Executive Committee Meeting

WESS Newsletter

Vol. 19, No. 2 (Spring, 1996)

January 23, 1996, San Antonio

Executive Committee: Michael Olson, Diana Chlebek, Gail Hueting, Tom Kilton, Charles Spornick
Committee chairs: Roger Brisson, Heleni Pedersoli, Eva Sartori, Marje Schuetze-Coburn, Kurt De Belder, James Campbell
Liaison to ACRL Board: John Cullars
Liaisons from ACRL: Carol Pfeiffer (ACRL Board), Cathy Henderson (Budget and Finance Committee), Elisa Topper
Others present: Tom Izbicki, Marje Schuetze-Coburn, Sam Dunlap, Laura Dale Bischof, Reinhart Sonnenburg, Louis Reith, Dick Hacken, Stephen Lehmann

WESS Chair Michael Olson called the meeting to order and expressed the hope that it could be kept brief.

Standing committee reports


Heleni Pedersoli
The Publications Committee met this morning. The Ad hoc Committee on Internet Publications would like to ask for contributions and suggestions for additions to WESSWeb. The committee has identified levels of contribution short of developing a home page for an entire area. The Publications Committee discussed the WESS brochure at some length. Three people will be looking into the intent and distribution of this brochure. Some of the questions are how many copies to print and how to get funds to print it. Marje Schuetze-Coburn, Editor of the WESS Newsletter, was commended for a good job on her first issue. Those wanting to help with the newsletter should contact Marje. The Publications Committee approved a proposal to publish the papers from the 1995 WESS Program, European Connections, in Collection Building. The updated version of the WESS Directory is now finished. Further updates and corrections may be sent to Heleni Pedersoli. The directory will be replaced on WESSWeb and also sent out on request. The Officers’ Manual is on WESSWeb and will be sent to officers and committee chairs. The title of the ongoing IfB Abstracts has been changed to Reference Reviews Europe. The most recent issue is 1995-3.

Research and Planning

Roger Brisson
The committee had three agenda items at its meeting on Sunday afternoon. The German Social Science Project is looking at serial collection indexing. They have identified 300 core serials and are considering the feasibility of building a collection like the ARL Latin American project. It was noted that collection development for Germany was very different from that for Latin America. National Union List of Western European Newspapers and News Magazines: the scope of the project was discussed, with some favoring a more inclusive project which would also cover historical titles. Others wanted to limit it to a core list. The problem is the perceived workload for respondents with a large survey. The project will concentrate on core serials. WESSWeb home page creation. Kurt De Belder and Reinhart Sonnenburg had a chance to ask for contributions to WESSWeb. This gives WESS members a chance to contribute without a large expense of time or money to attend conferences. Possible topic for the next meeting in New York: Friedemann Weigel and Michele Casalini could come to the Research and Planning Committee meeting to discuss EDI, the new standard for acquisitions, which allows data exchange without rekeying. Roger asked whether such a presentation would be too technical. Those present thought it would be a worthwhile topic.

Discussion group reports

Classical, Medieval and Renaissance

Tom Izbicki for Barbara Halporn
The discussion focused on Georgetown’s Labyrinth, a comprehensive web site for medieval studies.

College and Medium-Sized Libraries

Tom Izbicki for Julie Still
Tom Izbicki gave an update on the Choice project. The group discussed several issues raised by Dennis Lambert, especially the purchase of videos from Europe.


Heidi Hutchinson for Sem Sutter
The group saw a demonstration of Chadwyck-Healey’s CD-ROM edition of Goethe’s works, based on the Weimarer Ausgabe. It was a substantial meeting with much discussion.


Heleni Pedersoli for Lawrence Crumb
Two speakers focused on Latin American literature. One spoke on women authors in Argentina and Uruguay. A representative from Puvill gave an overview of Mexican publishing in the past few years.


Mike Olson Following general announcements, a representative from Munksgaard distributed a CD-ROM of Scandinavian publications. The IFLA conference will be held in Copenhagen in 1997. The ongoing survey of Scandinavian acquisitions has had few responses, and the form will be redistributed.

General Discussion Group

Charles Spornick
Charles Spornick and Tom Izbicki gave a presentation on electronic resources in medieval studies. There was also a demonstration of Chadwyck-Healey’s Patrologia Latina.

Conference planning committees

1996 Conference Planning Committee (New York)

Marje Schuetze-Coburn
There will be three speakers and a WESS moderator for the program. The topic is “The Changing Face of European Studies.” The speakers are David Magier, Director of Area Studies, Columbia University; Glenda Rosenthal, Institute on Western Europe, Columbia University; and Sara West, Center for International Education. The program will be on Monday, July 8, 8:30-11:0 0, with the WESS General Membership meeting following.

1997 Preconference Planning Committee (San Francisco)

Stephen Lehmann for Eva Sartori
The preconference is targeted at librarians in smaller or medium-sized libraries or those in larger libraries for whom Western European Studies forms part of their duties. Financing is a big hurdle for the preconference; the $75.00 price does not cover all the costs. We would need at least 50 to 70 people attending (Althea Jenkins said there would have to be 95 registrations). The preconference program planning committee has made significant progress. Vendors are interested in contributing. Cathy Henderson explained ACRL’s financial expectations for a preconference.

Martinus Nijhoff Award Jury

Tom Kilton
The committee received three submissions for this travel award. One of the applicants was chosen and will be contacted. There was a shift in the criteria to emphasize Western Europe.

ACRL Reports

ACRL Activities Sections Council Report

Diana Chlebek
The Council discussed the ACRL strategic plan, which included the following points: • Sections would be encouraged to present conference programs jointly. • Formalization of continuing education. The progress WESS has made in this area, with such programs as Research Reviews Europe, was pointed out. • Finances. Revenue from publications is down; dues may need to be increased. The division is looking at ways to increase revenues. • ACRL’s direction. Liaisons with higher education associations and ACRL activities connected with them should be expanded. Diana pointed out that WESS is ahead of other sections in what has been accomplished. The Council also discussed the goal of having activities sections. Tom Kilton stressed the wealth of links available through WESSWeb.

ACRL Board

John Cullars
Many of the points discussed by the board were covered in other reports. Fears were expressed on low registration for preconferences. If sections are going to vendors to ask for funds, this needs to be cleared with ACRL and ALA. There was concern about lack of communication between sections. ACRL needs to reserve 40% of its budget for contingencies and disasters-its fiscal policy is under discussion. The ACRL Budget and Finance Committee made a recommendation to the board. ALA support for conference programs has dried up; ACRL is looking for more stable options. There may be initiatives available in 1999 that are not available in 1996.

New business

Jim Campbell brought up the fact that the International Relations Round Table now has sections dealing with particular parts of the world, including Europe. There may be some value in liaisons to them. Some problems of European collection building are not susceptible to North American solutions.

Mike Olson asked for feedback on the compressed Tuesday meeting schedule. He asked whether the Internet Publications Committee could be subsumed in the Publications Committee meeting. Jim Campbell suggested that the Publications Committee meeting could be held earlier in the conference, on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. This will be discussed at the Annual Conference in New York. The morning meeting of the Executive Committee allows more WESS members to attend.

Minutes submitted by Gail Hueting
WESS Secretary