Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, August 21, 2018

1:00 p.m., August 21, 2018
Video Conference

Present: Virginia Dearborn (Communications Committee chair), Mark Draper (Resource Sharing Task Force chair), Robert McInnis (secretary), Patrick Milas (treasurer), Elizabeth Miller (president), Bethany O’Shea (Research Services Interest Group chair), Myka Kennedy Stephens (past president)

Not present: Chris Schwartz (Cataloging & Metadata Interest Group chair), a Continuing Education Committee representative

Elizabeth called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m.

Not all members expected were present at the time the meeting was called to order. Bob asked if we needed a quorum of the Executive Committee to be able to conduct business. The Bylaws do not state that the Executive Committee needs a quorum to meet.

Elizabeth welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved with the correction that the minutes to be approved were from the August 1, 2018 meeting.

Virginia moved that the minutes from the August 1, 2018 Executive Committee meeting be approved with no changes. Bob seconded.

Continuing Education Committee

  • No one has stepped forward to volunteer as chair of the Continuing Education Committee.
  • Virginia offered to confer with her supervisor about sharing the call with the PTS Library staff.
  • Myka asked if the potential hire of a SEPTLA Administrative Assistant might make chairing this committee more attractive and doable for SEPTLA librarians.

Fall Meeting

  • Date set for November 8 at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA.
  • Elizabeth proposed that the plenary session be a continuation of our resource sharing conversation from the Spring Meeting.
  • Mark agreed to reach out to the members of his task force to verify that they could help lead the plenary discussion.
  • Myka asked if Lydia Putnam at Biblical could act as an interim chair or unofficial point person for Continuing Education until the Fall Meeting so that this committee has voice and representation at Executive Committee meetings. This suggestion was put on hold until after Virginia talks to her colleagues at Princeton.

Resource Sharing Task Force

  • Another survey will be going out very soon to get clarity about where SEPTLA libraries are getting their resources from and who are they getting them through.
  • Are SEPTLA libraries already getting consortial pricing for their resources? If so, a lot of vendors will not let libraries change consortiums.
  • The conversation in November will explore if SEPTLA is viable as a consortium, and if so what it would look like.
  • The revised survey will be sent out very soon and Virginia will also post a link to it on the SEPTLA website.
  • Another resource sharing possibility is exploring a federated catalog.
  • Elizabeth offered to follow-up with Jim Humble about what is in the archives related to any past consortial agreements that SEPTLA may have entered.
  • Myka asked about resource sharing in terms of interlibrary loan, direct borrowing, and shared collection development. Are there possibilities to expand and broaden resource sharing activities that would support these things that we’re already doing? For example, a courier service. Virginia offered to find out what Princeton Seminary does for loans.


  • Virginia shared a mock-up of a new bookmark design based on the feedback received from the Spring Meeting survey.
  • Biblical Theological Seminary is changing its name to Missio Seminary in October 2018, and they will be relocating to Philadelphia, PA in January 2019. Because of these changes, Virginia would prefer to wait until early 2019 to print the new bookmarks. They could be passed out at the Spring Meeting in 2019.
  • New Brunswick Theological Seminary ran out of bookmarks and would like to print their own. Virginia offered to send them the file for the new design.
  • The committee agreed that Virginia should also post the file for the current design (with Biblical as Biblical and in Hatfield) on the website.

Proposed Changes to the Bylaws

  • Section 5.3 – strike confusing language about who is chair of the Executive Committee
  • Section 6.1 – make additions to the President’s responsibilities so that it accurately reflects what the President does
    • 6.1.7 – add thanking host institutions and speakers
    • 6.1.8 – Executive Committee responsibilities
    • 6.1.7 – determine the need for task forces (numbering will be adjusted when the proposal is prepared for the membership meeting)
    • 6.1.9 – send a welcome packet to new directors; Virginia proposed to add “library” before directors.
  • Section 6.2 – strike the responsibility to reach out to new library directors from the Secretary’s responsibilities
  • Section 6.3 – revisions to the Treasurer’s responsibilities were discussed at the meeting on August 1, 2018.
  • Section 6.4 – additions to Past-President’s responsibilities
    • 6.4.3 – add survey responsibilities; Virginia proposed to add “membership” before meeting
    • 6.4.5 – add responsibilities related to the ATLA conference first-time attendee scholarship
  • Myka moved to bring these changes to the membership meeting; Bob seconded; the motion carried unanimously.

