SEPTLA Institutional News, Spring 2017

April 21, 2017

Biblical Theological Seminary

Lydia Putnam reported that Biblical has completed visits from both ATS and Middle States. ATS granted Biblical full accreditation for seven (7) years, with a focused site visit planned post-move, which is now anticipated to occur sometime in 2018. Middle States also gave full accreditation approval and will visit the institution once they move; the library in particular was commended for demonstrating ingenuity and financial stewardship. Lydia also announced that the webmaster left and Lydia has assumed these responsibilities for the interim.

Cairn University

Laura Saloiye announced that Cairn will be offering four (4) new majors in the fall: computer science, information technology, criminal justice, and graphic design.  The library received a 1500 volume collection on Biblical archaeology from Towson University.

Lancaster Bible College

Clint Banz reported that April 21, 2017 was the final day of the Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation (ABHE) site visit.  The Middle States accreditation team is scheduled to begin their visit to Lancaster Bible College on Monday, April 24, 2017.  Beginning fall 2017 we will be offering two additional majors: Music Education  and Criminal Justice. Also our Church Ministry Leadership department is underway with a search for someone to direct our Pastoral Ministry major. Concerning the library we have created several library tutorials and look to have several additional ones completed this summer.

Lancaster Theological Seminary

In February, we implemented OpenAthens single sign-on authentication alongside Google Oauth2 authentication for our OPAC. Current students, faculty, and staff are now able to use their seminary accounts to log in to both their library accounts and all our electronic resources. Alumni/ae who do not have seminary accounts, now have OpenAthens accounts to access select electronic resources. This has streamlined and simplified access to our electronic resources and has also allowed us to offer off-campus access to many online journal subscriptions not previously accessible off campus.

This spring we completed a complete revision of the seminary’s records management manual and added provisions for managing and archiving electronic records. To help with collection and organization of born-digital records we’re using ResourceSpace, an open source digital asset management platform.

Over the summer we will be creating a makerspace with the primary objective to support students in a new required course, Christianity and the Arts. The space will include a sewing machine, easels, and additional tools for visual and fiber arts.

Seminary librarian, Myka Kennedy Stephens, is looking forward to a 6-month research and writing sabbatical beginning in July.

Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg

B. Bohleke reported that there is a new board of trustees/directors in place and that the merger of the Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses begins July 1, 2017. During the spring academy week, library staff and an intern created a display featuring some original works of Martin Luther.

Moravian Theological Seminary

Elizabeth Young Miller reported that Moravian has been busy working on their ATS self-study.

New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Ondrea Murphy announced that New Brunswick now offers a doctorate in transformational preaching, and they are looking forward to welcoming a 2nd cohort.  The president of the Seminary is retiring in June, and there will be a new homiletics professor for the fall semester.  Based on fundraising efforts external repairs have been completed along with a dedicated brick walkway. The institution is nearing its capital campaign goal, and they have begun the Middle States accreditation process.

Palmer Theological Seminary/Eastern University

Dr. Jim Sauer announced that Dr. David Bronkema is still the interim dean of the seminary; he offers great leadership and brings a calming spirit to the Seminary which has gone through much change in the last years.  Palmer’s library is now fully merged with Eastern’s library.  Marvin Smith acts as our Theological Research Librarian.

Jim also gave an update on several programs.  While most traditional programs remain flat, the Eastern School of Christian Ministry (ESCM) program geared toward laity and continuing education is growing, as well as the Open Seminary, our international online program.  Also, a cohort based Seminary program is showing great signs of development in Mexico and other Spanish speaking areas.  To become more competitive, the requirements for the MDiv program have been adjusted; the degree can be completed in 78 credit hours instead of 120+ hours.  The 25th anniversary of the West Virginia Campus was celebrated.

Princeton Theological Seminary

Some of you may already know this but in September 2016, the Library was delighted to have Melody Mazuk serving as interim director. Her leadership has moved us forward in many important ways and we are very grateful for her talents.

