A new Information Alliance Executive Committee began its term of leadership this year. Defined as an integral part of Alliance governance by the Constitution approved in 1996, the Executive Committee facilitates planning activities, communicates with Library Directors and librarians working on Alliance projects, develops meeting agendas, makes local arrangements for meetings, reports on Alliance activities, and promotes the involvement of the staff of both institutions about specific projects. The group of six held an organizational meeting with the library directors in Knoxville, followed by a planning session at Cumberland Lodge, KY in August. Conference calls and e-mail throughout the year enabled regular communications among Executive Committee members. Gayle Baker and Miko Pattie served as group facilitators. To involve as many colleagues from the local libraries as possible, both groups held faculty or faculty/staff discussions in September regarding 1996/97 Alliance priorities.
The Alliance sponsored two membership programs this year, both held at Cumberland Lodge in Williamsburg, KY. Located between the two libraries the conference facility is in a convenient location and combines a comfortable meeting space with an efficient and palatable lunch buffet. UK hosted the Fall meeting on November 4, 1996 and UTK sponsored the Spring meeting May 12, 1997. Both programs focused on the integration of electronic resources into the traditional print- based library collections. In addition to the membership meetings, representatives from UK, UTK, and Vanderbilt met to discuss their mutual interests in SiteSearch, the OCLC software that enables access to online catalogs and other electronic resources through a Web interface.
Some forty-six librarians participated in the Fall meeting. The program included some elements that have become traditions at Alliance gatherings: reports from the library directors, counterpart updates, and lunch with counterparts. Significant time was also spent discussion "the new collection." After an introductory session on changes in the ways librarians are defining the collection, representatives from the two libraries reported on several local examples. The entire group became involved through five-minute Vignettes of the Future, 2006, which were followed by breakout discussions in six groups. After short reports from group discussions, the wrap up session identified several potential action items for consideration by the Executive Committee. A meeting summary and list of action items are available on the Information Alliance Web pages.
The Spring meeting continued exploration of integrating electronic resources into the collection. Several of the 1996/97 Action Items propose collaboration in testing new systems. Because both UK and UTK have decided to purchase the SiteSearch software, the Spring program featured an OCLC representative who described possible applications of SiteSearch. Six group discussion leaders gave introductions to service dimensions that encompassed collections; systems; training, links among the PAC, Web Pages, and Internet resources; applications, such as electronic reserves and digitizing projects; and document delivery/ILL. Discussions that followed enabled in-depth thinking about local SiteSearch design, and resulted in numerous ideas for further collaboration among counterparts.
The Executive Committee will offer one Institute this year, tentatively to be held in October on copyright. Kenny Crews, a nationally-recognized copyright attorney and law librarian, has agreed to facilitate the Institute. Advance copyright discussions held locally will precede the Institute, so that the program can begin at an intermediate level.
Submitted by Linda L. Phillips, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.