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April 21, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Young Miller reported that Moravian has been busy working on their ATS self-study.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
Assistant Librarian, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Library
2:00 p.m. Teleconference
Attendees: Virginia Dearborn, Jenifer Gundry, Patrick Milas, Ondrea Murphy, Samantha Rice, Myka Kennedy Stephens
Excused: Chris Schwartz
The Executive Committee voted to approve the agenda for the meeting.
The Executive Committee voted to approve the minutes of the May 22, 2017 meeting, pending one typographical correction.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The committee agreed upon the following meetings for the 2017-2018 year:
Myka closed the meeting, thanking the Committee for their work.
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
The Executive Committee voted to approve the agenda for the meeting.
The Executive Committee voted to approve the minutes of the March 2, 2017 meeting.
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.
Following discussion, the committee agreed upon the following meetings for the 2017-2018 year:
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:
The committee voted to appoint:
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:
Myka will issue a Doodle poll prior to scheduling the August Executive Committee meeting.
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.
Dear SEPTLA friends,
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have several exciting things to share with you.
At our last Executive Committee meeting, we made the following appointments –
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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/