ANSS Currents – Vol. 12, No. 2 November 1997

American Library Association
Association of College and Research Libraries


The Newsletter of the ACRL Anthropology & Sociology Section

Vol. 12, No. 2 ISSN 0888-5559 November 1997


While browsing past issues of Currents looking for inspiration for this message, I found to my surprise that the message from the chair does not have a long history. Our leaders have been so good, perhaps I took for granted that their inspirational thoughts had been documented more regularly. Nevertheless, their presence and leadership have provided many of us with guidance and motivation both for active participation in ANSS and in doing our jobs.

Following a distinguished group of leaders is tough. But I know that the strength and leadership of ANSS really comes from its members. So in thh and leadership of ANSS really comes from its members. So in that respect, it will be easy to lead because the members are always pushing ahead.

ANSS has many strengths and accomplishments. First, there is the character of the membership. Our members are highly focused, professional, committed, knowledgeable, and supportive. This is a group that gives and gives of its collective time and expertise. Second, we have a strong publication program in ANSS Currents, ANSS-L, and ANSSWeb. We have many avenues now for communication among our members and with others. Third, there is the quality of the meetings at ALA. We continue to sponsor outstanding and provocative programs and discussions.

With all this, what do we still need?

ANSS has traditionally been dominated by anthropologists, so we as a group must continue to support sociology and related subjects more vigorously in our agendas and resources. At ALA Midwinter we also discovered that there is interest in linguistics among our ranks. This may be a fruitful area for inclusion, as there is no other home for the subject in ACRL.

The section also desires to establish a formal liaison with other professional, subject-oriented societies. ANSS is pursuing funding from ACRL for participation at the meetings of these organizations. ACRL has also encouraged ANSS to take our programs on the road to other professional meetings.

Judging from the discussions at ALA, our subject specialists are sts at ALA, our subject specialists are still struggling with finding and using quality reference sources, selecting materials, keeping up with traditional literature, and conquering the Internet. ANSS should find more ways to help our members perform their jobs. The Internet offers great opportunities for us to publish guides and helpful information for each other and future generations of subject specialists. The ANSS-L subscriber list is smaller than our membership list. Subscribe today–your colleagues are there ready to answer your questions.

To accomplish our objectives, ANSS needs volunteers and a larger active core. Committee members find professionally rewarding work in our reviewing, publishing, editing, program development, and outreach activities. ANSS depends on you, the members, to make the section successful.

Volunteer for an ANSS committee by contacting the Chair-elect, J. Christina Smith at: Mugar Memorial Library, Boston University, 711 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA 02215-1401. Or see ANSSWeb for a copy of the volunteer form. Information about the committees can be found here.

Also tell me what the section can do for you. Get in touch with me at or 757-683-4189. I would love to hear from you.

Thanks goes to all of our past and present ANSS leaders, and here’s to another great year!


Vice chair/chair elect:
Sally Willson Weimer

Isabel del Carmen Quintana
Anna L. DeMiller

Candidate Statement:

WEIMER, SALLY WILLSON: Education: University of California, Santa Barbara, B. A., Sociology, 1971; San Jose State Univ., CA., Calif. Standard Teaching Credential, 1972, M. A. in Librarianship, 1974; M. P. A., Calif. State Univ.-Northridge at Ventura, 1987. Present Position: Librarian, Sociology & Global Peace & Security Collections Manager, Davidson Library, University of Calif., Santa Barbara, 1976-present. ALA Divisions: ACRL ANSS Sociology Librarians Discussion Group, approx. 1993+, Co-Convener, 1995+; ACRL LPSS Library Instruction Committee, 1993+ ; ACRL WSS 1993 Conference Program Committee, Co-Chair, 1991-93; ACRL WSS Social Issues/Education Committee, 1994+ ; RASD MARS User Access to Services Committee, 1991-94. Honors: Beta Phi Mu, 1974+; Women in Education Award, 1993, awarded by Calif. Federation of Teachers, Los Angeles, March 1993. Publications: Teaching on the Cutting Edge: An Annotated Guide Through the Literature, TEACHING EDUCATION, Summer/Fall 1994, 6(2): 133-145. ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING ALTERNATIVES FOR COLLECTIONS OF AMERICA’S DIVERSITY, Karen R. Diaz, editor. Chicago, IL: ALA, 1995 (RASDDiaz, editor. Chicago, IL: ALA, 1995 (RASD Occasional Papers number 18 (ALA RASD MARS User Access to Services Comm.)). FEMINIST MOVEMENTS, By Sally Willson Weimer and Kathy Kerns; General Editor: Bernice Lacks. Sociology Information Resources, InfoSurf, UCSB Library, Internet WWW Page at:, version current as of 17 Sept. 1997.

