Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section, ACRL

2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting Minutes

Here are the meeting minutes of the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting held at Denver, Colorado.

Association of College and Research Libraries
Asian, African and Middle Eastern Section
Executive Committee and All Committees Meeting
ALA Midwinter Conference
January 24, 2009 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Denver, CO

PRESENT: Deepa Banerjee (Washington:; Ruby Bell-Gam (UCLA: rbellgam@library,; Bindu Bhatt (Columbia:; Rajwant Chilana [Chair] (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Suhua Fan (Alabama:; Triveni Kuchi (Rutgers:; Binh Le (Penn State:; Ping Situ (Arizona):; Doris Seely (Minnesota:; R.N. Sharma (Monmouth:; Li Sun (Rutgers:; Chellammal Vaidyanathan (U. of Miami:; Kara Malenfant (ACRL representative for Adam Burling:

1. WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS Dr. Rajwant Chilana, Chair, welcomed new Executive Members and introduced two guests. Introductions were made by all present.

2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES The minutes of the 2007 Annual meetings were approved, and minutes of the 2008 Annual meeting were approved with amendments. Name of Bindu Bhatt as chair of the Program Committee was replaced in three places, rather than Deepa Banerjeee.


NOMINATING COMMITTEE—Dr. R. N. Sharma, Chair, announced nominations for the year 2009-2010.

The candidates nominated for the 2009 AAMES election are:
Vice-chair/Chair-elect: Triveni Kuchi, Rutgers
Secretary: Yue Li, Florida State
Member-at-large: Laverne Page, Area Specialist for Africa at LC


Dr. Deepa Banerjee was successful in soliciting a number of good articles and news items for the fall 2008 issue of the AAMES Newsletter that was published on schedule. She is now accepting articles for the Spring 2009 issue and requested contributors to send her notes, news and brief articles by March, 2009. It was discussed during the meeting that many revisions to the AAMES brochure are needed and Banerjee will see to them. It was proposed that AAMES should publish the papers from the Washington DC, Anaheim and Chicago conferences in book form. There will be three sections–Middle East, Africa and Asia—and we can solicit more papers from AAMES members, both here and abroad, to add to the book. We will form an editorial committee and Dr. Chilana will serve as coordinating editor. We will also put the publication on the Web in e-book form.

BUDGET—Rajwant Chilana

AAMES has a budget of about $2,720.00 during the current year. There is an allocation of $750 for the Annual program, $750.00 for basic services, $120.00 for labels and $1100.00 for printing and mailing the Newsletter. It was discussed and suggested by the EC members to publish the AAMES Newsletter in electronic format only to save the expenses of printing and mailing. Final decision will be taken during the ALA Annual meeting at Chicago in July this year.

4. AAMES MEMBERSHIP—Rajwant Chilana

Dr. Chilana and other members expressed their concerns about declining of AAMES Membership from about 417 members in 2007 to about 375 in 2008. In order to enhance our membership, we need to work collectively to encourage our professional colleagues and friends to join the AAMES. Wendy Girven, Chair- Membership Committee, expressed her inability to attend the Midwinter meeting and sent her a brief report. She mailed 35 welcome letters to new AAMES members, 14 welcome back letters to reinstated members, and 69 letters dropped members.

5. PRESENTATIONS: There were two presentations by two candidates for the ACRL Vice-president/President-elect that were followed by lively discussions among the present.

A) Kelly Janousek, a Librarian from the California State University, Long Beach, was welcomed at the AAMES EC Meeting. She assured the members that she will work for improved networking, better use of technology to allow more participation, continuing education, e-learning, reduction of the costs of participation, reduction of fees. If ALA is slow in implementing virtual membership, ACRL should not wait for them, but take the lead. She mentioned that ALA is trying to shorten the conference schedules so that the meetings will end on Monday by 2010.

B) Lisa Hinchliffe, Coordinator of the Information Literacy Services at the University of Illinois, was the second candidate that made her presentation for improving the ACRL activities. Lisa stressed that she would have ACRL emphasize advocacy for libraries, advocacy for academic education and advocacy for academic libraries within ALA. She would try to engage all ACRL members, even if they can’t attend ALA. She would promote library education, especially preparation for academic librarianship in library school, BI courses, and staff training courses; make better use of technology to help with these things. Might we, for example, do a virtual chat on area studies librarianship? Perhaps we would need to join with other sections do this.

