TeamWork Volume 36 Issue 2 (Fall 2019)

Table of Contents

SEPTLA Fall Meeting 2019 Invitation
Please join us for the SEPTLA fall meeting on Friday, November 1 at Moravian Theological Seminary! Registration will begin at 9:30 am with light refreshments, and the meeting will start at 10 am. Lunch is $10; payable in cash.  Exact change is always appreciated. Please RSVP by Friday, October 18.  Please note in the form whether or not you will need a parking pass, which will be sent via mail. Questions??? Contact Elizabeth Young Miller (

Schedule (tentative)

  • 9:30 Registration
  • 10:00 Discussion of collection development policies
    • Given your budget, which subject areas are a priority? Have they had to change as your budget changes?
    • Does your policy provide a rationale (i.e., a principle derived from your institution’s faith-background) for the selection of all materials in your collection?
    • Does your policy provide guidance for collection choices at the broad subject level only (i.e., Music), or does it contain guidelines for specific subsections (i.e., Baroque keyboard music)?
    • As digital publications become more desirable and accessible, have you adjusted your policy to specify when electronic versions should be bought, when print ones should be bought, and when both should be bought? Do you now favor digital versions exclusively?
    • How much do you rely on faculty input for new purchases? How much discretion does the librarian have in deciding which items to purchase?
    • Does anybody “commit to retain” any portions of their collection?
    • Based on a comparison of our subject specialties/purchasing priorities, can we hammer out a list of LC subject areas that show strengths
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 1:00 Interest Group Meetings (to elect new chairs)
  • 1:30 Business meeting
  • 2:00 Conversation on the value of SEPTLA

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Welcome and Thanks

The spring meeting of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association began at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary at 9:35. President Miller opened the meeting by thanking everyone who came to attend the meeting and especially to James Humble, for hosting the meeting, and Myka Kennedy Stephens for conducting her tutorial on Slack. President Miller then announced that Gerald Lincoln will soon be retiring and she thanked him for his twenty-five years of service and congratulated him on his impending retirement. Then each member introduced themselves and their member library. President Miller then called the meeting to order.

Morning Program

II. The morning program began with an introduction and tutorial of Slack ( Slack is an online platform that promotes collaboration. SEPTLA has a free account with Slack. Myka Kennedy Stephens was not able to attend in person, so she conducted this tutorial session remotely. Myka explained to us what Slack is and how to work with it. Slack can replace email and it enables several people to collaborate on editing shared files. After some verbal instructions, Myka got us started with some hands-on work with Slack.

Approval of the Agenda

Clint Banz made a motion to approve the agenda. Greg Murray seconded the motion, which was then approved by sixteen member institutions.

Approval of the Minutes of the November 8, 2018 Meeting

Evan Boyd made a motion to approve the minutes of the November meeting, and Alan LaPayover seconded the motion, which then was approved by sixteen member institutions.


Treasurer’s Report

Patrick Milas distributed copies of the financial statement for those in attendance. The balance in our bank account, as of November 5, 2018 was $10,868.21. The balance as of May 9, 2019 is $12,090.49, so our financial assets have increased by $1,222.28.

Communications Committee Report

Virginia Dearborn provided the report from this committee. Virginia thanked those who provided updates of information for our website.


Myka Kennedy Stephens stated that we need to elect a new secretary and a new president. Myka thanked both the current secretary and president for their service. Unfortunately, we do not have a slate of candidates for these positions. Myka read the position descriptions.

Patrick Milas nominated Laura Giacobbe from New Brunswick to be our next secretary. She accepted the nomination and was approved by sixteen member institutions.

Nominations for the office of President. Myka called for nominations from the floor. President Miller nominated Patrick Milas for President, which he accepted. Patrick was unanimously voted to fill this position. Since he is already the Treasurer, he will have to vacate that position, and we will have to nominate and vote for a new Treasurer. The Treasurer is a four-year term. Patrick read the duties of the treasurer. Myka opened the floor for nominations for the position of treasurer. Evan Boyd offered himself as a nominee. Myka called for a voice vote by sixteen member institutions, which was passed.

Other Vacancies

Chair of Continuing Education and Member at Large of the Continuing Education Committee.

Myka pointed out that these positions are appointed by the Executive Committee. Elizabeth called for volunteers. Evan Boyd said that he would approach one of his colleagues about serving as a member at large. Lydia Putnam may also be interested in serving on this committee.

Amendments to the Bylaws

Elizabeth announced that we have sixteen voting members present at today’s meeting, which qualifies as a quorum, so we can make motions and changes to the bylaws.

The group decided to examine, a section at a time, discussing the section and then voting on the entire section.

Section 5.3

Lydia seconded the motion to strike the phrase that the Past President serves as the chair of the Executive Committee. The motion passed with 16 institutions in favor.

Section 6.1. President

A motion was made to change §6.1.2 “The President shall thank the host and speaker(s) in writing.”

