From the President

Newsletter Issue: 
Volume 36, no. 4. December 2016

From the President

Annie Glerum

Greetings, OLAC Community!

Is it time for another newsletter already? Time flies when the OLAC Executive Board is discussing so many exciting issues! Kudos to all of the Board members for their dedication, enthusiasm, and hard work, but a special shout out is in order for our new CAPC Chair, Bruce Evans. In just this first quarter of his term, he has already proposed two new task forces as well as moving full steam ahead with the plan to create a “Unified/Mega Best Practices” to facilitate incorporating OLAC Best Practices into RDA Toolkit.

One of the topics the Executive Board has been discussing is the need to raise membership dues. In the early years of OLAC's existence, dues were $5 for personal and $10 for institutional memberships. Needless to say, things cost just a bit more these days. In 1981, the average cost of fresh plums was $0.39 a pound (1). In 2015, that price had increased 370% to $1.83 a pound (2). Meanwhile, OLAC dues, at the current cost of $20 for a personal membership, have increased only 186%.


Exactly how much membership dues will increase is still under discussion, but the amount may be similar to the increases in 1999 and 2008 (~70%). The Executive Board is committed to keeping membership costs affordable; however the Treasurer's budget projections show consistent losses in the coming years, and to continue providing support for the OLAC community, an increase in membership dues is a necessity.

Another factor in the decline of OLAC's income is a significant drop in membership after the newsletter went from a print version delivered to active members to a digital version freely available to all. In 2009, OLAC membership was 521. In 2012, the third year after going to a digital newsletter, membership had dropped to 290. That is almost half. The Board is unanimous that OLAC publications should remain freely available—requiring a membership login for the digital newsletter is not an option.


Please encourage your fellow catalogers to join OLAC and support our mission to advocate for audiovisual catalogers, provide a network for exchanging information with other audiovisual catalogers, and establish best practices for audiovisual cataloging practices and standards.

Now on to more pleasant matters. Please join us for the OLAC meetings at ALA Midwinter in Atlanta!




Membership meeting: Friday, January 20, 2017, 3:00-4:00 PM, Georgia World Congress Center, Room B215

Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC) meeting: Friday, January 20, 2017, 7:30-9:30 PM, Georgia World Congress Center, Room A303


During the OLAC Membership meeting, Vice-President/President Elect Jeremy Myntti will lead a discussion on the possibility of merging OLAC and MOUG. We also will pick up the discussion from Midwinter 2014 on the future of OLAC and the benefits of OLAC membership.


CAPC meetings are open to anyone interested in audiovisual cataloging, and this is an excellent opportunity to hear CAPC task force updates and reports from CAPC liaisons to the Committee on Cataloging: Description & Access (CC:DA), the MARC Advisory Committee, the Library of Congress, OCLC, and the Music OCLC User's Group (MOUG).


Speaking of conferences, planning for the 2017 OLAC Conference is underway. The Conference Planning Committee has been researching venues whose prices are not prohibitive, and we hope to announce the location and dates soon. A thousand thanks to Stacie Traill (Chair of the OLAC Conference Planning Committee), Marcia Barrett, Autumn Falkner, Kay Johnson, and all the other people who have been contributing to planning for our next conference.


Once again, I encourage you all to consider serving on the OLAC Executive Board. Please nominate a colleague, or yourself, for the OLAC Board Vice-President/President-Elect or Treasurer. The term for those positions begins after the 2017 ALA Annual Conference.


We are also seeking volunteers for the Outreach-Advocacy Coordinator, who will promote OLAC's mission and encourages membership growth. Our previous Coordinator, Jeremy Myntti, shared that the most rewarding aspect of this role was celebrating the success of OLAC members in the newsletter's Members on the Move and Outreach Reports. Since one of the major roles of the Coordinator is promoting OLAC on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, this position would be perfect for someone passionate about social media.


In closing, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me. There also is a contact form on the website.


I hope to see you all at Midwinter!