Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section, ACRL

2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting Minutes

Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Studies (AAMES)

Mid-Winter Online Meetings


A:  Minutes for the Executive Committee Meeting, Feb. 10, 2010 (3:00 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.) 

Members Present:  Anjana Bhatt, Triveni Kuchi, Qian Liu, Chellammal Vaidyanathan, Li  Sun, Ping Situ, Deepa Banerjee, Hikaru Nakano, Liladhar Ramchandra Pendse, Saima Fazil, and Yue Li.

Guest Members: Dr. Majed Khader and  Laverno Poussaint

Absent Members: Dr. R. N. Sharma, Tara Lannen-Stanton, Hala Issa, and Suhua Fan

Minutes: Anjana H Bhatt and Yue Li.

Special Note: AAMES midwinter online meetings were conducted by using the Adobe Connect software and with the assistance of the technology experts at Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers. This is a first online midwinter meeting for the AAMES section. 

Anjana Bhatt,  AAMES Chair (09-10), from FGCU served as “Moderator” of the conference.  She extended a warm welcome to all the EC and other AAMES members at large.  She expressed her thanks to all the members, especially Ms. Vaidyanathan for taking care of the web site related issues, Ms. Kuchi for her continued guidance and advice and taking lead whenever required, Dr. Banerjee for her excellent support with the AAMES newsletter and Mr. Yue Li for taking the minutes.  She also thanked members who despite the blizzard and snow conditions in their home locations, attended the meeting.

Anjana also thanked FGCU’s technical expert Mr. Christopher for his technical support.

1.    Additions to the Agenda: JSTOR Middle Eastern Collection (Added by Anjana)

JSTOR has contacted Anjana. They are currently working to develop and expand Middle East Studies collections in JSTOR, and have requested if AAMES can assist them with recommendations or resources to consider in their research efforts.  They have sent a list of Middle East Studies journals currently in JSTOR for our perusal.  They are interested in including journals in both the humanities and social sciences, as well as journals in non-English languages.  While they are not able to provide searching capabilities at this time for non-Roman script, they would value recommendations for journals in Arabic for future consideration.  Their contact information is 212.358.6431.  JSTOR has requested AAMES to recommend area specialists to assist with this endeavor.  

AAMES does have experts like our past Chair Dr. Muhammad al-Faruque, associate professor and Middle East librarian at UNC.  Members felt JSTOR can contact MELA and CC: AAM (Cataloging: Asian and African Materials Committee) which could be a good resource for JSTOR.  Deepa suggested that we could perhaps recommend other Middle East specialists member of AAMES.

Actions: Anjana to send a message to Dr. Muhammad al-Faruque and Dr. Khader about JSTOR and inform them about the possibility of working with MELA librarians and inform JSTOR contact as well.

2.  Report on appointments for AAMES’ committees by Triveni Kuchi:

AAMES conference program committee for 2011 ALA annual conference in New Orleans has been created. Members are: Deepa Banerjee (Chair), Ruby A. Bell-Gam, Suhua Fan, Liladhar, Ramchandra Pendse, Ping Situ and Chellamal Vaidyanathan.

AAMES Nomination Committee members for 2010-2011 are:  Bindu Bhatt (Chair), Rajwant Chilana, Liladhar Pendse, and Raymond Pun.

Triveni requested members to volunteer for the Membership, Publications and Constitution & Bylaws committees by Feb 15, 2010.

Anjana expressed her desire to continue serving AAMES and Triveni invited her to get involved in Nominating Committee work because of her familiarity with AAMES activities.

3.  Report from Dr. Sharma on Bylaws changes:

Anjana read Dr. Sharma’s report on his behalf.  Dr. Sharma has reviewed and revised the document about the “Governance Procedures of the AAMES”, as section of ACRL.  He mentioned that the old bylaws have been rewritten to meet the guidelines of ACRL and they should be posted on AAMES website and wiki.  Anjana has forwarded the document to Chella so she can add it to the wiki and the web site.

Action: Chella will post the documents by February 12th.

4.  ALA 2010 Program: discussion about advertising the program, handout, presenter  
     gifts, co-sponsorship with International Relations Committee (IRC) and RBMS section
     etc.  Discussion lead by Chella & Anjana.  

    Anjana inquired if the program planning committee is planning to create any handouts, fliers, promotional material and gifts for the invited speakers. Chella is working on these issues with her committee members and has constructive plans for advertising our program. Her group has $250 to make copies and handouts and she will take care of it. AAMES members agreed that we could provide certificates of acknowledgement to the presents. Chella and her committee are working on getting the speakers agreement forms. We are also co-sponsoring the IRC program.

