Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, December 10, 2018

10:00 am – Video Conference (Zoom)

Attendees: Virginia Dearborn, Bob McInnes, Patrick Milas, Elizabeth Young Miller, James Sauer, Chris Schwartz, Myka Kennedy Stephens
Excused: Greg Murray, unnamed Continuing Education Committee representative

    1. Welcome and announcements (Elizabeth)
      Called to order at 10:05 a.m.
      The attempt to call a Zoom meeting to update the bylaws was not successful. That series of votes and a discussion of the administrative assistant position has been postponed until the Spring 2019 business meeting.
    2. Approval of the agenda (Elizabeth)
      Approved by acclamation.
    3. Approval of the minutes from September 25, 2018 (Elizabeth)
      Reference in Treasurer’s Report to checking account changed from “business checking account” to “non-profit checking account.”
      Approved by acclamation.
    4. Confirmation of appointments
      Greg Murray’s appointment as Newsletter Editor and Co-Chair of the Communications Committee confirmed unanimously.
      Welcome to Jim Sauer as new chair of the Research Services Interest Group.
    5. Reports and Discussion
          1. Treasurer’s Report (Patrick)
            As of December 10, 2018 and the last account statements of November 30, 2018, SEPTLA’s current balances are as follows:
            Non-profit Checking Acct (ending in 9912) = $4,657.54
            Money Market Acct (ending in 9552) = $6,738.99
            Total: $11,396.53
          2. Communications Committee (Virginia)
            Form plugin we originally used on the SEPTLA website has been discontinued. A new form plugin was installed. Emailing via the new form is still under development. Information for New Brunswick Theological Seminary has been updated on the website. The officers list will be updated after the meeting.
          3. Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group (Chris)
            Planning to put resources and training materials for cataloging shared at the Fall 2018 meeting onto the SEPTLA website. Target date for posting these resources is January 2019.
          4. Research Services Interest Group (Jim Sauer)
            Planning to explore non-Western theologies at a future meeting. The interest group is interested in offering webinar presentations, perhaps in partnership with ATLA, that would be helpful to everyone.
          5. Resource Sharing Task Force
            The Task Force gave their recommendations at the Fall Meeting, thus fulfilling their charge. They did not write a formal report for the Executive Committee, but we will ask for their slides and hope to post them on the SEPTLA website. This task force is now disbanded with thanks and gratitude to its members: Mark Draper, Gerry Lincoln, and Evan Boyd.
          6. Continuing Education Committee
            1. Vacancies
              Two openings are available: chair of the committee and a member-at-large. Targeted invitations to fill those vacancies were not successful. Another announcement to the general membership will go out with the announcement for the Spring meeting.
            2. Spring meeting
              Given the vacancies on the committee, it would be too much to try and arrange the regularly scheduled biennial all-day workshop with grant funded programs/speakers. Executive Committee will be planning the meeting, using the biennial workshop schedule and facilitating the workshops ourselves.

              1. Dates
                Jim Humble at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will be hosting the Spring SEPTLA meeting. The following potential meeting dates will be offered to him: April 26, April 29, May 2, May 6, May 10, or May 9 if none of the other dates work.
              2. SLACK
                Myka introduced Slack as a tool we might want to use for our expertise list and mentoring, a suggestion that came out of the Future Task Force’s report. Discussion was favorable about deploying this for SEPTLA and it will be the topic of a hands-on workshop at the Spring meeting. Attendees will be encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet to the meeting so that they can join the SEPTLA Slack Workspace. The Workspace will be set up and in use by the Executive Committee prior to the Spring meeting.
              3. Shared collection development
                This is offered as a topic for a second workshop during the Spring meeting. Lancaster Theological Seminary is planning a revision of its collection development policy in March 2019 and Myka was planning to review collection development policies from other SEPTLA libraries as part of her review process. This could be the foundation for a larger conversation at the SEPTLA Spring meeting.
                Everyone agreed that these two topics would be appropriate and doable for the SEPTLA Spring 2019 meeting at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
  1. SEPTLA meeting survey results (Myka)
    20 people responded to the SEPTLA Fall Meeting survey.
Overall satisfaction: 4.21 (weighted average, scale of 1 to 5)
Comments about the meeting: “Wish we’d had a quorum.”
“Of course it is always good to see old friends and make new ones. I was just disappointed that we did not have enough participants to make a quorum.”
“I thought it was a really good meeting overall; the hosts did a great job! However, I was disappointed that we did not have a quorum to vote on changes to the bylaws at the business meeting. While their presentation was very informative, I wish that the Resource Sharing Task Force had more than one recommendation as to how we could work as a group in this area. The DTL is a good idea, but just one.”
“The afternoon proposal started late, was long in explanation, and isn’t an option that our library wishes to pursue.”
“I enjoyed the interest group meeting, but was a bit disappointed with the afternoon session presented by the Resource Sharing Committee. The presentation was narrower than I expected and not very relevant to my institution.”
“The space and accommodations were good, and there was value in the interest group meeting.”
Satisfaction with each session during the meeting: (Weighted averages on a scale of 1 to 5) 

