From the Secretary

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

From the Secretary

Jeannette Ho


OLAC Executive Board Virtual Meeting

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Present: Marcia Barrett, Matt Burrell, Bruce Evans, Autumn Faulkner, Annie Glerum, Jeannette Ho, 

Jeremy Myntti, Stacie Traill, Jay Weitz


Meeting started at 10:30 am EST

  • Welcome to new Board officers: Jeremy Myntti (Vice President/President Elect), Jeannette Ho (Secretary), Marcia Barrett (Newsletter Editor-in-Chief), Bruce Evans (CAPC chair)
  • Officer Reports:
    • President (Annie)
      • ALA Midwinter room requests
        •  Annie has submitted room requests to ALA for the membership and CAPC meetings at ALA Midwinter 2017.  Annie requested theater seating and a podium for the membership meeting with an estimated number of 50 attendees.  She requested a hollow square seating arrangement for the CAPC meeting. For the CAPC meeting, she gave an estimate of 20 attendees, and requested 20 extra chairs for potential guests.
        • Annie will request a microphone, as it could be useful if large rooms are assigned during Midwinter. No AV equipment is needed, as OLAC typically does not include presentations at Midwinter meetings, the way it does during Annual conferences.
    • Vice President/President-Elect (Jeremy)
      • Topics for Midwinter discussion
        • It was proposed that we discuss the potential OLAC/MOUG merger during the membership meeting at the upcoming Midwinter Meeting. In addition, we could revisit a discussion that took place in 2014 about the future of OLAC and the benefits of OLAC membership. It was suggested that results of the survey on the merger be shared and additional feedback from attendees obtained at this meeting. Board members agreed that these would be good topics for discussion at Midwinter.
    • Treasurer (Autumn)
      • There are 287 active members in OLAC, including personal and institutional members.
      • The most expensive items in the budget include: renewing OLAC’s subscriptions for BlueHost ($518.98) and SurveyMonkey ($204), and reimbursements for the OLAC Research Grant ($2,012.90).
      • Autumn shared a spreadsheet containing OLAC’s budget for the past three years and our projected expenses (average and expected) for the next three years. Three-year budget projections estimate a net loss of about $350 by close of FY19, which is a conservative estimate considering inflation and high meeting costs for AV services.
      • It was recommended that we start thinking of adding about $1,500 to our budget over the next few years to keep up with inflation and factor in potential costs.
      • Board members discussed the possibility of raising OLAC membership fees. It has been many years since OLAC has raised the cost of membership (currently $20 for an individual member). This issue will be put on the agenda of the next membership meeting for discussion and Board members will vote on it.
      • Autumn was asked to investigate potential membership fees based on her budget projections. She will come up with several options and forward them to the Board prior to Midwinter.
      • An announcement about raising the membership fee and the rationale for doing so will be sent to the OLAC listserv and put on the website. Annie will come up with this announcement and asked Board members to send her ideas about what we would like to communicate to OLAC members about the increase and the benefits of membership. This announcement will appear in the next issue of the OLAC Newsletter.
    • Newsletter Editor (Marcia)
      • December Newsletter
        • There is a vacancy for the Outreach-Advocacy Coordinator position, which is responsible for the “Members on the Move” column in the newsletter. Jeremy is writing this column until this position can be filled.
        • The Board discussed desired qualifications for the Outreach-Advocacy position, and whether volunteers need to send their vitae when expressing interest. OLAC does not have formal requirements, and the primary qualification of volunteers is their willingness to serve in this role. Annie suggested that we can try out a person who volunteers and see if he or she works out in this position.
        • A call for volunteers for the vacant News and Announcements Column Editor position has been sent to the OLAC listserv.
        • A question was asked about whether the News and Announcements position should be responsible for sending news and announcements to be posted on the website, in addition to publishing them in the newsletter. There was support for this role, as news and announcements can be made available in a timelier manner on the website and can be displayed prominently at the top of it.
    • ​CAPC Chair (Bruce Evans)
      • Unified/Mega Best Practices document
        • Some CAPC members would like to develop a “Unified/Mega Best Practices” document that would gather all instructions from the OLAC best practice guides that are common across the covered formats. Links to this document would eventually be included within the RDA Toolkit.
        • The Board discussed ways to proceed with the proposed document. Bruce would like the order of instructions to be consistent with the order of RDA instructions in the Toolkit. Some Board members felt that readers should also be able to selectively view instructions that are specific to a particular format, including ones that are unique to it. It may be possible to use specialized software, such as Dido, to bring more flexibility to documents. Such software could allow individual instructions within an XML document to be tagged as being applicable to a specific format or to all formats in general. Such software can be used to aggregate all instructions specific to a particular format into a separate document.
        • It was suggested that a new task force be formed to develop the Unified/Mega Best Practices document. Previous chairs of the best practices task forces are possible members.
      • New CAPC task forces
        • There was a discussion about the proper procedure for establishing a new OLAC CAPC task force. Prior to the meeting, Bruce shared a filled-out worksheet for establishing the Video Accessibility Task Force. To establish a new task force, the chair of CAPC just needs to inform the Executive Board of its plans. The Board does not need to vote or formally approve it, so this notification functions as an “FYI.” It was suggested that a statement be added to the worksheet to specify that the creation of new task forces is under the purview of the CAPC chair. Bruce will add it.
        • Historical discussion (2006):
    •  Committee Reports
      • Nancy B. Olson Award (Stacie Traill):
      • A call for nominations was sent out. So far, there have been no responses.
      • Another call for nomination will be distributed within the next couple of weeks. Stacie invited Board members to share it on listservs that she is not subscribed to, and to nominate colleagues. A banner for this announcement can also be created and displayed at the top of the OLAC website.
  • Conference Planning Committee (Stacie Traill)
    • Stacie has been in contact with Kay Johnson, who is investigating possible venues for the next OLAC Conference in Virginia and North Carolina. The Roanoke area (and prior to that, Washington D.C.) have been ruled out as conference sites. Kay recently gave Stacie a list of hotels in the Richmond area yesterday, so we will explore this area next. Annie asked for volunteers fromthe Board to assist with this effort. Autumn and Jeremy volunteered to help.
  • Elections Committee (Marcia):
    • There will be a call for nominations for Treasurer and Vice President/President-elect later this year.
    • One more member is needed for the Elections Committee. This person will join the Past Past-President on this committee. Marcia asked the Board to come up with suggestions about potential members.
  • OLAC Research Grant Committee (Jeremy)
    • The timeline for the grant needs to be updated.
    • An announcement will be published in the December newsletter and a message posted to listservs in January.
    • A committee needs to be put together, but this can wait until proposals for the grant start coming in around March.
  • Website Steering Committee (Matt)
    • There have been 9,000 pages views since January. About 6,000 views were unique (i.e., came from different IP addresses).
    • The number one page hit was the link to the “Publications and Training Materials” section of the OLAC website. The second most popular page hit was the “Online resources for AV Catalogers” section. The third most popular hit was the OLAC Newsletter. The fourth one was the page on “OLAC Conferences.”
    • Work is in progress on web pages for past OLAC conferences. There will eventually be 15 conference pages in total.
    • The “Contact OLAC” page has been revised with a drop-down menu under “Category of your contact” on the web form. Users may select a particular position and a message should automatically go to the appropriate person in that position.
    • It was suggested that Stacie provide a brief message about the next OLAC Conference for the website, such as a statement that the next conference will take place and the month. Having this information on the website can help people plan in advance, even as the plans for the conference are still being worked on.
    • OLAC Archives?There was a question about the process of sending materials to the OLAC Archives.  There is a need for clarification regarding how this is currently taking place and the extent to which more recent documents are getting archived. Liz Miller works with Minnesota State University at Mankato, where the OLAC Archives are housed, but has recently been busy.  It is not clear whether Columbia University is still functioning as a temporary archive, where according to the Handbook, it held 2-3 years of current OLAC documents. It was also mentioned that the current archivist came on board several years ago, and there may have been some changes made to the process since then.
    • Autumn volunteered to contact Liz and follow up with her on progress toward keeping the Archives up to date. She would also be willing to assist her with this work.


