Notes from the ESS Co-Chairs Fall 2017

WESS Newsletter

Fall 2017, Vol. 41, No. 1

Dear colleagues and friends of the European Studies Section (ESS),

This is the first newsletter out to the sections’ merged membership as ESS, comprising what was SEES and WESS! As of September 1, 2017, SEES and WESS membership merged to form the European Studies Section (ESS). For the next two years, ESS will keep its current composition of committees, discussion groups and newsletters. After two years, when some of the dust from transitioning has settled, ESS’s Executive Committee will evaluate the section structure in accordance with the ESS Governance Document. According to the ESS Transition Plan, on September 1 the sitting chairs of SEES and WESS became Co-Chairs of ESS. In 2018, an election will be held for the position of an incoming Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Member-At-Large, and Secretary. We would like to thank our dynamic ESS Nominating Committee, Yelena Luckert and Kelsey Corlett-Rivera (Co-Chairs), Mark Winek and Rebecca Malek-Wiley, for coordinating a terrific slate of candidates for the upcoming election.

Our primary goal this year is to build a sense of community around our new section, as also mentioned in other messages, such as emails, ESS Governance Document, Transition Plan and an informal webcast held on September 26, together with all ESS committees, discussion groups and other ventures. Valuing what all of our combined membership brings to ESS is a building block in helping develop a shared sense of community and section identity, for the continued support of the interests and professional needs of all ESS members. All committees and discussion groups from what was SEES and what was WESS exist within ESS. We want to make sure that all members continue getting what they need from the section and contributing great work in advancing the profession. Contributing to this effort, we ask and encourage you to attend combined section meetings, conversations and other interactions with each other. We also ask you to share your feedback on the section’s progress and developments.

Here are some highlights for current initiatives:

  • ESS is planning activities for the ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences. The Membership Committee is planning a Happy Hour event for the Midwinter Conference. They will send invitation messages email messages closer to the date. We would like to thank Joanneke Elliott and Manuel Ostos, Co-Chairs of the Membership Committee, and members, for their great work.
  • The ESS Conference Program Planning Committee proposed a joint panel with the Literatures in English (LES) section titled, “Zine Cultures as Critical Literary Resistance: A Hands-On Workshop to Empower Community Engagement and Student Learning.” Zinesters, zine librarians and cultural scholars are invited to discuss European zine makers and legacies of political resistance and revolution through art and literature. They are also proposing that there will be a hands-on workshop where attendees will create zine pages to be assembled into a compilation zine, which will be distributed by ALA’s Zine Pavilion in the Exhibits Hall during the conference. We would like to thank Joe Lenkart, David Oberhelman, and Conference Planning Committee members for this fantastic initiative.
  • A new initiative for ESS is to sponsor an ALA Emerging Leader. On behalf of our section, Joanneke Elliot, Hélène Huet and we, the co-chairs, selected an Emerging Leader candidate. The recipient of the Emerging Leader Award will be announced in November. With the help of Sarah Theimer, Alain St. Pierre and Katie Gibson, we submitted a project proposal for consideration by all Emerging Leaders. Our proposal asks for fieldwork and recommendations on the development of ESS’s web presence. In December, it will be announced if a group of Emerging Leaders takes on this project.

In addition to all of this work, many ESS members are involved with and attending “New Directions for Libraries, Scholars and Partnerships: An International Symposium” on Friday, October 13, in Frankfurt, held by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). It is exciting and wonderful to see the efforts of their work take shape in this event.

We would also like to thank Katie Gibson and Thomas Keenan, the past WESS and SEES Chairs. Their expertise and commitment to collegial collaboration was not only instrumental in creating the European Studies Section, but also helped us to transition into our new roles, from sitting chairs of WESS and SEES to Co-Chairs of ESS. We look forward to an exciting year for ESS, with every indication of success for its expanded and invigorated membership.
Here’s to a great first year for ESS and to many more. See you at Midwinter!

Kristen Totleben & Lana Soglasnova
European Studies Section (ESS) Co-Chairs