2011 Candidate Statements

2011 OBS-SIS Candidate for Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect

Janet Ann Hedin, Reference Librarian, John F. Schaefer Law Library, Michigan State University College of Law

Being a Reference Librarian, I have to admit that bibliographic utilities and local online systems were a deep mystery to me. WorldCat? OCLC? FirstSearch? What in the world were these systems? Being in charge of the library’s ILL system, I had to use these systems but was not sure I used them correctly or how they actually worked. Also, when I thought I understood how they work, lo and behold new systems were arriving on the horizon threatening my new found knowledge.

What saved me – being a member of the OBS-SIS. This diverse group of librarians always took time to help me understand how these systems and databases worked and how they impacted on libraries no matter what type or size. They also welcomed my opinions too when discussing these innovative areas of development or deciding what would be interesting and informative programming for our fellow librarians. I have learned a great deal from being a member of OBS-SIS and know I will learn more from all the talent in this SIS throughout the rest of my career.

It would be an honor to serve as the Vice-Chair/Chair Elect of the Online Bibliographic Services-Special Interest Section. I will do my best to promote our SIS to the AALL membership, to help implement the goals and initiatives that have already been established by our past leadership, and to keep on building on all the great qualities that makes OBS-SIS one of the best SISs in AALL.

Christina Tarr, Head of the Catalog Department, Berkeley Law Library at Berkeley Law School (formerly Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley

There are many challenges to be faced in the coming year or two. RDA is here, but most of us have not really used it, nor have we figured out what it will, and what it should, do to our catalogs. Nor have we figured out what possibilities it will open for us in sharing our data with a broader world, and from bringing data in from places we had never imagined. But RDA is only the tip of the iceberg. With ever-shrinking budgets and ever-expanding sources of information, we will need to make the most of all of these opportunities, and also, to make sense of them given the systems that we have right now – what will the workflow be like? Does the way we currently do things make any sense at all anymore? But how will a new way of working ensure that we still do the things we need to do? We will need to have open minds, and at the same time remember why we do what we do. Our current model may not be sustainable, but we need to, and we will, replace it with something that works. OBS’s educational programming, always excellent, will be even more important and essential in the next few years. It would be an honor to serve as OBS Chair for this bumpy ride to come.

2011 OBS-SIS Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer

Calmer Chattoo, Electronic Resources/Special Formats/Serials Cataloger, University of Miami School of Law Library

The recent economic meltdown that has affected institutions and organizations all over the country has been recognized as one that has never been experienced before. We have therefore been forced to rethink the way we do things while maintaining the quality of service we offer. I deem it an honor and a privilege to be asked to be involved in the capacity as Secretary/Treasurer for OBS-SIS at this crucial time.

I welcome the opportunity to give back to the organization that has contributed to my professional growth, my service as a dedicated, efficient, and meticulous Secretary/Treasurer of OBS-SIS. OBS-SIS has provided me with mentors, other experts, and programs that have contributed to the success I currently enjoy in the profession and I would like to contribute to the continuation of that outstanding service.

While I pledge to devote my time, knowledge and expertise toward this end, I also look forward to benefiting from the interaction with colleagues while encouraging and motivating others to serve. I will focus my efforts on ensuring effective communication and accurate record keeping of the Section’s activities.

Barbara Szalkowski, Senior Catalog Librarian, The Fred Parks Law Library, South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas

When I was approached last July at AALL by a member of the OBS-SIS Nominating Committee, I must admit that I was completely taken by surprise, but honored to be nominated for a position on the OBS-SIS Board. It has been 20 years since I was on an AALL SIS ballot, but instead of sulking over my loss, I devoted myself to serving my local Chapter, HALL. Although I never served in an elected position on the HALL Board, I have the reputation of being an “institutional memory” for the Chapter leadership and members.

I pledge to devote the same level of commitment to OBS-SIS if I am elected, and I also want to encourage all members of OBS-SIS to also become involved. If you have an idea, please voice it. If OBS-SIS can serve you better, tell us how. A group is only as good as its active members, so I look forward to working with you to make OBS-SIS one of the best SIS’s in AALL.
2011 OBS-SIS Candidate for Member-at-Large
Marjorie E. Crawford, Head of Technical and Automated Services, Rutgers University Law Library

I am humbled and energized for the consideration of the OBS-SIS Nominating Committee to serve in one of the positions for Member-at-Large. This opportunity represents an exciting opportunity for me to work on priorities of prime concern to the membership.

I have been responsible for performing administrative and implementation tasks for the national and local bibliographic utility systems at the Rutgers Law Library of Newark for more than a decade. I believe this experience will enable me to make a significant contribution towards the ongoing efforts of the OBS-SIS to address emerging issues and concerns of the membership in a constantly changing information environment.

The internet has changed profoundly the way law libraries deliver services to users. With this change, the cost of library operations has escalated to its highest point. Consequently, law libraries are being forced to investigate ways to improve user services and manage automation costs effectively. As a Member-at-Large of the OBS-SIS, I would work with the other officers to monitor and inform the membership of national and local bibliographic utilities developments. If given the opportunity, I would be honored to serve as an officer of the OBS-SIS.

Kerry Skinner, Acquisitions/Serials Librarian, Ross-Blakley Law Library, Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, Arizona State University

Law Libraries are continuing to evolve at an ever faster rate and the lines that once clearly defined our various roles as librarians are blurring. What were once thought of as two distinct library areas, technical services and public services, are perhaps now better conceptualized as one library service. We all deal with online access issues whether we’re assisting the user directly or whether we’re providing access through bibliographic utilities and systems.

The OBS-SIS provides excellent leadership in the search for solutions to meet the challenge of providing the best possible service to our users in these changing times. I am honored to be considered for the position of OBS-SIS Member-at-Large and I welcome the opportunity to serve the organization and our community.