Thank you for the opportunity to write and to report about the Library Colloquium. I think that by having to communicate with members of the faculty, we emphasize our purpose as a committee and make known who our speakers for the present semester are.
First of all, let me point out its members: Ellen Swain, Librarian in the University Archives. Winnie Chan Librarian at the Grainger Engineering, Nuala Bennet, Interim Coordinator of the Digital Imaging Initiative at the Grainger Library, Sue Searing Library Head of the Library & Information Science Library and Martha Zárate, Librarian at the Modern Languages & Linguistics Library. I have been chairing the colloquium for the past two years, but I've been involved in this committee for the last four years. Our goal every semester is to organize talks that address significant problems to the library profession and to the University in general. We want to offer our constituencies an enriched and enlightening program. Overall, we usually invite two or three speakers a year.
For the Spring this year, we have two speakers on schedule, the first one, Dr. Loriene Roy from the University of Texas at Austin who will be presenting on virtual libraries for Native American communities on Thursday April 18. Also, we will have Dr. Sally McCallum, Chief, Networked Development and MARC Standards Office. Her specialty is the subject of bibliographic control related to networked resources. She will visit us on Thursday, May 2nd.
Now, I would like to look a little bit retrospectively and see how the Colloquium has developed throughout the years. In order to do this, I sort of "interviewed" Jo Kibbee, Head of the Reference Library who was the person who gave an idea on how the colloquia began. I asked her to give me an approximate time when the Colloquium started. Jo mentioned that it has existed for less than a decade, perhaps for the last six years. She mentioned Paula Watson, Director of Electronic Services, organized the first colloquium. In terms of who have been the previous chairs, we remembered Paula Watson, and Jo Kibbee. Other noted chairs of this committee were Mark Jakobson, and Beth Stafford who are no longer at the UIUC library.
Among special members from previous years came to our memory the name of Marcia Joncich. Another important member of this group was Phyllis Danner, Head of the Sosa Archives who unfortunately passed away recently. I remember Phyl very well, I remember her as a person who was fond of the Colloquium, and who lasted the longest among all of us who have been in this group. I remember Phyl, specially one day when we gather to do the mailing of flyers to publicize the event that was coming in May of the 2000 (I think ). That day, when we thought we were ready to place the flyers inside the envelopes to mail them out, we realized that the master-copy needed to be reprinted. We met that day around 9:30 in the morning at the Sousa Archives. Winnie Chan, Phyllis and I were struggling with the printer, with the format, and we were short of good quality paper. Phyl generously used some eye catching colored paper that she had in the Archives and wanted to contribute with that. We finally managed to have the flyers perfect, and we sent them out that morning. Phyl was always a cooperative member of the group. I want to acknowledge Phyllis Danner for her true heart and sincere colleague she was. In her memory, I would like to devote a minute of silence (Please, stand, count 1 min.). We want to remember Phil with sympathy and to recognize her work as a valuable member for her ideas and initiatives, particularly. The minute is over, thank you.
Top Quality Speakers
I asked Jo Kibbee to talk about some of the highlights of the colloquia, she immediately mentioned the name of the Professor Emeritus of the Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Charles Bunge who came with the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Reference Department in March 1998. He presented us with his lecture on: "Is There a Reference Librarian in the Virtual Library?"
For full screening of the participants of the Colloquium, please visit our website
http://www.library.uiuc.edu/colloquium . In
this instance, we need to acknowledge the work of Winnie Chan for improving and updating the
website every time we have a new guest. To mention a selected list of names of top-quality
speakers (past and present), I find the name of the interesting writer Nicholas Basbanes who
visited our campus in April 1998. He spoke on bibliofilia. On the subject of alternative literature
for libraries, the same year and during the Spring of 1998, James Danky delivered his important
view on "Alternative Literature for Libraries". We also hosted, Sanford Berman, celebrated
for his creation of cataloging subject headings for fiction writing. On the subject of
preservation of library collections, Richard Jones & Sonja Jordan examined preservation in the
Spring Colloquium of 1999. On women's movement, Sarah Pritchard who visited us in March 1999.
More recently, we had Anne Marie Casey who spoke on Distance Library Services, Salvador Güereña on
diversity initiatives, Adán Griego did a presentation on identity, ethnicity and sexuality.
Among the list of impressive speakers we need to mention the names of: Paula Kaufman, Guiseppe
Vitiello, Jean-Claude Kuperminic and Carol Palmer.
Details of the Colloquia
The Colloquia usually takes place at the Grainger Engineering Library, in the Commons, Room 230. We also try to reserve this room very well in advance and to maintain the same day of the week. It is important to keep the same kind of schedule, as much as possible because in that way the audience begins remembering when the Colloquia takes place, which is generally is on Thursdays between 1:30-3:00 PM.
We receive suggestions from other groups or organizations around campus. Recently, we have co-sponsored speakers that the Morteson Center and the ALA Chapter of the GSLIS Student Chapter and the GSLIS-LEEP Program have invited themselves. They usually want to share a particular topic of interest to the library faculty or the university communities. We also accept suggestions of names from any member of faculty or student. The chair usually is in charge of making travel arrangements, including the lodging and to make the reservations in restaurants for the meals. I also contact the Office of Operation Maintenance to record the talks. Winnie Chan has collaborated in digitizing on the web the talks in audio-format. There are back up copies of these audio in cassettes at the circulation desk of the Library and Information Science Library. The cassettes are available for borrowing to library patrons. The Library Colloquium pays a modest stipend of $300.oo to our guests. For these reasons, we have a budget to cover these expenses. The budget is prepared and presented by the Chair to the Library Administration's Office during the Fall Semesters.
The chair also writes a letter of invitation to the speaker and send a letter thanking the speaker after the talked was delivered. The letter of invitation contains the speaker's signature granting copyright permission to digitize the talks. We make efforts to find the best accommodations for our guests. Usually we book up the rooms at the Illini Union. The Chair or any volunteer member of the group prepares an agenda for the speaker, a sort of guidance that makes the schedule to go smoothly. The agenda usually includes faculty or members outside the library's community. Members within the Colloquium are assigned to receive, welcome, greet and to provide rides to our guests from the Airport back and forth during the speaker's visit. We take the opportunity to engage a variety of people who have a common interest at the campus level in a particular topic or idea while enjoying their meals.
I want to take the opportunity to invite all of you to suggest speakers at any time and to participate of the colloquia as a great opportunity to engage you in new points of views, concerns and to discover ideas ideas that are challenging, creative in our profession. Please, take this report as an invitation to participate in the discussions and raise questions during the question-answer period. Also, get involved in the Colloquia that we do not schedule too many meetings. We meet to introduce new members, or occasionally when we need to discuss a matter of importance regarding the location, or selecting our speakers. Thank you very much for listening.
Martha Zárate, Colloquium Chair, March 19, 2002