TeamWork Volume 38, Issue 1 (Spring 2021)

Table of Contents

A Message From the President

Many of the challenges Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association (SEPTLA) member libraries faced in 2020 were met with trepidation and anxiety. But they were met, and they were met together. Despite the ongoing pandemic SEPTLA’s Executive Committee continued to meet virtually every month, sharing institutional updates about topics such as the status of library hours, resource sharing, book quarantining procedures, and staff and patron safety. At the Re-opening and Resource Sharing Summit in 2020 library staff compared notes and lessons learned on innovative approaches to virtual library services. At the SEPTLA Fall Meeting hosted by New Brunswick Theological Seminary we welcomed Dr. Tom Phillips, founder of the Digital Theological Library (DTL), who presented about new ways to organize joint purchasing among libraries.

The SEPTLA Spring Meeting will be hosted virtually by Moravian Theological Seminary. In lieu of keynote speakers, we will revisit topics related to library services in the pandemic environment. Mark your calendars for April 23, 2021 and plan to attend. If you are new to SEPTLA, come participate. Interest Groups will be meeting and holding elections. Consider opportunities to serve in leadership roles. Past President Elizabeth Miller recently called for applications for scholarships to attend Atla Annual Conference this summer. I encourage you to apply if you have not previously attended an Atla meeting. SEPTLA and Atla continue to be incredible sources of support for theological librarianship.

One of the most exciting projects on the horizon for the Gardner A. Sage Library at New Brunswick Theological Seminary is the implementation of a new digitization workflow. I want to highlight this initiative because it emerges directly out of SEPTLA’s continuing education legacy. The project was inspired by Gregory Murray’s presentation “Using the Internet Archive and Theological Commons as an On-Ramp to Digitization and Access for Local Collections” given at the SEPTLA Fall Meeting at Lancaster Bible College in 2017. The Sage Library looks forward to digitizing special collections and archives to be included in the Internet Archive and Princeton’s Theological Commons. Once complete we can celebrate another example of partnership between SEPTLA member libraries – collaboration that will provide an enduring contribution to the theological record and regional cultural heritage.

It is with guarded excitement that I proclaim 2021 is shaping up to be a much better year in terms of physical health. The distribution of vaccines is accelerating all over the world. Today I received my first vaccination for Covid-19. The leadership of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, scientists and healthcare professionals, together with the uncommon collaboration of pharmaceutical companies has shone bright hope amid daunting setbacks in physical and mental health.

I hope that the recent tragedies of social injustice and the tenor of Black Lives Matter advocacy may propel robust awareness in our society and in our libraries. The Executive Committee has been discussing the issues throughout the year, and looks to future SEPTLA meetings as avenues for increased understanding of issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Alas, I will not be leading that effort as SEPTLA President beyond the Spring 2021 SEPTLA Meeting.

It has been an honor and joy to serve as SEPTLA President the past couple years. The knowledge I have gained and friendships nurtured in my role are invaluable. Although I am obliged to pass the baton to the next President, I will not disappear. It is a charming feature of the SEPTLA Bylaws that the Past President take the minutes at the Executive Committee meetings for the next year. So I will be polishing my minute-taking talents while journeying with you in 2021 and beyond.

With every good wish,
Patrick

T. Patrick Milas, MLIS, PhD
SEPTLA President

Spring 2021 Meeting: April 23, virtual

The Spring Meeting will be held on April 23 via web conferencing, hosted by Moravian Theological Seminary. If you plan to attend, please email Elizabeth Young Miller (millere at moravian dot edu), and she will send you the details for connecting to the meeting.

A detailed agenda is forthcoming, but we anticipate a 10:00 am - 2:00 pm schedule.

