As the activity and programs of the Baltimore convention begin to recede into long term memory, those of us who were fortunate to attend can reflect on maximizing the benefits of what we learned for the rest of our colleagues. The programs sponsored by OBS are among our major accomplishments; we can be very proud of two excellent programs presented at this convention. We are fortunate that the convention handouts and audio tapes are available and accessible through many library catalogs. Those able to attend the convention learn so much from the informal exchange of information outside of meetings in addition to what they gain from the programs themselves.
Sally Wambold, immediate past-Chair, covered much more than the "Waterfronts" as coordinator of "Around the World in Eighty Minutes." The program described a myriad of Internet accessible resources, concentrating on Asian, African, European and the Americas research sites. Participants were encouraged to surf the net during a specially scheduled session to examine Web sites described in the program.
"On Beyond Windows: Today's Workstations, Tomorrow's Clients," cosponsored by TS-SIS, was an outstanding program which focused on the impact of powerful new technology on work flow and productivity. Anna Belle Leiserson coordinated the program which covered incorporating Windows interfaces and Z39.50 capabilities. The Library of Congress' "Cataloger's Desktop" was demonstrated during the second part of the program.
Sue Roach and Sally Wambold set up the OBS table in the exhibit area. The paperback book swap was popular again this year though the collection seems to grow during the course of the convention. Many attendees look forward to stopping at our table to peruse the display. So, save your paperbacks for next year. We plan to continue the exchange in Anaheim.
Speaking of the OBS table, Sally's selection of Prop-it/Uprites, which can display small signs, documents or whatever one might want to hold in them, was a big hit. Our logo and Web address are printed on it. I hope you picked one up. We will have more of them at our table at next year's convention.
Sally Wambold developed a survey, accessible on the Internet and available at the OBS business meeting, to identify projects on which members can focus their efforts this year and to insure that the Section's mission is relevant to our workplace needs.
Chair-Elect Jack Bissett held a very productive Education Committee meeting, which I was unable to attend. He has been thoroughly immersed in preparing program proposals which were submitted to the 1998 program Chair. We will shortly know which programs have been accepted. An enormous amount of work went into planning for next year. Each year we emphasize the need to develop programs early for presentation two years hence. We should now begin to organize programs for the Washington convention in 1999. The location alone will place us in close proximity to resources and experts for our programs.
We have an excellent Nominating Committee, which is working on the slate for our spring 1998 election. Sue Roach is the Committee's Chair. Sue is assisted by Carol Avery Nicholson and Phyllis Post. Please contact a member of the Committee to volunteer to serve on the Board. Only you know whether you have the time and where your talents can be best utilized.
We will miss Cindy May as our excellent Secretary-Treasurer. We are fortunate that she will continue to serve OBS as the Section's representative on the TSLL Board. For the last year she has assisted the editor by proofreading the content of the last several issues. Her time and effort have been greatly appreciated by all. We are committed to producing a high quality newsletter.
We welcome Ismael Gullon, our newly elected Secretary-Treasurer and look forward to working with him. His enthusiasm was evident at the meeting of the new Board.
We also extend a warm welcome to Ellen McGrath, our new Member-at-Large. Ellen will contact new members of the Section. We want to be sure that our new members get an opportunity to get as involved in Section activity relevant to their work and interests as their time permits.
One of the great benefits of our Section to its members is the opportunity for networking and mentoring. I hope that all of our members are aware that assistance is always available a phone call or an e-mail away. Since their inception, the Internet accessible bulletin boards related to law libraries and technical services have been actively assisting members with problem solving.
Paula Tejeda, our continuing Member-at-Large, will be involved in OBS public relations; that is, she will be contacting new AALL members to inform them of the Section's projects and focus. Paula did an excellent job planning the alphabet soup reception sponsored by Innovative Interfaces along with representatives of Reader's Services and Technical Services SISs. Paula 'hand carried' the flowers used at the reception this year, a task thwarted by hotels and florists in years past.
Vianne Tang Sha completed her term as Member-at-Large but is continuing to serve OBS as Chair of the Web Advisory Committee. Vianne has a large excellent committee of volunteers to help her. Her work on this project has been invaluable and greatly appreciated. We are proud of our Web page. Check it out!
Georgia Briscoe held a lively meeting of the Local Systems Committee during which members described the strongest and weakest features of their online systems. Several participants were in the process of moving to their 'next generation' system and were eager to hear what they may anticipate with that change. It was a valuable meeting. Georgia did an excellent job leading this essential Committee. The technology on which we are dependent changes so rapidly. Carol Nicholson announced that the Local Systems Directory will be updated, perhaps next year. We welcome Phyllis Post, incoming Chair, and look forward to the continued work of this Committee.
A very interesting and informative OCLC Committee meeting was organized by George Prager. A representative of OCLC described in detail the name and subject heading cleanup procedures followed by OCLC, using powerful authority file software features.
An excellent RLIN meeting was organized by Heather Hawkins. Mary Chapman's presence at Baltimore was missed, but she was very much in our thoughts. We extend our deepest sympathy to her on the loss of her father. She was elected Chair in absentia. We look forward to her participation and leadership during the coming year.
One of the major accomplishments at the Baltimore meeting was the approval of supporting the Research Roundtable's joint research grant proposal submitted by Brian Striman and Ellen McGrath. A sum of $500 was approved by both OBS-SIS and TS-SIS. Sue Welch and Georgia Briscoe are the OBS representatives to the Research Grant Committee. The Committee will review grant applications. All members are encouraged to consider applying to the Committee for technical services research support.
Following a Section tradition, once again food and beverages were available at our meetings. Since they often meet at daybreak, lunch time or late afternoon, the Board feels strongly that sustenance is necessary to get us efficiently through our work.
Anne Myers has completed her terms as Past-Chair of OBS, as well as Chair of SIS Council. She is still an active participant on the OBS Web Advisory Committee. She deserves time to throttle back following her busy four years plus commitment. We greatly appreciate her words of wisdom on all issues as well as her many hours of service during her tenure.
I want to particularly express my personal gratitude to Sally Wambold for her outstanding leadership over the past two years as Chair-Elect and Section Chair. She has been an invaluable source of comfort and assistance to me during a time when my energies had to be directed elsewhere. I am grateful to have such a talented and generous person to guide me during the coming year.
I am also grateful to Jack Bissett for shouldering a greater amount of responsibility as Chair-Elect than is normally the case. And I want to extend my appreciation to all the members of last year's as well as the current Board. One quickly realizes the strength and stability of an organization when one member is unable to shoulder her full weight.
I hope my problems will be behind me by the time I address you all in the next TSLL issue. Meanwhile, my best wishes for an exciting and productive year. I hope to be in touch with each and every one of you (providing you want to receive e-mail communications from me.) AALL is considering listing SIS membership e-mail addresses on our SIS Web page. You will have an opportunity to determine whether your address will be available. We are fortunate to have e-mail as an instantaneous means of communication. It should create an environment in which Section projects and activities can be accomplished more efficiently.