|Online Bibliographic Services
Special Interest Section
|From the Chair|
Such a short time between deadlines, but here's a welcome opportunity to express my admiration for the quality of the first issue. The Editors and Business Manager (they know who they are) have made an already well-regarded and valuable newsletter fresh and new.
The 1998-99 AALL year is one-quarter gone, and major work has already been accomplished. The Online Bibliographic Services Special Interest Section will be well represented with programs at AALL in Washington thanks to the hard work (plus a percentum of inspiration) of numerous members and the Education Committee, chaired by Brian Striman. Many thanks from both Brian and myself for all the excellent suggestions and feedback provided by your Fall 1997 survey responses; please see the article in this issue about next Summer's programs. If your program idea seems to have been ignored, please know that t'ain't so: they are all considered and discussed, but limitations of time and energy constrain us from pursuing every one. Try again!
Two things to do to help get your program ideas accepted for the Philadelphia convention, or later: make it a point to attend the OBS Education Committee meeting next Summer in Washington, D.C., and also if possible attend the AALL Program Committee's Open Forum. The Forum will help you sharpen your ideas' focus and give you a clearer understanding of the requirements for a successful proposal. In the Education Committee meeting you will get practical assistance and feedback: Who will this program appeal to? Has it been done recently? Could it be better proposed by, or in cooperation with, another group? What speakers do you have in mind? Can you coordinate it, or do you know of someone who can? A good idea will find supporters and strengthening suggestions. Don't give up - talk, listen and refine; come to the Education Committee and develop your program proposal.
OBS's Web site is alive and very well under the mastery of our new Web Editor, Sarah Andeen. The OBS Web page contains organization documents, such as the bylaws and procedures manual, directories of members, officers and committee chairs, and current information about SIS some advantage in widening its scope. If you have interest in the Web page and its content, please contact Sarah.
The Web Advisory Committee and our other new committee, the TS/OBS Joint Research Grant Committee, will soon be incorporated into our bylaws. Alva Stone (Chair), Sally Wambold, and Brian Striman, a recently appointed Bylaws Committee, will be getting to work soon. They would appreciate your input on these two new committees as they have different functions and working styles from our traditional groups.
After Thanksgiving the 1998-1999 Member Survey will be mailed to you by Vice-Chair Brian Striman. It will also be available on the Web page, and may be completed and returned there. Last year, from over 300 OBS members, we received surveys from about 44. The comments were valuable, some members offered their services as potential officers, and more good ideas surfaced for programs or projects, but we should have received many more! Please take the few minutes necessary to answer Brian's questions and tell him (us) what you think, want, need. This is our best source of feedback.
As you complete your survey, I urge you to select membership in one or more OBS committees. You will find that these are the working centers of any SIS, and with involvement, your knowledge of people and issues will be greatly enhanced. Particularly if you are a newer member, OBS (or any SIS) is an easy, low-key arena in which to share ideas, contribute to the activities of the group, and begin to become known for your capabilities.
Why not open yourself to the challenge of serving as an OBS officer? Share your energy with your colleagues - no modesty, shyness, nor uncertainty about your organizational abilities should discourage you from running for an office. You will find, as many of us have, that you can learn how just by being involved; you will have lots of support, feel a real sense of accomplishment, and your boss will be so proud of you! The OBS Nominations Committee, chaired by Sue Roach, with Jacqui Paul and Sally Wambold, will be developing a slate over the next couple of months. Please let them know, by email or via the member survey, if you would accept nomination for Secretary-Treasurer or Member-at-Large.
John P. Bissett