OBS-SIS Annual Report, 2000/2001

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  2000/2001 was another busy year for the OBS-SIS! Strategic planning was a central focus, as was outreach and communication-building, as evidenced by the updated OBS-SIS Website and increased use of the OBS-SIS electronic discussion list.

The leadership of OBS-SIS for 2000/2001 consisted of the officers: Ellen McGrath (Chair), Ismael Gullon (Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect), Cindy Cicco (Secretary/Treasurer), Georgia Briscoe and Susan Chinoransky (Members-at-Large), Brian Striman (Past Chair); and the committee chairs: Susan Goldner (Local Systems Committee), Michael Maben (OCLC Committee), Anne Myers (RLIN Committee), Maria Okonska (Web Advisory Committee), Jack Bissett (Nominations Committee), Corinne Jacox (Joint Research Grant Committee), Ismael Gullon (Education Committee), and Sally Wambold (Strategic Planning Committee). In mid-year, the co-coordinators of the OBS/TS Research Roundtable stepped down and Brian Striman assumed that role.

OBS-SIS projected a high profile at the AALL annual meeting in Philadelphia in July 2000. OBS-SIS once again cosponsored the Saturday night "Alphabet Soup" reception that helps to kick off each convention and continued to reach out to new members through representation at the CONELL Marketplace. The OBS-SIS Table in the Activities Area of the Exhibit Hall was a very lively place. The popular paperback swap was accompanied by the new key tags giveaway, the OBS-SIS brochure, the Law Library Systems Directory, the MARBI representative's report, sample newsletter issues, and lots of other goodies. The OBS-SIS meetings were well-attended and a plaque of appreciation was presented to Jack Bissett at the business meeting for his many years of faithful service to OBS-SIS.

As always, the year began with program planning. OBS-SIS had a number of proposals accepted for the AALL 2001 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. These are: "Everything Old Is New Again: Second- (or Third-) Generation Automated System Challenges," "Put a CORC in It: The Cooperative Online Resource Catalog's Attempt to Control the WWW Information Flow," "New Roles? Retooling Yourself for Work in the 21st Century," "Implementing the MARC 21 Format for Holdings Data: The New Frontier in Technical Services," "What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You: Essential Technical Services Knowledge for Public Services Librarians," and "Subject Authority Cooperative Project (SACO)" workshop. (Unfortunately the SACO workshop was cancelled due to low registration.)

Maria Okonska became the OBS-SIS Webmaster in Fall 2000 and under her guidance, significant improvements were made to the OBS-SIS Website. The "look and feel" of the Website was brought up-to-date, as was the content dealing with the direct work of OBS-SIS. A goal for the coming years is to develop the Website further in terms of the links made to other sites that support the interests of OBS-SIS' Local Systems, OCLC, and RLIN Committees. An effort was made to post more announcements to the OBS-SIS electronic discussion list this year. Georgia Briscoe and Karen Selden collaborated to bring the "Website-of-the-Month" to the e-list. This not only featured an interesting Website, but included the bibliographic record for the site for those who might want to add it to their own online catalog. OBS-SIS reached out beyond its own membership by having an item about OBS-SIS in every "Special Interest Section News" column in the AALL Spectrum published this year.

The quality of the Technical Services Law Librarian (TSLL, joint newsletter of OBS-SIS and TS-SIS) continued at the high level established by its editors, Anna Belle Leiserson and Linda Tesar, with the assistance of Cindy May (Business Manager), Martin Wisneski (Webmaster), and a long list of dedicated contributing editors. Anna Belle and Linda have now completed their tenure as co-editors and Joe Thomas will become editor of TSLL beginning with the September 2001 issue. Linda will move into the role of layout editor. OBS-SIS extends its sincerest thanks to Anna Belle and Linda for their three years of excellent work and welcomes Joe as editor!

TSLL provides a valuable record of the activities and interests of OBS-SIS and TS-SIS and fosters communication with the members of both Sections. Reports of AALL annual meeting programs sponsored by OBS-SIS and TS-SIS in Philadelphia in 2000 were included in TSLL and reports for the 2001 programs are also planned. Richard Jost completed his term as one of the OBS-SIS representatives to the TSLL Board. OBS' other representative, Ruth Patterson Funabiki, will be joined by Corinne Jacox in the coming year. The OBS/TS joint research grant was awarded at the close of the year to Susan Goldner and Lorraine Lorne to purchase software that will enable them to create a 25-year index to TSLL.

Ismael Gullon conducted the annual OBS-SIS membership survey and reported the results in the March/June 2001 issue of TSLL. The survey was available on the OBS-SIS Website in an interactive format for the first time, as was the OBS-SIS volunteer form. The OBS-SIS survey results were also shared with the members of the Strategic Planning Committee.

Strategic planning was a major initiative of OBS-SIS this year. Sally Wambold and the members of the Strategic Planning Committee worked diligently throughout the year on conducting an environmental scan of the OBS-SIS members, developing the OBS-SIS mission statement, and writing the strategic plan itself. Gail Warren continued in her role as consultant and offered excellent advice that assisted the Committee in staying focussed on their task. As mentioned in last year's OBS-SIS annual report, all talks of a possible merger were put on hold until this new OBS-SIS plan is in place. The Strategic Plan will be introduced at the OBS-SISBusiness Meeting in Minneapolis in July 2001.

The Online Bibliographic Services SIS is fortunate to have a core of active, enthusiastic members who spend a lot of their time and energy on OBS-SIS work. I want to thank them for their contributions. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to serve as chair. OBS is a great SIS!

Ellen McGrath, Chair