The regular meeting of the Richmond Academic Library Consortium (RALC) Board was called to order at 10:03 am on April 14, 2021 by RALC president Facilitator Name. The meeting took place virtually via Zoom.
- Christopher Richardson (Union Presbyterian Seminary)
- Suzanne Sherry (John Tyler Community College)
- Kevin Butterfield (University of Richmond)
- Pamela Foreman (Virginia Union University)
- Sandra G. Treadway (Library of Virginia)
- Nancy Falciani-White (Randolph Macon College)
- Carly Baskerville (Richard Bland College)
- Michael Rawles (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 15, 2020, meeting were approved with no changes.
Treasurer Michael Rawles reported that RALC’s fund balance currently stands at $18,349, after all revenues and expenditures were accounted for. He anticipates one additional membership dues payment and programmatic expenses for the proposed Boot Camp of $4,000 should the Professional Development and Networking Committee be able to move forward with its plans, yielding a projected year-end balance of $14,849. Rawles then reviewed what he expected would be the expenses likely to be incurred in the coming year, which would guide the decision about where to set membership dues for 2021-2022. The group decided to defer discussion of next year’s dues until after reviewing the scholarship applications that had been received, as scholarship spending would have a bearing on the budget.
Professional Development and Networking Committee:
Committee chair Pattie Sobczak was unable to attend the meeting so there was no committee report.
Committee chair Will Weaver reported that new website was working well so far and that updating information and posting to the site was very easy. He encouraged members to post job announcements, information about meetings of interest to RALC members, and other similar information that would draw people to view the site on a regular basis.
Nancy informed the board that the RALC advertisement and sponsorship of the 2020 The Innovative Library Classroom (TILC) conference was rolled over to the 2021 meeting since last’s year’s event was cancelled. RALC would be listed as a sponsor this year for no additional cost.
The board discussed the applications and credentials of the four individuals who applied for a RALC scholarship to pursue studies toward earning a degree in library and information science. After reviewing each candidate’s application and credentials, the board voted to approve a $1,000 scholarship award for all four candidates (Grace Hale, VCU; Lauren Hall, JTCC; Caroline Meyers, VCU; and Jen Thomas, (UR).
With this decision, the board revisited the discussion concerning dues for 2021-2022. The board approved Treasurer Rawles’s suggestion that the dues be kept at $500. Rawles announced that he would be sending invoices out next week.
President Falciani-White reminded the board that her term as president expired at this meeting and that vice president/president-elect Suzanne Sherry will be stepping up to the presidency at the conclusion of the meeting. The board would need to elect a new vice president for 2021-2023 and president-elect for 2023-2025. Pamela Foreman graciously agreed to be nominated and was duly elected RALC vice president/president-elect.
- Library of Virginia: The Library is currently open four days a week by appointment only but planning has begun to extend hours early in the new fiscal year, if all goes well. Virtual programming and phone and email research and reference assistance is continuing. Many staff are reporting to work in the building but those not directly involved in public service are teleworking at least 2-3 days a week.
- Union Theological Seminary: Classes at Union will likely be in person in the fall. Research in the library building has been by appointment only, and it is not yet clear if that will continue after the summer. Electronic books and the access issues they present under licensing agreements are a concern.
- John Tyler Community College: The library at John Tyler is currently in a holding pattern, with the library open to the college community four days a week and study rooms remaining closed. Library staff were able to maintain robust online services and resources, which students greatly appreciated.
- Virginia Union University: The library is still open just to library staff and the VUU community, with most students working remotely and not on campus. The university has received approval to add ten new degree programs, and the library has been working hard to obtain collections and electronic resources to support these.
- Virginia Commonwealth University: The search for a new dean of libraries at VCU is underway, and an announcement is expected in the near future. The library remains open to members of the VCU community only and capacity limits are still in place. There are concerns about potential budget reductions in the future as enrollment in the university is down, but nothing has been determined.
- J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College: The situation at Reynolds is similar to that of John Tyler. The library is open four days a week to students and faculty only and is relying heavily on serving students online. There has been a recent retirement at the Goochland location and that position will be filled.
- Randolph-Macon College: Randolph Macon library has experienced a noticeable reduction in student usage and there is some concern about whether and when the students will be comfortable returning. The college has been experiencing reduced enrollments, and library funding is a concern as the emphasis has been on controlling costs. The library has been focusing on a highly flexible technology model to meet student needs, and at the present is not purchasing print materials.
(Kevin Butterfield and Carly Baskerville had to leave the meeting, so there are no reports from the University of Richmond and Richard Bland College.)
The meeting was adjourned at 11:22 am.
Minutes submitted by: Sandra G. Treadway, Secretary