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Minutes of the Professional Development Committee meeting

February 5, 1999



Present: Jeffrey Beall, Elizabeth Eggleston (recording), Malcolm Hamilton, Kevin Lau, Hugh Olmsted, Wendy Thomas (chair)

Absent: Pat Johnson

Agenda review:
Minutes from the last meeting were reviewed, spelling amended, and were accepted as amended.

Wendy announced that James Chen has resigned from the committee.

Old business:
Wendy reported that the Juliet Schor talk went well.  There were 40-45 in attendance, and the talk seemed to be well appreciated by the audience. The suggestion was made that in future we should audiotape similar events. The efficacy of the e-mail only publicity was discussed and it was decided that in future we should consider posters in libraries as well as HULINFO announcements.

Betsy gave a report on the Bryant Fellowship Brown Bag Luncheon which was held Jan. 13.  The turnout was good, about 20 attended and the discussion was interesting and informative for attendees.  It was agreed that it would be worthwhile to hold this event annually, but that we should hold it earlier and that we should try to announce the Bryant Fellowship earlier in the fall than we did this year.  The Bryant committee is meeting next week to begin considering applications. The question was raised whether the Harvard University Archives has copies of the projects that have been sponsored by Bryant Fellowships.

Malcolm announced that a new issue of Harvard University Library notes is in preparation.  This issue will be almost entirely devoted to staff changes and personnel announcements.

Jeffrey reported that Gary King will speak in April, and that Jeffrey will pin down details.  Betsy offered to book the Lamont Forum Room for the talk.

Simmons brochures:
We are getting extra copies of the Simmons Continuing Education brochures.  Malcolm has the mailing labels for non-Simmons Harvard Library professional staff.  The committee will send the brochure to those professional staff who would not have received it from Simmons. Wendy will draft a cover letter which, with committee approval, will be included in the mailing.

Future spring events:
Robert Donan, of the Office of the General Council is offering a Copyright seminar for the general Harvard community on Feb. 25. He has expressed his willingness to do such a session tailored to the needs of librarians.  Wendy and Hugh will attend the general session and assess any changes that would need to be requested in order to make it more appropriate for librarians and to judge whether or not another session is actually needed.  It was mentioned that the Office of the General Council also does a presentation on licensing, which might be appropriate for the PDC to sponsor.

International program:
The program on professional involvement in the international library community which Betsy and Wendy had proposed last fall was discussed. Malcolm said that it would fit in well with the IFLA meeting in  Boston next year.  It was decided that Betsy would work on setting up a panel for a presentation in early May of Harvard librarians who have worked on supplying aid for foreign libraries.  Betsy will also work on developing three other sessions to be held next year: Creating international networks (involvement in international organizations), Library service to a foreign student body, and the situation for libraries in selected countries.  Hugh volunteered to work with Betsy.

New business:
Wendy posed the question: Are we doing enough?, which evolved into a discussion of the Professional Development Committee's purpose within the community.  Hugh asked, What do other institutions do?  It was asserted that at other institutions staff stays because of training and appreciation; that this should be a learning institution for staff as well as for students and that the goal of this committee should be to plan programs that advance staff learning.  The consensus was that, for this year, the programs we are pursuing meet that goal, but that it would facilitate the work of the committee if planning for fall programs could be done the previous spring.

Future meeting:
Future meetings were planned for March 5 and Apr. 2, both at 9:15 at Schlesinger Library.


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