SEPTLA Business Meeting Minutes, November 8, 2018

The Semi-annual meeting of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association convened at 10:00 AM at Missio Seminary, in Hatfield, Pennsylvania; Elizabeth Young Miller, presiding. The meeting was called to order at 10:45.

  1. Mrs. Elizabeth Young Miller, president of the SEPTLA, started the meeting by welcoming the members.
  2. The Agenda: The President announced that there were not enough representatives from enough member institutions to constitute a quorum at today’s meeting. For that reason, we would discuss the issues on the agenda, but we would vote on measures or motions. The members approved this measure by acclamation.
  3. Approval of the minutes of the spring meeting. The minutes of the spring meeting were approved by acclamation.
  4. Reports:
    1. The Treasurer’s report: Patrick Milas was unable to attend today’s meeting, so President Miller distributed the Treasurer’s report and provided an oral presentation summarizing the report. This report shows that the beginning balance of our bank account and money market account totaled $10,910.62 on May 10, 2018, and on November 8, 2018 is was $10,868.21.
    2. Research Services Interest Group: President Miller provided a brief oral presentation from this interest group. James Humble, Bob McInnes, Virginia Dearborn and others provided insights on their work experience in research services. The RSIG has a new chair: Jim Sauer, who will serve through the spring 2019 meeting.
    3. Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group: Chris Schwartz provided the report from the CMIG: The group discussed cataloging workflows and Chris provided handouts of two sets of workflows that she and Melvin Hartwick had developed for cataloging at Princeton Seminary’s library. The second topic of discussion was training resources for cataloging, particularly copy cataloging. Chris provided additional handouts from Princeton used for in-house cataloging training. She also provided handouts for several online cataloging resources. The group decided that they would continue to explore ways for the interest group (and SEPTLA) to provide and facilitate training for staff new to cataloging or those who need a refresher; as some SEPTLA staff find that they catalog in addition to other responsibilities. Chris will work with Virginia to create a page on the SEPTLA website for links to cataloging resources and training materials. The CMIG will take responsibility for maintaining the links on this page.
    4. Continuing Education Committee: This committee needs volunteers.
    5. Communications Committee: Virginia Dearborn reported that this committee has produced the SEPTLA bookmark, which is available for download.
  5. Amendments to Bylaws (discussion only):
    There are intended changes to §5.3 concerning the office of the past president of SEPTLA. Also §6.1, concerning thanking the host institution in writing. Section 6.2 concerns requiring the president (rather than the secretary) to distribute the bylaws to new member institutions. Section 6.3.2 concerns the duties of the treasurer. Section 6.4.4 concerns the past president and duties about the meeting follow-up surveys. Section 6.4.5 concerns scholarships for first-time attendees for the ATLA annual meeting. There was discussion about removing the “first time” attendee requirement from this section. Since there was not a quorum present, a Zoom business meeting will be scheduled in early December to discuss and vote on these amendments.
  6. Discussion about the position description for the SEPTLA administrative assistant. Virginia Dearborn pointed out that details on the matter are available in the minutes of the September meeting of the Executive Committee. Mr. Lincoln said something about independent contractors and IRS requirements. We may need to contact a CPA to help us with these requirements. Myka Kennedy Stephens said she would look into the matter. There was discussion about monetary compensation for this position and how it would be funded. We may need to increase the institutional dues to providiethe necessary funding.
  7. SEPTLA Position Openings.
    1. Continuing Education Committee needs a chair [No one was willing to serve as chair or co-chair.]
    2. Member-at-large of the CEC. [No one was willing to serve in this position.]
    3. Newsletter editor: Greg Murray volunteered for this position.
  8. Institutional News:
    1. Donna Roof reported on the latest developments from Westminster Theological Seminary: Our enrollment this fall has increased. We had somewhere between 90 and 100 new students coming this fall. Donna Campbell and her assistant completed a major project—cataloging the Stonehouse collection, and they have begun cataloging the Knudsen collection. We have new study carrells, which look nice and have enhanced the appearance of Montgomery Library. WTS has started a new degree program: Master of Arts in Christian Studies. Bob McInnes, our archivist, has completed the arrangement and description processing for the William Young collection. Dr. Young was a WTS alumnus, philosophy professor and Presbyterian pastor.
    2. Alan LaPayover reported on the latest developments from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Seminary: Things are in a state of flux at RRS. Our sign now says “Reconstructing Judaism” and their various organizations are now under one ‘umbrella’ organization, and there have been changes made to the curriculum. We have a new archivist. Staff reductions in the library have turned Alan into a ‘one-man shop.’
    3. Jim Sauer reported on the latest developments from Eastern University, Palmer Theological Seminary. EU has a new president. The PTS library lost some of its staff. The seminary library is transitioning from EBSCO to ProQuest. As with so many other seminaries, things are financially tight at EUPTS.