The agenda for the Business Meeting will be as follows:

  • Approval of Agenda
  • Approval of Minutes from Fall Meeting on October 16, 2020 (minutes available in Spring 2021 newsletter)
  • Reports
    • Treasurer’s Report
    • Committee Reports
  • Executive Committee Report
    • Monthly minutes available in Spring 2021 newsletter
  • Announcement of recipient of scholarship to attend Atla Annual 2021
  • Elections
  • Institutional News
  • Conclusion

Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association

Minutes

Fall Meeting 10-16-2020

I. Welcome and Opening Remarks

Patrick Milas commenced the fall meeting of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Library Association via Zoom video conference.

Virtual attendees included Sharon Gardoski, Vic Broberg, James Humble, Robert McInnes, Greg Murray, Myka Stephens, Virginia Dearborn, Melvin Hartwick, Stephanie Kaceli, Sarah Danser, James Brumm, Lydia Putnam, Evan Boyd, Alan LaPayover, Evelyn Frangakis, Clint Banz, Jenifer Gundry, Michele Mesi, and Mark Draper.

II. Morning Session

The first portion of the meeting commenced with a talk and discussion by Thomas Phillips of Claremont School of Theology regarding his founding and mission for the Digital Theological Library.

Lydia Putnam posed the question of how the DTL was conceived and created. Thomas Phillips provided a brief summary of his time at Clarement School of Theology and his hope to create a shared resource among libraries on a national and international scale for students conducting research.

Evelyn Frangakis also proposed further conversation with SEPTLA members and Thomas Phillips on the topic of controlled digital lending to be organized via email.

III. Afternoon Session

Members broke into two separate groups-- research services interest group and cataloging and metadata interest group-- for approximately thirty minutes.

IV. Business Session

Patrick Milas called to order the fall business meeting by making a motion to approve the agenda.

i. Approval of the agenda

Robert McInnes made a motion to approve the agenda. Lydia Putnam seconded the motion. All member institutions present approved the agenda.

ii. Approval of minutes from the November 1, 2019 meeting

Virginia Dearborn made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous fall meeting. Greg Murray seconded the motion. All member institutions present approved the minutes.

iii. Reports

  1. Treasurer’s Report
    • Evan Boyd reported that the balance was just over $13,000 currently. Evan also reported a transfer of $2,000 from the checking to the money market account. Lydia Putnam made a motion to approve the treasurer’s report. The motion was seconded and all member institutions present approved the minutes. The complete treasury report can be found in Appendix A.
  2. Executive Committee
    • Lydia Putnam reported on behalf of Continuing Education. Lydia reported her suggestion to have Tom Phillips come to discuss the process of cataloging and recording metadata. Lydia also stated that the committee is actively accepting suggestions for the spring meeting agenda. She also reported an opening for a committee member and reminded members of the Slack account for communication purposes.
    • Myka Stephens reported on behalf of Communications. Myka reported that updates are now included in the newsletter. She also reminded members of the shared Google Document that is published to the SEPTLA website where updates on institution status regarding COVID-19 operations are listed. Myka reported that the recording of the SEPTLA Reopening Summit meeting is now uploaded to the YouTube channel and linked in the newsletter. She also reminded members to update any changes in library staffing or leadership by checking on the member library link from the SEPTLA home page.

iv. Interest Group Reports

  1. Research Services Interest Group – Lydia Putnam reported on behalf of James Brumm, the volunteer chair of the group, and stated that the group is open to recommendations for discussion which can be submitted via his email.
  2. Cataloging and Metadata Interest Group – Vic Broberg reported that the group discussed best practices for cataloging, cleaning up MARC records, and ILS migration preparation. Vic will also be continuing as the chair for the Cataloging and Metadata interest group.

v. Executive Committee Report

  1. Patrick Milas reported that the monthly meeting minutes are now available in the Fall 2020 newsletter. He also proposed an invitation for written feedback regarding bylaw changes.

