The regular meeting of the Richmond Academic Library Consortium (RALC) Board was called to order at 3:00 pm on February 1, 2022 by RALC president Suzanne Sherry. The meeting took place virtually via Zoom. Present at the meeting were:
- Nancy Falciani-White (Randolph-Macon College)
- Tessa Perry (Virginia State University)
- Suzanne Sherry (John Tyler Community College)
- Kevin Butterfield (University of Richmond)
- Pamela Foreman (Virginia Union University)
- Sandra Treadway (Library of Virginia)
- Irene Herold (Virginia Commonwealth University)
- Hong Wu (J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College)
- Tim Hurley (Richard Bland College)
- Michael Rawles (Virginia Commonwealth University)
- Pattie Sobczak (Virginia Commonwealth University)
- Will Weaver (J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College)
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved as distributed after it was determined that a quorum was present.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the October 18, 2021, meeting were approved with one change, correcting the location of the new reflection space planned for VCU’s Cabell Library.
Treasurer Michael Rawles reported that RALC’s accounts were in excellent shape. Dues were still outstanding for two member organizations, and he would be following up with them soon. The only projected expenditures at present were the funding of scholarships for the coming year and our web hosting fee. If there are no other activities that require funds, he anticipated that RALC will close the fiscal year with a balance of about $23,000.
Committee chair Will Weaver reported that the committee had not met since the board’s last meeting but he was hoping to get the committee together in the next few weeks. He stated that he would update the scholarship page on the RALC website and post the call for applications there. He also invited the board to share with the committee anything they would like the committee to address.
Professional Development and Networking Committee: Committee chair Pattie Sobczak reported that the committee had met and was working on a professional development opportunity focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. The committee would like to propose hosting a virtual panel discussion with perhaps three panelists and a moderator. The program would be titled Beyond Black History Month: Perspectives on DEIA in Richmond.. The committee’s proposal was then discussed by the board as an item under New Business.
Board members were enthusiastic about the Professional Development committee’s proposed program. Pattie provided information about several prospective panel participants the committee had identified but asked the board for suggestions of additional panelists as well as assistance in selecting a moderator and developing questions to ask the panelists.
After robust discussion, the board recommended that the two participants who had already indicated a willingness to serve on the panel (the Reverend Ben Campbell and Rebekah Pierce) be formally invited, and that Richmond author BK Fulton and historian and director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Christy Coleman, also be approached. Sandy Treadway volunteered to extend the invitation to Mr.Fulton and Ms. Coleman, since she has worked with them before. The board recommended that the program take place in the latter half of March on a day that would work for the panelists, and suggested that a RALC board member open and introduce the panel but that a faculty member at one of the RALC institutions serve as moderator. Pam Foreman offered to contact the history faculty at Virginia Union University to secure a moderator. Finally, the board agreed to provide an honorarium of $250 to each member of the panel.
Pattie thanked the board for their support, and stated she would report back once the committee had finalized the program details.
Suzanne stated that she would send the announcement of the RALC scholarship opportunity to the RALC list and encouraged the board to bring it to the attention of potential scholarship applicants within their organizations.
- John Tyler Community College: College: The college is in the process of transitioning its name and brand identity to Brightpoint Community College. The name change will be fully effective on July 1, 2022, and is intended to suggest a new era in the college’s history.
- J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College: The college is currently recruiting for a new vice president of academic affairs.
- Virginia Union University: The university is currently engaged in a campus-wide strategic planning effort, and every unit will have a new plan tied to the university one. The university is using the Sig Sigma process to develop its plan. Also, last December the university received reaffirmation of its full accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Richard Bland College: The college recently lost its IT Department. All technology services are now provided by an outside contractor.
- Virginia State University: Library staff are doing excellent work but there are not enough staff members to handle the load and the library is experiencing a serious bandwidth issue. Despite this, the library is engaged in a successful partnership with Charles City Connty in observance of Black History Month.
- Library of Virginia: The Library is involved in the transition from one gubernatorial administration to another. The transfer of Governor Northam’s electronic records to the state archives was a huge but successful undertaking, and the Library is currently meeting with members of Governor Youngkin’s administration to assist in setting up records management protocols for their offices. The Library is also busy responding to requests from members of the General Assembly and monitoring legislation that may affect the library community.
- Virginia Commonwealth University: VCU Libraries is hosting a hybrid program featuring historian Annette Gordon Reed on February 10. Members of RALC are welcome to attend the program. VCU is still exploring joining the AP Trust and will keep RALC apprised. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has expressed interest in joining as a subaccount to VCU’s membership. VCU Libraries has created a new landing page for its Jackson Ward digital resources. The library has recently posted a number of position openings and is engaged in planning several large projects and improvements to various spaces within Cabell Library. Finally, VCU will be the host site for ARL’s Leadership and Career Development institute for mid-career librarians from groups who are underrepresented in the library profession and will also host the October conference of the Mid-Atlantic Medical Library Association.
- Randolph–Macon College: The library is trying to hold steady during challenging times and through some reorganization prompted by the pandemic. During winter break, the library saw heavy usage by faculty, which was encouraging. Library director Nancy Falciani-White’s book Creativity: A Toolkit for Academic Librarians has been published, and she will be making a presentation to VIVA about her findings.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 pm.
Minutes submitted by: Sandra G. Treadway, Secretary