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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Summer 2004

ACRL Strategic Plan Implementation: Science and Technology Section

Jill Newby
Science and Technology Section Chair, 2003-04

The STS Organization and Planning Committee has carefully reviewed the STS strategic plan at each ALA midwinter and annual meetings, revising the section plan to reflect both current issues in Sci-Tech libraries and librarianship and to better support the ACRL plan. The Organization and Planning Committee chair participated in the ACRL strategic planning session at ALA Annual, and apprised the committee of those discussions and the need to keep the section plan in synch with the division's goals. Given the close alliance between the two plans, all of the STS committee activities that support the section plan directly support the division plan as well.

Goal 1: Society recognizes the contributions that academic and research libraries and librarians make in higher education, scholarly communication, and civic development.


  1. The STS 2004 Conference Program supports ACRL goals 1.2 and 1.4 by highlighting successful collaborations between librarians and teaching faculty that are advancing the cause of information literacy and its importance in higher education.
  2. The work of the STS Task Force on Information Literacy supports goals 1.4-1.5 in its efforts to redefine information literacy in the context of science and engineering information, teaching and learning. The Task Force members have developed a web site delineating standards for science and technology information literacy.
  3. The STS e-journal, Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship (ISTL), serves as a vehicle to transfer information about the contributions that libraries and librarians make in higher education and scholarly communication.
  4. The Publications Committee's coordination of the section's publishing activities supports active communication, not only to section members, but also to the wider academic and research librarian community.
  5. The Science and Technology Section promotes, coordinates and presents the Oberly Award in Agricultural or Natural Sciences. The award is given in odd-numbered years for the best English-language bibliography in the field of agriculture or a related science.
  6. The STS Membership and Recruitment Committee supports goal 1.3 in a variety of ways.
    • The Membership Committee developed a new STS brochure that provides information on the history of STS, the opportunities for involvement, and the benefits of STS membership.
    • STS new members are sent a welcome letter that delineates the advantages and benefits of sci-tech and academic librarianship.

Goal 2: Academic librarians advocate for public policy, legislation, and institutional change that enhance the values and contribution they make to learning, teaching, and research.


  1. In regard to Goal 2.3 and 2.4, the initiatives discussed at the STS 2004 Annual Conference Program will show how successfully librarians can advocate for increased participation in curricula and classroom teaching, and can demonstrate to faculty how important these contributions can be in turning out well-rounded, information-literate graduates.
  2. The Government Information Committee of the Science and Technology section monitors public policy issues relevant to the STS section, especially in terms of federal legislative proposals and executive policy decisions, updating the section membership through the section newsletter and listserv.

Goal 3: ACRL is an inclusive organization serving academic librarians and other information professionals in related professions.


  1. The STS sponsored STS Listserv provides a global forum for science and technology librarians to share ideas, research and sci-tech librarianship news.
  2. Liaisons with ASEE/ELD and SLA are on-going commitments that help keep members of the associations aware of activities of their counterparts.
  3. For over five years, the STS Membership & Recruitment Committee has organized/implemented a New Members' Orientation/Reception at each Annual Conference. This event is open to all ALA attendees, whether they belong to STS or not, and strives to not only provide a welcoming environment to new or potential members, but also allows the opportunity for newcomers to meet/network with fellow newcomers, the Committee, and other STS members.
  4. The STS Membership & Recruitment Committee has an 'official' liaison to NMRT. This liaison promotes academic/sci-tech librarianship and STS at the NMRT meeting and reception. In return, the Membership & Recruitment Committee forwards information on NMRT to STS.
  5. Non-STS attendees of STS-Conference programs are contacted by the Membership & Recruitment Committee, and thanked for attending the program/event. Each of these non-STS attendees are given information about STS (advantages/benefits of membership; history of the section) and given information on joining STS.

Goal 4: Academic and research librarians are continually engaged in learning for their professional development and growth.


  1. The editorial board of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship (ISTL) works with potential authors as articles are prepared. New authors are consistently welcomed.
  2. The Research Committee solicits, reviews and selects poster sessions to accompany the Annual Conference Program's theme of collaborating with faculty for information literacy.
  3. STS membership attendance at the STS Annual Conference Program demonstrates the strong interest among librarians in staying current with new ideas and initiatives.
  4. The STS Government Information Committee has developed a "Top 100" Science/Technology Government Information web site for STS and non-STS members.
  5. The STS Publisher & Vendor Discussion Group serves as a channel for exchanging information between science and technology publishers and vendors and science and technology librarians.
  6. The STS Continuing Education Committee's mentorship program provides a mentorship program to match experienced science librarians with those individuals who are new to the position of science librarianship.
  7. Each of the Section's five discussion groups allows members to play an active role in programming and to participate with leadership roles in discussions intended to assist members with current awareness and differing perspectives concerning issues of common interest to sci-tech librarians.

Goal 5: ACRL is a national and international interactive leader in creating, expanding, and transferring the body of knowledge of academic librarianship.


  1. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship (ISTL) is a recognized library journal, and its purpose is to serve "as a vehicle for sci-tech librarians to share details of successful programs, materials for the delivery of information services, background information and opinions on topics of current interest, to publish research and bibliographies on issues in science and technology libraries."
  2. The STS Research Committee provides a venue for peer review and presentation of 'works in progress' at the ALA Annual Conference.

Goal 6: ACRL is an effective and a dynamic organization that continually enhances its capacity to create its future and assess and improve its performance in carrying out its mission.


  1. The STS Continuing Education Committee's 2003 survey of STS member's programming interests was shared with STS committee and discussion group chairs. The committee collects this kind of information every other year.
  2. The Program Committee regularly use evaluation forms to assess the quality and interests of program/discussion group attendees. The STS Assessment Committee is creating a template for the assessment of programs. The Committee is also exploring whether or not discussion group programs need to be assessed.
  3. The STS Membership Committee contacts STS 'dropped' members. These dropped members are surveyed to determine why they left STS, and asked if they have any feedback/input on STS and its value to their professional development as academic librarians.
  4. The STS Assessment Committee is examining benchmarks/standards for science/technology libraries. The Committee is exploring accreditation standards with a focus on science/technology libraries.
  5. The STS Assessment Committee is creating a template for outgoing chairs of committees and discussion groups. This will provide information on goals attained by the group, or what has been done; on goals to be attained by the group, or what needs to be done; and on the membership of the group.
  6. The STS Council reviews the STS organizational structure regularly. The STS Assessment Committee is able to work with the STS Organization & Planning Committee to focus on these "organizational audits."
  7. The Organization and Planning Committee also reviewed and made revisions to the STS Manual online, in keeping with the ACRL goal to "enhance its capacity to create its future". The Manual provides guidance to STS officers, committee and discussion group chairs and other leaders in the section, helping them to be more effective in their roles for ACRL.

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