A motion was made, seconded and passed to re-number §6.1.3 to §6.1.4

A motion was made, seconded and passed to re-number §6.1.2 to §6.1.5

A motion was made, seconded and passed to re-number §6.1.4 to §6.1.6

A new motion was made concerning section §6.1.7

A motion was made, seconded and passed to re-number §6.1.5 to §6.1.8

A motion was made, seconded and passed to add §6.1.9: “The President shall send a welcome packet to new library directors, including the SEPTLA bylaws and the direct-borrowing agreement for the signature of the new director.”

Greg Murray asked if it would be clearer to state that the President serves as the Chair of the Executive Committee in the same section in §6.1.4. Evan Boyd proposed to leave §6.1.4 as is. Lydia agreed with that. Greg withdrew his suggestion. Motion made, seconded and approved by sixteen member institutions.

A motion was made to eliminate §6.2.4 since this duty has been transferred to the President. The motion was seconded and approved by sixteen member institutions.

Section 6.3. Treasurer

Gerone Lockhart asked what was meant by the treasurer being the “steward” of SEPTLA funds. Patrick Milas explained that PNC Bank, rather than an individual seminary, or SEPTLA member holds the SEPTLA funds. The Treasurer serves as a liaison to the bank. A motion was made to renumber §6.3.1 to 6.3.2. Russ Buchanan seconded the motion which was approved by sixteen member institutions.

Section 6.4. Past President

A new motion was made to renumber §6.4.3 to §6.4.4. and add §6.4.5.

Next, there was discussion about the SEPTLA scholarship and first-time attendees. A motion was made to strike “first time attendee” from §6.4.5. Alan LaPayover seconded the motion, which was approved by sixteen member institutions.

Russ Buchanan seconded all the proposed changes concerning the Past President, which was approved by sixteen member institutions.

Other Business

Myka Kennedy Stephens reported that there were no applications for our ATLA scholarship, so it will not be distributed this year.

Gerone asked why the Past President takes the minutes at Executive Committee meetings rather than the Secretary. Gerald Lincoln said that this was intended to reduce the workload of the Secretary (back when we had quarterly meetings rather than bi-annual meetings).

Institutional Reports

Report from Westminster Theological Seminary, Montgomery Library (provided by Bob McInnes)

  • We have received a custom-made display case (made by Brian Boling) to hold and display our Torah Scroll.
  • Deanna Klein (a part-time staffer) has been cataloging the Robert D. Knudsen book collection. This collection has about 1500 books total and Deanna has cataloged about 1200 of these volumes.
  • A group of outside consultants (Gray Worth and David Stewart) visited Montgomery Library on February 26, and interviewed each member of the library staff, as well as many of our students and faculty. The findings of their report are that the library has a great staff, and that the students appreciate us. The consultants also determined that the staff is spread too thin and the library does not have adequate appropriations. They also told us that we need to increase our web presence (which we already knew).
  • I continue to work on the Hunt family manuscript collection and hope to complete this project this summer. William B. Hunt and his son Bruce F. Hunt were both missionaries to Korea. William Hunt started his missionary work late in the nineteenth century and Bruce’s missionary career spanned from the 1930s to the 1970s. Most notably, he was working in Manchuria when the Japanese took over the region, arresting him and many of his flock. Since the Japanese attempted to enforce Shinto-ism and shrine worship, Hunt and his followers were subjected to torture in an attempt to enforce conformity, and many of Hunt’s flock were martyred as a result.
  • Westminster will be renewing with the Theological Libraries E-book Project (TLELP) for two more years. The TLELP collection is nearing 1400 titles from 28 different publishers, and shared by 19 libraries. In the past month, TLELP has brought on board new publishers which provide German, Spanish, and Syriac publications: Mohr Siebeck, Gorgias Press, Gutersloher Verlag, and Vervuert Iberoamericana.

Report from Moravian Theological Seminary (provided by Elizabeth Miller)

  • Moravian Theological Seminary has been revising its mission statement and core values.
  • The seminary is also exploring new degree programs.

Report from Princeton Theological Seminary (provided by Virginia Dearborn)

  • We’ve had several retirements/departures from the Library – Collection Services Coordinator, Cataloging and Christian Education Librarian, Processing Archivist.
  • There’s a new Office of Digital Learning in the IT department. Like the rest of IT, its offices are in the library building.
  • The Seminary continues to receive testimony, recommendations and feedback from the Association of Black Seminarians on campus and others in response to its historical audit of the institution’s relationship to slavery.
  • We’ve put together a small white critical studies browse-and-borrowable book display on the main floor of the library for the second time this calendar year.
  • We’re beginning the process of implementing OpenAthens (to replace EZProxy), and we’re in the process of selecting a replacement ILS after 20 years with ExLibris Voyager.

Report from United Lutheran Seminary (provided by Evan Boyd)

  • United Lutheran Seminary Library continues to move forward under the newly merged organization. After a rocky first year, this second year has been more stable and we’ve been blessed with a large bequest for scholarship and the establishment of a new faculty chair.
  • The library has been moving forward, adding more e-resources to the collection, working to clean up spaces and weed extraneous materials.
  • We are excited to get a new library catalog over the summer, Koha, hosted and installed by Equinox Initiative and we hope it will be up by the end of August.