Statement of Concern: As we enter the next millennium, we in ANSS will want to seek collaborative strategies to get to know our colleagues, enhance our knowledge, improve our academic collections and services, and help to improve our section. I welcome colleagues and members of our section to reach out and become involved in our committees and discussion groups. We have much to share with each other, such as building digital and print library collections, enhancing services to our academic clientele, working with faculty, and critiquing web pages and electronic resources. I welcome the opportunity to share in our differences and build on our strengths. By working together using creativity and encouragement, we can help our section, association, and the academic community to provide improved resources and services to our clientele and colleagues.


The program, “The Cold War: Social Science research, Scholarly Communication, and the Development of New infoation, and the Development of New information Resources,” was lively, informative, and well attended. It was written up in College & Research Libraries News, Sept. 1997, pp. 538-9, by Jim Williams. Tapes are available from ALA . The tour of the California Academy of Sciences Library included an overview of the anthropology collections and visits to the Library and the Biodiversity Center, as well as the collections themselves. Academy staff were most gracious and informative and everyone enjoyed the small group format.


Executive Committee

Fred J. Hay, Past-Chair

Executive Committee met with Linda Muroi, ACRL Board liaison for ANSS. Linda has continued to do an excellent job representing the Section’s interests and concerns to the ACRL Board. Linda reported that the Board responded favorably to supplying financial support for substantial liaison efforts between ANSS and appropriate subject-specific happropriate subject-specific higher education associations (e.g., an ANSS program at the annual meeting of the AAA).

Linda also pursued the matter of obtaining membership statistics on who attends ALA conferences. ANSS has repeatedly requested this information and Linda was told once again that ALA was not technologically “up” to doing this.

ANSS member and ANSS-L listserv moderator, Steve MacLeod met with Executive Committee to discuss his decision (in consultation with Executive Committee members) to move ANSS-L from an unmoderated to a moderated forum. This move was provoked by the rude and disruptive postings made by a non-ANSS member. (Executive Committee thanked Steve for handling this difficult situation with such diplomacy.) Steve would like to step-down, after three years of service, as listserv moderator. He also proposed the establishment of a listserv editorial board. This recommendation was referred to the Publications Committee for further discussion. ANSS-L currently has 360 subscribers, half of whom reside outside the U.S.

Joan Berman, Suzanne Calpestri, and the Program Planning Committee were applauded for their work in putting together an outstanding program. It was observed that LIBRARY JOURNAL gave the program star billing and that COGNOTES snubbed it. The speakers at this year’s ANSS program did not sign the permission forms so the program was not taped. Joyce Ogburn will, however, pnot taped. Joyce Ogburn will, however, put the bibliography on the Cold War prepared by Chris Smith and updated by Suzanne on the ANSS home page.

Fred, in his last act as Section Chair, neglected to thank the members of the Executive Committee and the Chairs of the standing committees for their hard work during the year which made his tenure as Chair a smooth and successful one. Belatedly, he thanks them now.

Liaison Committee

Al Bartovics, Past Chair

A reply-card survey of institutions receiving complementary copies of ANSS Currents was distributed with the spring, 1997, distribution. Ultimately, twenty-eight (58% of the recipients) responded, five of which asked to be removed from our list. Discussion group conveners were asked to collect suggestions for new recipients to replace those dropped. The list could especially use additions from the Pacific Rim, elsewhere in Asian and Africa. Suggestions should be forwarded to Lori Foulke, incoming Chair of the Liaison Committee, before the fall distribution.