SEPTLA Administrative Assistant

  • Elizabeth shared a drafted job description for an administrative assistant that could be hired by SEPTLA.
  • A note on the job description states that the employee would be responsible for filing his/her own taxes for self-employed/consultant wages. Is this sufficient to protect SEPTLA? Elizabeth believes so because she modeled this after a similar job description for another organization like SEPTLA.
  • Discussion followed that it might be helpful to clarify that the employee would work remotely and that SEPTLA would not provide office space or equipment.
  • Virginia offered to look into our ability to provide an email account that could store archived emails instead of an email alias.

Other Business

  • Virginia asked about updates to the officers page on the website. The Membership Task Force may be removed because they completed their charge.
  • Virginia also shared a draft post of the Executive Committee minutes on the SEPTLA website. She will continue working on formatting to share posts in the new accordion widget.

Elizabeth adjourned the meeting at 2:08 p.m.

Addendum for online business:

  • On August 28, Elizabeth emailed all Executive Committee members with the news that Melvin Hartwick at Princeton had volunteered to serve as interim chair of the Continuing Education Committee until the Fall Meeting.
  • Six votes confirming Melvin’s interim appointment were tallied via email. No dissenting votes recorded.
  • On August 29, Elizabeth emailed all Executive Committee members with the results of the vote and announced Melvin’s interim appointment. She also shared that the Resource Sharing Task Force members had confirmed to lead the plenary session for the Fall Meeting.
  • Virginia emailed all the Executive Committee members that she was able to set up an email address for a potential administrative assistant (admin.assistant@septla.org) and that the current draft of the SEPTLA bookmark is now on the Member Libraries page of the SEPTLA website.

Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, August 1, 2018

10:00 a.m., August 1, 2018
Video Conference

Present: Virginia Dearborn (Communications Committee chair), Bob McInnis (secretary), Patrick Milas (treasurer), Elizabeth Miller (president), Bethany O’Shea (Research Services Interest Group chair), Chris Schwartz (Cataloging & Metadata Interest Group chair), Myka Kennedy Stephens (past president)

Not present: Mark Draper (Resource Sharing Task Force chair), a Continuing Education Committee representative

Elizabeth called the meeting to order at 10:04 a.m.


  • Patrick announced that he will be the new director of the Gardner Sage Library at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. All the SEPTLA treasurer documents will be transferring there with him.
  • Myka announced that Hannah Bingman-Forshey resigned as circulation manager of Schaff Library. Lancaster Theological Seminary is currently seeking a Community Engagement Librarian.
  • Bob shared that he is planning to attend the Society of American Archivists meeting. The International Congress on Calvin Research will convene at Westminster Theological Seminary in late August.

Approval of the Agenda

  • No changes were made to the agenda.
  • Bob moved to approve the agenda as is; Virginia seconded.

Approval of the Minutes from March 2, 2018

  • No changes were made to the minutes.
  • Elizabeth moved to approve the minutes as is; Bob seconded.

Change in Executive Committee meeting dates

  • The meeting previously scheduled on September 19, 2018 has been canceled.
  • An additional meeting is added to the schedule for Tuesday, August 21 at 1:00 p.m.
  • A meeting in September will be held Tuesday, September 25 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Meetings will be held for 90 minutes and cut off even if there are items remaining on the agenda.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Patrick shared that the only account activity since the last meeting was a disbursement for web hosting.
  • The checking account balance is $4,132.54.
  • The money market account balance is $6,726.61.
  • Accounts total $10,859.15.

Continuing Education Committee Report

  • Ondrea Murphy is no longer at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. She took a position at a library in Delaware that is not a SEPTLA member library.
  • Elizabeth will reach out to the Continuing Education Committee members to begin work on the Fall meeting plans and to solicit nominations for a new chair.
  • The Executive Committee will revisit Continuing Education Committee membership at our next meeting and hope to make appointments for vacancies at that time.

Resource Sharing Task Force Report

  • Mark Draper was not in attendance.
  • Discussion postponed until next meeting.

