During 1995/96 the Information Alliance held two membership meetings, sponsored two institutes, and received public attention through an article published in C&RL News. University of Kentucky hosted a membership meeting on November 6, 1996 at Cumberland Falls State Park, KY. Counterparts reported on a variety of completed and ongoing activities. Group discussion on What Will Our Jobs Be in the Next Five Years resulted in sharing of librarians' visions about information services and campus environments. A brainstorming session on future Information Alliance projects resulted in development of a list of Ideas for Action, 95/96. A more detailed summary of the meeting can be seen on the Alliance Web pages.
The Spring meeting of the Alliance was held on April 19, 1996 at Cumberland Lodge in Williamsburg, KY. A highlight of this program was discussion of the Information Alliance Constitution, which was approved by library directors Paul Willis and Paula Kaufman later in the spring. The Constitution described the formation of an Executive Committee of six librarians, three from each of the Alliance member libraries to plan and facilitate Alliance activities. In addition to counterpart reports, there were demonstrations of two electronic projects. Gayle Baker described her creation of an interface for Current Contents in collaboration with the UTK campus research offices. Rob Aken discussed UK's progress in designing and using Web-based forms. Discussion of topics for the Fall program concluded the meeting.
On June 13-14, the first of two Information Alliance institutes occurred. The Collaborative Collection Management Workshop [hot link] was held at Carnahan House, Lexington, Kentucky and attended by thirty-two librarians, twenty from UK, ten from UTK and two from Eastern Kentucky University. ARL's George Soete facilitated the program, which organized the participants into five groups, two each in social sciences and humanities and one in science in technology. Librarians developed various collaborative scenarios and explored some sample methodology for collaborative collection management. Outcomes of the Institute included continuation of some projects and ideas for others, including:
On September 5-6 the Alliance sponsored a Leadership Institute, Leadership in the Post-Hierarchical Library, held at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, KY for forty library staff, 20 from each library. Partial funding for the Institute came from a Council on Library Resources grant that supported two consultants, Shelley Phipps from the University of Arizona and Richard Sweeney, author of a Library Trends article that inspired the title of the institute. The program addressed visions for future leadership that contains less emphasis on complex, hierarchical administration, in favor of self-directed, empowered work groups. Since both libraries are moving toward team-based organizational structures, and there is a need to adapt to changing environments of our educational institutions, several exercises focused on changing one's mindset about library leadership. A significant part of the second day of the Institute was devoted to discussion of steps that would be taken in each of the libraries. Both groups identified as top priority the reexamination of library mission statements and sharing the Institute experience with colleagues at home.
An appropriate conclusion to this productive year of collaboration, C&RL News published in May, 1996 the following news item: The Kentucky-Tennessee Information Alliance: A New Breed of Partnership (v. 57, n.5, pp. 284-5) by Gail Kennedy and Linda Phillips.
Submitted by Linda L. Phillips, University of Tennessee, Knoxville