Report from Lancaster Theological Seminary (provided by Myka Kennedy-Stephens)

  • We finished deaccessioning the books from our circulating collection that we identified to withdraw and are preparing for a small renovation to our lower level. We are scheduled to be closed July 8-19 and have some folks scheduled to come in and take out shelving and other extra furniture. A survey of our users revealed that they are most excited about increasing space for study and reading. We may also add a labyrinth.
  • Our academic dean is leaving to become president of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. We are currently searching for and interviewing dean candidates to start on or around July 1. The Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry, originally started by the three UCC conferences in this region, is now administered by Lancaster Theological Seminary. We are launching the first Ministerial Institute, a three-year non-degree continuing education program for laity and pastoral leaders, with a one week intensive beginning July 22.

Report from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Gardner A. Sage Library (provided by Patrick Milas)

  • It has been an incredible year at the Sage Library. Since the last institutional report, there have been several staff transitions. Rev. James Brumm (Reformed) is the new Archivist. Dr. Patrick Milas (Episcopal) is the new Director of the Library. Mr. Gerone Lockhart (Reformed) is the new Collection Services Librarian. Ms. Laura Giacobbe (Roman Catholic) is the new Public Services Librarian. A new half-time position, Library Associate for Collection Services, has just been advertised. Please direct any interested parties to: Review of applications will begin July 1, 2019.
  • Sage Library celebrates several accomplishments, including: an updated online catalog; updated print serials program; a new Faculty and Alumni Monographs Book Reading/Signing series; a new monthly thematic book display program; an updated social media campaign; and new video tutorials about library services. Sage Library partnered with the NBTS Archives and members of the Reformed Church in America to host “the Dutch in Two Worlds Revisited: a Rare Books and Manuscripts Exhibition.”
  • Next year, NBTS Library staff will serve the Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association (SEPTLA) as officers – Patrick Milas (President) and Laura Giacobbe (Secretary). Two Reformed seminaries may host the next SEPLTA meetings, including Westminster Theological Seminary and NBTS.

Report from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (provided orally by Alan LaPayover)

Report from Missio Seminary (provided by Lydia Putnam)

  • Missio has signed a lease for the top floor at 421 N 7th Street, Philadelphia. Renovations on that space have begun and classes are expected to begin there at the end of August, with the offices and library moving in sometime during September. In conjunction with the physical move, we’ve replaced our EBSCO databases with a Digital Theological Library membership—which our faculty are very excited about.
  • We’re also looking to hire a new Director of Library Services to oversee operations at the new Philadelphia location, a process we hope to have concluded by the end of July. When that happens, Lydia Putnam will be reverting to a technical services role and working primarily from home. After 3+ years with the library, Meredith Castor has departed for an internship with a historical society in Aspen, CO; after 4+ years Denise Baum is also leaving for a local-area position.

Report from Evangelical Seminary (provided orally)

Report from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (provided orally)

  • After the March visit, Middle States re-accredited St. Charles for another eight years, as ATS did the previous fall. The Library received praise from the visiting team.
  • The Seminary is now moving forward with its plan to affiliate with a local Catholic college. It has sold the property it currently inhabits, although it will continue to reside there for the next five years while it purchases land and builds a new seminary near Neumann University. The Library will begin preparing for the move soon, although it intends to preserve as much of its core collection in philosophy and theology as space will allow in its new quarters.

Report from University of Valley Forge (provided orally)

Report from Cairn University (provided orally)

Report from Reformed Episcopal Seminary (provided orally)

Discussion about Collection Development Policies

Following the business meeting, we engaged in a discussion about collection development policies of our member libraries. This discussion was moderated by Myka Kennedy-Stephens. Myka reported the following points:

  • Many SEPTLA libraries have collection development policies that need to be updated.
  • Collection development policies vary; depending largely on the nature of the institution. There are a lot of differences between policies.
  • Policies usually include provisions for weeding collections.
  • Some policies mention SEPTLA and their reciprocal borrowing agreements with other SEPTLA libraries, and some do not.
  • Some policies mention specific areas of collecting interest, and some do not.

During our discussion on collection development policies, the consensus was that each member library should have a statement in their collection development policies saying that their library is a SEPTLA member and that it participates in mutual lending with other member libraries. Also, when weeding out books from library collections, that library should offer their unwanted books to other SEPTLA libraries. Others mentioned that, when weeding, we might be at risk of removing a book that no other SEPTLA library has, and removing the last copy of a book is something that we want to avoid.

President Miller made the point that the differing collection strengths of each SEPTLA library strengthens SEPTLA overall, and that the value and strength of SEPTLA is found in its reciprocal borrowing agreements. Chris Schwartz pointed out that it used to be that in order for a library to become a part of SEPTLA, it had to have a book collection of a certain size. Nowadays, the direction of higher education is in distance education and e-book librarianship. How will the development of e-book collections impact reciprocal borrowing? Is this even possible?