Spring Meeting Survey Results

  • Overall the feedback on the meeting was very positive.
  • Ideas for topics to cover at future meetings included:
    • A fuller presentation on creating instructional videos
    • The possible development of a theological librarianship course at a nearby MSLIS school. The committee discussed that this is something we might need to refer to ATLA.
    • Assessment and preparation for ATS accreditation
    • Library and archives tours
    • User experience and needs assessments
    • Collection analysis and shared collection development among SEPTLA libraries
  • Respondents were overwhelmingly in favor of webinars co-sponsored with ATLA as well as facilitated virtual conferencing meetings on specific topics. Elizabeth suggested the next survey will ask which topics people would be most interested in engaging in a webinar or virtual conference format.
  • The only possible new member suggested was Eastern Mennonite University, which has a campus in Lancaster. Myka shared what she knows about EMU’s Lancaster campus based on Lancaster Theological Seminary’s agreement with them for library access. When their new community engagement librarian is hired, Lancaster Theological Seminary will renew their relationship with EMU’s Lancaster campus and provide SEPTLA with an update.
  • Most respondents were either very satisfied or satisfied with the format of Teamwork’s spring issue.
  • When asked about a dues increase, 10 respondents thought it would be fine and 4 were against. Those who spoke against it were strongly against it. Myka suggested that perhaps the Executive Committee should go ahead and move forward with new initiatives that may have a financial cost and revisit the topic of a dues increase once we know the full financial impact of the initiatives and how much of an increase is needed to keep SEPTLA’s accounts healthy.
  • The bookmark option that got the most top choice results is a 2.5″ x 8″ bookmark with the SEPTLA logo and general information about reciprocal borrowing on front, and a list of SEPTLA member libraries with city and state on the back (color front, b&w back). Virginia offered to make a design attempt before the fall meeting.

Communications Committee Report

  • Virginia demonstrated a new format for the electronic newsletter on the SEPTLA website. Discussion followed about how to populate the format with text from posts so that text does not have to be entered twice.
  • Elizabeth has tried reaching out to three different libraries to find a newsletter editor and has not been successful in recruiting a nomination.
  • Virginia mentioned that she does not wish to be reappointed to website manager and co-chair of the Communications Committee at the end of her term.

Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group Report

  • Chris shared that attendance at the spring meeting was smaller than usual, but they had a good discussion.
  • An observation: there are several newer catalogers and those who catalog in addition to other responsibilities who may benefit from a more collaborative teaching/training opportunity at SEPTLA meetings.
  • At the fall meeting, the interest group will be continuing a discussion of the RDA Toolkit.
  • Chris will be stepping down as chair and the group will elect a new chair at the fall meeting.

Research Services Interest Group Report

  • Bethany shared the following that she intends to forward to the interest group: At the Spring meeting, many of the attendees mentioned wanting to further pursue the topic of creating instructional videos. I think a group-wide discussion might work as one of this years meeting programs. We could brainstorm resources that we own and talents each member possesses as a way to think about how each library/group of libraries could work to make videos. I would be interested in showing clips of the video creation process from other librarians and could re-show my example video from the Spring meeting.

SEPTLA Updates for the ATLA Newsletter

  • Myka provided some background information: Roger Morales at ATLA would like to help regional groups connect with the larger ATLA membership through the ATLA Newsletter. In the past, SEPTLA has only submitted articles to the ATLA Newsletter when we’ve received a grant for one of our biennial meetings. Do we want to submit articles to the ATLA Newsletter more often? Who should be responsible for this?
  • Elizabeth suggested that it would be good to submit an article to the ATLA Newsletter at least once a year.
  • Chris suggested that we might repurpose some of our own blog posts instead of generating new content. Discussion followed that most of our blog posts are reports and minutes that wouldn’t necessarily be of interest or appropriate for the ATLA Newsletter.
  • This could be part of the responsibilities of an administrative assistant, if this is a direction we’d like to pursue.
  • The Communications Committee would also be a good home for something like this.
  • Patrick suggested that the past-president might be an appropriate person to submit a SEPTLA annual report for the ATLA Newsletter. Since the past-president does not currently generate an annual report for SEPTLA, this would be a new responsibility and could have value for the organization.
  • The Executive Committee will revisit this in the spring.

