ANSS Currents – Vol. 14, No. 1 May 1999

American Library Association
Association of College and Research Libraries


The Newsletter of the ACRL Anthropology & Sociology Section

Vol. 14, No. 1 ISSN 0888-5559 May 1999

Sunday, June 27, 1999, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
New Orleans, LA


The program focuses on the creative efforts of librarians and scholars who seek to preserve community social history for the use of library users. The program will consist of presentations by four panelists who exemplify leadership at univentations by four panelists who exemplify leadership at universities and in communities by virtue of their endeavor to preserve information about their communities for scholarly investigations and general library patron use.

The speakers and their topics are:

Dr. Barry Ancelet, Head of the Department of Modern Languages and Director of the Center for Acadian and Creole Folklore, University of Southwestern Louisiana, “The Center for Acadian and Creole Folklore Archives: An Experiment in Guerilla Academics”

Roberts Batson, President and Co-Founder of The Bienville Foundation and New Orleans community activist, “Claiming Our Past: Preserving Gay History and Culture in New Orleans”

Anne Frank, Head of the Southeast Asian Archive, University of California, Irvine, “Documenting the Southeast Asian Refugee Experience”

Bruce Raeburn, Director of the Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University Library, “New Orleans’ Black Indians: From Obscure Origins to an Uncertain Future”

The presentations will be followed by a questions and answer period. A short membership meeting will follow. Neither tickets nor pre-registration are required for attendance.

This program is co-sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Task Force and the Social Responsibilities Round Table.

Submitted by ANSS Program Committee, 1999
> Cheryl C. Kugler. Chair


Tuesday, June 29, 1999, 10:00 AM

ANSS will sponsor its customary tour of local research collections of sociological or anthropological related materials. The Section is happy to offer a tour of the Middle American Research Institute and the Tulane University Special Collections, which include the Jazz Archives and the Southeast Architectural Archive. The tour will occur on Tuesday, June 29, 1999, at 10:00 am. Please note that tour participants will need to climb several flights of stairs to see some collections. Reservations should be made by contacting Cheryl C. Kugler, The Libraries of the Claremont Colleges, by email to or by phone (909) 607-8108 no later than June 10, 1999. Tour reservation is limited to 25 participants.


Executive Committee

J. Christina Smith, Chair

Executive Committee met twice at ALA Midwinter to hear reports from committees and discussion groups, and news of activities from special libraries (John Wesley Powell, Tozzer) and organizations such as HRAF and the Council for the Preservation of Anthropological Records (CoPAR). I would like to report on some of the actions taken and topics discussed at Executive Committee.

Executive Committee approved a bylaws change on filling vacancies in officer positions. This was subsequently approved bitions. This was subsequently approved by the ACRL Bylaws Committee and by the ACRL Board at Midwinter. ANSS members will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed bylaws change in the next election.

Executive Committee approved cosponsoring in-name-only the Gay Lesbian and Bisexual Task Force (SRRT) program at 1999 Annual Conference in New Orleans. The title of the program is “Daring to Save Our History.”

Melissa Cast, the new ACRL Director of Member Services, attended the second Executive Committee meeting. She and ANSS member, Pauline Manaka, reported on the ACRL Membership Committee meeting, which brainstormed ideas on how sections and chapters could help ACRL recruit and retain members. ACRL and section memberships decreased this year, with continuous growth seen only in DLS. [ANSS decreased by more than 7%.] Some 40% of ALA members do not belong to a division.

The Chair reported that the American Anthropological Association had contacted ANSS asking us to appoint an ANSS/AAA member to a new AAA Website Editorial Board. Past Chair Joyce Ogburn was appointed to serve in this capacity.

An ANSS social event was held at Midwinter on Friday, January 29th. While attendance at this get-together was small and consisted of old-timers, there are plans in the works for a social at Annual Conference. Stay tuned to ANSS-L for the details.

