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AASL Strategic Planning Wrap-up

16 Apr 2019 9:18 AM | Cathryn Copper (Administrator)

Presented at the Pittsburgh Conference by Rebecca Price and Chris Sala and via email to the listserv on April 10, 2019.

There were two big issues that came up in our Strategic Planning work that need to be addressed. 

1) Our name -- Association of Architecture School Librarians.  Many feel that the inclusion of the word "school" is exclusionary and off-putting to those who might be part of our group, but who don't have particular responsibility for or allegiance to an architecture school (e.g., archivists, curators, librarians in broader roles, etc.).  As we move forward, we want to be inclusive, welcoming all who have any architectural (i.e., built environment) connections.  At our meeting we discussed potential name changes, some of which resulted in an acronym change as well.  Our plan is to get your feedback and ideas before making any decisions. Rose and I will work together to send out a feedback form to the list in the next few days. We'll give it an early summer deadline and then the board will gather the feedback and take appropriate next steps. That may take the form of a vote -- it'll depend on what they hear and learn from you. 

*Provide suggestions for a -- Association of Architecture School Librarians -- name change*

2) Our relationship with ACSA, particularly as it affects our conference schedule and location.  I want to start by emphasizing that this is not about breaking ties with ACSA (we all value our connections to ACSA); it’s about redefining our relationship and potentially adding some control.  No matter what we decide about sharing our conferences with ACSA, we will continue all other efforts to interact with them and support our faculty through them (e.g., ACSA Column).

Increasingly, it seems, we have scheduling conflicts with ACSA and ARLIS/NA, VRA, and ACRL conferences or ACSA meets in a location where we have no member librarian, which complicates our planning. 

There are pros and cons to meeting together.

  1. Potential sharing of programming with faculty
  2. Serendipitous encounters with faculty
  3. Sponsorship by vendors who attend ACSA and the ability to meet the vendors (I don't think we'd take a huge hit on funding as most of our sponsors are specific to AASL.)
  1. Lack of control (location, time, hotel venue are all chosen by ACSA)
  2. Expenses (Room and AV services can run $800-1000/day and catering is dictated by the hotel and therefore relatively expensive)

Based on our discussion at the Strategic Planning session in Seattle and our subsequent work, the idea of occasionally meeting separate from ACSA has been raised.  Here's an idea that we'd like to share and get feedback on.  Perhaps as often as every other year, but not necessarily that often, we would meet at one of our member institutions.  We might do this when we notice that ACSA is meeting in a location where we have no member librarian or in a location where we have just been for another conference or at a time that conflicts with other professional obligations. 

There are pros and cons to this model as well.

  1. Control over choice of place and time
  2. Lower conference costs
  3. Opportunity to highlight our libraries
  4. Chance to increase awareness of our member libraries and make deeper connections with our colleagues
  1. Requires host institution/librarian to step up and handle local arrangements (meeting room, social event spaces, catering) – the rest of the conference planning (programming and tours) would still be done by the Conference Planning Committee
  2. Requires us to be nimble and respond quickly to ACSA planning

*Provide feedback on proposed independent member driven conference (location and schedule).*

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