also discussed using annual email surveys of faculty, faculty web pages, national rankings of departments, and circulation statistics as factors in determining budget allocation. Methods of acquiring new journals were also discussed, including the necessity for canceling existing titles prior to purchasing new journal titles.

Other discussion topics included collecting resources forcollecting resources for interdisciplinary areas, checking course catalogs, and the role of consortia and how they influence collection development decisions. Another librarian mentioned that his library would award matching funds to any academic department that is willing to put up subscription money. At that point the group’s time had expired and the meeting was adjourned


ACRL’s 10th National Conference in Denver: Explore critical issues facing academic librarianship and higher education in Denver, March 15-18, 2001, at “ACRL X: Crossing the Divide.” Details and registration forms at Questions? Call 800-545-2433; ext. 2522 or e-mail:

PersonnelPersonnel: Lisa A. Mitten, formerly the anthropology bibliographer at the University of Pittsburgh, is now the Social Sciences Subject Editor for anthropology, history, and sociology for CHOICE.



ANSS Currents (ISSN 0888-5559) is published by the Anthropology and Sociology Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago IL 60611; (312) 944-6780.

����American Library Association, 2000.

Co-Editors: Isabel del Carmen Quintana, Tozzer Library, Harvard University, 21 Divinity Ave., Cambridge MA 02138-2019. (617) 495-2292

Mary M. Nofsinger, Holland Library, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-5610, (509) 335-8614; (509) 332-1274

Production & Circulation Office: 50 E. Huron Son Office: 50 E. Huron St., Chicago IL 60611.

ANSS Currents is published semi-annually in May and November and is distributed, at no additional charge, to members of the section. Back issues are available from ALA/ACRL, 50 East Huron St., Chicago IL 60611.

Chair, 2000-2001: Cathy Moore-Jansen, Ablah Library, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0068. (316) 978-5080.

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, 2000-2001: Anna DeMiller, Morgan Library, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1019. (970) 491-1858.

ANSS is now seeking volunteers for committee assignments. Please fill out the volunteer form. Read Descriptions of committees.