vi. Action Item

  1. The Executive Committee also discussed the idea of a new individual membership option for those who wish to join. Under this option, individual members would be able to: Participate in meetings, vote, serve on committees and in leadership positions, check with individual member libraries regarding their direct borrowing programs, and receive complementary dues. Virginia Dearborn brought up a topic for discussion regarding the weight of an individual membership vote vs. that of a school’s membership.
  2. Evan Boyd briefly discussed his proposed motion to suspend institutional dues for the 2020-2021 membership year. In June 2020 the Executive Committee voted unanimously to suspend 2020-2021 institutional dues for all existing member organization due to the current pandemic. Virginia Dearborn asked if institutions with the ability to afford dues would be permitted to pay and it was decided that institutions could request an invoice for membership dues.
  3. Patrick Milas presented the Executive Committee’s motion to waive institutional dues. All member institutions present approved the motion.

vii. Institutional News

1. Report from Missio Seminary provided by Lydia Putnam

  • Open Tuesday and Thursday by appointment (this includes SEPTLA students, just contact us ahead of time at library@missio.edu).
  • This summer we began an ongoing series of webinars on various racial issues (missio.edu/category/webinar-archive), and expect to run one per semester for the foreseeable future.
  • We expect a decision by Thanksgiving about whether to continue with purely online courses for the Spring semester.

2. Report from Cairn University provided by Stephanie Kaceli

  • Cairn Online launched in Fall 2020 as an entirely online undergraduate program.
  • Phase one of Cairn Library renovations is nearly complete.

3. Report for Lancaster Bible College provided by Clint Banz

  • Lancaster Theological Seminary has welcomed a new President who began in February 1, 2020. They also welcomed a new Provost who began in Spring 2020 along with some restructuring of their cabinet positions after a number of layoffs in the spring.
  • The library migrated to WMS from Voyager.
  • The library has also begun using LibAnswers to support remote reference work during the pandemic.

4. Report for Lancaster Theological Seminary provided by Myka Stephens

  • Seminary classes are all online for the remainder of the academic year.
  • Lancaster Theological Seminary Library is only open to faculty, staff, and students enrolled in our after-hours access program. They are offering contact-free checkout and pickup services for all patrons and are responding to ILL requests.
  • The library's name was changed over the summer. It is no longer named in honor of Philip Schaff. Most of the collateral reflects the name change, but there are still a few lingering places that are being changed as they are found.
  • President Carol Lytch retired on June 30, and Interim President David Rowe began on July 1. A search for the next president is underway.

5. Report for New Brunswick Theological Seminary provided by Patrick Milas

  • The faculty voted in favor of joining the Digital Theological Library at the beginning of 2020. The initial start date of July was pushed up when the school was forced online due to the pandemic.
  • Courses will remain online for the rest of this academic year up to Fall 2021.
  • The Public Services Librarian has created virtual reference resources and distance learning initiatives to enhance library support for students. The Cataloging Librarian worked on a backlog of materials and theses to make them digitally accessible to students and researchers. The Archivist has been working on a project of identifying and digitizing alumni class photos to create an interactive digital display.
  • The school welcomed a new Digital Services Librarian.

6. Report from Princeton Theological Seminary provided by Evelyn Frangakis

  • PTS courses are online for the rest of the academic year. Most students are being housed on campus and there have been numerous precautions taken to ensure social distancing and safety of students.
  • Library staff have received special permission to reenter the building. Staff are working in person on a part-time basis and on a staggered basis to adhere to their health and safety guidelines. Emphasis on working from home when possible prioritizes the safety of the community as a whole.
  • Internet Archive has also resumed on-site work to continue scanning projects both regionally and locally.
  • The library is offering virtual reference and curbside checkout. They have also sectioned off the front portion of the library building to act as a socially distant quiet study space for students.
  • PTS has not committed to expanding their digital collection but has instead focused on growing their CDL collection. They have recently become members of the Hathi Trust and have transitioned from Voyager to Sierra ILS in July 2020.
  • PTS is currently seeking to hire a new Cataloging Librarian after a number of retirements last year. They have recently welcomed a new Serials Librarian, Sarah Danser, who is also a present member of SEPTLA.