Executive Committee members were briefed on what happened at Sections Council, a group comprised of the chairs and vice-chairs of the ACRL sections. One of the main topics at Sections Council was an ALA report entitled “Annual Conference, Options for the Future.” This report proposes to streamline annual conferences, beginning with San Francisco in 2001. In this plan, most programming would be focused into thematic tracks, with program tracks scheduled at the same hotel, and program lengths reduced and standardized. Only Presidential Programs, discussion groups, fairs, and meal events would not be part of the track programming. There are also plans to “provide incentives to units to reduce the number of [committee and board] meetings.” At Sections Council, ACRL Executive Director Althea Jenkins was concerned that ACRL, with its specialty sections, would lose out in the competition for program approval.

Executive Committee meetings are open and ANSS members are encouraged to attend.

ANSS Conference Planning Committee 2000

Submitted by Pauline Manaka

Six members of the committee met on Sunday January 31, 1999 in Philadelphia. After brainstorming on various topics around the ACRL 2000 theme, the program in Chicago will address something along these lines: “Sociology and Anthropology research centers: data collaboration issues among researchers. (quantitative or qualitative data)”

Collaboration here addresses other disciplines such as Cultural Geography, Comparative Sociology, the History of Anthropology, or a theme like qualitative research and ethnicity.

Another possible topic regarding demographic issues was something along these lines: “Serving a diverse population with a dispersed collection; ethnically oriented population/collections.”

Chicago is considered rich in scholarship on both topics. The Committee favored a program combining the idea of collaboration among social researchers with ethnically oriented populations or collections. The committee is also considering actual collaboration with other ALA or ACRL groups to sponsor the program.

Speakers will be sought from LARG (Library Anthropology Resources Group), Univ. of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, Northwestern University and other institutions.

As is the norm, the Committee is planning to have a tour of a social science data center in Chicago or a similar institution.

Bibliography Committee

James D. Haug, Chair

The Bibliography Committee met twice during the 1999 Midwinter meetings in Philadelphia. In its sessions, the committee vetted and provisionally approved two items for publication in ANSS Currents: “Guidelines for Analyzing Bibliographic Sources,” by Jim Haug; and a review of America: History and Life on Disc, by Royce Kurtz. Following a discussion of information sources deemed appropriate for future evaluations, three members volunteered to prepare drafts of reviews of selected bibliographic databases for the 1999 Annual meeting in New Orleans. Wade Kotter will evaluate Criminal Justice Abstracts; Katie Whitson will examine Sociofile; and Elizabeth Burns will analyze NCJRS.

Other projects suggested for preliminary investigation were a review of the electronic Social Sciences Citation Index and a comparison between Wilson’s electronic Humanities Index and Social Sciences Index. The committee decided, however, that it would suspend plans to review the Web-based Population Index and Anthropological Index.

Finally, the members considered a proposal from the Criminal Justice/Criminology Discussion Group that it collaborate with the Bibliography Committee in analyzing NCJRS. Although ttee in analyzing NCJRS. Although the committee did not flatly reject the proposal, several members questioned the feasibility of a joint venture. Nonetheless, given the ideal of cooperation among ACRL sections, some practicable arrangement may yet be worked out for a collaborative review.

Liaison Committee

Lori Foulke, Chair

The ANSS Liaison Committee met on Saturday, January 30, 1999 from 8-9 am, at the Philadelphia Marriott. Committee members discussed the subject specialists directory data form under development, reviewed the wording and layout, discussed how to advertise the form and generate responses, and individual responsibility for gathering, formatting, and updating the directory data. The Liaison Committee discussed the feasibility of creating both a searchable web database and a print directory as the final products. Committee members suggested several organizations to add to the Currents mailing list. The committee also brainstormed about submitting an ACRL Initiative Fund application to support and expand its Liaison activities.

