Assessment & Research Committee Midwinter 2009 Meeting Report

DATE: 1/24/2009

GROUP: Assessment and Research Committee

CHAIRS: Diane Bisom, Bonnie Postlethwaite

REPORTER: Bonnie Postlethwaite


MEETING: Committee meeting


CURRENT ACTIVITIES: Discussion Items & Actions:

  1. Approved minutes from prior meeting.
  2. Mary Taylor presented data files on LITA membership (available on Committee’s Google docs site).  Available data points cover various parameters, such as membership in other divisions; number of programs; etc.  Data seems to reflect a recurring trend of membership increases and decreases over time.  Personal membership trends over the past few years are:
    • 2003: 3907
    • 2004: 3776
    • 2005: 3423
    • 2006: 3500
    • 2007: 3752
    • 2008: 3447

    Mary also indicated that ALA will have a data dashboard later in the spring which may provide data and trends over time.  She also mentioned that ALA is doing a mailing to all people who have dropped membership in the last three years.

  3. Reasons for membership attrition were discussed, with speculation that some decreases could be due to increased LITA and ALA dues.  However, it is hard to read the tea leaves, so maybe some direct data from former members could be collected by conducting an exit interview.  The idea of making personal phone calls to former members was suggested and passed on the Membership Committee liaison, Mike Bolam, for consideration.  Mary will also check resources available through the Association of Associations to find any available best practices or tools for conducting exit interviews.
  4. The Education Committee reported on its survey to determine LITA members’ interests.  They are also looking at evaluation forms for various LITA programs (ALA conference, Forum, LITA camp).  And they are considering best ways to share data on what worked with a program to improve operations within LITA.
  5. Bonnie mentioned the 7 Measures suvey of LITA Committee/IG Chairs that was conducted at ALA Midwinter.  The results are still being compiled and will be posted to the Committee’s Google docs site.
  6. Co-chairs asked Committee to think about the LITA Research agenda in order to be able to advise the LITA Board on next steps and budget needs.  We need to work with other LITA units to determine what data might be needed.  Priority questions needing to be addressed are membership recruitment and retention and programming.


  1. Action item: Develop a template for what this committee could do for the other units.
  2. Action item: Committee members should go to Town Hall Meeting to hear about both member and outsider perceptions of LITA.
  3. Action item: Review survey results that Bonnie is compiling and be prepared to discuss by email.
  4. Action item: Committee members with terms expiring in June 2009 who are interested in renewing or joining this committee need to fill in the volunteer form on the LITA website.  The new appointment would begin after ALA Annual in July 2009.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Present: Diane Bisom (Co-Chair); Bonnie Postlethwaite (Co-Chair); Frank Cervone; Gail Clement; Michelle Kowalsky; Mike Bolam; Andres Orphanides (via Skype); Stephanie Walker (via Skype); Elizabeth German (Guest); Mary Taylor (LITA Executive Director); Peter Hernon (Guest); Ranti Junus (Guest).

Minutes compiled by Gail Clement.

Technology & Access Committee Midwinter 2009 Meeting Report

DATE: 1/25/2009

GROUP: Technology and Access Committee

CHAIR: David Nutty

REPORTER: David Nutty


MEETING: Committee meeting


CURRENT ACTIVITIES: Planning for a program at ALA Annual Chicago has been the main focus of the committee prior to and at the Midwinter Meeting in Denver.  The committee has focused the topic to Net Neutrality.  The committee has tentative commitments (later confirmed) from three outstanding speakers.  Due to the quality of the speakers and the timeliness of the topic, we have requested a larger room for ALA Chicago.

Other business at the Midwinter meeting included discussion of the LITA Strategic Planning Meeting; a request from the Board to draft a resolution for Judith Krug on the 40th anniversary of the Freedom to Read Foundation; and the committee’s role in promoting access to LITA conference programming via low-cost or mobile technologies.

FUTURE ACTIVITIES: The committee’s program at ALA Chicago: “Net Neutrality and its Implications for Libraries” is the primary focus for the committee in the next six months.

A committee member will work with the Chair to draft a resolution for Judith Krug.

A committee member will serve on the new e-Participation task force.

The committee will continue to respond to NISO feedback opportunities as appropriate.

The committee will continue to work closely with the LITA Legislation and Regulations Committee.

Education Committee Midwinter 2009 Meeting Report

DATE: 1/24/2009

GROUP: Education Committee

CHAIRS: David Ward, Mandy Havert

REPORTER: David Ward



CURRENT ACTIVITIES: LITA Education combined with Regional Institutes in the past year.  We spent from Annual 08 – Midwinter 09 reviewing our charge and creating organizational documents to track and help guide the newly combined committee’s role.