7. Report from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College provided by Alan LaPayover

  • All classes are being held remotely. No information about the upcoming spring semester.
  • The faculty is wrapping up a major curriculum revision which will have implications for future library acquisitions.
  • The library is open 3 days a week for 4 hours each day, but as about one-half of the student body is not in the Philadelphia area, and most of the remaining students live in West Philadelphia, there has been almost no on-site use.
  • The Kaplan Archivist position has been eliminated for the time being and the archives are closed a d not operational.

8. Report from Reformed Episcopal Seminary provided by Vic Broberg

  • Library staff and student attendance are currently staggered on a weekly basis as part of a hybrid model.
  • RES is working on migration to ILS to enhance digital access to materials.

9. Report for St. Charles Borromeo Seminary provide by James Humble

  • SCBS reopened fully to students in Fall 2020. Public spaces like the library, classrooms, and dining halls have rearranged furniture to adhere to social distance guidelines. Activities and scheduling of the Formation Program continue for students as normal.
  • SCBS Library is not open to the public and is reserved for student access. They are also offering slightly limited hours and increased sanitation practices in high-volume areas.

10. Report from Westminster Theological Seminary provided by Robert McInnes

  • WTS Library has been open since mid-summer and all courses are now online through to the Spring 2021 semester.
  • Furniture in the library has been rearranged or removed to enforce social distancing. A plexiglass screen has also been installed at the circulation desk.
  • The library is in the process of developing an EDS system to allow patrons access to materials through a single digital portal.
  • Campus renovations continue.

This concluded the fall meeting for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Theological Association.

Respectfully Submitted,

Michele Mesi, MLIS

New Brunswick Theological Seminary

SEPTLA Secretary

SEPTLA Executive Committee Meeting

November 4, 2020

Video Conference

MINUTES

Attendees: Evan Boyd, Vic Broberg, James Brumm, James Humble, Myka Kennedy Stephens, Michele Mesi, Patrick Milas, Greg Murray, Lydia Putnam

Excused: Elizabeth Young Miller

Patrick called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.

Consideration of meeting agenda

No changes were asked for. Patrick called for an approval of the meeting agenda; James Humble moved to approve.

Consideration of October 2020 EC Minutes

Evan requested that his proposal be added verbatim into the Fall EC meeting minutes, under the Fall Meeting Plans. One typo needed changing—“curbisde” to “curbside.”

Treasurer’s report - Evan

One check (for the website) was drawn. Otherwise, there were no changes from the Fall meeting.

Welcome new officer: James Brumm of NBTS

Patrick welcomed James to the Executive Committee.

Fall Meeting 2020 debrief

  1. Consideration of Fall 2020 Meeting Minutes
    1. Greg had a few changes in mind, which Michelle requested be sent to her. Myka said that there was no need to approve the minutes now—that will happen at the business meeting in the spring.
    2. Evan noted that the wording of action item vi (b) was absent.
  2. Published recording planned
    1. Patrick said he had not heard back whether we are allowed to publish a recording of Tom’s presentation. We just need his permission to publish it.
  3. Survey considerations
    1. Patrick asked the group if a survey was needed. In response to Evan’s inquiry as to what information we’re seeking, Patrick said that we’re looking for people’s responses to the virtual format.
    2. Patrick asked whether we should run a survey or simply post a question to the listserv. Lydia suggested that we do both, since some people who didn’t attend the meeting (and thus wouldn’t get a survey invite) might have opinions and want their voices heard.
    3. Patrick led a discussion about the survey questions:
      1. Was the virtual format a suitable replacement for in-person meeting during quarantine?
      2. Is the online format something we want to continue regardless of quarantine?
      3. Considering the substantial participation in the fall meeting, would you be willing to consider attending more online meetings in the future?
      4. Would you be interested in serving on a task force to determine the viability of online meetings?
    4. Evan broached the subject of a hybrid meeting. Lydia put forth several possibilities for making use of both types, such as a two-in-person, one-online model (winter being the obvious candidate for online)
  4. Proposal to postpone further individual membership proposal development until next E.C. meeting
    1. Since there was no feedback from the general membership, Patrick said we need to compose a formal amendment by the spring meeting.
    2. Vic inquired about the one-vote-per-institution rule: perhaps individual members could serve as an “institution?” Lydia agreed.