  • Old Business
    • Vacant Outreach-Advocacy Coordinator position
      • An announcement has been sent to OLAC-L and the newsletter.
    • New Board position for Conferences and Continuing Education Coordinator?
      • It was suggested that this topic be put on the agenda at the membership meeting at Midwinter as a discussion topic.
      • This person in this position would have a year-to-year appointment and provide some consistency to programming at conferences. Volunteers would be sought for it.
      • The Board has a list of names and contact information of people who could be approached about this new position. It was suggested that we do so, as well as send an open call for volunteers.
      •  It is hoped that by next spring, a venue and dates for the next conference will have been selected.  The new position will be brought on board as planning for the conference begins, so that the person in it can learn and be ready to take over his or her duties for the next conference
      •  A change in Bylaws will be required to create this new Board position. The Board reviewed Article 11 in the Bylaws which states requirements for doing so. This will require a vote from the membership.
      • Stacie will draft a description of this new position.
  • New Business
    • OLAC/MOUG Merger (Bruce/Jeremy)
    • Jeremy had sent a draft survey to the Board prior to the meeting. He would like feedback from the OLAC and MOUG Board members by November 4th. He plans to send the survey out by November 7th. There will be a Google Doc where people can send comments and questions.
    • Update OLAC Handbook (Annie)
    • Annie would like Board members to examine the OLAC Handbook for potential updates to be made in 2017.
    • Matt requested that the most recent version of the Handbook be sent to him in order to be put on the website. Some updates were made to it by Jennifer Eustis, the past Secretary, in 2015, which are not currently reflected on the OLAC website.

Meeting adjourned at 12:13 pm EST.