    4. James Humble reported on the latest developments from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Enrollment is up there. St. Charles just went through an accreditation review with ATS with good remarks from this evaluation. Middle States will review their accreditation soon. Their building has recently been designated as an historical landmark.
    5. Clint Banz reported on the latest developments at Lancaster Bible College: On August 22, Dr. Peter Teague, the President of the College for twenty years announced that he will retire as of August 1, 2019. A presidential search team has been formed and the consulting firm, The Dingman Company, has been contracted to assist them in the search. Our own Director of Library Technology, Dr. Gerald Lincoln, will be retiring May 2019. Dr. Lincoln will have been at Lancaster Bible College for twenty-six years. We will miss him but are very happy that he will be able to return to his family farm in Wisconsin. This fall the College launched three new fully online programs. By next fall the goal is to have thirteen programs and in seven years they hope to have 5,000 students enrolled. The library will very soon be posting a need for an Electronic Resources Librarian position.
    6. Lydia Putnam reported on the latest developments at Missio. As of October 15, Biblical Theological Seminary is now Missio Seminary. Since the name of this institution has changed email addresses will change soon—Missio will send out an update to the SEPTLA listserv when that happens. Missio is planning to relocate to a place new location near the Philadelphia Art Institute in the summer of 2019. Due to difficulty in securing a contractor for the needed renovations on their new Philadelphia site, the seminary’s move has been delayed to the summer of 2019, at the very earliest. Enrollment is down a little. You can find Missio now at, and our online catalog has changed to Missio now has its own online digital archive, thanks to the expertise provided by Princeton University. One project that was completed ahead of schedule is the digitization of their collection of 750 theses from the former Biblical Seminary of New York, and Princeton is very kindly hosting them on their Theological Commons: The link to this is also available on our member page on the SEPTLA website.
    7. Virginia Dearborn reported on the latest developments from Princeton Theological Seminary: PTS’s FTE for 2018-2019 is down to 432. The Library is doing authority work with Marcive and doing clean-up work in Voyager (locations, patron types, etc.) in advance of migrating to another system (2-3 years from now). The Seminary has completed and published on the web a report on the institution’s relationship to slavery: Our archivist, Kenneth Henke, assisted on the report and presented during a panel discussion on October 17, 2018: Two positions from the Library moved over to IT as of July 1, 2018: Academic Technology Librarian and Digital Media Lab Coordinator.
    8. Myka Kennedy Stephens reported on the latest developments from Lancaster Theological Seminary. LTS has reconfigured its staffing responsibilities and hired Tim Whitney as Community Engagement Librarian in September. Lancaster Theological Seminary is continuing to expand its participation in the open source community as early adopters for Koha upgrades with ByWater Solutions. They are also exploring ways to better integrate SubjectsPlus (an open source library guides platform) with Koha through use of APIs, and integrating both into Moodle, its open source learning management system. The Seminary has added two JSTOR collections and a subscription to CMOS Online this summer. Lancaster Theological Seminary has begun some renovations to its campus. Their chapel has new lighting, including back-lighting of our stained-glass windows in the evenings. The chapel has been closed for the remainder of the year for additional renovation: new floors, plaster repair and painting, and new seating. The campus has been renamed in honor of a major donor, so LTS is now “Lancaster Theological Seminary, Ann B. Barshinger Campus.”
    9. Elizabeth Young Miller reported on the latest developments from Moravian Theological Seminary: With the exception of a few changes to the seminary faculty, not much has changed at Moravian. One new service, however, is Zotero workshops for seminary students.
    10. Evan Boyd reported on the latest developments at United Lutheran Seminary: United Lutheran Seminary Library has recently joined the Power Library of Pennsylvania for statewide ILL, a digital collection platform, and some e-resource collections. The seminary is currently reorganizing staff roles and a search is underway to hire a professor of worship & liturgy.
    11. Stephanie Kaceli reported on the latest news from Cairn University: The Library front desk has been relocated to the main floor of the library and the new café will be opening early December. In October, the library was able to acquire Worden shelving from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan and the library is currently working through the plans for a building renovation. Dr. Brian Toews stepped down as Provost in July and Dr. Jason Van Billiard, previous dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, has returned to Cairn as Senior Vice President and Provost.
  9. Other Business: Lacking a quorum, there was no other business.
  10. Conclusion and Next Meeting: Jim Humble offered his institution, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, as the site for our next meeting in the spring of 2019.

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

One Reply to “SEPTLA Business Meeting Minutes, November 8, 2018”

  1. Pingback: SEPTLA Business Meeting Agenda, May 9, 2019 – Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association

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