President Miller asked Myka Kennedy-Stephens if she could set up a Collection Development channel in Slack for us to continue with our discussion.

In the end, we found that there is enough interest in this issue that we should continue this discussion at the fall meeting.

Respectfully Submitted,
Robert A. McInnes
Robert A. McInnes, MA, CA, MBA, MLIS
Recording Secretary

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10:00 am – Video Conference (Zoom) Attendees: Evan Boyd, Virginia Dearborn, Laura Giacobbe, Jim Humble, Patrick Milas, Greg Murray, Lydia Putnam, Christine Schwartz, Elizabeth Young Miller

Approval of the agenda

The meeting began at 10:02 am by congratulating Patrick on becoming a new dad.  Virginia mentioned that Princeton Theological Seminary has a part-time circulation position open and moved to add this to the announcements section.  The amended agenda was approved by acclamation.

Announcements (staff transitions at Princeton Theological Seminary, Missio, Lancaster Bible College, Evangelical and Eastern)

Virginia shared that Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) is still welcoming applications for the part-time circulation position.  The posting mentions evening hours; however, there is the possibility of some daytime hours. On July 15, Chris Schwartz moved into a new role at PTS: Systems and Electronic Resources Librarian.  Julie Dawson is the Serials and Cataloging Librarian. Greg shared that he is happy for Chris; however, she will be missed on the digital team.  Chris’s new role means that there is now an opening for a metadata librarian at PTS.  Job openings at PTS can be found at the following URL: Lydia announced that Missio has a new library director: Rachel McConnell.  Rachel has experience as an elementary school librarian and assisted with a move at a previous institution.  While Rachel is settling into her new role, Lydia will continue to function in some respects as interim director.  Due to a mold outbreak and a delay with the renovations, Lydia is unsure of the schedule for moving offices and the library.  She hopes to learn more at a meeting tomorrow. Patrick shared that Gerry Lincoln retired from Lancaster Bible College, and Mark Draper, the former library director at Evangelical Seminary, was hired as the new Electronic Resources Librarian.  Julie Miller remains at Evangelical as the Assistant Librarian and Jim Sauer, formerly of Eastern/Palmer Theological Seminary and College, is the new Librarian at Evangelical, serving in a part-time role.  The new library director at Eastern/Palmer Theological is Joy Dlugosz.

Approval of the Spring 2019 minutes

Several Executive Committee members proposed revisions and updates to the minutes.  Patrick and Laura will collaborate on a revised version, which will be shared with the Executive Committee at the next meeting.

Treasurer’s report

Evan mentioned that his name has been added to the PNC accounts.  Currently, there is $5,172.72 in the non-profit checking account and $6,769.88 in the money market account for a total of $11,942.60.  Lydia motioned to approve the treasurer’s report and it was approved by acclamation.

Reviewing survey results from the spring 2019 meeting

Elizabeth provided some highlights from the spring meeting survey.  Ten (10) people responded.  In terms of overall satisfaction with the meeting, all respondents rated the meeting a five (5), the highest score.  Comments indicate that attendees really enjoyed the discussion and topics presented, with the report on collection development receiving the highest marks.  All respondents attended the meeting.  With regard to topics for future meetings, there is interest in e-books, as well as continued conversation on collection development and how this could impact the bylaws.  Respondents indicated an interest in virtual meeting and could choose more than one response for this question.
  • 6 are interested in webinars co-sponsored with Atla (topics mentioned include e-books and support for distance students/online programs)
  • 5 are interested in specific topics
  • 3 are interested in attending a live broadcast in lieu of attending in person
Individual membership was mentioned in the comments section. Chris asked for some clarification about the future meeting topics.  Elizabeth explained that the topics of e-books and collection development are distinct topics, as opposed to collection development policies that address/include e-books.

Plans for Fall 2019 meeting at Moravian

Elizabeth mentioned that plans are underway at Moravian for the fall meeting and asked what time the meeting would begin and end, when lunch should be scheduled, and if break-out rooms for the interest groups are needed.  Once she knows this information, she can coordinate with catering and arrange for parking. Virginia asked about the Research Services Interest Group.  When Jim Sauer was at Eastern/Palmer Theological, he had expressed a willingness to chair this interest group.  Patrick will follow-up with him. Lydia mentioned that she hopes to be in touch with the Continuing Education Committee in the next couple of weeks.  Focusing on collection development, in light of e-books may make sense. Patrick shared his thoughts about interest groups and ideas for the fall meeting.  Perhaps the interest groups could expand; sometimes topics apply to both.  Moving forward, we may want to discuss as a membership what has gone well at our institutions in the last five (5) to ten (10) years, in addition to sharing both how we can help each other with current projects and big ideas for the future.  Maybe we could have small group discussions that could result in lighting talks lasting three (3) to five (5) minutes. Elizabeth mentioned that she and Myka Kennedy Stephens had been in conversation last fall about discontinuing interest groups for the time being, given all the vacancies in SEPTLA leadership roles.  However, when volunteers emerged, this idea was tabled. Chris explained that the management of acquisitions and e-resources do not fit well with the current interest groups’ focus. Patrick encouraged the committee to continue the conversation surrounding interest groups and Virginia highlighted that the Slack channel can be used for discussion.

