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My midwinter adventure began with a 5:30 departure from Greensboro. This required a 3:20 alarm and resulted in a long, really tiring first day in Dallas. With BCALA meetings for most of Friday, I soon decided this had not been a wise decision. Saturday was off to a much better start. The ACRL Personnel Administrators & Staff Development Officers Discussion Group had a very rich and full agenda. An update on the ongoing ARL Annual Statistics Survey indicated that discussions were underway considering the removal of some of these collecting categories; microforms, computer files, cartographic materials, audio materials, film and video. One of the recommendations under reference was to add ‘technical assistance” as a category under the types of reference transactions. The Salary survey is considering merging together the various reference specialist positions and also creating a series of titles with a “digital” component. At least it looks like revisions may be on the horizon.

A proposed ARL job bank of position descriptions would be a welcomed resource. It is most common for personnel folk to share position descriptions. It was not clear during the discussion if non-ARL libraries would have access. The University of Florida gave an update on its’ Academic Libraries Recruitment study. The study included recruitment data from 13 submitting libraries with 77 open searches. Hiring results showed women as the clear majority with 37 white, 4 Black, 3 Asian, and 2 Latinos. Males hired were 20 white and 3 Asian. The study also has data on advertising venues. I have a copy of the report if you are interested in reading more.
“Empowering Diverse Voices” is an initiative of ALA President Molly Raphael. This program invited “Champions” within the field to spend an afternoon on a speed dating style interviewing session. I received an invitation to serve as a champion. I met with five “champion seekers” in an effort to build connections, find out about their interest and what their immediate needs are. The group was totally energized, yet a little on the uncertain side. I tried to work through this and offered advise where appropriate. I remained in the room for the SPARC/ACRL Forum that Molly talked about in her ALA recap. It was refreshing to hear the passionate speakers address an area of librarianship of which I was somewhat less informed.

Like Giz, I also enjoyed the Alexander Street breakfast and speaker. Afterwards, I had planned to attend the second day meeting of the Personnel group; however I had promised our NCLA ALA chapter representative that I would come to Council where state presidents were to be introduced. While waiting, I attended a session entitled; “OCLC the Evolution of a Classic: A Sneak Peak of First Search and the Future of Discovery.” It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this type session. It looks like 2012 will bring changes to World Cat Local as they continue to look for ways to present as much relevant information upfront as possible.
I’ll share more of ALA Big D. in part 2. Stay tuned.