Richmond Academic Library Consortium (RALC) Board

Meeting Minutes

October 25, 2022


The regular meeting of the Organization/Committee Name was called to order at 2:01 pm on 10/25/22 date by RALC president Suzanne Sherry.  The meeting took place virtually via Zoom. Present at the meeting were:

  • Christopher Richardson (Union Theological Seminary)
  • Christopher Welch (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Irene Herold (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Kevin Butterfield (University of Richmond)
  • Loftan Hooker (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Lynn Riggs (Reynolds Community College)
  • Michael Rawls (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Nancy Falciani-White (Randolph-Macon College)
  • Pamela Foreman (Virginia Union University)
  • Suzanne Sherry (Brightpoint Community College)
  • Tessa Perry (Virginia State University)
  • Tim Hurley (Richard Bland College)

Approval of Agenda

Approved, quorum established.

Approval of Minutes

Approved with minor corrections.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Michael Rawls shared the report; balance is healthy. Some institutions have not paid their dues; he will reach out to them individually. Scholarship payments are still pending.

Committee Reports

Professional Development and Networking Committee:  Loftan Hooker announced that a new program is in the early planning stages.

Outreach Committee: The committee has not met since our last meeting.

New Business

Review of language in scholarship award letter: The letter currently states that,The award is made on a semester basis, $500 at the end of each semester, unless you alert us that another schedule is desirable.” A scholarship recipient requested the award be paid at the beginning of the semester, which RALC was unable to do. During the meeting, other contradictory language was found in the scholarship policies. Student eligibility, grades, and the award schedule need revisiting. A work group consisting of Christopher Richardson, Nancy Falciani-White and Suzanne Sherry, will review and rework the scholarship policies for approval at the winter meeting.

Recruiting for committees: Professional Development and Networking Committees are both actively seeking new/additional members. Please encourage interested colleagues to reach out to the committee chairs.


VCU: VCU Libraries will be hosting the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Leadership and Career Development Program Institute in October. Thank you to all of the local directors who agreed to serve on a panel for the participants! VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, The Final Revival of Apal and Nev by Dawnie Walton, has been chosen. The library is hosting a Q&A with the novelist on November 10. Library is recruiting for multiple positions.

VSU: The library is beginning a transition to ExLibris’s Alma, with a go-live date of summer 2023. VSU is also hosting a virtual symposium on the History of Hip Hop, in collaboration with Virginia Union.

Richard Bland College: Library renovations are ongoing; library’s collection on the 2nd floor is temporarily displaced.

UR: Renovations are underway in Boatright Library, including adding book arts space, Makerspace and new café. A search has started for a new university provost. The library is recruiting for 6 positions.

Virginia Union: Students are back! Library is once again busy. Unfortunately, there is also a firing freeze.

Randolph Macon: Library has been involved in a college-wide resource re-allocation. A recent search was unsuccessful, so the library has done some restructuring to accommodate this vacancy. The interior of the library has been refreshed with paint and carpet, which has been well-received by students and library staff.

Reynolds: The library has had some recent vacancies, but the existing team is keeping everything going. The library will be involved in activities related to Achieving the Dream.

Brightpoint: The college has successfully transitioned to our new name, which was a multi-year effort. The library has multiple vacancies and is actively recruiting.

Union Presbyterian Seminary: The Seminary’s QEP deals with information fluency and its reference librarian (Robin McCall) is teaching two 30-student sections of a new online course, “Introduction to Theological Research.” These and other factors have resulted in a 130% increase in electronic resource usage compared to the same period last year, also 90% higher alumni use and 160% higher community member use.  The number of scheduled and unscheduled reference interviews has also increased substantially.  A greater number and variety of online, hybrid, and concurrent (cross-campus) courses is challenging the library to rethink the way it provides course reserves to students in Richmond, Charlotte (Extension Campus), and online.  The Library is also investing in eBook subscriptions both to meet immediate needs of distance learners and to study resource usage patterns across a greater variety of disciplines, as theological research is much more interdisciplinary than it has been in the past. The Director of the Seminary’s Charlotte Campus library (part of the overall Seminary library) plans to retire next summer, which will create at least one opening for a new librarian, either in Richmond or Charlotte, depending on how things work out.