Potential New Member Library

  • Elizabeth shared that Duquesne University in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh is interested in joining SEPTLA. One major difficulty is that we would not be able to make a site visit as stipulated in our bylaws, and the staff members would not be likely to attend any SEPTLA meetings. Bethany shared that Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a member of the Ohio Theological Library Association. Elizabeth will suggest DU look into membership there.
  • One possibility is to offer individual membership in addition to institutional membership. This would also help librarians in other non-ATLA libraries who have an interest in theological librarianship become involved in an professional organization.
  • Chris remembers a time when individual memberships were discussed before, and one former SEPTLA member felt very strongly that individual memberships would help people feel more invested in the organization, but nothing ever came of the discussion. Jim Humble might be able to find something in the SEPTLA archives.

Membership Drive or New Leadership Model?

  • Invitations to the spring meeting were sent out to the libraries identified by the Membership Task Force as possible potential member institutions. There was a very low response rate. A membership drive for institutional members is not likely to be fruitful or very feasible.
  • A new leadership model for the elected one-year term offices may be very helpful to keep us moving forward. These offices are secretary, president, and past-president.
  • Elizabeth proposed an alphabetical rotation based on institution name. Another regional library organization uses this model. This would mean a three-year commitment for an institutional representative to cycle through the three offices.
  • Additional rotation cycles might also be helpful for committee membership and committee chairs.
  • The possibility of individual memberships was brought up again and how this could also potentially help with leadership.

Changes to the Bylaws

  • Elizabeth is in the process of reviewing the Bylaws and making suggested changes so that they more accurately reflect the current responsibilities and expectations of the offices.
  • Language for updating the Treasurer’s section was discussed.
  • A more thorough consideration of Bylaws revisions will be given at the next meeting.

SEPTLA Administrative Assistant

  • This discussion was postponed until the next meeting

Other Business

  • The Fall meeting is not settled. Potential dates to suggest to the Continuing Education Committee were discussed. The best possible dates for those present and their institutions included November 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, or 15.

Elizabeth adjourned the meeting at 11:32 a.m.

Executive Committee Minutes, December 2, 2017

SEPTLA Executive Committee Meeting - December 6, 2017 - Teleconference - Meeting Minutes

In attendance: Myka Kennedy Stephens, Elizabeth Miller, Mark Draper, Bethany O’Shea, Christine Schwartz, Virginia Dearborn, Patrick Milas, Ondrea Murphy


Myka welcomed those in attendance to the meeting. She opened with a request for someone to take meeting minutes. Ondrea from NBTS offered to take the minutes.

Approval of Agenda

Approved by general consensus.


Myka announced a change in the executive committee membership. Jen Gundry has stepped down from her position as Past President effective immediately. Samantha Rice the current SEPTLA secretary was nominated to assist with Past President duties that included taking minutes of executive committee and other duties as assigned.
The motion carried.

Approval of Minutes

Approval of the August meeting minutes with minimal typographical errors corrected was approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Patrick presented the Treasurer’s Report: $2917.48 Checking & $6706.69 Money Market.

Resource Sharing Task Force – Mark Draper

Mark reported that the committee had not had a chance to meet officially due to schedule conflicts. He would like to extend the process in to the spring. He has asked that the committee report back for the February executive committee meeting. By that point he will have had a chance to meet with committee etc.

Mark proposed that a discussion of where member institutions are via electronic resources take place at the spring meeting. He believes a broader conversation should occur to confirm what is most needed by larger group.

Group discussion ensued about polling the membership before the spring meeting. Several suggestions from committee members included surveying the membership about their institutions use of electronic resources.

Mark also shared his pulling into the discussions Gerald Lincoln. Both Evan Boyd and Donna Campbell were other members suggested by committee.

Mark ended report that he would be meeting with his committee before the next executive committee meeting and would have more to report.

Organizational Matters

A. Survey results – only 11 responses.

Virginia asked what the preferred format of Teamwork be for next issue – will discuss as the next Executive meeting.
Discussion about sending out another survey to allow members to identify themselves as interested in being a mentor or mentee.

Specified interest in more discussion of resources for distance education students.

B. Bookmarks – Update needed and probably time for a new printing.

Elizabeth spoke about taskforce reaching out to other institutions about joining SEPTLA so to wait for printing. Virginia mentioned giving a mock-up version to make available to print in-house until the next printing.