Action: Chella to work with her committee on speaker gifts, promotional material, handouts and certificates. She will post the program related information on the website ASAP. Announcement regarding our program will also be posted on our web site by Chella and on our Listserve by Triveni or Anjana.

5.  ALA 2011 Program: Discussion lead by Dr. Deepa Banerjee
Publication Committee and Conference Planning Committee are in the initial stages of discussing and planning the program. Topics in consideration are:  librarians’ challenges, librarianship, library leadership, and technology related challenges in Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries.
Triveni suggested that AAMES program planning members should consider following ACRL strategic priorities for 2009-13, which could provide guidance for planning our program:

  1. Strengthen ACRL’s relationships with higher education organizations that are important to faculty and administrators in order to develop institutional understanding of librarians’ roles in enhancing teaching and learning.
  2.  Enhance ACRL members’ understanding of how scholars work and the systems, tools, and technology to support the evolving work of the creation, personal organization, aggregation, discovery, preservation, access and exchange of information in all formats.
  3. Increase ACRL’s influence in public policy affecting higher education.
  4. Increase recognition of the value of libraries and librarians by leaders in higher education, information technology, funding agencies and campus decision making.
  5. Support members in their exploration, research on, and implementation of new and emerging information technologies and their application for library services in educational environments.
  6. Increase ACRL’s membership from professionally underrepresented ethnic and racial groups.

Actions: AAMES members to email Deepa about their suggestions and ideas regarding the next AAMES program.

6. Second issue of the Newsletter, Discussion lead by Dr. Deepa Banerjee.

Dr. Banerjee is working towards publishing the second newsletter in April, 2010 and it will be her last assignment as the Newsletter editor. All members are encouraged to submit articles, newsletters, and presentation to her for publication in this issue.

Triveni mentioned that perhaps there is a need for appointing a co-chair for the Publication Committee.  One co-chair could serve as the editor of the newsletter and the second co-chair could assist with the website/wiki and build content for the web pages.  Members agreed that it is a good idea.

Dr. Banerjee would like to make sure of a smooth transition and would be happy to work with whoever is selected as the Newsletter Editor for the years 2010-12.

Anjana inquired if members can present their accomplishments in the newsletter. Anjana also inquired if we can send a call for newsletter items on the Listserve.

Action: Members to send their accomplishments to Deepa. Anjana to write her “Message from Chair” and send it to Deepa before the deadline. Deepa to send the newspaper deadlines information to Anjana and members.

7.  Planning 2010 Annual all committee and Executive meeting. Discussion lead by Anjana.

Anjana informed that AAMES committee meeting requests have been submitted and here is the proposed schedule:

AAMES Executive Meeting: SATURDAY JUNE 26TH    8:00 a. m. — 10:00 a.m.

AAMES ALL Committee Meeting:  SATURDAY JUNE 26th 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location and meeting rooms will be announced one month before the conference.  She has requested the computer and audio equipment as well.  Since many librarians have to attend the meeting on their own expenses, we are not sure how many members will be present at the meeting.  Anjana has contacted ALA about the registration details and she informed that if an AAMES member is only attending the AAMES meeting and not the complete ALA conference, then there is no need to register for ALA conference. 

Anjana also informed that she would like to start a tradition of “Handover” where the previous chair officially hands-over to the new committee and provide advice regarding process and procedure of AAMES committee assignments.  Anjana requested AAMES members to attend the IRC program which we are co sponsoring.  AAMES members will not be able to attend RBMS program as it is scheduled at the same time as ours.

Triveni discussed the possibility of holding a round table meeting after 2010 Executive Committee meeting, during which, we can discuss any project, presentation, equipment etc.

AAMES members suggested that we plan for holding a colloquium similar to last year’s where members get a chance to present relevant information and all agreed that it is good idea.

Actions: Anjana to send requests for agenda on the listsereve and the web site. We will also send a request to members regarding presenting at the colloquium.

8.  Discussion about AAMES two websites: Discussion lead by Chella.

AAMES web site at and wiki at are working just fine.  As for as the issue of two AAMES websites is concerned, members agree that we should just maintain one AAMES web site under ACRL site at  We, however, need to update this web site frequently and keep it current.  It was suggested that we should involve additional members so they can contribute the content and be productive at our website.  It would be ideal if we get all the data transferred to the new web site before June. Members agreed to continue supporting AAMES Wiki.  

Anjana requested to check and see if we can set a deadline for transferring the content from the old web site. 

Chella informed that there is considerable amount of data that needs to be transferred such as minutes and reports, newsletters etc. from the previous years. 

