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Minutes of the Executive Committee


April 15, 2004

Present: Present: Karen Bailey (Co-Chair), Oliver Cutshaw, Laureen Esser, Charlie Fineman, Jane Hedberg, Rachel Howarth (Co-Chair), Gloria Korsman (Vice-Chair), Connie Mayer, Zuzana Nagy, Sarah Phillips, Alix Reiskind, Tim Strawn, Pat Tully.

Absent: Renata Kalnins, Tim Strawn

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Benefits -- Zuzana reported that, Paul Zizzo will speak about less well-known benefits on May 6th. Sarah suggested that a list of these benefits from the program would be helpful. Zuzana has requested this from Paul but has received no response. Karen suggested that if Paul does not provide such a list, the Benefits committee should look into doing so. Jane requested a future program about the Wellness Corporation, the firm now administering Harvard's faculty and staff assistance program.

Communications and Orientation -- Eleven Librarians' Assembly members attended the Brown Bag Lunch at noon on April 15th, reported Sarah. The group enjoyed delicious cakes, discussed innovative book classification schemes, and found ALA annual conference roomates. The committee will consider cost-free, al fresco dining in warm weather. Gloria suggested the garden at Adolphus Busch Hall as a venue.

A tour of the Harvard Yard trees will happen in May. The date and time will be announced.

Sarah received word all new Librarians' Assembly members will be able to attend a Librarians' Lunch this Spring.

Professional Development -- A tour of Countway Library and the Warren Anatomical Museum will take place on Friday, April 23rd at 1:30 p.m. This will be the committee's final program of the academic year. Plans for a fall program are underway. Since budgets for attendance at professional conferences have been reduced at many Harvard libraries, next year's Profession Development programs will focus on a popular conference topic -- emerging technologies.

Three Bryant Fellowship recipients were recommended to Wadsworth House for final approval. An announcement of the winners' names is forthcoming. In the meantime, the Professional Development Committee is revising the Bryant Fellowship application and policies to clearly state that applicants must be members of the Librarians' Assembly, as required by the terms of the Bryant Fellowship grant. A discussion followed to clarify that Bryant Fellowships, service to Librarians' Assembly committees, and elections are restricted to library personnel who are Officers of the University. Attendance at all Librarians' Assembly programs, however, is open to all members of the community.

Rights and Responsibilities -- The committee is working on two important web-based documents. A page of links to resources on professional ethics, core competencies, intellectual freedom, and academic freedom will be introduced next month. Secondly, an alternative to the current Handbook for Librarians & Professional and Administrative Staff in the Harvard University Library will come before the next LAEC meeting for review. The new document is titled “A One-Stop Guide to the Harvard Libraries on the Web.”

Pat reported the committee hopes to present a brown bag on libraries and ethics, but is having difficulty matching potential speakers to Harvard-specific topics. Jane wondered if anyone at Simmons GSLIS might speak more broadly about ethics and libraries. Rachel agreed a general program on ethics and libraries would be more feasible.

OLD BUSINESS

Spring Program - “Building Change: The Evolution of the Library as a Physical Space” will take place on Thursday, May 20th, 3:30-5 p.m. in the Sperry Room, Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School. Sid Verba agreed to address the current budget situation in his “State of the Library” address, and to entertain questions about the budget from the floor.

Website - Connie reported the HUL webspace is scheduled for a redesign in Summer 2004 and that the Librarians’ Assembly space can be part of the redesign if we so choose. Everyone agreed it would be good to benefit from the redesign, but that our top page needs more immediate attention. Connie will move ahead revising the top page.

Mentoring - On behalf of the Executive Committee, Karen provided feedback on the proposal developed by the Mentoring Subcommittee. In response to administrative concerns, the recommendation is to scale back the proposal from a formal program requiring institutional commitment to an informal program that encourages librarians to consider how we can serve our profession by creating mentoring relationships on our own time. Informal, brown-bag lunch conversations between new and longer-service librarians, for example, can provide a starting off point for the program. There is great potential for a mentoring program that begins on a grass-roots level to preserve institutional memory and to enhance employee satisfaction. The Executive Committee recommendation is to grow slowly. The Executive Committee commends the work of the Mentoring Subcommittee and has asked them to continue their work by revising their proposal in response to the recommendations outlined. The revised proposal will be discussed at a future meeting with the LAEC and with Sid Verba and Barbara Graham.

NEW BUSINESS

Revised Charge of the Communications and Orientation Committee - The LAEC voted unanimously to approve the following revised charge: “Reporting to the Executive Committee of the Librarians' Assembly, the Communications and Orientation Committee works to promote communication and discourse among Assembly members, to encourage the exchange of information between the Assembly and the greater Harvard community, and to welcome newly appointed library professionals.”

Elections - A slate of Member-at-Large candidates was approved. The candidates are: Glynn Edwards (Schlesinger), Donna P. Koepp (Government Documents), Thomas Ma (Law), Alix Reiskind (Design), Leena Siegelbaum (Law), and possibly Jack Eckert (Medicine).

In May, the LAEC will elect a Chair and Vice-Chair to hold office for one year beginning in September 2004.

Guests -- The LAEC will be inviting Sid Verba and Barbara Graham to our next LAEC meeting in either May or June.

Respectfully submitted,
Gloria Korsman