Part of this involved assigning committee members as liaisons to all LITA IGs/Committees to gather information on possible educational programming opportunities, including Regional Institutes, Programs/Preconferences at Annual, Midwinter opportunities, and online webinar/tutorial/course planning.

At Midwinter we reviewed liaison reports and decided on the following topics to pursue programming for over the next year:

  • Open Source
  • Mobile Tech
  • RDA
  • Extensible Catalog
  • SOA (Service Oriented Architecture)
  • Semantic Web

Additionally, we are going to work with LITA Forum Committee, Top Tech Trends, PPC, and others to pursue other topics and speakers as opportunities arise.  In particular, we are going to look at ways to build additional educational programming from successful programs and events form other LITA committees.

FUTURE ACTIVITIES: Develop at least 2 education programming opportunities from the following topics:

  • Open Source
  • Mobile Tech
  • RDA
  • Extensible Catalog
  • SOA (Service Oriented Architecture)
  • Semantic Web

Also, put on additional educational programming as opportunities are identified from the work of other committees/IGs/etc.

Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award Committee: Midwinter 2009 Meeting Report

DATE: 1/23/2009

GROUP: LITA/Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award

CHAIR: Martin Halbert

REPORTER: Martin Halbert



CURRENT ACTIVITIES: The LITA Brett Butler Award Committee met on Saturday, January 24, 2009, at 1:30 PM in the Colorado Convention Center room 712.  Several members were absent because of budget cuts in travel at their institutions.  Attending were: Nancy Colyar (Past Chair), Martin Halbert (Current Chair), Ronald Peterson, Mary Alice Ball (Board Liaison), and Helen Wilbur (Awards Representative).  Absent were: Emily Ford and Billy Kwan.

The committee selected this year’s recipient of the award, and will write this up together with the citation for presentation at the awards ceremony at annual.

FUTURE ACTIVITIES: The group noted again the small number of nominations this year (3), and discussed ways of increasing the awareness of the award.

Publicizing the award on additional listservs was the first priority:

  • CNI-Announce (Martin)
  • DLF-Announce (Martin)
  • MLIS program listservs (Nancy) or school by school (Ronald)
  • PLA Directors listservs (we will contact Mary Taylor)
  • Statewide listservs (Helen, perhaps through LSTA listservs)

We also thought presentations at other non-ALA conferences might help:

  • CNI (Martin and Helen will contact Cliff Lynch)

Next Steps:

  • We will have Mary Taylor coordinate with other committees on publicity.
  • We will engage Cliff Lynch with other thought leaders in nominating process.
  • Get the word out at the beginning of the Fall circa September.
  • Post on Gale website.
  • Martin and Helen will coordinate this at the end of the summer (contact her right after Labor Day).

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: We discussed membership and will be in touch on either renewals or recruitment of new members.

LITA Publications Committee

I’m posting an abbreviated report here because, from the look of it, the committee report form (which should show up on LITA-L) automagically combines all those carefully-prepared paragraphs into one big ugly paragraph. Ah, the wonders of automation…

Anyway: We had five people at the single 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting session–two committee members (Judy Jeng and Juan Carlos Rodriguez), Board liaison Mark Beatty, ITAL editor Marc Truitt, LITA Executive Director Mary Taylor and me. Given the extent of his advance comments, I’d consider committee member Paul Bracke to be a “virtual attendee.”


  • ITAL: The December issue is out, enough articles are on hand for the March and June issues, and probably enough for September. New submissions continue to arrive–and, as is typical of a high-value journal, fewer than half of the submissions are accepted. The ITALica blog hasn’t had a lot of activity to date, but it also doesn’t show up in end-of-article blurbs yet. (There aren’t metrics for blog readership yet.) The group discussed ITAL’s print status and OA status (currently a six-month embargo). Apparently, only half of the production budget is print-related, and outside subscriptions almost cover the costs (but not quite). The group suggested a member and subscriber survey to determine current preferences for print vs. e-only. Mary Taylor will look into availability of recycled paper (used by some other divisional journals). (We noted the possibility of an OA e-only journal with optional end-of-year print using PoD, as some journals are now doing.)
  • LITA Guides and LITA monographs: We discussed the current Guides contract. One Guide proposal appeared just after Midwinter, and will be routed to committee members for discussion. There’s not a big flow of monographs (or any, actually), and we discussed whether there were loads of ideas out there where LITA could add value and books needed to be written. Opinions differ.
  • Technology Electronic Reviews: With a resigning editor, two 2007 issues (the second having only three reviews) and no 2008 issues, TER appears moribund. The general feeling during the meeting was that the best solution might be to revitalize ITAL’s reviews section and invite TER reviewers to submit reviews to ITAL. That discussion may also be ongoing.
  • The role of Publications Committee: Some discussion. Is the committee vital as a revenue source? Should members be actively soliciting possible monographs? Should the group take a look at both content that’s out there and appropriate venues? This is probably a long-term discussion, maybe to be moved forward with a younger and more energetic chair.