This you may not know but in late February we welcomed Melvin Hartwick to the library team part-time to assist with cataloging a 42,000+ volume collection of Dutch language material, purchased by Princeton almost 20 years ago. The wonderful combination of his cataloging skills and language expertise has been a gift to Princeton, as we seek to make this material more accessible to researchers.

In June, Greg Murray, Director of Digital Initiatives, will be at ATLA to present on digitizing local collections, using our Theological Commons as a platform.

The search for a permanent James Lenox Librarian continues.

Lastly, the Library would love to be in conversation with any other SEPTLA libraries interested in the following 3 topics:

  1. Exploring models of sharing or reciprocal exchange regarding foreign language cataloging
  2. Developing library disaster recovery plans
  3. Staff and student scheduling programs.

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Alan LaPayover announced that Reconstructionist Rabbinical College will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2018.  In this online learning world, the conference session on embedding rights in distance education was very helpful.

St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

James Humble reported that, after a year-long search, St. Charles will enter into a provisional partnership with a Philadelphia-area college, which may lead to a merging of operations down the line.  In the meantime, the Seminary is busy working on its self-study, with institutional visits planned for next year.

St. Tikon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

Sergei Arhipov announced that St. Tikon’s completed their ATS self-study and are accredited for the next seven (7) years without any stipulations.  After twenty (20) years at St. Tikon’s, Sergei will be retiring; however, he will be continuing as an adjunct.  Michael Skor will be the new head librarian.

University of Valley Forge

We are in the midst of the Self-Study for our Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) reaccreditation. The on-site visit will occur this fall. UVF has also elected a new president, Rev. David Kim and also a Chancellor, Dr. Ron McManus.

Westminster Theological Seminary

Sandy Finlayson provided an update on both the seminary and the library.  He announced that Westminster now offers an online Masters of Arts in Biblical Counseling.  In 2018, on campus housing will be added for seminary students.  The library has experienced some staffing transitions.  Karla is leaving.  On June 1, a new assistant librarian begins.  The e-book project spearheaded by Donna Campbell is thriving with thirteen (13) libraries participating and fifteen (15) publishers.  Currently 674 titles are offered with the hope of 1,000 by the fall semester.

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A Letter of Thanks from SEPTLA Scholarship Recipient

I am writing this memo as a summary of my experience at the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) Annual Conference earlier this summer in Atlanta, Georgia. I first must begin my reflection by expressing my tremendous gratitude to SEPTLA and particularly the members of the Executive Committee who awarded me with this scholarship as a first-time attendee to ATLA. I did not imagine earlier this year that I would be able to attend the annual conference. At the last SEPTLA meeting I spoke with several members of the Executive Committee and was encouraged to consider attending the ATLA meeting. Again, I wish to express my profound gratitude for providing me with the scholarship that enabled me to attend. Without your assistance, I am certain that I would not have been able to attend my first ATLA conference.

The opening address of the conference provided an interesting and useful framework for the sessions that followed. Rev. Dr. Christian Scharen of Auburn Theological Seminary offered the opening address entitled “Innovation in Theological Education.” He explained how older models of theological education/formation are being transformed by new technological innovation. Given one’s faith tradition, there are certainly limits to what innovation one may push for in theological education and formation. At Orthodox seminaries, for example, “innovation” is often placed in stark opposition to Holy Tradition. However, Scharen’s opening address provided an entry-point for reflection throughout the conference that kept me returning to the title of the ATLA conference: “The Human Touch in the Digital Age.” It is undeniable that, just like the world around us, theological education and theological librarianship is in a period of transformation. How can we remain faithful stewards to theological education/formation and theological librarianship in such a dynamic environment? This was the central question I considered as I attended a variety of sessions on different areas of librarianship such as digitization (i.e. Theological Commons of PTS), archival studies, information literacy, and digital curation. Several sessions throughout those days were immensely helpful in my own professional development in two major areas–archival studies (both in terms of the preservation of a library collection and the development of institutional memory) and practical advice in the formation of a research methods/information literacy curriculum. In both areas, I found these sessions offered practical ideas which I hope to be a major area of focus at St. Tikhon’s Seminary Library.

