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Science and Technology Section (STS): About Our Committees

Whether you are a chair, committee member, or prospective member, this is your go-to resource for information about STS committees

How to use this guide

Much of the work of STS is carried on by committees. Except for the Executive Committee, which has been described previously and whose members are elected by the section membership, all committee members and chairs are appointed by the vice-chair/chair-elect of the section and serve for either one, two, or three year terms. All committee chairs serve on the STS Council, a forum for reporting committee activities, sharing ideas and developing policies for the section.

To serve on any committee within the Association of College and Research Libraries, you must be a member of the Association. It is American Library Association policy that no member of ALA may serve simultaneously on more than three committees, including division and section committees, unless membership is ex-officio. It is also ALA policy that committee members are to attend the meetings of the committee at both the Midwinter and Annual conferences of the Association. Neither ALA nor ACRL provides funds for committee members to attend these meetings.

All committee meetings, except meetings of the Nominating Committee, Research Committee, and some meetings of the Oberly Award, are open to all members of ALA.

Several committees are discussed in-depth in this manual due to the nature of their responsibilities and need to meet many ACRL deadlines in order to accomplish their work. The STS Organizational Chart provides the charge, composition and membership requirements and/or terms.

A Year in the Life

What is your name?

Sam Putnam      

What institution or company do you work for?  

New York University

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.      

We provide a blog-based forum (https://insidescienceresources.wordpress.com) for the exchange of information relating to science and technology librarianship.  

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?      

I appreciated having a less formal avenue to share my writing. As a faculty librarian, I feel a lot of pressure to be a perfect writer with perfect style and impressive bibliographies. But the blog really provides an opportunity to hone a different style and tone. And the posts are appreciated! Hundreds of unique visitors read the blog every month. That's more than I can say for some of my articles.

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?             

Last year, we changed the charge of the committee to broaden its scope. Our goal was to allow more posts related to equity, diversity, and inclusion into the blog as opposed to just information resources in the sciences. Right now, we are working on soliciting posts from the STS community to let them know anyone can submit a post.

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?      

I think the most fun part is always reading all the posts. As co-chair, we review every post before it goes up and I always learn something new. It really is a great resource for STEMM librarians.

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee.  How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?      

We ask committee members to attend 2-3 meetings a year and write at least one blog post. But committee members can expand their involvement if they wish to participate in special projects. In the past, special projects have included creating an Instagram account for the blog and syncing all social media accounts in a HootSuite account. In the future, we are hoping to improve the blog's search engine optimization (SEO) so that is more discoverable to researchers.

          

What is your name?

Janet Hughes      

What institution or company do you work for?  

Penn State

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.      

Recruiting and supporting liaisons to STEM related associations (both library and non-library associations)  

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?      

Greater appreciation of the work done in other organizations, such as ASEE ELD (Engineering Libraries Division, American Society of Engineering Education), AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), and USAIN (United States Agricultural Information Network)

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?             

We don't have special projects, but instead hold yearly online webinars to allow liaisons to inform STS about the activities of their respective liaison associations. We have ongoing attempts to recruit new liaisons.

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?      

Hosting the forum is always challenging and informative.

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee.  How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?      

There are times of no work, and then times of intense work as we gear up for the forum. However, throughout the year we are all attempting to recruit new liaisons.

          

                                                               

What is your name?      

Aaron Bowen   

What institution or company do you work for?  

Wichita State University

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.      

Providing science-focused information literacy resources to the broader STS community.   

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?     

Organizational and managerial skills -- assigning people to different tasks, keeping track of their activities, maintaining a schedule of meetings, and giving everyone the space and incentive they need to try developing their own ideas.           

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?           

Either this week or next week, releasing a brand new, revamped STS-IL guide.       

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?      

Co-chair it while working on the LibGuide redesign :)

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee.  How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?                                

I'd say about 4 hours per month.                                               

What is your name?      

Mike Goates     

What institution or company do you work for?  

Brigham Young University

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.        

The Hot Topics Committee plans and hosts the two yearly hot topics discussions.