Status of Slack adoption and use for collaboration

Virginia shared that there has been some activity on both the general and random Slack channels.  Lydia explained that timing may factor into the usage of Slack; it is the summer.  However, Slack may be useful for newcomers.  Patrick mentioned that Slack could potentially be used for a courier system for interlibrary loan (ILL), resource sharing, and/or shared reference services.  Lydia plans to use Slack to communicate with the Continuing Education Committee.  Other committees and interest groups could also use Slack to extend conversations.

Exploring GreenGlass for shared collection development

Elizabeth shared that after the spring meeting and the possible interest in shared collection development, she reached out to OCLC to learn more about GreenGlass.  She spoke with Pete Zeimet at OCLC and shared Pete’s follow-up e-mail with Patrick.  The big unknown is cost.  Pete would like to show us a demonstration, either at an Executive Committee meeting and/or at our fall meeting.  Elizabeth will follow-up with Pete about additional information, namely costs, and share what she finds with the Executive Committee.  She will also post some material to Slack.

Planned review of SEPTLA Bylaws and Constitution

Patrick explained that before amending the bylaws and constitution, he would like the membership to do some “soul searching,” examining the structure of the organization.  He plans to begin these conversations at the fall business meeting, which will in turn inform proposed changes to the bylaws and constitution.  The Executive Committee supports this plan.

Other business

Evan shared that he has been working on some digitization grants, using the Internet Archive and Backstage.  He highly recommends PA Photos & Documents—great platform and unlimited space. Chris explained that now that her main focus is systems, she is not the right person to chair the Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group.

Adjournment until next meeting: September 11 at 2 pm

Patrick adjourned the meeting at 10:58 am.
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TeamWork Volume 36 Issue 1 (Spring 2019)

Table of Contents

SEPTLA Spring Meeting 2019 Invitation

Please join us for our next meeting Thursday, May 9, 2019, hosted by St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

RSVPs accepted through April 25: jhumble [at] scs [dot] edu

Agenda (updated 5/6/2019)

9:00 – 9:30: Registration and continental breakfast

9:30 – 10:30: Slack workshop

10:45 – 11:45: Business meeting

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch

1:00 – 2:30: Report on collection development policies

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Recent discussions surrounding the mission statement of Moravian Theological Seminary have reminded me of SEPTLA, for a trademark of both organizations involves community.  At Moravian, we pride ourselves on our hospitality and being a warm and welcoming environment, and I believe that SEPTLA embodies this same type of community.   As an organization, SEPTLA values collaboration, and members benefit from learning from one another.  Simply put, we are better together. At the hands-on spring meeting, scheduled for Thursday, May 9 at St. Charles Borromeo, we will be harnessing the collective wisdom of SEPTLA, sharing collection development policies and exploring Slack, a cloud-based collaborative tool.  SEPTLA members can use Slack to communicate with one another, asking questions and sharing best practices.  During break-out sessions, interest groups can brainstorm how they can use Slack to build community.  To get the most out of this workshop style meeting, please bring your own device—laptop, iPad, etc. During the business meeting, we will elect new leaders and revisit proposed changes to the bylaws, as well as the potential addition of an administrative assistant.  The proposed changes examine workflow and responsibilities.  All are welcome to participate in these discussions, which will be occurring concurrently in person and via video-conferencing (Zoom).  Please consider how you can join the conversation. I would also encourage you to become involved in the SEPTLA community by serving in a leadership role.  There are amble ways to serve.  Currently, the following positions are open:
  • Chair of the Continuing Education Committee
  • Member at large of the Continuing Education Committee
  • President
  • Secretary
If you would like to learn more about any of these opportunities, please contact me or the Past President, Myka Kennedy Stephens. In closing, I would like to leave you with Helen Keller’s words, which point to the value of community: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Elizabeth Young Miller SEPTLA President, 2018-2019
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Updated May 6, 2019
    1. Welcome and Thanks
    2. Approval of Agenda
    3. Approval of Minutes from November 8, 2018
    4. Reports
      • Treasurer’s Report
      • Communications Committee
    5. Elections
      • President
      • Secretary
    6. Vacancies
      • Chair of Continuing Education Committee
      • Member at Large of the Continuing Education Committee
    7. Amendments to Bylaws
    8. Institutional News
    9. Other Business
    10. Conclusion

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10:00 am – Video Conference (Zoom)

Attendees: Virginia Dearborn, Bob McInnes, Patrick Milas, Elizabeth Young Miller, James Humble, Greg Murray, Myka Kennedy Stephens
Excused: James Sauer, Chris Schwartz (interest group chairs)