Triveni suggested dividing the work among members which seems to be a good idea. Currently all the information is correct on our wiki.  Members requested for necessary trainings to be able to update AAMES websites and wiki.   Triveni also mentioned that the Section chair-elect/vice chair should be involved in this work to get familiar with all the committees and the chairs and members. 

Action: Chella to look in to all the data that needs to be transferred and suggest a process for dividing the work for completing the web site.  Deepa to provide PDF files of the newsletter to Chella for uploading.

Meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.

B:  Minutes of “All Committees” Meeting held immediately after the EC meeting on
February. 10th from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Members Present:  Anjana Bhatt, Triveni Kuchi, Qian Liu, Chellammal Vaidyanathan, Li  Sun, Ping Situ, Deepa Banerjee, Hikaru Nakano, Liladhar Ramchandra Pendse, Saima Fazil, and Yue Li.

Guest Members: Dr. Majed Khader and  Laverno Poussaint

Absent Members: Dr. R. N. Sharma, Tara Lannen-Stanton, Hala Issa, and Suhua Fan

1.    Introductions: All members introduced themselves and their committee assignment/ charges.

2.    Reports from each Committee Chair: 

Conference Planning Committee: Chellammal (Chella) Vaidyanathan, Chair

AAMES is co-sponsoring the International Relations Committee (IRC) of ACRL Program “Technology and Academic/Research Libraries in Developing Nations” on Saturday, June 26, 2010 from 10:30 A.M. to 12:00 noon at the ALA 2010annual conference at Washington. AAMES program is being co-sponsored by the RBMS and CALA sections.

For details on the AAMES 2010 programs please see the discussions under item number 4.

Constitution and Bylaws Committee: Ravindra N. Sharma, Chair.

Dr. Sharma did not attend the meeting but provided his update.  Anjana Bhatt presented his update.  For details please see item number 3 in the section above.  

Membership Committee: Tara Lannen-Stanton, Chair. Tara did not attend the meeting and will provide her report later.  Members discussed membership ideas.

Increasing AAMES membership appears to be an urgent issue.  As per the list provided by Adam Burling, currently, AAMES has 268. Following ideas for increasing the membership were discussed during this meeting:

Ping mentioned that since librarians do not have sufficient funding, AAMES must advertise about the possibility of attending AAMES meetings and online participation. The possibility of not having to travel and be able to participate will definitely bring up our membership.  We need to advertise this fact in our newsletter, wiki, website and through the listrserve.

Librarians need to attend professional conferences and take part in committee meetings as part of their professional development activities.  We should advertise to the subject specialist librarians in the field of African and Middle Eastern studies about the possibility of online participation in AAMES activities so they can easily include it in their professional development activities.

Mentor program could be a good way to recruit new members.  

Membership committee chair can write welcome letters to each of the new member and a letter of appreciation to each member who withdraws from AAMES.  Yue agreed to provide samples of such letters.

AAMES needs to explore the possibilities of inviting librarians from all the subject fields to join AAMES.  We should not restrict our membership to just AAMES and MELA related subject librarians or librarians from these countries.

Dual membership should be encouraged.  We should request MELA librarians to join AAMES as well.

Hikaru volunteered to represent AAMES and attend ACRL 101 during ALA 2010 annual conference and try to increase AAMES’ popularity.  We can also create small AAMES brochure or handout and place them near the ALA membership registration tables to increase AAMES visibility.

Anjana, Triveni, and Tara agreed to form a working group to discuss this issue and report their suggestions.

Saima inquired if we can recruit library students.  Members agreed that it might be a good idea to initiate a “Social” during ALA conference where we can promote AAMES activities.

Nomination Committee: Li Sun, Chair

Qian Liu would like to have nomination positions and appointment forms to be completed. Anjana asked Qian to contact Triveni for this issue as Triveni is currently in the process of recruiting new members. If anyone is interested in serving on any of the AAMES committees, please contact Triveni. The last date for submitting the volunteer forms is February 16th.
Li Sun: Nominating committee has three slates that need to be filled: one for Vice-chair/Chair-elect, two for Member-at Large. Currently we have following three candidates as our members:

Binh P. Le
Vice-chair/Chair-elect (2010-2013)
Associate Librarian, Penn State University

Hong Cheng
Member-at-Large (2010-2012)
Librarian, University of California Los Angeles

Tao Yang
Member-at-Large (2010-2012)
East Asian Librarian
Rutgers University

Publication committee: Deepa Banerjee, Chair & Editor

Discussed under the EC meeting. For details please see item number 6.

3.    Announcement & Closing: Meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.