As president, I have the pleasure of reporting at this membership
meeting some of the Society's accomplishments since our last
conference. At last year's meeting, I posed the question, "Is
ARLIS/NA at the forefront of addressing issues affecting art
librarianship and the visual resources profession?" I can proudly
report to you many achievements in our operations and services which
have helped to strengthen our position in the information world. Some
of the highlights follow.
Society Administration. We created a process to evaluate headquarters to ensure that member services are of the qualify we expect; confirmed bylaws changes to establish our first international chapter, ARLIS/Northwest; and commenced the review and revision of policies, position descriptions, and other internal documents.
Finances. We established or refined budget lines to accommodate the Society's needs; underwent audits and reviews to confirm financial figures; explored options in investing the Society's reserve funds; created a standing Finance Committee to advise on and monitor financial transactions; and investigated ways to coordinate and augment fundraising.
Publications. Through the work of the Publications Committee, we reviewed, and in many cases revised, many aspects of our communications program, including mission statements, submission guidelines, design issues, financial management, advertising, and coordination processes with headquarters and editors. We created a Web Site. We appointed Linda Zieper as Update editor as replacement for Judy Dyki, Deirdre Stam as Webmaster, and Judy Dyki as guest editor of Art Documentation. We produced two periodicals, three Occasional Papers, the Handbook, brochures, and conference publications; and developed better fiduciary management of publications.
Standards. We created two standards documents, "Staffing Standards for Art Libraries and Visual Resources Collections" and "Criteria for the Hiring and Retention of Visual Resources Professionals," and through the Cataloging Advisory Committee and the AAT Committee influenced national and international bodies in the setting of bibliographic standards through the
External Relationships and Advocacy. We established a Public Policy Committee to educate and provide advocacy in legislative affairs; created a special liaison to ALA's Art Section; created a North American Relations Committee to strengthen cooperation with other library and arts organizations; endorsed affiliation with the Association of Architecture School Librarians; and, with other US/IFLA affiliates, endorsed hosting of the 67th IFLA conference in Boston in 2001.
Awards Program. We created an Awards Committee to administer the Distinguished Service Award; selected the first winner of the Society's Publications Award and secured future funding for that award; initiated the use of a poster to promote the travel awards; approved a new logo for the Wittenborn Award.
Conference Matters. First the time, we organized a conference with the full assistance of our management firm. Also, we appointed Bill Lang and Iris Snyder to join Carol Graney as chairs of the 1998 annual conference, Philadelphia; approved Vancouver as the site of the 1999 annual conference; created or revised guidelines on conference site selection and program proposals; and proposed the creation of a Conference Planning Task Force to address issues of management, programming, budgeting.
Membership Recruitment and Development. We created a Canadian Representation Task Force to recommend how best to represent Canada in ARLIS/NA; created a Chapter Membership Task Force to recommend how best to recruit new ARLIS/NA members at the chapter level; approved a Technology Education Committee to facilitate learning new information technologies in the Society; proposed a Visual Resources Task Force to explore visual resources membership and program concerns within ARLIS/NA.
Planning. We created a comprehensive Strategic Plan, covering the years 1996-99, through a process begun in 1994 which has involved every facet of our organization.
In summary, we've had a very productive year. One thing we have not done well is adequately thank all those who keep ARLIS/NA functioning. It is a challenging task. Counting the board, committee chairs and members, group leaders, appointments, and chapter officers, ARLIS/NA has nearly 250 leadership positions!
Is ARLIS/NA at the forefront? There is a more important question: "Is ARLIS/NA 'relevant' to the needs of its members?" I think we have done much to make our organization relevant both in the work site and in the larger information community. With the energy of hundreds of volunteers and our Strategic Planning initiatives, we have the resources to make even greater advancements in the year ahead.
Edward H. Teague, University of Florida