Dr. Chilana expressed his views in promoting diversity, and stressed that we should not be thinking only in terms of black and white, but all colors; and not just diversity of color, but international and domestic issues, urban and rural.

Lisa described University of Illinois library program to provide each student employee with a one-hour paid interview with a diversity librarian in an attempt to interest them in careers in librarianship. So far two or three among the fifty or so interviewed have enrolled in library school. She also mentioned about various international activities of the University of Illinois’s Mortenson Centre. She stated that some librarians are raising the issue of whether an MLIS or MLS is any longer necessary with the changing roles of librarians, but if not, how does one evaluate a candidate’s qualifications without it?

Lisa also suggested that US academic libraries should share with those of other countries, but not in a colonial fashion; we can learn from them as well as teach them.


Chilana has recruited a new AAMES Webmaster. He is Sean Swanick, a Canadian graduate student who could not afford to attend the meeting, but has agreed to bring the Web site up-to-date on priority basis. This updating is badly needed, since nothing has been done for at least for three years. Suhua Fan suggested that it would be easier to update the Web page if we set up an AAMES wiki to which everyone can contribute and from which the Webmaster can take the information. She, Deepa Banerjee and Chellammal Vaidyanathan agreed to work together on a wiki and Kara Malenfant, who came to the meeting in place of Adam Burling as ACRL representative, told them that ACRL has virtual help on Web sites available in the afternoons and evenings and she will send the details to Deepa Banerjee.


Bindu Bhatt elaborated on the proposal for an AAMES program at 2009 Annual which she mentioned having submitted at the preceding meeting. The title she has proposed is: Asian, African and Middle Eastern Librarians in Academic Libraries: Challenges, Expectations and Rewards. It was noted that the AAMES program is always at 1:30 on Saturday, a time that conflicts with many other interesting programs and is always in the most remote and inaccessible hotel. We should try for a better time and location.

Ruby Bell-Gam also mentioned about the program that AAMES is organizing at the ALA Annual in 2009. The program will cover different aspects of the field including collaborative collection development & library services; digital collection development; innovative reference & information literacy instruction techniques; marketing, advocacy, & future trends; legal & social challenges. The purpose of the program is to share experiences, learn effective strategies to overcome challenges, and bring awareness amongst peers and aspirants to the field of the uniqueness of Area Studies Librarianship. Speakers will include:

1. Ellen Tise (President IFLA 2009-2011) Senior Director, Library & Information Service, Stellenboosch University, South Africa

2. David Magier Associate University Librarian for Collection Development, Princeton University

3. James Simon Director of International Resources, Center for Research Libraries

4. Anchi Ho Assistant to Chief, Asian Division, Library of Congress

5. Lauran Hartley Tibetan Studies Librarian, Columbia University

6. Alfred Kagan African Studies Bibliographer & Prof. of Library Administration, University of Illinois

7. Deepa Banerjee South Asian Studies Librarian, University of Washington

8. Liladhar R. Pendse Librarian for Slavic/Eastern European Studies & South Asian Studies, UCLA

Alfred Kagan will be the moderator in the first half and Deepa Banerjee will be the moderator in the 2nd half.

Rajwant Chilana suggested looking for some vendors and publishers who would help to sponsor the program. Suhua Fan knows some likely candidates and will contact them.

8. PRESENTATIONS DURING ALL COMMITTEES MEETING The Committee agreed to solicit three fifteen-minute presentations from area studies professionals on their research in progress or best practices in area studies for the next All Committees Meeting, these to be followed by a fifteen-minute Q&A session. Binh Le will coordinate this program. We hope that if the students can tell their institutions that they have been invited to speak, they may be able to get enough money from their institutions so that they can afford to come to the meeting.

9. DISCUSSION Binh Le noted that area studies librarians must be proactive in promoting area studies librarianship, both at ALA and at their home institutions. He has been working on the developing of libraries in Vietnam and suggested that this is the sort of thing we can write books and articles about, not just for Vietnam, of course, but for any country. We can apply for grants to translate the AACR cataloging rules into other languages, for example.

CALA has been doing global exchanges. They started small and have been progressing more each year until now they have a $1,000,000 grant for this purpose. It was reported that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received $500,000 grant for the exchange of library professionals between the United States and China.

Suhua Fan suggested that as a way of promoting more interest/involvement/attendance we could put out a very brief member survey asking them to list three topics that they would like us to address.

Respectfully submitted by Doris Seely February 2, 2009