Liaison members reviewed the current status of the “subject specialists” directory initiative with the assistance of past Chair, David Hovde. The Committee concluded that the Directory would be less a “publication” requiring ACRL Board approval than a “database” (available via the ANSS Web site) which may not need such approval. Linda Muroi agreed to find out whether ACRL would require Board approval ether ACRL would require Board approval for such a project. David agreed to forward the electronic version of the Directory data form to Lori, who will make it operative, publicize it on appropriate listservs and collect the responses.

It was recommended and agreed that anyone to be listed in the directory indicate on the data form some degree of willingness to be consulted in their listed areas of expertise. Since the directory will require regular maintenance, it should be mounted at a site where it can be easily updated and linked there from the ANSS Web site. Sitting members of the Liaison Committee would comprise an ongoing editorial body for changes. The Liaison Committee welcomes incoming Chair Lori Foulke (Univ. Ill., Urbana) and new members. Departing members pledge any assistance as may be helpful to the largely reconstituted group.

Bibliography Committee

Cathy Moore-Jansen, Chair

The Bibliography Committee met twice at ALA Annual. At its first meeting, the committee discussed Anna DeMiller’s review of the NISC version of Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts. Revisions of the review will be made and distributed to committee members. At a second meeting, the committee discussed the selection and assignment of future projects. The following resources have been assigned to committee members for review: American History and Life, Anthropological Index Online (web version), International Biblioline (web version), International Bibliography of the Social Sciences , NCJRS (web version), Population Index (web version), and Sociofile. The committee then turned its attention to a draft of Royce Kurtz’s review of the ICPSR. Finally, the committee considered a new draft of the criteria for analyzing indexes and abstracts prepared by Jim Haug. The discussion of review criteria will continue at 1998 Midwinter.

Publications Committee

Janet Steins, Chair

The Publications Committee met on Sunday and moved foreword on several projects. A draft version of a Guide to Editing ANSS Currents, prepared by Joyce Ogburn with additional suggestions from Janet Steins, was discussed and approved for inclusion on ANSSWeb. The May issue of ANSS Currents was critiqued. A new image, free from copyright restrictions, now appears on the front page. Ellen Gilbert and Isabel Quintana will continue as editors for the 1997/98 year. The next membership brochure will be updated extensively, since much of the information, such as historical highlights and list of programs (both taken from the section’s manual), will shortly be on ANSSWeb. Tony Stamatoplos will work on the new brochure, and various ideas discussed will be forwarded to him. Joyce will continue as editor of ANSSWeb. The committee will recommend to Executive Committee that both this position and the listserv moderator position (Steve MacLeod) be made ex officio members eve MacLeod) be made ex officio members of the Publications Committee. ANSS-L was recently converted to a moderated forum by Steve. He wishes to begin finding someone new to take over his role as moderator.

Nominating Committee

James W. Williams, Chair

ACRL election procedures and timetables were reviewed. Potential candidates for ANSS Vice-Chair/Chair Elect and Member-at-Large for the 1998 ALA election were identified.

Conference Program Planning Committee for the 1998 Annual Meeting in Washington DC

Greg Finnegan, Chair

The Program Planning Committee for the 1998 reported the program as outlined at Midwinter to the ANSS executive and the ACRL Divisional Program Planning Committee.

The working title for the program is “Research 2001: Learned Societies Facilitating Information Awareness and Dissemination in Sociology and Anthropology.”

Between now and New Orleans, we will identify and contact the headquarters of the Washington-based professional associations in the two disciplines to invite their participation. The committee will also be in contact, through member Margaret Dittemore, with the Smithsonian regarding possibilities for tours, with a decision on what to pursue being made at the 1998 Midwinter.