Morning refreshments – 4.33

Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group – 4.6

Research Services Interest Group – 4.33

Business Meeting – 4.29

Lunch – 4.25

Conversation with the Resource Sharing Task Force – 4

Tour of Missio Seminary Library – 4

Reasons why people did not attend the Fall meeting: “The day/time did not work for my schedule” x 2 

“I am the only librarian at my institution and I am not able to attend any in-person meetings”

“I attended NYATLA rather than SEPTLA”

“Needed to help out with duties here at the library”

“RSVP was two weeks prior and I could not be sure I would be able to attend that far in advance”

[Skipped over responses to questions about scheduling a virtual business meeting to vote on amendments to the Bylaws.]
Recommended topics for future workshops or SEPTLA events “Something about effective goal setting in a too-much-to-get-done everyday working environment?” 

“Something on e-books librarianship.”

“1. Course-centric LibGuides; LibGuides as a way to “embed” a library’s research services into individual courses 2. Creation or adoption of videos as tools in bibliographic instruction 3. Developments in e-book accessibility for small libraries”

“Cataloging training for staff who are new to cataloging and/or non-catalogers who now find it is part of their job. (This could also be a refresher for those who catalog regularly.)”

“By next Fall, I might be able to present the pros/cons of the PA Power program in Pennsylvania. We’re about to implement their services.”

“We discussed in passing having an afternoon session focusing on cataloging for non-catalogers”

“setting up Slack for SEPTLA”

“Shared collection development”

“1. Creating a collaborative workspace for SEPTLA Members on Slack – this would build on the desire for and interest in building an expertise list, mentoring, and facilitating better support and interaction among members between meetings. 2. A conversation about shared collection development. We’re reviewing our collection development policy this spring, so this would be a timely discussion topic.”

Interest in virtual meeting offerings: (17 Responses to this question) 

Webinars, perhaps co-sponsored by ATLA – 82.35%

Facilitated virtual conferencing meetings on specific topics – 70.59%

Informal virtual conferencing meetings for social and/or networking purposes – 23.53%

View a real-time broadcast from the SEPTLA meeting in lieu of attending in person – 41.18%

View recordings of sessions from SEPTLA meetings after the conclusion of the meeting – 29.41%

Other: “Please provide recordings of any training or sessions which can be viewed at a later time. I am rarely able to attend a meeting at another location, and it can be difficult to attend webinars at the times they are offered.”

Recommended topics for a virtual meeting or webinar: “Developing a track within an MLIS program for theological librarianship.” 