Adjournment

Next E.C. meeting will be held January 26, 2021 at 2 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
JH

SEPTLA Executive Committee Meeting

January 26, 2021
Zoom Video Conference

MINUTES

Attendees: Evan Boyd, Vic Broberg, James Brumm, James Humble, Myka Kennedy Stephens, Michele Mesi, Patrick Milas, Greg Murray, Elizabeth Young Miller

Excused: Lydia Putnam

Consideration of meeting agenda

Patrick called the meeting to order at 2:02 pm. He asked if there were any changes to the agenda. Elizabeth inquired if we would be discussing the spring meeting. Patrick replied that the spring meeting could be discussed during the open forum part of the meeting. He then made a motion to accept the agenda. Myka moved and James Brumm seconded. All voted in favor of the proposed agenda.

Consideration of November 2020 EC Minutes

Patrick acknowledged that the minutes were just sent and everyone may not have had time to review them. Nonetheless, he asked if there were any changes to the minutes at this time. Greg mentioned that section 4b is a little ambiguous. Did Vic mean that individual members as a group serve as an institution? Later in the meeting, Vic clarified that all individual members serve as one collective institution; he is concerned about exceptions. A motion was then made to revise the minutes accordingly, which Vic moved and James Brumm seconded. All voted in favor of the revised minutes.

Treasurer’s report (if any)

Evan shared that the current balance is $12,985.45. There have been no new transactions since the last meeting; the only difference in the bank balance is due to interest.

Institutional Updates

United Lutheran

Evan mentioned that the library remains closed. He stated that there is a seminary
board meeting today and that the seminary had a good financial year. The institution
sold some 1970s British art for around $30,000.

Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS)

Greg announced that PTS now has a head of special collections and archives: Brian Shetler, who was previously at Drew. Due to vacancies, this department had been closed. The library building remains closed. However, curbside pickup is still in place and the number of items that may be checked out has increased. PTS joined Hathi Trust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service, which provides digital access to materials held in print; these items are not eligible for curbside pickup.

St. Charles Borromeo

James Humble noted that students returned a few weeks ago. All residents were quarantined for two (2) weeks, as well as tested for COVID. St. Charles is still planning to move and is seriously considering a property near Gwynedd Mercy University, though nothing has been signed yet. A library inventory project is underway, in order to identify works to deaccession once it becomes necessary to reduce the library’s footprint.

Lancaster Theological Seminary

Myka commented that things are much the same at Lancaster. The seminary is still looking for a president, who would ideally be in place in April, but this may not be a realistic timeline. The faculty and library have been placed on alert that changes will be coming, as the current models are not financially stable. Due to federal grants, the library’s budget is okay for the time being.

Moravian Theological Seminary

Elizabeth reported that the former dean of the seminary retired and that an interim is in place while a search for a new dean is underway. Undergraduate students are back on campus with more classes being offered online or in hybrid models. The library is open via card swipe access. The circulation staff are in the library and the reference librarians participate in a three (3) week rotation--on campus for a week, remote for two (2) weeks. The electronic resources librarian and metadata and acquisitions librarian are both working remotely.

New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS)

Due to a COVID case, the library is closed. In the meantime, the library’s website, tutorials and LMS are being revamped. Librarians are busy with reference and are working on weeding and a backlog of donations. There is a restructuring at the seminary; previously the Writing Center had been part of the library; now it is a separate entity. The archives is currently closed and is without an archivist.

Reformed Episcopal Seminary

Vic shared that classes are being offered virtually; this learning modality is reassessed every two (2) weeks. The library is open by appointment only.

Fall Meeting 2020 survey results

Patrick shared that six (6) people responded to the fall 2020 meeting survey. The overall satisfaction with the fall SEPTLA meeting was 4.5, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score. The virtual format received an average score of 4.3. Survey respondents included the following topics for future meetings: strategies for student engagement with digital materials and OPACs.