Nominating Committee for 1999 ALA Election

Fred J. Hay, Chair

The following candidates were chosen:

Suzanne H. Calpestri (Univ. of California, Berkeley)
Cathy Moore-Jansen (Wichita State University)

Lori Foulke (Johns Hopkins University)
James Haug (Eastern Carolinains University)
James Haug (Eastern Carolina University)

Gregory McKinney (Temple University)
Brian Quinn (Texas Tech University)


Anthropology Librarians’ Discussion Group

Conveners: James Williams and Pauline Manaka

Report submitted by: Pauline Manaka

Bibliographic Instruction for Anthropology was the primary topic of discussion at the ALDG meeting in Philadelphia. A group of 22 attendees shared information on the extent of anthropology librarians’ involvement in BI, the types of instruction offered, various problems and how to address them, and sharing helpful guides.

While the majority agreed on the importance of BI, the Librarians’ teaching experiences varied. Library instruction for specific areas of anthropology, such as resources for Native Americans, seems to be the most prevalent.

When asked about participation at departmental orientations, many responded positively. There was a question about how to conduct BI for specialized areas, such as biological anthropology, especially if your expertise was in other areas of the discipline. Various suggestions were offered in response.

One librarian suggested that anthropology lends itself better to individual need-based instruction. In this case, after meeting the new students during orientation, the librarian avails themselves for sientation, the librarian avails themselves for scheduled one-on-one teaching, based upon need and topic.

Teaching quarter-long credit courses in anthropological bibliography was discussed as another option. Such a class was offered several times by more than one person with much success. Such classes require much more time for preparation by the librarian.

There was an interesting discussion on anthropology indexes and abstracts and how these are integrated in library instruction. The lack of an on-line version for Abstracts in Anthropology was identified as a possible issue for later discussion. “What do people use for current materials?” was another question that received attention. The following resources were cited, HRAF, web indexes such as Research in Anthropology Index (RAI), and full-text electronic journal databases such as JSTOR.

The following topics were suggested for future ANSS discussions:

  • BI in biological/physical anthropology for the cultural anthro-types who may be fuzzy on this
  • Demonstration and discussion of the HRAF Archaeology Product
  • How HRAF is being used by students and faculty
  • How anthropologists use non-anthropological literature (the interdisciplinary nature of the field)
  • Uses/limitations of SSCI and other ISI products
  • Area studies indexes (HLA, HAPI, Bib. Asian Studies) for anthrop (HLA, HAPI, Bib. Asian Studies) for anthropologists

This list complements an earlier one which was suggested at the 1998 Annual conference meeting of the Anthropology Librarians’ Discussion Group. It has been shared on ANSS-L and at this meeting.

Finally, there was a call for teaching sites to be submitted to James Williams via e-mail for posting on ANSS-L at the e-mail address:

Sociology Librarians Discussion Group

Conveners: Brian Quinn and Beth Sibley

Submitted by: Brian Quinn

The Sociology Librarians Discussion Group met jointly with the recently formed Criminology/Criminal Justice Committee on Saturday January 30, 1999 at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia. Twenty-one people attended. Some members of the ANSS Bibliography Committee also attended. The purpose of the meeting was to explore common interests and possible areas of collaboration. The ANSS Bibliography Committee had been considering reviewing the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) database, and the criminology librarians had also expressed an interest in exploring its strengths and weaknesses and providing input to NCJRS with the hope of improving it. The criminology librarians mentioned two weaknesses in particular, the inability to search by NCJ number and the absence of any link between the Web site and the institution.

Discussion ensued about how best to approach NCJRS, whethed about how best to approach NCJRS, whether to send a letter or meet with representatives in Washington or at a future ALA meeting. Several librarians suggested the tone of the letter should be friendly and encourage a dialogue. There was also some discussion regarding whether the Bibliography Committee or the Criminology Committee should write the review. It was decided that the Bibliography Committee would provide reviewing guidelines and the Criminology Committee would write the actual review. There was also some discussion regarding where the review should appear in the ANSS newsletter or in the Law and Political Science Section newsletter. The discussion then turned to other questions. What is a good index for international coverage of criminology? International Bibliography of the Social Sciences and Criminal Justice Abstracts were mentioned as possible sources. How does one evaluate criminal justice evaluate criminal justice collections? Using the National Shelf List to identify large criminal justice collections was suggested.