Spring 2018 Meeting

Ondrea updated committee that Cairn University would be available as the host institution for the spring meeting. Stephanie Kaceli requested a May date for easier scheduling. BTS could be an alternate location if necessary.

Two possible dates decided on by Committee: 5/2 & 5/11.

The morning program will feature a FOLIO (EBSCO) presentation followed by a question and answer session.
Mark suggested adding time for discussion for the Task Force. Discussion continued regarding polling the membership before the spring meeting.

Other Business

A. Interest Group updates

TSIG – Christine Schwartz shared her committee report. Possible topics for spring include discussion about NACO training.

RIG – Patrick Milas to continue transition and discussion with new Chair, Bethany O’Shea.
Membership Task Force – Elizabeth Miller shared about the progress of the Task Force and future action items to be worked on.

B. Upcoming Meetings

Next Executive Committee Meeting to be held in February.

Meeting Adjourned

SEPTLA Business Meeting Agenda, May 11, 2018

  1. Welcome and Thanks
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Approval of Minutes from October 4, 2017
  4. Reports
    • Treasurer’s Report
    • Membership Task Force Report
    • Continuing Education Committee Report
    • Communications Committee Report
    • Research Services Interest Group
    • Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group Report
  5. Election of Officers
    • Secretary
    • President
  6. Additional Openings (to be appointed by Executive Committee)
    • Archivist
    • Newsletter Editor
  7. Institutional News
  8. Other Business
  9. Adjourn

Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, March 2, 2018

10:30 a.m. Teleconference

Attendees: Virginia Dearborn, Mark Draper, Patrick Milas, Elizabeth Miller, Ondrea Murphy, Bethany O’Shea, Myka Kennedy Stephens

Excused: Chris Schwartz

Approval of the Agenda

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

Approval of Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

The Executive Committee voted to approve the minutes of the December 6, 2017 meeting.

Discussion – Executive Committee Membership Changes

Myka reported that Samantha Rice is no longer able to serve, as she no longer works at a SEPTLA member library. Virginia took the minutes of this meeting (Secretary’s duty). Elizabeth offered to help Myka with the next member survey following the Spring meeting (another Secretary duty). (Note: More frequent surveying of the membership is one of the recommendations brought forward by the SEPTLA Future Task Force.)

No minutes were received from the Fall 2017 meeting. Ondrea will try to get them from Samantha. If those minutes are not available by March 9, Myka will draft minutes based on the agenda and the exec committee will try to flesh them out. There was some discussion about the legal need (if any) for minutes as a non-profit organization. Generally, they are more of a “best practice” with the exception of documenting changes in the role of Treasurer for working with the bank.

Elizabeth volunteered to serve as Interim Secretary. There was a motion to approve Elizabeth as Interim Secretary, and the motion passed.

[Bethany joined the meeting]

Reports and Discussion:

Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer’s Report dated March 2, 2018, was summarized by Patrick Milas, who reported that SEPTLA’s business account balance was $4,042.48 and the money market account balance was $6,712.99. View the Treasurer’s Report

The committee approved the report.

Membership Task Force Report

Elizabeth shared the report with the exec committee and there was discussion about the report and each of its recommendations.

Broadening membership criteria: As the report named several SEPTLA institutions, including Princeton, as offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, Virginia made the correction that Princeton Theological Seminary does not have an undergraduate program. Myka noted that the current SEPTLA by-laws use this language in regard to member institutions’ degree programs: “primarily at the graduate level.” Jim Sauer, who is involved in TCLC, had suggested to the task force a recruitment technique of using individuals who have contacts at potential new member institutions to send personalized letters (and chocolate) to those contacts. There was some further discussion about recruitment and whether a membership drive or something more structured and permanent was a better fit for SEPTLA.

Increase dues to $100 per institution: There are currently 17 member libraries, down from 18 because of the formation of United Lutheran Seminary. Everyone, including Patrick, agreed that it is important to know what the additional funds would go toward and to make sure that an increase wouldn’t negatively impact membership.