With regard to institutions that may be interested in joining SEPTLA, the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia was listed; a discussion then ensued on what SEPTLA membership might look like for historical societies, specifically reciprocal borrowing. Myka first raised this question, noting that the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society (ERHS) is in the same building as the seminary’s library; however, the books in the ERHS’ collection do not circulate. Would employees at historical societies be eligible for reciprocal borrowing at SEPTLA libraries? Greg suggested that reciprocal borrowing apply to lending libraries, hence non-lending institutions would not be eligible for reciprocal borrowing. If some libraries do not offer reciprocal borrowing, will other libraries also want to exclude their collections from circulating to outside borrowers? Vic advocated that institutions that have an FTE of 1 or more offer reciprocal borrowing. Traditionally, SEPTLA has prided itself on its strong reciprocal borrowing agreements. Perhaps there could be a reciprocal agreement that library staff/institutional affiliates are able to use materials in-house if libraries do not lend their materials. Further discussion is warranted to answer these questions, as well as an examination of the by-laws and constitution. Once details can be ironed out, then the Presbyterian Historical Society can be contacted.

Open Forum

During the open forum, the spring meeting was discussed. Greg mentioned that due to the length of the vaccine rollout, it makes sense to call for a virtual meeting this spring. The positive survey feedback from the fall virtual meeting, as well as a lack of professional development funds at some institutions further support this online option. Alternating formats, between in-person and online, makes sense once it is safe to meet again face-to-face. Patrick made a motion to plan for an online spring 2021 SEPTLA meeting. James Brumm moved and Greg seconded, with all in support of an online spring meeting.

Patrick commented that NBTS is still interested in hosting a future in-person meeting. If need be, they can host the spring meeting via Zoom, like they did this fall. Patrick asked, however, if there are other institutions that would be interested in facilitating the spring meeting via Zoom.

Committee members spent several minutes discussing potential topics for the spring meeting. Elizabeth suggested a demo of OCLC’s GreenGlass. Patrick recommended an information session sponsored by Ebsco on such products as Open Athens and/or Folio, which was highlighted at a spring meeting several years ago at Cairn. James Humble suggested a roundtable discussion focused on how member institutions are maintaining services during the pandemic, such as document delivery and reference. Another suggestion was a COVID summit part 2, continuing the forum led by Mark Draper in August on lessons learned during the pandemic.

Adjournment

Patrick thanked everyone for attending the meeting and motioned to adjourn at 2:48 pm, which James Humble moved, James Brumm seconded, and all voted in favor.

SEPTLA Executive Committee Meeting

February 9, 2021

Zoom Video Conference

MINUTES

Attendees: Evan Boyd, Vic Broberg, James Brumm, James Humble, Myka Kennedy Stephens, Michele Mesi, Patrick Milas, Greg Murray, Elizabeth Young Miller

Excused: Lydia Putnam

Consideration of meeting agenda

Patrick called the meeting to order at 2:03 pm.  He asked if there were any additions and/or changes to the agenda.  Hearing none, Patrick made a motion to accept the agenda.  James Humble moved and James Brumm seconded.  All voted in favor of the proposed agenda.

Consideration of January 2021 EC Minutes

Elizabeth mentioned that she made minor changes to the minutes that were initially sent.  However, the minutes sent by Patrick reflect these revisions.  Patrick asked if there were any changes to the minutes at this time.  Hearing none, Patrick made a motion to accept the minutes, which James Brumm moved and Greg seconded. 

Treasurer’s report (if any)

Evan shared that the SEPTLA accounts remain nearly the same since our last meeting.  He commented that the interest rate is not doing much.  Unfortunately, the online account access does not indicate the interest rate.  Evan will look for this information on a formal bank statement.

Spring Meeting 2021

Host: Moravian Theological Seminary

Dates: Moravian availability?  SEPTLA availability?

