ASEEES CLIR Report from the 50th Annual Convention

WESS Newsletter

Spring 2019, Vol. 42, No. 2

The ASEEES Committee on Libraries and Information Resources (CLIR) consists of scholars and librarians in the fields of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian studies. CLIR and its subcommittees work on a wide range of topics and initiatives that include, but are not limited to: collection development, vendor issues, the American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies (ABSEES) online database, copyright and licensing, access to resources, cataloging, digital initiatives, and microfilming projects. The CLIR Executive Board oversees the work of CLIR Subcommittees on Collection Development, Copyright Issues; Education & Access; and the Slavic & East European Materials Project (SEEMP), a joint effort with the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). The CLIR Executive Board includes up to eight members: the Chair of CLIR, Chairs of the three standing subcommittees, Chair of the Subcommittee on SEEMP, a Member-at-large, a Webmaster, and a Faculty Liaison. Current members of the CLIR Executive Board can be found on the CLIR website at the link above.

The Committee on Libraries and Information Resources presented this year’s Distinguished Service Award to the late June Pachuta Farris. This occasional award recognizes ASEEES member library professionals, archivists, or curators whose contributions to the field of Slavic, East European and Eurasian studies librarianship have been especially noteworthy or influential. Because Farris unexpectedly passed away in July 2018, her long-time colleague at the University of Chicago, Sandra Levy, accepted the award on behalf of Farris’ family during the ASEEES Awards Presentation on Friday, December 7, 2018.

CLIR holds two meetings at the ASEEES national convention, the CLIR Executive Meeting, in which the CLIR Executive Board attends to administrative activities of the Committee; and the CLIR Membership meeting, which is mostly informational and is typically attended by all librarians and other information specialists in the field. This past year the CLIR Executive Board held one virtual meeting on June 12, 2018, during which the Board briefly discussed the process of appointment to the CLIR Executive Board and CLIR subcommittees. The Board will continue this discussion in 2019 with the goal of updating the process to meet the needs of the Committee and its members.

The CLIR Subcommittee on Collection Development is dedicated to providing information related to collection development (vendors, publishing statistics, gaps and overlaps in print collections and among online resources, digital formats, scholarly communication, etc.) for the benefit of librarians and scholars in the field of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies. The Subcommittee’s projects are intended to facilitate and inform the collection development activities of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies librarians. Current members of the Subcommittee can be found on the CLIR website at the link immediately above.

Per the Subcommittee’s charge, efforts to compile current publishing statistics for all 29 SEEE countries were initiated in 2017. As of this writing, statistics for several countries and years are still outstanding, in part because the number of years and the formats covered by the project have expanded. At the September virtual meeting, Subcommittee members agreed on a plan to divide the remaining work on this project so that the complete set of statistics can be presented to the CLIR membership in various formats (i.e., graphs, tables, and spreadsheets) by mid-January 2019. The subcommittee’s Collection Overlap Analysis Project (a.k.a. Conspectus of North American SEEE Collection Strengths) has traditionally been updated every four years, most recently in 2016. The next update will likely take place under the next Subcommittee Chair.

The Subcommittee maintains the searchable “Slavic and East European Vendor Database,” which has provided information on possible sources (mostly commercial) for acquiring materials from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia since 2005. The database will be migrating to the University of Illinois in the coming months, and a completely updated version should be made available to the CLIR membership by the end of 2019.

Managing Editor of the American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies (ABSEES), Irene Kolchinsky, delivered the ABSEES annual report. The team of paid and volunteer indexers continues its work and is making progress toward adding journals in German, French, etc. that were formerly indexed by ABSEES’s defunct European counterpart, EBSEES. Kolchinsky noted one major change affecting ABSEES in 2018: the untimely death of prolific volunteer indexer Dr. Mark Kulikowski, whose contributions are sorely missed.

On behalf of the Subcommittee, Liladhar Pendse (UC Berkeley) submitted an article to the June 2018 issue of the Association’s newsletter, NewsNet: “In Search of the Perfect Collection: Armenian Studies Collections at the UC-Berkeley Library” (p. 8-11). The Subcommittee organized a panel at the convention, From Babine to Billington: Great Curators and their Collections at the Library of Congress, where participants discussed the history of both Slavic and non-Slavic Eastern European collections at the Library of Congress and the curators who created them over the course of the 20th century. Panel participants included: the Library of Congress’ Harold Leich, Angela Cannon, and Kenneth Nyirady, discussant Janet Crayne (University of Michigan), and chair and organizer Dan Pennell (University of Pittsburgh).

The CLIR Subcommittee on Copyright Issues is dedicated to education and training in copyright for Slavic and East European material for the benefit of librarians and scholars in the field of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian studies. Current membership of the Subcommittee can be found on the CLIR website at the link immediately above. The Subcommittee serves as a resource for copyright information, provides non-legal assistance with copyright questions, and promotes ongoing study of copyright developments.

The Subcommittee has been compiling a long-awaited FAQ on international copyright and specifically on copyright for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian works. Analysis of copyright queries indicates that a high instances of repetition of certain questions in the field. A draft version of the new FAQ will be on the agenda for the 2018 meeting, with the expectation that the final version will be completed and added to the website by the end 2019.