Explore alternate approaches to programming: We’re already doing some of these things. Greg’s talk from the Fall 2017 meeting is on SEPTLA’s YouTube channel and embedded on the SEPTLA website. ATLA is offering greater support for virtual meetings as well as producing its own webinar series. There was some discussion about Vance Thomas (Director of the Library at Central in Shawnee, KS) as a resource for producing instructional videos. When we met this fall, Elizabeth had mentioned that he presented at ATLA. Myka mentioned that increasing dues might help fund a Zoom meeting purchase for SEPTLA but that, alternatively, ATLA might be able to give online meeting support for no (or lower) cost.

New leadership model: One possibility put forth by the task force was to offer a stipend for a leadership position in SEPTLA. Elizabeth will find out what the one example group the task force had identified does. She thinks it was more like an hourly rate for administrative assistant-type duties. Other possibilities discussed were rotating leadership roles alphabetically (by institution) and/or encouraging co-leadership in executive committee roles.

There was some more discussion about the entire task force report. Myka offered to contact all recommended potential new member libraries to invite them to the Spring meeting as guests. Bethany raised a concern about how the task force’s recommendation to increase dues and possibily offer a stipend might be received. Myka will add “Do you know anyone at a non-member library?” to the next post-meeting membership survey. Discussing possible new leadership models will be saved to a future meeting when we (hopefully) have new members; e.g. a larger total membership. In order to avoid another lack of nominations for vacant or soon to be vacant executive committee positions (Secretary and President), Myka will seek volunteers/nominations prior to the Spring meeting.

The Membership Task Force Report will go out to the membership. Potential new member institution names currently in the report will not be posted online.

Resource Sharing Task Force Report

Mark shared that the task force wants to determine what current SEPTLA members are using (ILS, discovery, etc.). Evan Boyd is currently putting together the survey. Virginia will be in touch with him on behalf of the Communications Committee regarding promoting the survey to the membership. Mark spoke with the head of the Digital Theological Library consortium (DTL). Are there things SEPTLA members could be doing together to reduce duplication of effort across member libraries?

Continuing Education Committee

Ondrea said that the date of the next meeting will almost certainly be May 11, 2018 and take place in the library at Cairn University. There’s a chance that EBSCO may be willing to fund refreshments for the meeting. Ondrea will confer with Stephanie Kaceli (Cairn).

Communications Committee Update

Virginia reported that 1&1 has notified us of upcoming changes to our hosting package which will take effect on April 6, 2018. She will follow up with 1&1 for clarification. The next newsletter (Teamwork) should go out the week of April 6. Constituent pieces will need to be collected by March 23. Although we got some feedback from the membership following the fall meeting regarding newletter formatting, the format for the next issue still needs to be determined.

Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group

Chris was unable to attend today’s meeting and there wasn’t really time left to discuss anyway. She will email the committee an update next week.*

Research Services Interest Group

Bethany will also submit an update via email next week.**

Other business

Myka looked into online printing options for a new SEPTLA bookmark. It may end up being much smaller, which will require a revision of what information goes on it. She will include a question about it on the post-meeting membership survey.


The meeting was adjourned.

*Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group Report

For the SEPTLA spring meeting, the main topic for the Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group meeting will be a discussion of the new look to the RDA Toolkit–the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign Project (3R Project). I plan to show portions of a video illustrating some of the changes. We will also look at the current RDA Toolkit user interface for comparison. The rollout for the redesigned toolkit is scheduled for June 13, 2018.

As time permits, we will also discuss a second topic, Name Authority Cooperative Program (NACO), in particular the ATLA/NACO funnel project. We have discussed this issue in the past, but it would be nice to revisit it to see who within SEPTLA is participating or planning to participate in the near future.

**Research Services Interest Group Report

At our Fall Meeting, several members expressed interest in seeking more information on the creation of instructional videos. Elizabeth Young Miller suggested contacting Vance Thomas, Library Director from Central Baptist Theological Seminary for advice. There’s a recording of an ATLA presentation on the topic available on the ATLA website.

