By Michael Arthur
In just a few short days, I will be making a much anticipated trip to Las Vegas for ALA Annual 2014. This will be my first visit to Las Vegas, and I’ve packed as much into the three-day visit as I possibly could. But this article isn’t meant to be about my plans as a tourist. Instead, I’d like to share the discussion topics and initiatives that will occupy the bulk of my time while in Vegas. It will definitely be a busy three days filled to the brim with meetings and events, but I’ll make sure to leave a little time to walk around and see some of Vegas while I am there!
So what exactly will I be doing in Vegas? Well, I’m Head of Acquisitions and Collection Development at the University of Central Florida and currently active with ALA serving on two ALCTS committees. On Friday I kick things off by meeting with EBL to discuss the recent trend by publishers to increase the charge for short term loans. At UCF we’ve maintained our large print approval plan and still have a fairly large firm order operation. We use DDA as a way to supplement our existing monograph selection and the low STL rates made that option attractive to us. We are certainly concerned about the number of publishers that have raised the rates and the size of those increases.
I’m also looking forward to a meeting I have scheduled with YBP on Friday. We will be discussing several topics related to our growing partnership. We use YBP for our print approval and firm orders as well as eBook selection, including the DDA program through EBL. This makes GOBI a one stop shop for our selectors and helps us manage title selection for print and electronic monographs all based on parameters set in the approval plan profile. I look forward to capping off Friday by joining other members of the Sage Publications Library Advisory Board for dinner and discussion. I always enjoy Library Advisory Board events because it gives everyone an opportunity to talk about various issues and learn from one another.
Just like it will be for many of you , my Saturday and Sunday are filled with presentations and meetings. I’m happy to serve on the Policy and Planning Committee for the Acquisitions Section in ALCTS. I will also attend the meeting of the ALCTS Budget and Finance Committee. Though my appointment does not officially begin until the end of the conference I am going to join the meeting to get a head start and learn about what this group does. I’m also looking forward to leading a discussion group at the combined meeting of ALCTS and ACRL on Saturday morning. The topic is issues facing new technical services librarians. I look forward to learning from those librarians who will join in on this discussion.
ALA is not just about meetings. I value greatly the opportunity to network and catch up with colleagues from around the country. I enjoy the time spent after hours with librarians, publishers, and vendors. My colleagues from the private sector are always full of new ideas because they have the vantage point of seeing how problems are addressed at the many libraries they visit. I will join several lunches, dinners, and events with Alexander Street Press, Ambassador Books & Media, Sage Publications, EBSCO, and Gale. And as a member of the Gale Library Advisory Board I am especially looking forward to my final gathering of ALA, a breakfast and get-together with other board members who are able to join us at ALA. This is a new board, and we’ve only met one time. Previously, we had a two day meeting at the home office of Gale, and I found the event very rewarding.
ALA is the busiest conference I attend all year, and it often feels like I have every hour of the day filled. Still, it’s an exciting time that provides a great opportunity for networking and learning about many new initiatives. I encourage librarians to be actively involved in the profession and to find ways to give back to the community however they can. One very important way to do that is through active ALA service.
Now on to Vegas!
Michael Arthur is Head of Acquisitions & Collection Services at the University of Central Florida. Michael received his Master of Library Science in 1999, from Indiana University. Michael is active in ALA and NASIG. Michael is pleased to be a member of the Library Advisory Boards for Springer, Sage Publications, and Gale.