    1. Welcome and announcements (Elizabeth)
      Called to order at 10:03 a.m.
    2. Approval of the agenda (Elizabeth)
      Approved by acclamation.
    3. Approval of the minutes from December 10, 2018 (Elizabeth)
      Approved by acclamation.
    4. Reports and Discussion
          1. Treasurer’s Report (Patrick)
            As of February 11, 2019, SEPTLA’s current balances are as follows:
            Non-profit Checking Acct (ending in 9912) = $5,032.54
            Money Market Acct (ending in 9552) = $6,746.43
            Total: $11,778.97
          2. Communications Committee (Virginia)
            Very pleased to welcome Greg Murray as Newsletter Editor. Greg would like a list of newsletter content by March 15, 2019; URLs of content already present on SEPTLA website. Any content not yet present on the site should be sent to Virginia. (Copy Virginia and Greg on everything, if that’s easier.) Lydia was a tremendous help in getting automatic backups established and the site updated. Thank you, Lydia! Slides from the now-disbanded Resource Sharing Task Force’s presentation at the Fall 2018 meeting have been uploaded to the website. Chris Schwartz requested and is managing a new Cataloging Resources page on the SEPTLA website. The one-per-page version of the SEPTLA Bookmark has been updated to reflect Biblical’s name change (now Missio). Print order for bookmarks on hold until Missio’s location change has happened.
          3. Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group (Chris)
            Chris was unable to attend today but sent a tentative topic (not posted to the SEPTLA listserv): library system modules for cataloging and metadata work. Also, she is managing a new Cataloging Resources page on the SEPTLA website.
          4. Research Services Interest Group (Jim Sauer)
            Jim was unable to attend today’s meeting.
          5. Spring meeting
            1. Save the Date: April 26, 2019 (Friday)*
              Jim Humble at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will be hosting the Spring SEPTLA meeting. Virginia will post a Save the Date message on the SEPTLA website, asking members to RSVP to Jim by April 12.
            2. SLACK
              Myka demonstrated Slack for the committee and sent invitations to executive committee to enter the SEPTLA workspace prior to the Spring meeting. Channels will be public to SEPTLA members who accept Slack invitations. Current channels in the workspace include # executive committee, # general, and # random. Slack will be the topic of a hands-on workshop at the meeting. Attendees will be encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet to the meeting so that they can enter and use the workspace. Myka will make Communications Committee members administrators in the space.
            3. Shared collection development
              The Spring meeting will also include a discussion about shared collection development.
            4. BYO – Invitation to the Spring meeting will include request for members to bring their library’s collection development policy and an internet-connected device (phone, tablet, laptop) to try out Slack.
            5. We will need Zoom (or other web conferencing tool) in order to include in the business meeting voting members from any libraries unable to travel to St. Charles.
            6. Elizabeth will check with the interest group chairs about possible interest group time on the meeting agenda.
    5. Adjourn (Elizabeth)

The Executive Committee will not meet again prior to the April 26 meeting at St. Charles.*
Adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

*Note: The date of the spring meeting has been changed to May 9, 2019 and that RSVPs are due to Jim Humble by April 25. The Executive Committee has also called another Zoom meeting for April 15.

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TeamWork Volume 35 Issue 2 (Fall 2018)

Table of Contents

SEPTLA Fall 2018 Meeting Invitation

Join us for the next SEPTLA meeting!

DATE: Thursday, November 8, 2018
LOCATION: Missio Seminary (formerly Biblical Theological Seminary) in Hatfield, PA

Please RSVP by October 26, 2018:

Directions: 200 N Main St, Hatfield, PA 19440

Tentative schedule

9:30-10:00, Registration and Light Refreshments
10:00-10:30, Interest Group Meetings

  • Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group: (1) Cataloging workflows, (2) Resources (materials/programs) for training paraprofessional staff in cataloging (particularly copy cataloging). If you have some internal documentation on these topics that you would like to share with the group, please bring at least 10 photocopies.
  • Research Services Interest Group: (1) Electing a new chair , (2) Training videos (or other topic of the group's choosing)

10:45-11:45, Business Meeting
11:55, Greeting
12:00-1:15pm, Lunch ($10)
1:30-2:45, Resource Sharing Task Force Discusses SEPTLA Resource Sharing Survey 2 Results
3:00, Tour of the Missio Library and Booksale (optional)

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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

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

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Endorsed by the Executive Committee on August 21, 2018

Section 5.3 – Terms of Office

Motion: To amend 5.3 by striking “as chair of the Executive Committee.”  This pertains to the Past President and does not reflect current practice.

5.3. The President and Secretary may stand for re-election for a consecutive second one year term. If the President is re-elected for a second term, the Past President shall serve a second term.

Section 6.1. President

Motion: To add 6.1.2. The President shall thank the host institution and speaker(s) in writing.

Motion: To add 6.1.3. The President shall call, prepare agendas for, and chair meetings of the Executive Committee.

Motion: To renumber 6.1.3 to 6.1.4. 

6.1.4. The President shall serve as a member of the Executive Committee during the time of service as president and while in the capacity of immediate past president.

Motion: To renumber 6.1.2 to 6.1.5.

6.1.5. The President shall also be responsible for preparing a column for each issue of the newsletter.

Motion: To renumber 6.1.4. to 6.1.6.