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?      

 The Hot Topics Committee plans and hosts the two yearly hot topics discussions. The STS Hot Topics Committee has facilitated many meaningful discussions on a wide array of topics relevant to STEM librarianship. I always gain new insights and perspectives from these discussions that inform my professional practice. I also have greatly appreciated working with and learning from some amazing colleagues on this committee.

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?             

We are currently planning the winter hot topics discussion on the role of libraries in science communication. This session will be held online sometime in February. More details to come soon!

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?      

I started as a committee member in 2018 and will finish up my 2nd year as co-chair at the end of June. I have really enjoyed the planning process for each of these discussion sessions. We have tried to be creative with the online format for these most recent sessions and it has been fun to try new things to facilitate meaningful discussion in a virtual environment. Some of these ideas have worked better than others, but I have really had fun working with the other committee members to try new things. I also have appreciated gaining new insights from the various session speakers as well as from audience member comments.  

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee.  How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?                                       

The workload for this committee is very manageable. We typically meet via Zoom as an entire committee in early fall and then assign committee members to help plan one of the two yearly sessions. However, all committee members might have assignments to help out on the day of both sessions (e.g., monitor discussion chat, moderate breakout rooms etc.). Each subcommittee probably meets virtually three or four times to plan the discussion session. We also handle much of the planning logistics via email. Most of the work happens in the two to three months prior to the discussion session, but things are pretty quite for the rest of the year. As co-chair, during the busy planning stage (November-February and again April -June), I probably spend and hour or two a week on committee-related tasks. There is much less to do during the rest of the year. As a committee member, this time commitment is even less and would typically be confined to one of the two session planning periods.                                         

What is your name?      

Jodi Coalter (With Nicole Helregel)         

What institution or company do you work for?  

University of Maryland (Purchase College - SUNY)           

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.        

We plan one major program for each ALA Annual Conference to represent STS (but the program isn't always strictly tied to the Conference dates).

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?      

In general, we've gained event planning skills from organization, marketing and promotion, and assessment. Accessibility concerns have also been a major skill that we've honed recently. This is also a great committee to practice collaborating with colleagues across the country.           

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?             

Our current annual event will start with a panel discussion that will then break up into discussion groups. It's a different format than we've utilized in the past, so it will be a new opportunity.        

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?      

Looking at the STS Survey data that explored our member's interests in terms of topic and discussion prompts was really fascinating. We were able to see what is most important to our colleagues and what trends are currently "hot" right now.          

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee.  How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?                                                       

We spend about 2-3 hours a month during the Fall semester that slowly increases toward the spring before the actual event, so it's a very manageable workload. We typically meet once a month, and there's a few tasks to complete in between the meetings. There are tasks related to the event that are time specific commitments, but there are several that are asynchronous and can be done during a time that is more convenient.                        

What is your name?      

Elizabeth Sterner           

What institution or company do you work for?  

Governors State University        

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.        

To provide a forum for discussion of issues of concern to college science librarians. 

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?      

It's great to know that I can help organize discussion groups. Our most recent discussion group included the following topics: DEI, flexible instruction/flexible teachers, and new STEM librarians and students interested in science librarianship.

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?             

We hold one virtual discussion group each semester.

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?      

I work with amazing colleagues!!!

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee. How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?                           

The commitment is approximately 1-2 hours per month.                                                     

What is your name?      

Megan Toups

What institution or company do you work for?  

Saint Louis University    

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.        

We maintain, coordinate, and work on activities related to publishing and STS including the STS libguides, STS listserv, and liaising with ISTL and the STS-Signal.

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?      

I have learned more about ACRL committee work, including beyond the Publications committee.              

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?             

The biggest project we are working on at the moment is creating an STS Wordpress site that will gather together information from various sources regarding STS.

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?      

One of the most interesting things was the migration of the STS listserv to ALA Connect. While I was only involved as a member and not making the migration myself, it was very interesting to watch the issues unfold and solutions created to manage this transition. The members who were spearheading this did a great job making it as smooth as possible.