“Research services, information literacy, archives”

“Copyright matters for digital formats”

“1. Course-centric LibGuides; LibGuides as a way to “embed” a library’s research services into individual courses 2. Creation or adoption of videos as tools in bibliographic instruction 3. Developments in e-book accessibility for small libraries”

“Ongoing intro to cataloging – Discussions about possibly creating a SEPTLA-version of the DTL”

“Cataloging refresher”

“preparing for ATS accreditation, assessment”

“best practices, emerging technologies, innovative approaches to librarianship, trends in theological and religious studies scholarship”

Referral for SEPTLA Membership: “If we’re looking to expand, perhaps we should consider those colleges in the area that offer degrees in theology or religion, and see if they have subject-specfic [sic] librarians. Also look at schools whose background is religious, and which may still maintain special collections dealing with that background. I’m thinking of a school like Haverford College, which has a religion major as well as a Quaker collection in their library. It might be worthwhile to make a list of schools whose libraries are involved in the support of religious or theological studies or in maintaining religious collections.”

The committee discussed these survey responses and expressed appreciation for the feedback from the membership.

  1. SEPTLA scholarship
    This was discussed at the Fall business meeting. The Executive Committee decided to open the application up to anyone who is attending the ATLA annual conference. Preference will be given to first-time attendees and presenters. The scholarship recipient must agree to present highlights from the ATLA conference in a SEPTLA webinar or at a future SEPTLA meeting.
  2. SEPTLA update for ATLA Newsletter
    Since there is nothing much to share from our Fall meeting, we will not send a recap of the Fall meeting to the ATLA Newsletter. The Communications Committee will send a short announcement to ATLA when we are ready to announce the Spring meeting that will include the topics for our workshops.
  3. Other business
    The Library Store discount is up for renewal; we’ll ask on the listserv to see if this is something the membership is interested in continuing.
  4. Adjourn (Elizabeth)
    Next meeting is February 11 at 10:00 a.m.
    Adjourned at 11:12 a.m.

SEPTLA Business Meeting Agenda, November 8, 2018

  1. Welcome and Thanks
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Approval of Minutes from May 11, 2018
  4. Reports
    • Treasurer’s Report
    • Research Services Interest Group
    • Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group
    • Communications Committee
    • Continuing Education Committee
  5. Amendments to Bylaws
  6. Job Description for SEPTLA Administrative Assistant
  7. Openings
    • Chair of Continuing Education Committee
    • Member at Large of the Continuing Education Committee
    • Newsletter Editor
  8. Institutional News
  9. Other Business
  10. Conclusion and Next Meeting

President’s Message, October 2018

After recently participating in Moravian’s third annual Heritage Day, a time of service to the community, I am reminded of the value of volunteering as a way to give back and the many forms it can take.  Along with other members of the seminary community, I compiled origami kits for hospitalized children in the region and created cards to go with these packets.  The aim of Heritage Day is to convey the message that others care and that we are all on the journey of life together.  SEPTLA members share a similar mentality.

I must admit, however, that it was tempting not to participate in Heritage Day this year, especially with a busier than usual September.  Lots of us, myself included, wear many hats and may sometimes feel like we are in the circus walking the balance beam, juggling multiple responsibilities, and trying not to fall.  Fortunately, we are not alone; we can lean on our SEPTLA colleagues.

SEPTLA members serve as resources for one another, sharing their expertise in particular areas.  Moreover, SEPTLA meetings provide the perfect opportunity for learning about best practices and brainstorming how we can “be better together.”  At the fall meeting scheduled for November 8 at Missio Seminary (formerly Biblical Theological Seminary), the Resource Sharing Task Force will continue the conversation that we started at the spring meeting—how can we leverage our solidarity to get the best “bang for our buck” and move our libraries and institutions forward.

During the business meeting, we will discuss the important roles of those serving in leadership positions within SEPTLA and how the bylaws and the proposed addition of an administrative assistant can more accurately reflect these responsibilities and better serve the membership.  Serving together we can accomplish more.

In closing, consider the value of SEPTLA and how you might be able to contribute to the future of this organization in big and small ways.  There are a variety of ways to get involved.  Currently, the following positions are open:

  • Chair of the Continuing Education Committee
  • Member at large of the Continuing Education Committee
  • Newsletter Editor
  • Chair of the Research Services Interest Group

If you are willing to serve, but are concerned about the time commitment, please let me know.  Perhaps co-chairing is a solution.  How will you “pay it forward?”

Elizabeth Young Miller

SEPTLA President, 2018-2019