–Walt Crawford, chair (for now), LITA Publications Committee

Top Tech Trends – Midwinter 2009 Audio edition

This time around for Top Tech Trends we were able to stream the video, but we weren’t ignoring the audio either! Here’s just an MP3 of the session, edited a tiny bit for length and able to be loaded on to your favorite portable audio player.

I apologize in advance for too much keypress noise on the recording. I was monitoring the sound, but couldn’t hear the fact that my typing was so loud! Sorry if that annoys anyone.

In any case, here we are: LITA Top Tech Trends from ALA Midwinter 2009!

LITA Town Meeting Update

I want to thank everyone who participated in this years LITA Town Hall meeting and remind you that you can continue to participate on Twitter. I will continue to follow #litath09, the tag assigned to the Town Meeting, so if you want to add to the conversation please do. I’m listening.

Here are the questions we asked during the breakout session:

  1. What makes LITA unique inside ALA and in the greater community?
  2. Who else is filling the same role as LITA right now?
  3. What areas of IT are not be addressed in the community?
  4. How do other organizations see LITA?
  5. How can LITA work with other organizations?
  6. What can LITA learn from peer organizations?

We had 12 tables in the room so 2 tables discussed each question. I posted pictures of the notes from each table and they can be found on Flickr.

I want to thank the following guests for coming to this event and participating in the discussion:

  • ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries): Susan Kroll
  • ALCTS (Association for Library Collections and Technical Services): Dina Giambi and Mary Case
  • ASIS&T: Nancy Roderer (Past-President)
  • BCR (Bibliographical Center for Research): Regan Harper
  • Digital Library Federation (DLF): Barrie Howard
  • RUSA (Reference and User Services Association): Neal Wyatt
  • Taigi: Tom Wilson (Board Member)
  • OCLC/WebJunction: Beth Gutsche

I would also like to thank the Twitter table for getting a feed going on the spot! I really enjoyed reading it after the fact and I know those who could not attend enjoyed participating from wherever they were.

Finally, I would like to thank Matt Barnes from R2 Consulting for volunteering his time and facilitating the discussion.

LJ gives kudos to Top Tech

In its usual coverage of highlights from the ALA Midwinter conference, Library Journal’s Academic Newswire shares a little love for Sunday morning’s Top Tech Trends discussion. In a two-part article, Josh Hadro covers highlights from the conversation and the successful use of online social technologies to bring a participative broadcast of the event to LITA members and others far and wide. Hadro suggests the TTT session could set the tone as a digital outreach model for ALA.

Trendster Roy Tennant rounds out the LJ commentary with an inside perspective on the integration of live blogging, twitter, and streaming video and congratulations to the committee for “getting tech right.”

Web Coordinating Committee Midwinter 2009 Meeting Report

DATE: 1/25/2009

GROUP: Web Coordinating Committee

CHAIR: Jean Rainwater

REPORTER: Jean Rainwater


MEETING: Committee meeting



  • At the Midwinter meeting the WCC discussed the need for clarification and coordination of web communication. Meeting reports and minutes are frequently posted to a combination of LITA website, wiki, and blog. The WCC recommends that the LITA wiki be the official repository for Committee and IG documentation, meeting reports, minutes and the like. The LITA website should be focused on the current information needs of LITA members and the tools by which members can interact with the site and with each other, should draw news items from the LITA blog via RSS feeds and should provide links to the wiki for meeting reports and other documentation.
  • A review of the LITA website found large gaps in metadata for Collage files; content without metadata is less findable by the ALA and other search engines.


  • Before Annual 2009, the WCC will survey LITA members on what they want and expect to find on the LITA site.
  • The WCC will work with ALA on a LITA website redesign which will harmonize with and include the web 2.0 features of the redesigned ALA site. A monitored discussion of this prototype will be held at Annual. After feedback at Annual usability testing will be conducted and the new site launched before September 2009.
  • Members of the WCC with Collage training will address problems with missing metadata for website content.
  • WCC members will test, provide feedback, and actively participate on ALA Connect.


Attendees: Mary Axford, Kevin Clair, Anne Graham, Lisa Sibert, Lauren Pressley, Jean Rainwater (Chair), Michelle Frisque (LITA Board Liaison), Melissa Prentice (ALA Staff Liaison).

Absent: Tim Donohue, Karenann Jurecki, Karen Coombs, Daniel Suchy, Holly Yu, Rafal Kasprowski.