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee.  How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?                                                                           

It varies widely depending on your role on the committee and the projects that are currently being worked on. There are lots of projects that are available to work on so depending on how much you want to be involved there is a lot of flexibility. This committee is great for people wanting to actively engage in communication and technology issues related to STS. Typically we meet once a semester, but can have additional meetings if needed. Workload depends on the project. For some people it might be nothing more than attending the meetings, for others it can be a much larger time commitment. The great thing is that you get to choose!  And the deeper you can engage the more rewarding it can be!    

What is your name?      

Kirstin Duffin    

What institution or company do you work for?  

Eastern Illinois University

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.      

This committee runs three main projects throughout the year via subcommittees: (1) disseminating a survey to the STS librarian community to learn the continuing education desires of science and technology librarians OR developing programming for a pertinent continuing education event, (2) collocating science and technology professional development opportunities via a LibGuide, and (3) running a mentoring program for science and technology librarians.             

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?      

Through the conversations we have and work we do on this committee, I’ve learned a great deal more about the continuing education opportunities available to science and technology librarians—from conferences, virtual trainings, mentoring, and beyond—there are many! This is my first time serving on an STS committee, and I’ve appreciated the opportunity to connect with fellow science and technology librarians to learn more about how others approach their work and the interesting projects they are engaged in at their institutions.               

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?            

The mentoring program was revised in 2020 and now is cruising along smoothly this year. We’ve paired a number of science and technology librarians with mentors in our field. Based on feedback from past participants, we are organizing a mentor–mentee virtual meetup so everyone who is currently in the program can meet, share knowledge, and otherwise partake in conviviality.           

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?    

Reviewing the 2021 STS Member Survey results and considering what type of virtual programming to offer based on this feedback has helped me get a sense of the issues that we science and technology librarians, as a whole, want to learn more about. Look for programming opportunities from the STS Professional Development Committee and other STS Committees in the spring and summer of 2022 to whet your appetite!            

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee. How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?         

The committee as a whole meets once every six weeks and each subcommittee meets every six weeks outside of that. As co-chair, I sit on two subcommittees. The total time I spend across all of these is about 3-4 hours a month. Committee members generally select one or two subcommittees to join, since that’s where our work gets done, and may spend closer to 2-3 hours a month on this work.                                                                       

What is your name?      

 Cathy Lantz      

What institution or company do you work for?  

University of Illinois Chicago      

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.     

We support current members and work to recruit new members.   

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?      

I've learned a lot about hosting successful webinars, preparing documents to share with the science library community and how STS organizes and accomplishes its work.

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?         

We are hosting a webinar in February to make STS more visible and transparent to those not familiar with its committees and structure.    

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?      

It was interesting reaching out to my counterparts in ACRL to find membership tallies long obscured. Librarians are so helpful!

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee.  How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?      

We typically meet 3-4 times a year to set goals and manage projects. Depending on your capacity you might put in 1-6 hours a month.                                                                         

What is your name?      

Roxanne Bogucka

What institution or company do you work for?  

University of Texas at Austin

Please give us a one sentence summary of what the main work of your committee entails.        

Maintain current awareness of the EDI environment, establish formal and informal relationships with EDI working groups external to the Section, and assist other STS committees and discussion groups with best practices to implement STS' EDI values.        

What skills or knowledge have you gained from serving on this STS committee?      

There are a lot of folks working on EDI initiatives. There are plenty of opportunities for collaborations!

What special projects or events is your committee currently working on?          

One avenue that the EDI committee is pursuing is investigating methods for discoverability of BIPOC researchers, reviewers, and editors.   

What was the most fun or interesting thing you've done as part of this committee?      

The committee began as a Task Force, which launched a survey of STS membership. Learning our members' EDI priorities survey results and then timelining them out was very rewarding.

Describe the typical workload of your STS committee. How many hours do you spend on committee work each week/month/year?   

Probably 2 hours/month on committee member work, with an additional 2 hours if you're a co-chair.