6.1.6. The President, with the assistance of the Executive Committee, shall schedule a review of all official SEPTLA documents during their first term.

Motion:  To add 6.1.7. The President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall determine the need for task forces.

Motion: To renumber 6.1.5 to 6.1.8.

6.1.8. The President, with his or her email address, will be listed as the official contact on the SEPTLA Website and be responsible for prompt response to inquiries made via the Website.

Motion: To add 6.1.9. The President shall send a welcome packet to new library directors, including the SEPTLA bylaws and the direct-borrowing agreement for the signature of the new director.

Section 6.2. Secretary

Motion: To strike “6.2.4. The Secretary shall send a packet of SEPTLA bylaws and direct borrowing agreement for the signature of a new library director in a Member Institution.”  These responsibilities have been added to 6.1.9.

Section 6.3. Treasurer

Motion: To add 6.3.1. The Treasurer shall serve as the primary contact for the bank.

Motion: To renumber 6.3.1 to 6.3.2 and to strike “hold” and add receive, steward and disburse and strike “and.”

6.3.2. The Treasurer shall receive, steward and disburse any moneys of the associationmaintain records of income and expense, and provide reports during each Executive Committee meeting and plenary business meeting.

Motion: To renumber 6.3.2 to 6.3.3.

6.3.3. The Treasurer shall serve as a member of the Executive Committee.

Section 6.4. Past President

Motion: To add 6.4.3. The Past President shall distribute a survey after each membership meeting, analyze the results, and share the findings with the Executive Committee.

Motion: To renumber 6.4.3 to 6.4.4.

6.4.4. The Past President shall solicit nominations for those offices to be filled in the annual elections.

Motion: To add 6.4.5. The Past President shall solicit applications for the ATLA conference first-time attendee scholarship.

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2:30 p.m., September 25, 2018

Conference Call

Present: Virginia Dearborn (Communications Committee chair), Melvin Hartwick (interim Continuing Education Committee chair), Patrick Milas (treasurer), Elizabeth Miller (president), Chris Schwartz (Cataloging & Metadata Interest Group chair), Myka Kennedy Stephens (past president)

Not present: Mark Draper (Resource Sharing Task Force chair), Robert McInnes (secretary), a Research Services Interest Group representative

Elizabeth called the meeting to order.

Approval of the Agenda

Myka asked about committee members whose terms were expiring at the fall meeting. This was added to the agenda to be discussed. after the committee and interest group reports.

Approval of the Minutes from August 21, 2018

No additional revisions to the minutes were brought forward. Patrick moved to approve the minutes. Virginia seconded.

Continuing Education Committee Report

Melvin had no formal report. Discussion proceeded to review plans for the Fall meeting. The date of the fall meeting is November 8. The Resource Sharing Task Force is presenting in the afternoon, with the business meeting and interest group meetings in the morning. Work needs to begin on planning a biennial workshop for Spring 2019. Meeting documents should be published on October 8. Virginia will follow-up directly with Evan Boyd on the Resource Sharing Task Force to ask about putting a link to their latest survey on the website and including it in the newsletter email to go out on or around October 8.

Treasurer’s Report

As of September 25, 2018 and the last account statements of August 31, 2018, SEPTLA’s current balances are as follows:

Business Checking Acct (ending in 9912) = $4,132.54

Money Market Acct (ending in 9552) = $6,729.47

Communications Committee Report

The committee has continued to discuss possible tools for developing a member resource/expertise list. Myka will follow up on earlier conversations with Gillian Harrison Cain at ATLA about possibly partnering on a tool under development for ATLA members so that a decision can be made about how to proceed with this project. SEPTLA’s domain can support the creation of email accounts and has a webmail client. An email address has been established for a potential administrative assistant with a password that can be changed as the person in that role changes while also retaining archived emails. The website hosting contract is on a six month schedule and our next bill is anticipated in October.

Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group Report

There are many leadership changes across SEPTLA libraries in this field and Chris plans to offer to stay on as chair of the interest group for another year. The topic covered at the next meeting will be cataloging workflows. Copy cataloging is also an interest and folks attending the meeting will be asked to bring and share training resources they have developed or found. This will be written up for distribution prior to the meeting on the website and email newsletter.

Research Services Interest Group Report

Elizabeth announced that Bethany O’Shea is no longer at a SEPTLA library and this interest group is now without a chair. Discussion followed about the possibility of appointing an interim chair before the fall meeting. Since interest group chairs are elected by the interest group, appointing an interim chair is not within the purview of Executive Committee. An interest group meeting will be included in the schedule and those who gather for it may discuss what they want and elect a new chair at that time.

Committee Membership, Expiring Terms, and Vacancies

A review of the membership of the Continuing Education Committee revealed that Julie Dawson (member) and Lydia Putnam (member) have terms that will expire at the fall meeting. The chair is also available because Melvin Hartwick was appointed as interim until the fall meeting. A review of the membership of the Communications Committee revealed that Lydia Putnam (member) has a term expiring at the fall meeting and the newsletter editor position remains available. Elizabeth will reach out to Julie and Lydia to gauge their interest in serving another term and will write up a call for volunteers to be posted to the website and email newsletter.