Anthropology Librarians Discussion Group

J. Christina Smith, Convener

Concerns regarding the selection and review of audiovisu regarding the selection and review of audiovisual materials in anthropology opened the Anthropology Librarians Discussion Group meeting at ALA in San Francisco. The AAA publication Films for Anthropological Teaching (8th ed.) is of recent vintage, but information on current distributor addresses may not be current. American Anthropologist is a source for anthropological film reviews. Penn State has a good catalog of anthropological films. Penn State’s Media Sales Web site: Sales/ has a separate listing for anthropology films, although their main catalog is not on the Web page yet. Documentary Education Resources in Watertown, MA ( /docued/) produces and distributes films and videos. Their site is searchable by title, geographic area and subject. HADDON is a database of archival ethnographic films and film fgraphic films and film footage shot between 1895 and 1945. It also lists other film sources on the Web ( Jay Ruby at Temple University maintains a listserv, VISCOM (

The topic shifted to the collecting of anthropology newsletters. Some are ephemeral (but are they any more ephemeral than messages on a listserv?). Newsletters are the history of a discipline and they include important information, such as obituaries, not found in the societies’ journals. Early mimeographed newsletters are often a preservation concern. Some journals may have started out as mimeographed newsletters that eventually become more substantial than a newsletter. Few libraries collect newsletters of anthropological societies although some may collect those of local societies. Is this group interested in creating an anthropology newsletter union list (similar to the LARG list of serial publications)?

Regarding new journals, it is important to consider new journals in a budget (even when serial cuts are called for), and to subscribe to the first issue. If you wait a few years to see if the journal evolves into something “traditional” and “accepted” it may be too late to get the first volume or two. Current Anthropology had a “prospectus volume” before volume 1; how many libraries have that vol 1; how many libraries have that volume? EBSCO has a missing copy bank service and Dawson has two years’ worth of journals.

With respect to duplicates which come in as gifts (books or journals), consider book dealers as well as programs to get materials into libraries in Africa or other areas in the world suffering from the book famine. You can also say “No” to gifts.

RAI’s Anthropological Index is up on the Web ( and at least for now it is free. David Zeitlyn is interested in input on the design (Comments may be sent to

Jim Williams (University of Illinois) and Jim Haug (East Carolina University) will assume the responsibilities of co-conveners of the Anthropology Librarians Discussion Group beginning with Midwinter 1998.

Sociology Librarians Discussion Group Meeting

Gary McMillan and Sally Willson Weimer, Co-Convenors.

Three main topics predominated and often overlapped: electronic resources, faculty liaison, and collection development.

As more sociology journals become available electronically (e.g., EBSCOhost, SearchBank, Proquest Direct, J-STOR, Project Muse, Project Ideal, etc.), collection and retention decisions become more complex. The loss of editorials, commentaries, and letters to the editor may be important regarding those sources which only reproduce articles.

Several participants shared innovative ideas for outreach to faculty, more and more embracing Internet/email capabilities for communication and collaboration, including: assisting faculty in developing departmental and assignment/course-related web pages and writing library web pages (general and subject-specific), marking-up existing library research guides in html, writing electronic newsletters, e-mailing “new books” lists, and creating simple html “links” pages tailored to individual faculty member’s teaching and research interests.

Several specific questions were raised regarding new serials, new and expensive reference works, the quality and pricing policies of several publishers, cooperative collection development agreement among libraries, etc. This led to a discussion of the role of the ANSS-L listserv as the appropriate vehicle for posing such questions and sharing other information on an ongoing basis. This would allow the discussion group to pursue one or two topics at length at each meeting, possibly from issues arising on ANSS-L.

About 20 librarians attended the session. Brian Quinn was selected to serve as co-convener.


Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (NISC DISC)

ANSS Currents (ISSN 0888-5559) is published by the Anthropology and Sociology Section of the Association of College anology 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, 1997

Co-Editors: Isabel del Carmen Quintana, Tozzer Library, Harvard University, 21 Divinity Ave., Cambridge MA 02138, (617) 495-2292, QUINTANA@FAS.HARVARD.EDU. Ellen D. Gilbert, Alexander Library, Rutgers University, 169 College Ave., New Brunswick NJ 08903. (908)932-8148, EGILBERT@RCI. RUTGERS EDU. Production & Circulation 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, 1997-1998: Joyce L. Ogburn, Old Dominion University Library, 43rd St., Norfolk VA 23529, 804-683-4189, OGBURN@SHAKESPEARE.LIB.ODU.EDU

Vice Chair/Chair Elect 1997-1998: J. Christina Smith, Mugar Library, Boston, Univ., 711 Commonwealth Ave., Boston MA 92215-1401, 617-353-3715, JCHRIS@ACS.BU.EDU. RIS@ACS.BU.EDU.