|Online Bibliographic Services
Special Interest Section
|From the Chair|
Thank You For The Opportunity To Serve
I am pleased to take my turn at bat to chair OBS during the 2002/2003 term and hope I prove worthy of being in the same league as the exceptionally effective and dedicated colleagues who have chaired OBS before me. I look forward to working with OBS's splendid Board and committee chairs. As I wear the OBS ball cap this year (yes, there really is a ball cap, not a crown) I resolve to do as much as I can to make OBS relevant to your professional lives.
Education Committee News
I'm particularly interested in OBS's most important mission of "facilitating the exchange of information, providing educational programs and materials." So, I'm delighted to report that the new timeline change for the Education Committee has gone a long way toward improving the process of developing programs. As Vice Chair during the 2001/2002 term I also chaired the Education Committee. This was the first term under the timeline change proposed by Ellen McGrath (TSLL v.26, no.3/4) that allows for convening the Education Committee much earlier in the year. You may remember that prior to this reform, the Education Committee was formed in May after the election of the Vice Chair. That meant a frantic 2 1/2 month period to develop ideas and write proposals. The most intense part of the work took place immediately after the annual meeting and before the proposal deadline in August. An amazing amount of work was packed into a really short period during the height of vacation season. The biggest drawback of the process was not having enough time to get the full sense of members' programming needs and desires. Our past Education Committees are to be commended for coming up with such great programs over the years while enduring the crunch.
When I posted the annual survey in January 2002 I asked OBS members to rank a number of possible ideas for development into programs and as usual solicited volunteers for committees. The result? This year for the first time the Education Committee convened "virtually" in February to discuss the survey results and to brainstorm about turning the popular choices into programs. By late spring we had four fully developed programs—one 30 minute, one 60 minute and two 90 minute programs—and one program idea to discuss at the AALL Committee meeting. When we met in Orlando, the Committee put the finishing touches on the proposals and firmed up the speakers. We had time to turn the embryonic idea into proposals for three half hour programs united by a common theme. The Committee's work was accomplished with much less stress than usual. (Bless you, Ellen!) The outcome of all that work? AMPC accepted for the Seattle meeting the following programs:
And Now For The Pitch
OBS functions with just enough bureaucracy to give members the framework needed to communicate and connect with each other and to actively participate in the formal AALL program planning process. As our professional lives are very busy, our relationships with OBS are usually rather passive. We grow professionally from articles, programs, the OBS website and listserv postings prepared by our colleagues –generally this is as it should be. However, the benefits we draw from our association with OBS don't come from an infinitely self-generating resource. I ask you to be aware of opportunities in your career— maybe between projects – when you can take time to be active in OBS, write articles, propose or present programs. I encourage you to be alert to those opportunities and turn them into activism. As it states right up front on our Website, "The Online Bibliographic Services Special Interest Section (OBS-SIS) of the American Association of Law Libraries focuses on all aspects of the various national and local bibliographic utilities. These include public access to bibliographic data online, acquisitions sub-systems, mail message systems, and integration of circulation systems with the online bibliographic data." OBS members have a wealth of knowledge on these topics and a generous spirit of sharing that knowledge. Together we can create and facilitate teaching moments for each other. So, be thinking of what you want to learn, what you're able to teach. And don't be shy!
You Can Really Help By Completing the Annual Survey
All of us have do have an opportunity to be involved in a significant way— and without a big time commitment. You can help OBS tremendously by completing the annual survey when it is posted this winter. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but this is the best way the Board has of knowing what the membership wants for educational programming and who is available for committee work or office. The larger the response, the more reliable the analysis. When Kevin Butterfield posts the membership survey this winter ask yourself if this is your time to step up to the plate. He will also ask for feedback on ideas for proposals for the Boston meeting. It's not too soon to be sending him program topics for polling. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellen McGrath is Chair of the Nominations Committee. She and committee members, Susan Chinoransky and Anna Belle Leiserson are compiling the slate for three offices: Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Member-at-Large. Please let Ellen know of anyone who would make a good candidate and be sure to consider putting your own name forward.
Blessings in the New Year
On behalf of the OBS Board, I wish you all health and happiness in the coming year.
"Blessed are they who give without remembering and take without forgetting." (Anonymous)
Mary Jane Kelsey