As a way of concluding this reflection on my experience at ATLA in Atlanta, I would like to share two experiences. First, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Library recently joined the Theological Libraries E-book Lending Program (TLELP). TLELP is a consortium of independent libraries that purchase religious and theological e-books directly from publishers and share them with other libraries participating in the project. A group of participants gathered on the first day of the conference for a working lunch to discuss progress, pitfalls, etc. I learned much from this hour-long lunch and expect that St. Tikhon’s Seminary will contribute titles from St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press shortly. Secondly, a most unexpected event occurred on the final evening of the conference. I was invited by fellow Orthodox librarians from several member schools to join them in fellowship where we were introduced to one another and shared our own life journey to Orthodoxy.

Again, I wish to convey my sincere gratitude for the generous scholarship to attend my first ATLA conference in Atlanta in 2017. It was a rich and joyful experience and I look forward to attending many more in the future.

With gratitude in Christ,

Michael Skor

Assistant Librarian, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Library

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Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, August 1, 2017

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2:00 p.m. Teleconference

Attendees: Virginia Dearborn, Jenifer Gundry, Patrick Milas, Ondrea Murphy, Samantha Rice, Myka Kennedy Stephens
Excused: Chris Schwartz

Approval of the Agenda

The Executive Committee voted to approve the agenda for the meeting.

May 22, 2017 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

The Executive Committee voted to approve the minutes of the May 22, 2017 meeting, pending one typographical correction.

Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer’s Report dated May 22, 2017 August 1, 2017, was summarized by Patrick Milas, who reported that SEPTLA’s business account balance was $2,955.76 and the money market account balance was $6,699.97.

Organizational Matters

Leadership changes at member libraries

The committee discussed recent leadership changes at member libraries, including the search for a new library director at the University of Valley Forge. Additionally, the consolidation of the two regional Lutheran seminaries into the new United Lutheran Seminary; Evan Boyd will be serving as the new library director and based in Philadelphia.

Membership application for the new United Lutheran Seminary

After discussion, the committee received and approved the membership application, with no additional site visit required.

Myka will place an announcement on the agenda of the Fall 2017 Business Meeting to outline the Executive Committee’s recommendation to amend the bylaws to allow for a briefer process for merger/consolidation situations going forward.

Committee and Task Force appointments

Myka will issue a call for volunteers or nominees for all “vacant” positions during the Fall 2017 Business Meeting. Additionally, the committee identified a few members that Myka will approach individually to ask about taking on leadership positions.

The committee reviewed and voted to approve the following appointments to Committee and Task Force positions:

  1. Continuing Education Committee
    • Chair: Ondrea Murphy – 2017-2019 term
    • Julie Dawson – term ending Fall 2018
    • Lydia Putnam – term ending Fall 2018
    • Alan LaPayover – 2017-2019 term, pending his consent.
  2. Communications Committee
    • (Co-)Chair: Virginia Dearborn – 2017-2019 term
    • Newsletter Editor: Stephanie Kaceli – 2017-2018 term,
      pending her consent.
    • Archivist: VACANT
    • Myka Kennedy Stephens – 2017-2019 term
    • Lydia Putnam – 2017-2018 term
  3. Membership Task Force
    • Chair: VACANT
    • VACANT
    • VACANT
  4. Resource Sharing Task Force
    • Chair: Mark Draper
    • Gerald Lincoln
    • Evan Boyd

TeamWork Newsletter Going Forward

Myka will include in her call for open positions during the Fall 2017 Business Meeting a call for a future new editor of TeamWork, following Stephanie Kaceli stepping down from the role.