Interlibrary Loan Courier Services

Following up on discussion at the previous Executive Committee Meeting, Elizabeth reported that Moravian participates in a regional consortium with a courier service that delivers every day during the semester. All institutions in the consortium are within a 30 mile radius. Moravian also has a UPS account that guarantees 24 hour delivery. Princeton uses USPS for all its ILL shipments.

SEPTLA Administrative Assistant

Elizabeth presented an updated draft job description incorporating feedback from the discussion at the previous Executive Committee meeting. Discussion followed about whether to put a cap on the hours this employee would work and would this person be required to attend Executive Committee and biannual meetings. The employee would need to be accountable to someone, and after discussion it was agreed that the President would be the best person to provide oversight. Supplies and equipment needed to perform the job might need to be defined in the job description/advertisement. Elizabeth will revise the job description to incorporate this feedback and the revised draft will be attached to the minutes of this meeting and shared/discussed during the general membership business meeting in November.

Other Business

New Brunswick Theological Seminary has two open positions – collection services librarian and public services coordinator/librarian. There is not another Executive Committee meeting scheduled before the Fall Meeting in November.

Elizabeth adjourned the meeting.


Job Description for SEPTLA Administrative Assistant (DRAFT)

The following draft awaits the approval of the SEPTLA membership.

Reporting to the President of SEPTLA, the Administrative Assistant serves as a liaison to several SEPTLA committees, namely the Executive Committee, the Communications Committee, and the Continuing Education Committee.

Duties include:

  • Serving as an intermediary between the meeting host institution and the Continuing Education Committee.
    • Confirming speakers.
    • Collaborating with the host institution.
  • Preparing a newsletter in advance of the fall and spring meetings.
  • Creating and ordering organizational bookmarks.
  • Serving as the point person for consortial purchasing.
  • Performing other duties as assigned by Committee Chairs and/or the President.

Note: The Administrative Assistant is welcome to attend the fall and spring membership meetings.  However, this is not normally required.

Successful candidates will have:

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite, Google applications, and editing software.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills.

Note: The Administrative Assistant is responsible for filing taxes on earned income for the calendar year.  SEPTLA does not file employee forms.  Assistant wages should be claimed with the IRS as self-employment/consultant wages.  Applicable taxes will be paid by the Administrative Assistant.  This position is not eligible for benefits.

Hours of Work:

  • Part-time, flexible
  • On average 10 to 15 hours per month
  • Hours will fluctuate based on the meeting schedule

Wage:  $13.00 an hour

Work Location:           Remote.  SEPTLA does not provide office space, a computer, or phone.

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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 ( and that the current draft of the SEPTLA bookmark is now on the Member Libraries page of the SEPTLA website.

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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.
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TeamWork Volume 35 Issue 1 (Spring 2018)

Please click the links below to explore our latest e-newsletter:

SEPTLA Spring 2018 Meeting Invitation – Join us for our spring meeting at Cairn University on May 11, 2018

SEPTLA Consortia Survey – The Resource Sharing Task Force would like to hear from you before our spring meeting

President’s Message, April 2018

SEPTLA Business Meeting Agenda for May 11, 2018

SEPTLA Business Meeting Minutes, Fall 2017

SEPTLA Membership Task Force Report

Executive Committee Minutes, December 2, 2017

Executive Committee Minutes, March 2, 2018

TeamWork, volume 34, issue 1

Our latest newsletter includes minutes from our past meetings, the final report from the SEPTLA Future Task Force, and several proposed amendments to SEPTLA’s Constitution and Bylaws. Download the PDF here: TeamWork 34:1, Spring 2017

(Functional links for page 4: Click Here for the form for SEPTLA’s ATLA first time attendee scholarship. Email form to:

TeamWork, volumes 23-32

TeamWork 23:2, Spring 2006 | Teamwork 23:3, Fall 2006

Teamwork 24:1, Winter 2007 | Teamwork 24:2, Spring 2007 | Teamwork 24:3, Fall 2007

Teamwork 25:1, Winter 2008 | Teamwork 25:2, Spring 2008 | Teamwork 25:3, Fall 2008

Teamwork 26:1, Winter 2009 | Teamwork 26:2, Spring 2009 | Teamwork 26:3, Fall 2009

Teamwork 27:2, Spring 2010 | Teamwork 27:3, Fall 2010

Teamwork 28:1, Winter 2011 | Teamwork 28:2, Spring 2011 | Teamwork 28:3, Fall 2011

Teamwork 29:1, Winter 2012 | Teamwork 29:2, Spring 2012 | Teamwork 29:3, Fall 2012

Teamwork 30:1, Spring 2013 | Teamwork 30:2, Fall 2013

Teamwork 31:1, Spring 2014 | Teamwork 31:2, Fall 2014

Teamwork 32:1, Spring 2015 | Teamwork 32:2, Fall 2015