From the President

Newsletter Issue: 
Vol 37 no. 4 December 2017

Jeremy Myntti

OLAC recently held another wonderful conference in October 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. A big thank you to everyone who made this conference possible. The Conference  Planning Committee, led by Kay Johnson from Radford University, spent so much of their time and  energy over the past year planning this conference. It was great to see so many OLAC members in  Richmond. There were around 130 attendees at the conference, with about half of them being first-time attendees!
One of the highlights of this conference was the many tributes given to OLAC's founder, Nancy Olson. Nancy has had many health challenges lately and is currently in hospice care. During the  OLAC Membership Meeting at the conference, we were pleased to have a few OLAC members share their  memories and thoughts of Nancy which touched everyone present. Thank you to everyone who attended 
the conference that signed the cards for Nancy and her family. These cards along with a photo of  all conference attendees have been sent to Nancy to show her our appreciation for all that she has  done to make OLAC what it is today.
In the closing session of the conference, I quoted our very own Jay Weitz in his chapter titled  “Judgment and Imagination: Carrying Cataloging through Times of Change” which was part of the book  Conversations with Catalogers in the 21st Century. In this chapter, Jay said:
Catalogers have long been used to two constants. First, the world we are trying to describe keeps  shifting under our feet. Second, our standards have never been able to keep up with the shifting.  Both of those points seem especially apt when we're talking about such resources as remotely  accessed documents and Web sites that themselves can change without warning.
When done conscientiously, cataloging has always been more art than science. We catalog real- world  resources that may or may not conform to the theories that our rules try to codify. ... The world  of stuff to catalog is so vast, so slippery, so surprising, that individual judgment will always  enter into our decisions ... Catalogers are not the mindless drudges that many non-catalogers  imagine, but instead are thoughtful judges concerning matters of description and access. It is that  judgment leavened with imagination that has carried catalogers through these decades of change. That same judgment and imagination will continue to stand them in good stead through  the era of ... RDA, any post-MARC data structure, and whatever future marvels the world sends them  to catalog.1
I agree with Jay that cataloging is an art that needs special skills, judgment, and imagination to 
continue moving forward with never ending changes. Conferences like the one we held in October 2017 
are so important to be able to come together as a community and learn from each other.
If you are interested in becoming more involved in OLAC, there are several opportunities coming up  in the near future.
  • OLAC Membership Meeting at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting -- February 9, 2018, 3:00-4:00.  Denver, Colorado in the Sheraton Denver Downtown, Terrace.
  • CAPC Meeting at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting -- February 9, 2018, 7:30-9:30. Denver,  Colorado in the Crowne Plaza, Red Cloud.
  • Election season is coming up. Nominate yourself or a colleague for the offices of OLAC Vice  President/President-Elect or OLAC Secretary
  • Nominate a colleague for the 2018 Nancy B. Olson Award
  • CAPC is seeking applications for member and intern positions
  • Volunteer for the Website Steering Committee
  • Apply for the OLAC Research Grant for a research project related to AV cataloging
  • Volunteer to help with the next OLAC Conference
I appreciate all of the work that so many people have been putting into OLAC initiatives. Working  with all of our members and working so closely with the Executive Board is an honor, and I thank  everyone for all of the effort that you put into our organization!