Additionally, the committee voted to approve a recommendation to take an experimental approach to the Fall 2017 newsletter where SEPTLA would release information on the website as it becomes available. The Newsletter Editor would then collect it from the website and put it in a PDF format in advance of the Fall 2017 meeting. The committee discussed engaging the membership more widely on the PDF format, and the possible necessity of continuing some fixed form of TeamWork as the document of record for SEPTLA as a non-profit organization.

Fall 2017 Meeting Planning

The fall meeting is scheduled for October 4, 2018 2017 at Lancaster Bible College. The committee discussed possible themes, including focusing on unique collections (“Shine Locally, Share Regionally”) and the shaping of a members’ expertise list. Myka and Ondrea will continue planning the theme and update the committee.

Other Business

Additional updates from Interest Groups and Committees

  • Research Services Interest Group – Patrick reported Director of Digital Initiatives Greg Murray (Princeton) will be present at the fall meeting to provide the Interest Group with a summary of his ATLA presentation on the availability of the Theological Commons and Internet Archive as an on-ramp for theological libraries wanting to build their digital collections.
  • Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group – Chris did not submit a report in her absence.
  • Communications Committee – Virginia reported that she has installed a SSL certificate for the SEPTLA website and is working to refine redirects.

Upcoming meetings

The committee agreed upon the following meetings for the 2017-2018 year:

  • General Meeting – October; Interest Groups hold elections
  • Executive Committee – December; hear from Resource Sharing Task Force
  • Executive Committee – February; hear from Membership Task Force
  • General Meeting – April; officer elections, action items from task forces

Adjournment

Myka closed the meeting, thanking the Committee for their work.

Amendment to the Minutes of August 1, 2017

Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, May 22, 2017

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2:00 p.m. Teleconference

Attendees: Clint Banz, Virginia Dearborn, Karla Grafton, Jenifer Gundry, Patrick Milas, Myka Kennedy Stephens
Excused: Stephanie Kaceli, Samantha Rice, Chris Schwartz

Approval of the Agenda

The Executive Committee voted to approve the agenda for the meeting.

March 2, 2017 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

The Executive Committee voted to approve the minutes of the March 2, 2017 meeting.

Reports

  • Treasurer’s Report. The Treasurer’s Report dated May 22, 2017, was summarized by Clint Banz and submitted in full via email to Executive Committee.
  • Continuing Education Committee Report. Karla reported that SEPTLA’s grant report appeared in the recent ATLA newsletter.
  • Communications Committee Report. Virginia reported that she is exploring options for the website in the areas of auto-backup, secure plug-ins, and media image switch out options for the homepage.
  • Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group Report. No report was submitted.
  • Research Services Interest Group Report. Patrick reported that the group is working on speakers for the fall meeting. He noted the possibility of inviting Princeton Theological Seminary’s Director of Digital Initiatives Greg Murray to present a version of his ATLA presentation on using the Theological Commons as a platform for libraries to get their digital collections online and as a springboard for research.

Review of Amended Constitution and Bylaws

The committee discussed changes to the Constitution and Bylaws, as voted on at the April 2017 meeting. Clint and Patrick agreed to review the revised documents for errors in advance of posting the revised documents to the SEPTLA website.

Meetings for 2017-2018

Following discussion, the committee agreed upon the following meetings for the 2017-2018 year:

  • August 2017 – Executive Committee Meeting
  • October 2017 – Fall Meeting. Clint will confirm if Lancaster Bible College is available to host the fall meeting (avoiding October 6).
  • December 2017 – Executive Committee Meeting
  • February 2018 – Executive Committee Meeting
  • April 2018 – Spring Meeting. Myka will reach out to Cairn to confirm that they are available to host the spring meeting.

Actions on Future Task Force Recommendations

Myka summarized recommendations from the Future Task Force Recommendation document, submitted by Gerald Lincoln and Mark Draper.