The issue of the reclassification of the HM’s by the Library of Congress was raised. Some librarians expressed an interest in having Jim McGovern from LC speak to the group regarding the changes. There was also talk about how the sociology journals in JSTOR are being promoted. Some libraries have chosen to catalog the journals and provide links from the record to the journal. The group also talked about how to provide access to journals in light of serials cancellations. Expanded Academic Index and Cambridge Scientific Abstracts were mentioned as two possible options. Several librarians mentioned problems in response time with the Web-based version of Silverplatter, and suggested inviting a Silverplatter representative to speak to the group about the product’s shortcomings.

Discussion group meetings are open to all. ANSS members are encouraged to attend and participate.



Fred J. Hay edited a book of Haitian storyteller’s Liliane Nerette Louis’ family stories, When Night Falls, Kric! Krac!: Haitian Folktales, published in January by Libraries Unlimited in their World Folklore Series.

Anthropology on the Internet for K-12

This annotated listing of hot links to selected websites with information about the field of anthropology for teachers and young people has been compiled by ANSS member Maggie Dittemore for Smithsonian Institution Libraries. It has recently been designated the “best” site on the WWW Virtual Library’s Resources of Anthropology Students. The sites are grouped under the sections of general resources, careers, archaeology, social/cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, linguistics, area studies, museums, virtual exhibits, electronic publications, and associations. Each section is illustrated with photos of Smithsonian anthropologists in the field or in their laboratories. Please take a look at the site (see URL below) and send us your comments! Link to your own website! We welcome suggestions of new sources to consider as additions to this list.


Field Records at the Millennium: Managing Anthropological Papers, May 3-5, 1999 at the Heard Museum, Phoenix Arizona. Presented by the University of Nevada, Reno’s Division of Continuing Education, Heritage Resources Management Program. Organized by the Museum Management Program, National Park Service and sponsored by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative, National Park Service.

This course focuses on how to create, preserve and resfocuses on how to create, preserve and responsibly manage anthropological records. Participants will learn how to resolve difficulties and balance the rights and concerns of creators of the materials, owners and donors of the collections, individuals who are documented or whose cultures are documented in the materials, and educators, researchers and scholars.

The program is designed for anthropologists, archaeologists, ethnographers, linguists, as well as archivists, collection managers, curators, historians, historic preservation officers, librarians, tribal archivists, tribal preservation officers and other cultural resource management professionals who determine how and when to make field records available to the public. Submitted by Diane Geraci:


Our section’s home page now contains almost everything you ever wanted to know about ANSS, including how to get involved, information about officers, committees, programs, and conferences, ANSS publications, and historical highlights. There’s a volunteer form for those interested in contributing through committee assignments, as well as links back to the ACRL and ALA web sites.

As the annual conference approaches, be sure to check ANSSWeb for up-to-date information on committee meeting times at ALA.

Please send your comments and suggestions to Joyce Ogburn


ANSS-L is a discussion forum for information specialists in anthropology, sociology, and related fields. The listserv provides information about activities, news of the section, Internet resources, and topics of interest to its readership. Membership in ANSS-L is open to anyone who wishes to subscribe. Please send an e-mail message to: LISTSERV@UCI.EDU containing the following line:



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; (800) 545-2433, ext. 2515.

����American Library Association, 1999.

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 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, 1998-1999: J. Christina Smith, Mugar Library, Boston University, 771 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215-1401. (617) 353-3715. j

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, 1998-1999: Sally Willson Weimer, Reference Services, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010. (805) 893-3454.