Note: Below is a transcription of the original typed document submitted by John Trotti and dated 05/16/1980. The scanned .pdf version is also retrievable here for archival purposes.

The RALC in Outline — Take One

In this bold venture to unscrew the inscrutable we will use every available historical resource, excepting fingerpaintings, to explore our roots. We are basically asking who we are, where we came from, what have we done, what are we doing, and where do we go from here. After that, we will tackle the hard questions.

Creation to ± 1972: In the fuzzy past some of us remember when our students were not even welcome in one another’s buildings and when interinstitutional loans were either difficult or impossible. Several of us instituted bilateral treaties. UTS and VUU have such treaties (in oral tradition) going back beyond historical memory. The State Library worked out arrangements with local institutions for students to use their holdings.    Reference Librarians in the area began meetings in the early seventies to work out common policies — any records of those meetings? Various permits for inter-institutional use were circulated. With the influx of two Floridians (McCabe and Robison) and the expansion of VCU and UR, cooperation in the area began to take off.  (This “interpretation” is not factual and subject to rebuttal.)

August 21, 1972:  A cooperative film group, Richmond Area Film Cooperative, began. R-M, UR, UTS, VCU, VUU.

date? Memo November 28, 1972:  Reports on meeting of area librarians re:  Title III projects: considered expanding film cooperative, a catalog of resources and ILL contacts, staff training, an interinstitutional delivery system, a union list of materials for the handicapped, and some centralized computer searching center.

September 13, 1974: A Meeting to Further Interlibrary Cooperation in the Richmond Area at UR. Topic: Automated Circulation Control Systems

October 4, 1974: Memo from McCabe to all Directors of Richmond Area Libraries summarizing the September 13 meeting and calling for a November 7 or 8 one. Meeting held?

December 12, 1975: Directors of Academic Libraries met at UR.  We believe this to be the foundation date of our “club”. R-M, UR, UTS, VCU, VSC, VSL, VUU. Topic:  Shared Acquisitions.    Subcommittees on Science, Social Science, and Humanities were formed and asked to formulate policies and procedures for shared acquisitions; it was agreed that collection development policies should be written and shared; a delivery system was discussed and persons designated to gather facts about it; it was agreed not to include public libraries at this time.

April 8, 1976: A “Conference” was set for reports of subcommittees. Meeting held?

October 8, 1976:  Nameless Group met at UR.  Shared Interinstitutional agreements, discussion of computers and A/V’s, set three regular meetings (October, January, April), and designated the group “Marching and Chowder Society”. Formed A/V Subcommittee (Goldman, Chair).

November 8, 1976: An Interinstitutional Loan Agreement and a paper on the Delivery System was circulated.

January 21, 1977:  Richmond Academic Library Cooperative named!

Discussed refinements of delivery system, called for investigation of VULS as means of serials cooperation, discussed collection holdings lists being circulated, reported on subcommittee work — humanities and social sciences merged and science still separate.     

April 22, 1977:  RALC at VUU.  Subcommittee reports, RSTD guidelines for collection development discussed, Newsletter established (Janet McNeil, editor), reference and ILL group to be called into meeting, Robison retired as Convenor after two years and Jean Bear became Convenor.

July 20, 1977:  RALC at —?   Discussed delivery system and ILL center at State Library.

September 16, 1977:  RALC at State Library.  Discussed VULS, report on summer reference and ILL meeting, agreed to compile and compare taxonomy from State Library (holdings of each member library), decided not to join Capitol Consortium at this time, reaffirmed pattern of three annual meetings and informal basis of group.

February 16, 1978:  RALC at UTS: Discussed shuttle, Newsletter, taxonomy, circulation problems, copyright, periodicals holdings lists distributed, Capitol Consortium, and agreed that RAFC (film cooperative) is separate.

May 3, 1978:  Jean Bear resigned as Convenor and John Trotti was named Convenor.

May 5, 1978:  Meeting announced but cancelled.

October 20, 1978:  RALC at UTS: Discussed expanding RALC (no action), collection development and circulation committees reported, Serials Subcommittee founded (Luebke, Chair).

December 15, 1978:  RALC met with Capitol Consortium at VCU. Minutes of that meeting?

April 27, 1979:  RALC at UTS:  Established Documents Subcommittee (Tim Byrne, Chair), discussed ILL, Serials report, RAFC news, Newsletter, Trotti reconfirmed for another year as Convenor…set two year pattern for Convenor.

October 5, 1979:  RALC at UR.  Reports of subcommittees, RAFC, Capitol Consortium. Established Collection Development subcommittee (Janet McNeil, Chair), discussed the possibility of a state storage facility and agreed to lobby for it.

February 8, 1980:  RALC at VCU.  Added UR Law Library to membership.  Reports from Capitol Consortium, and from Circulation, Collection Development, and Serials subcommittees.

Now:  We operate on an informal basis.  No official charter nor even membership roster has been established, however the institutions on the mailing list have been constant: R-M, UR, UTS, VCU, VSL, VSC, VUU, and now UR Law. (TCW?). The only written agreements are the Interinstitutional Interlibrary Loan agreement and the Delivery System paper. No contractual or financial arrangements have been made. The institutional members have been represented not only by Directors, but by whomsoever the institutions have designated. No rulings have been made about who is entitled to vote — in fact, we have operated by consensus.

Future:  It’s up to you.

John Trotti