The Subcommittee continues to be an important resource for queries on and international copyright for the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian regions. Since 2002 the committee (primarily Janice Pilch) has fielded 841 copyright queries from individuals in the U.S., U.K., Russian Federation, and other countries through Slavlibs, SEELANGS, H-Net Russia listservs, the American Library Association (ALA) Copyright Advisory Network, and referrals from the Library of Congress. We are grateful to our late esteemed colleague June Pachuta Farris who regularly forwarded queries to the Subcommittee. As evidence of the sustained need for such activity, Image 1 shows the figures for the past 15 years. The time involved in replying to queries varies from 30 minutes to 3 hours. The average time currently is 2 hours. The average number of queries per year in the 15-year period is 56. We noted a significant increase in the number and complexity of queries last year. The figures remain strong and the complexity level continues to be high. There is quite obviously a need for activity in this area. Scholars, librarians, and small publishers are very grateful for the information they receive, as they generally cannot find other specialists to consult on these issues.

In 2018 the committee organized a roundtable at the ASEEES Convention: Copyright and Related Rights: A Look at the State of Play in Publishing, Music Licensing, and Broadcast Media. Participants included: Thomas Keenan, (Princeton University) Barbara Krupa (Stanford University), Janice T. Pilch (Rutgers University), and Terry A. Tegnazian (President of Aquila Polonica Publishing). Roundtable presenters clarified the current state of copyright and related rights for works typically associated with the commercial sphere, addressing the following questions: How does the system of copyright and related rights perform for those whose livelihoods depend on it, for those who choose to be economic actors? What are the implications of attempts to alter the commercial landscape through imposition of “non-commercial” copyright exceptions and reinterpretations of the law that function to create an alt-commercial stage for digital industry actors? How do developments in the U.S. affect or how are they affected by developments in the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian sphere?

The CLIR Subcommittee on Education & Access promotes education about libraries, information resources, digital projects, cataloging, metadata curation, and information literacy among ASEEES members and the broader community of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian (SEEE) studies. Current membership of the Subcommittee can be found on the CLIR website at the link immediately above. In 2018 the Subcommittee held monthly online meetings. The Subcommittee used results of a survey conducted in 2017 to organize a series of workshops and training webinars to support the community of librarians and scholars in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Webinars included:

Reflections on Digital Scholarship: Webinar for REEE Scholars, March 9, 2018, 10:00 am Central Time (31 attendees): Digital Humanities in Russia (Inna Kizhner, Siberian Federal University); What Would Digital Area Studies Look Like and How Could it Be Made? Reflections from Teaching DH (John Randolph, Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign); The Corpus of Czech Verse and Its Online Tools (Petr Plecháč, Versification Research Group, Ústav pro českou literaturu AV ČR, v.v.i. = Institute of Czech Literature of the CAS)

Collaboration and Organization in Support of Digital Scholarship: A webinar on digital scholarship methodologies for information professionals, February 16, 10:00 am, Central Time (21 attendees): Embedded Librarianship for Large and Small-scale Digital Projects (Ian Goodale, Librarian, University of Texas at Austin); Digital Scholarship in Libraries: Multiple Roles and Multiple Approaches (Brian Rosenblum, Librarian, Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Kansas); Don’t Do It Alone! Collaboration and Organization in Support of Digital Scholarship (Glen Worthey, Librarian, Stanford University)

Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Cataloging Workshop, (over 150 attendees worldwide). Panelists included: Larisa Walsh (University of Chicago), Geoff Husic (University of Kansas), Lana Soglasnova (University of Toronto), Thomas Dousa (University of Chicago)

Slavic, East European, and Eurasian ILL Workshop (14 attendees). Panelists included: Peter Bae (Princeton University), Dr. Jyldyz Bekbalaeva (American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), Bart Hollingsworth (Brown University), Candice Townsend (Library of Congress)

Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Information Professional Mentoring Program. The Subcommittee initiated this program to encourage colleagues in the field to share expertise, consult on general queries, and collaborate on short-term and long-term projects.

The CLIR Subcommittee on Slavic and East European Materials Project (SEEMP) is a joint committee between the The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and ASEEES. The Subcommittee specializes in the acquisition of material related to Slavic, East European, and Central Asian studies. The Subcommittee meets in person once a year in conjunction with the ASEEES Annual Convention. Current membership of the Subcommittee can be found on the CLIR website and the CRL website at the links above.

Progress on current projects were reported by CRL at the SEEMP meeting. New proposals were also discussed. Meeting minutes were posted on the CRL website. For FY19, CRL has allocated additional financial support for digitization projects proposed by the Area Materials Projects (AMPs). This allocation provides incentives for the AMPs to expand digital capture and dissemination of resources important to area and international studies. CRL will use its discretion in allocating funds (roughly up to $5,000 per AMP per year) for projects identified by AMP leadership with special priority given to materials in the following areas of special CRL focus: News, Law and Government, and the History and Economics of Agriculture.

Jon Giullian
Head, International Collections
Librarian for Slavic and Eurasian Studies
Watson Library, The University of Kansas