TS SIS surveys are filled out; program ideas are submitted; proposals are written. What happens to all those program proposals? Well, as Education Chair for TS-SIS, I thought I would describe the process of getting programs accepted for the annual meeting.
In Baltimore, AALL's Annual Meeting Program Selection Committee (AMPSC) held planning meetings and distributed a 36-page Program Planner's Handbook. AMPSC would not guarantee program timeslots for the SISs, but "would work with every SIS to make certain that at least one program specifically addresses a concern of theirs." Education Chairs were encouraged to submit "strong" programs related to four identified subject themes: management, technology, information, and law. The Handbook listed suggested programs under these themes. Not one related directly to technical services because the source for these suggested programs was the 1996 AALL Membership Survey which ranked topics of interest to the members: technology (68 percent) and technical services (16 percent).
In addition, AMPSC identified six program topics that were pre-approved for Anaheim: knowledge management systems, economics of information, business information sources, consumer advocacy, GPO & technology standards, and admissibility of electronic evidence. The more I worked with the Program Planner's Handbook, the more I realized TS-SIS was unlikely to get programs approved. It was very discouraging.
Prior to the Baltimore meeting, the Preservation Committee submitted three programs to the TS-SIS Education Committee. During the meeting additional draft proposals were given to me. Several TS-SIS members volunteered to serve on the committee. After I returned to work, the process of refining, rewriting, choosing coordinators, and speakers began. Each program proposal had to include at least two "learning outcomes" following specific guidelines in the Handbook. These were the most difficult to write since words such as "understand" or "learn" were considered weak. We were also encouraged to use creative formats, for example, a case study or debate. It was very hectic as AALL's submission deadline of August 18 was fast approaching. By the deadline, TS-SIS submitted four program proposals, one workshop, and "ghost-wrote" the LC Update program proposal. Proposals included:
» Behind Closed Doors: Moving a Product from Thought to Development, a Discussion of Issues Publishers Face When Developing New Products and Updates.
» Shattered Shelves! New Horizons in Effective Emergency Preparedness.
» New Horizons in Access: The International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR and its Ramifications for Law Cataloging.
» Studies In Scarlet: A Case Study in Digitization, Concerning the Cooperative Project Between RLG and Law Libraries.
»New Horizons: New Schemes for New Regimes: Understanding and implementing JZ and KZ. (This is a one day workshop).
AMPSC received 122 program proposals and 17 workshop proposals. I received word September 22 that our program Shattered Shelves! and the KZ/JZ workshop were accepted. I also learned that a separately submitted program on approval plans for law libraries and the LC Update were accepted. AMSPC gave me feedback on the programs that weren't accepted, which I shared with those who proposed the programs. AMSPC suggested that we schedule "New Horizons in Access" for our SIS roundtable slot on Wednesday.
What lessons did we learn for Washington DC and 1999? Once our annual survey is compiled, the TS-SIS Education Committee will contact the volunteers so we can begin the program planning process in the spring. We will also work with the standing committee chairs to determine the most relevant program topics. I plan to have solid program proposals ready to present to the TS-SIS members by Anaheim. If you are as unhappy with the number of tech services programs in Anaheim as I am, then help us translate good ideas into great program proposals for 1999. If you want to volunteer for the committee or have program suggestions please contact me. It's a team effort!