Elizabeth shared that Moravian is flexible with regard to a date, so the meeting date will be dependent on the availability of the Executive Committee.  After discussing potential topics (see below), the Executive Committee circled back to dates.  The first choice for the spring meeting  is Friday, April 23, with the second choice being April 30.

Patrick highlighted that NYATLA will be hosting a virtual spring meeting; this will be their first meeting since the pandemic.  A joint in-person NYATLA/SEPTLA meeting would be something nice to explore for the future.

Possible topics: latest in library services during pandemic; ideas from Continuing Ed; EBSCO Folio or OCLC GreenGlass presentations; others?

The Executive Committee spent time brainstorming content for the spring meeting. Continuing the conversation around COVID, perhaps a COVID 2.0 seems warranted. Evan suggested COVID five (5) to seven (7) minute lightning talks as part of the program.  James Humble recommended sharing specific questions ahead of time with member libraries.  Such questions could focus on electronic resources, services for students, etc.  A question could also focus on lessons learned from COVID, such as James Brumm’s query: “Which practice begun during COVID needs to stay post-COVID?”  Soliciting involvement from Lydia and the Continuing Education Committee on these questions would be wise, as well as including these discussion questions with the meeting invitation.

Vendor presentations from EBSCO and OCLC’s GreenGlass are other possible meeting topics.

Evan recently attended an outstanding presentation offered by ACRL on equitable hiring practices.  The 35 minute session focused on inclusive recruitment, how to aid with the retention of underrepresented groups, and examined social and political factors, as well as policies and procedures.  Evan will send Patrick more information about the presentation and contact the presenters regarding stipends and their availability to offer a similar presentation to SEPTLA members.  This proposed presentation fits nicely with the discussion of diversity and inclusion, which has not been a recent conference topic. Patrick and Laura had previously reached out to diversity speakers, but they were unavailable.

Elizabeth asked about the number of presentations and format of the spring meeting. Several suggestions were made.  The consensus was to have the COVID discussion and interest group meetings from 10:00 to 11:30 am.  At 1 pm, the keynote presentation could be offered, followed directly by the business meeting and final remarks.  The goal would be to end the meeting by 3 pm.

Institutional Updates

Reformed Episcopal Seminary

Vic shared that the quarter will be ending soon and no mini term will be offered this year.  Administration continues to reevaluate the hybrid program every two (2) weeks.  The library is open by appointment only.

United Lutheran

Evan mentioned that the institution continues to offer one (1) week intensives, which equates to five (5) straight days of Zoom classes.  Evan provided some information about open positions.  The archivist position at Gettysburg will be reposted.  Currently there are two (2) open faculty positions, one in systematic theology and the other is an endowed position in public theology.  It is hoped that the second position in particular will lead to increased diversity.  Evan happily reported that 700 books were checked out in 2020.

Lancaster Theological Seminary

Myka highlighted that her sabbatical proposal was approved.  She will be on sabbatical from July through December 2021.

New Brunswick Theological Seminary (NBTS)

New Brunswick is preparing for both Middle States and ATS accreditation.  Michele has been busy weeding the reference collection.  The library remains closed.

St. Charles Borromeo

James Humble explained that due to a COVID case on campus, he is working from home currently.  A library student worker was exposed to the virus and, fortunately, has tested negative.  The institution has been diligent about contact tracing and James hopes to return to campus soon.  

Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS)

Greg mentioned that there was no update for PTS.

Moravian Theological Seminary

Elizabeth simply reported that a search is underway for a New Testament professor.

Open Forum

During the open forum, Elizabeth mentioned that elections will occur at the spring meeting.  Patrick encouraged the Executive Committee to think of people who may be interested in serving.  Information about the various positions can be found on SEPTLA’s website.  The Executive Committee can continue this discussion at the March meeting.

Adjournment

Patrick thanked everyone for attending the meeting and mentioned that he would reach out to Lydia with an update.  He motioned to adjourn at 2:47 pm, which Greg moved and James Humble seconded.  The motion passed.

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