The committee voted to approve and implement the following actions:

  1. Organizational Assessment – It was agreed this area of activity will be the responsibility of Executive Committee, with the Past President responsible for developing and conducting regular meeting surveys. Surveys can include assessment questions, along with suggestions for continuing education and interest group foci.
    1. Survey meeting attendees regularly; coordinated by the Past President.
    2. Add discussion of survey results along with feedback and observations to the Executive Committee Meeting agendas.
  2. Cultivate Leadership – It was agreed that this area of activity will be the shared responsibility of Communications and Continuing Education Committees.
    1. Recruit/identify mentors in SEPTLA and begin building a networking structure
    2. Create and maintain an expertise list
  3. Activities and Opportunities – It was agreed that this area of activity will be the responsibility of Continuing Education Committee, as it develops programs and meetings.
    1. Organize library tours
    2. Add virtual meeting components to General Meeting, following the success of the virtual meeting held in conjunction with the live April 2017 meeting.
    3. Programming for both professional and paraprofessional staff
    4. Special meetings for professional development
  4. Outreach and Community Building – It was agreed that this area of activity will be the responsibility of Communications Committee.
    1. Utilize social media and the listserv to promote programs and increase interaction between members
    2. Leverage existing technology to facilitate easier searching of member library catalogs
  5. Membership Task Force – A new task force that needs leadership and members.
    1. Charged with exploring the expansion of membership categories; one chair and two members
    2. To research membership structures of other ATLA regional groups as well as similar regional professional organizations
    3. To summarize findings in a report to the Executive Committee at the February 2018 meeting
    4. To make a formal recommendation to the Executive Committee, including a draft of any constitutional and/or bylaw amendments, by the February 2018 meeting
    5. To submit a summary of activities and recommendations to the general membership for publication in March 2018, in advance of the Spring 2018 Meeting
  6. Resource Sharing Task Force – A new task force that Mark Draper has agreed to chair. Gerald Lincoln has agreed to serve as a task force member. Mark and Gerald have undertaken a good amount of preliminary research in this area.
    1. Charged with exploring consortial purchasing opportunities; one chair and two members
    2. To research existing consortial purchasing opportunities available to SEPTLA member libraries, including but not limited to: ATLA, ATLA/SCELC Affiliate Program, LYRASIS, Tri-State College Library Cooperative, and PALCI.
    3. To make inquiries with vendors about possible consortial pricing opportunities
    4. To survey current member libraries on existing consortial purchasing agreements and needs, both in general and specific to potential opportunities identified
    5. To summarize findings in a report to the Executive Committee at the December 2017 meeting
    6. To make a formal recommendation to the Executive Committee by the December 2017 meeting
    7. To submit a summary of activities and recommendations to the general membership for publication in March 2018, in advance of the Spring 2018 Meeting

Appointments

The committee voted to appoint:

  • Patrick Milas to the office of Treasurer. Patrick will serve a full four-year term, effective upon appointment until the 2021 Spring Meeting.
  • Ondrea Murphy as Chair of the Continuing Education Committee, effective upon appointment due to Karla Grafton’s move this summer. Her two-year term will extend until the 2019 Fall Meeting.
  • Virginia Dearborn to continue serving as Website Manager, effective upon appointment until the 2019 Fall Meeting.

Review of Committee and Task Force Members

The committee reviewed current committee and task force members. Additional appointments will be made at the August 2017 Executive Committee meeting. At present, committee and task force membership is as follows:

  1. Continuing Education Committee. Karla recommended asking the new chair to recommend a fourth committee member.
    1. Chair: Ondrea Murphy (2017-2019)
    2. Julie Dawson – consider reappointing to two-year term.
    3. Lydia Putnam – consider reappointing to two-year term.
    4. VACANT
  2. Communications Committee. Myka and Virginia will discuss options for committee membership in advance of the August 2017 Executive Committee meeting.
    1. Co-Chair: Virginia Dearborn (2017-2019)
    2. Co-Chair: Stephanie Kaceli – Starting this fall, Stephanie will not be able to serve on the Executive Committee, so a new appointment may need to be made. Myka will confirm with Stephanie if she might consider continuing with the newsletter editorship.
    3. Myka Kennedy Stephens – former Website Task Force member; consider reappointing to two-year term.
    4. Lydia Putnam – former Website Task Force member; consider reappointing to two-year term.
    5. Jocelyn Abel – current SEPTLA archivist. Myka will contact her to see if she is still interested in serving.
  3. Membership Task Force. Myka will send an email to the SEPTLA membership to solicit volunteers for the open position.
    1. Chair: VACANT
    2. VACANT
    3. VACANT
  4. Resource Sharing Task Force
    1. Chair: Mark Draper is willing to serve.
    2. Gerald Lincoln is willing to serve.
    3. Myka will ask Mark and Gerald to recommend a third task force member.

Other Business

Myka will issue a Doodle poll prior to scheduling the August Executive Committee meeting.

Closing

Myka closed the meeting, thanking the Committee for their work and expressing a special thank you to Karla Grafton for her wonderful leadership as Chair of the Continuing Education Committee.

From the Executive Committee, June 9, 2017

Dear SEPTLA friends,

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have several exciting things to share with you.

New Appointments Made:

At our last Executive Committee meeting, we made the following appointments –

  • Patrick Milas, Treasurer, 2017-2021
  • Ondrea Murphy, Chair of Continuing Education Committee, 2017-2019
  • Virginia Dearborn, Website Manager and Co-chair of Communications Committee, 2017-2019

The minutes of this meeting will be available in the next issue of TeamWork. Please join me in thanking these three for volunteering to serve in these important positions.

Opportunity: SEPTLA Archivist

Jocelyn Abel is stepping down after several years of service as SEPTLA Archivist. This office is now a two-year renewable term appointment. If you are interested in volunteering, please let the President or Past President know. For complete information about the responsibilities of the Archivist, please see the SEPTLA Bylaws 6.7 and 10.3.

Opportunity: Membership Task Force

Acting on the findings and recommendations of the SEPTLA Future Task Force, the Executive Committee voted to form the Membership Task Force. Under Section 9 in the Bylaws, a task force is formed to complete a specific task for a short duration.

The Membership Task Force is charged with exploring the expansion of membership categories. Its goals are:

  • To research membership structures of other ATLA regional groups as well as similar regional professional organizations
  • To summarize findings in a report to the Executive Committee at the February 2018 meeting
  • To make a formal recommendation to the Executive Committee, including a draft of any constitutional and/or bylaw amendments, by the February 2018 meeting
  • To submit a summary of activities and recommendations to the general membership for publication in March 2018, in advance of the Spring 2018 Meeting

We are looking for three volunteers to serve on this task force and complete this research project. The anticipated end date is April 2018. Please contact the President or Past President, if you are interested in serving.

ATLA Travel Scholarship Awarded

We are happy to announce that Michael Skor, assistant librarian at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, is the recipient of the 2017 SEPTLA Travel Scholarship for first-time ATLA Conference attendees. If you are attending ATLA, be on the lookout for Michael! Watch for his write-up of his conference experience in the next issue of TeamWork.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope to hear from some of you who are feeling called to support SEPTLA with your time and talents.

Myka Kennedy Stephens
SEPTLA President

Library Support for Online and Distance Education: SEPTLA Continuing Education Event (ATLA Newsletter)

On Friday, April 21, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association (SEPTLA) met at New Brunswick Theological Seminary for our biannual meeting. The program consisted of speakers addressing the theme of library support for online and distance education. Many of our institutions… more

Karla Grafton, “Library Support for Online and Distance Education: SEPTLA Continuing Education Event,” ATLA Newsletter, May 8, 2017, https://newsletter.atla.com/2017/septla-spring2017/