SEPTLA Business Meeting Minutes, Fall 2017

SEPTLA Business Meeting

Lancaster Bible College

October 4, 2017


Present: Clint Banz, Hannah Bingman-Forshey, Evan Boyd, Russ Buchanan, Donna Campbell, Meredith Castor, Julie Dawson, Virginia Dearborn, Melvin Hartwick, Jim Humble, Myka Kennedy Stephens, Gerald Lincoln, Patrick Milas, Elizabeth Miller, Ondrea Murphy, Gregory Murray, Bethany O’Shea, Lydia Putnam, Samantha Rice, Donna Roof, Jim Sauer, Michael Skor, Marvin Smith

SEPTLA President Myka Kennedy Stephens called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m. The staff of Lancaster Bible College were thanked by all gathered for their generous hospitality and accommodations for the meeting.

The minutes of the last general membership meeting on April 21, 2017 were presented. No changes were put forth. They were approved as is.

Patrick Milas gave the Treasurer’s Report. The balance of the checking account was $2,955.76. The balance of the Money Market account was $6,703.27. The total balance was $9,659.03. Discussion followed about what the funds are used for. SEPTLA has a few regular expenses incurred by the website and for biannual meetings. The rest is being saved for when the ATLA Annual Conference is next held in our area.

Ondrea Murphy gave the Continuing Education Committee’s Report. Sites and topics for the Spring 2018 meeting were suggested.

Virginia Dearborn gave the Communications Committee Report. Progress is being made toward an online newsletter and membership networking tool.

Melvin Hartwick gave the Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group Report. Chris Schwartz will continue to serve as chair of the interest group for another year.

Bethany O’Shea gave the Research Services Interest Group Report. She is the newly elected chair of this interest group.

Since the last meeting, United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) was formed by the merging of Lutheran Theological Seminary Philadelphia and Lutheran Theological Seminary Gettysburg. United Lutheran Seminary’s membership in SEPTLA was affirmed due to the active status and good standing of both predecessor institutions at the time of ULS’s establishment. Evan Boyd, director of the library, was welcomed by all present.

Also since the last meeting, Patrick Milas volunteered to serve as Treasurer. As stipulated in the Bylaws, Patrick was appointed Treasurer by the Executive Committee during their meeting on May 22, 2017. Patrick’s appointment was confirmed by the general membership present.

Myka Kennedy Stephens asked for volunteers willing to serve in a few vacant positions. Jim Humble stepped forward to serve as a member of the Continuing Education Committee. James Sauer and Samantha Rice stepped forward to serve as members of the Membership Task Force. The opening for Archivist remained unfilled.

News was shared by the institutional members present: Biblical Theological Seminary, Palmer Theological Seminary at Eastern University, United Lutheran Seminary, Reformed Episcopal Seminary, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster Theological Seminary, Moravian Theological Seminary, Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary.

There was no additional business to be discussed.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

President’s Message, April 2018

These are extremely challenging times, my friends. Many of our member institutions are in transition – staff transitions, facility transitions, and larger institutional transitions. In the face of so much change it is hard to know what, if anything, is stable enough to stand upon. Sometimes we might feel that if we could find a resting place, somewhere away from the change to catch our breath, it would help us recover our strength to continue moving forward.

I would like to offer that SEPTLA has the capacity to be such a resting place. As a 50+ year organization, SEPTLA remains committed to bringing our institutions together for fellowship, collaboration, and continuing education. While we are not immune to change and are experiencing our own transitions, our shared commitment to theological education and librarianship in this region provides a constancy that many of us can turn to for support and encouragement.

Serving as SEPTLA’s president for these past two years has been a rewarding experience, and I thank you for the opportunity. In that time, we received the findings and recommendations of the Future Task Force and began the work of acting upon those recommendations. Our meeting in May at Cairn University developed out of some of those suggestions. We will be exploring our capacity for resource sharing as a consortium through a dialogue facilitated by the Resource Sharing Task Force, in addition to hearing about new EBSCO products like FOLIO and ATLAS Plus.

Our Membership Task Force will also be presenting its findings and recommendations during our Business Meeting. The Executive Committee, having heard the report on March 2, is eager to hear feedback from the membership about its recommendations.

The spring meeting also brings with it officer elections. We will be electing a new secretary and a new president—I will have served the two consecutive terms allowed in the Bylaws. There are also two positions open on the Communications Committee: Archivist and Newsletter Editor. Please consider volunteering for one of these positions. SEPTLA is a friendly and supportive organization for those interested in serving.

I look forward to seeing you at Cairn in May,

Myka Kennedy Stephens

SEPTLA President, 2016-2018