Notes from the WESS Chair – Spring 2002

WESS Newsletter

Vol. 25, No. 2 (Spring, 2002)

By Barbara Walden

This year has seen change, growth and continuity as WESS continues to be one of ACRL’s most active sections. At ALA Midwinter the importance of the Nijhoff Award to scholarship and to the development of academic librarianship was recognized by a formal resolution of the ACRL board, and additionally by WESS and its members in a special commemoration. Our thanks go to Jeff Garrett, this year’s award chair, for his work in bringing this together. We are especially grateful for the continuation of the award under the auspices of Swets/Blackwell. This sustaining support for Western European librarianship is fundamental for the progress of our field, and is tremendously appreciated.

Elsewhere in this Newsletter you will find a survey asking for your interest in the WESS International Conference. A group of dedicated planners chaired by Jeffry Larson is working hard to bring together the WESS International Conference in Paris during the 2004 Salon du Livre. For those who did not have an opportunity to attend the now-legendary Florence Conference in 1989 here is an opportunity for the professional experience of a lifetime, and for those who were in Florence the chance to renew in another historic setting the uniquely stimulating experience of an international conference. We are grateful for the support of Jean Touzot, Aux Amateurs de Livres, and Erasmus Booksellers as plans move forward for an exciting conference. Mark your calendar now, as we plan to meet in Paris in 2004.

And, WESS has been invited to return once again to the Frankfurt Book Fair this October. We continue to receive ACRL’s sponsorship and support for this American presence at the Fair. If you have not yet been to the Fair, now is the time to think about becoming part of this fabulous feast of publishing from around the world. Gordon Anderson is leading the planning effort for this year’s Book Fair and reservations on the Boat and in the Village are already secured.

Closer in time and space, this year’s conference program in Atlanta, chaired by Ceres Birkhead, will feature an aspect not frequently covered in WESS programs as we discuss new developments in mapping and documenting the historical dimensions of the geography and population of Western Europe. Speakers Humphrey Southall and Karl Longstreth, as well as our own Dick Hacken will discuss new electronic initiatives which are transforming the study of Europe and its populations. Plus, even in land-locked Atlanta, there will be a Cruise! Visit the Cruise Website at

WESS has much to offer you, its members. I hope you will get involved. Join a discussion group, come to an event, contribute to the Newsletter or to one of the WESS listservs or Websites, recruit a new WESS member, make a first-time WESS attendee feel welcome. There are many ways to contribute. WESS needs all these ways, and all of you, to continue to make our organization vibrant.