ACRL/WSS Research Committee
ALA Midwinter – Seattle
January 16, 2007

Meeting Minutes

Present: Jeanne Armstrong, Kayo Denda (recorder), Staci Elliott, Dolores Fidishun, Jennifer Giley, Cindy Ingold, Jane Nichols (chair).

Introduction

The members present introduced themselves and welcomed Staci Elliott, a new member.

Review and approval of New Orleans Annual 2006 minutes.

The minutes were approved with revisions.

Proposal to promote research agenda to listservs.

Jennifer Giley shared with the group the draft email promoting the research agenda. This promotional email is to be sent to various ACRL sections/taskforces and other organizations with research committees and shared interest. Some entities identified are New Members Task Force, Feminist-L, and  COSWL (Committe on the Status of Women in Librarianship). Cindy Ingold volunteered to  identify existing ACRL sections´ research committees and share with the committee members.

A discussion ensued regarding the Research Committee Website. The members agreed that  practical information, such as members’ research interests, in addition to published works page maintained by Jennifer Giley, would stimulate new ideas and facilitate potential collaboration. The draft email was approved with revisions.

Discussion on moving the agenda to Wiki type Webpage to enable interactivity

Jane Nichols proposed a Wiki/blog type environment to promote research related exchange and communication among participants. The Wiki/blog could serve as an environment to generate and expand  research ideas, as well as receive feedback. The group expressed concern regarding participants´ access and priviledge issues. Although there might be a need to restrict the membership based on a set of criteria (research committee,  WSS membership, etc.) on the other hand, open blog could generate more response and participation, and it could also inform those unable to attend the ALA conferences on the WSS Research Committee activities.  Since ACRL/ALA makes available a software that supports Wiki/blogs, Staci will look into this program, and Jane will investigate the compatibility of this software with the Libr.org where the WSS Website is hosted.
 
New Business

Dolores Fidishun proposed a research topic for consideration: an empirical research on the underrepresentation of women speakers at ALA conferences. It was mentioned that the members of the FTF and COSWL might be equally interested on this project. Dolores will be the point person of this effort and Research Committee will disseminate this proposal among the WSS members and invite participation. 

Kate Corbin, ACRL Council, contacted Jennifer Giley to assess the  research committee’s feelings on the idea of research presentations at ALA conferences. This inquiry is an attempt to create an alternate venue for librarians to present their research, especially considering that the ACRL acceptance rate of papers for their annual conference is only 20%. The group enthusiastically proposed the session to be titled “Current Research in Progress” as a research forum to be held after the general membership meeting starting Midwinter 2008.  This design could provide the potential member useful information about the WSS reseach activities. Jennifer will get back to Kate and express the committee´s interest and Jane Nichols will present the proposal at the executive committee meeting.

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