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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

Charge

To promote and coordinate the work of the STS Liaisons to different professional groups with which STS has established formal and informal relationships and to provide information sharing within the Section that may lead to collaboration and exchange.  Liaisons will be chosen by the two committee co-chairs and a third member who is not currently acting as an STS liaison.

Membership

This committee usually has 8-10 members. See current committee roster. 

Responsibilities

Each liaison is expected to serve for a two-year term, attend the assigned organization’s annual conference, and prepare an informal report on what was discussed. This report can be in a standard Word or PDF document, or can be presented via an online or in-person poster session to the STS Liaisons Committee.

 

Note:

Examples of past documents referenced below (letters to liaisons, calls for liaisons, etc.) are in the ALA Connect site documents library for the STS Liaisons Committee. They are also in a Google Drive folder that is passed on between Co-Chairs. Also in the ALA Connect site documents library is an FAQ on the STS Liaisons Committee - this FAQ is open to all ALA members to view.

 

Hosting Committee Meetings - Annual Activity - January, June and usually a couple other times in the year

The Chair or Co-Chairs schedule and publicize information about online committee meetings for committee work. At least 2 are held: one in January (Mid Winter) and one in June (Annual), but usually 2 or more additional meetings are also held.

These meetings are all held online through the use of one of the Chair / Co-Chair / member's institutional online meeting applications (such as Zoom, WebEx, etc.)

 

Recruiting Liaisons - Annual Activity - January-June

Liaison positions are usually 2-year terms. Every spring, the STS Liaisons Committee recruits new liaisons for those positions that will expire on July 1 of the year. To do so:

(Note: there are a couple special liaison roles: AAAS, IFLA, and March for Science that are ACRL or ALA level liaisons. STS Liaisons committee often helps with these. See the FAQ for some information on these.)

  • January / February, One or more committee members:  (a) reviews the current list of liaisons and their terms and (b) contacts liaisons whose terms are concluding. 
    • If this was that liaison's first time serving in a liaison term, they can renew 1 time if they would like to - so we ask them about that.
    • If this was that liaison's second term as in the liaison role, then we let them know the term limit has been reached, send them a thank you letter for their service, and ask if they have any suggestions towards recruiting a new liaison for that association. (Occasionally, there may be times where no new liaison can be found - in that case, if the recruiting period passes and we can't identify a new liaison, we may reach back out to the previous liaison and ask if they would like to have another term.)
  • March to May (though preferably by May at the latest) Once the list of new liaison roles to fill is confirmed, the Chair / Co-Chairs or another committee member prepares a call to recruit new liaisons for those positions that will reopen on July 1 of the year. 
    • This call for applications (with a deadline to apply) is sent out through the full STS email listserv, and is sometimes also shared via the STS Signal Newsletter, through handouts at ALA Midwinter and ACRL Conference, and/or via personal communications and other listservs (University Libraries, College Libraries, or library subgroups of open liaison association listservs). It seems the most effective way (where we get most responses) is through the STS listserv.
  • April - June: Review of applications is conducted by a 3-person sub-committee consisting of the Chair (or one of the Co-Chairs if there are Co-Chairs) and 2 members of the STS Liaisons Committee. This Subcommittee reviews applications and if there is more than one for a given position, they decide (via consensus) on the successful applicant.
    • They notify the successful applicants for each liaison role and confirm the person wishes to take the role. 
      • If so, they send a welcome letter that includes information about the role and about other resources for Liaisons such as the travel grant, etc.
    • They then notify any who were not chosen for liaison roles, thank them for their interest, and encourage them to reapply next time the role opens.
    • They send an announcement to the STS list of the new liaisons.
    • They send the list of confirmed liaisons and their organizations to the what was previously the ACRL Liaisons Coordinating Committee and what is now the ACRL External Liaisons Committee. *This committee needs these names so that liaisons who wish to apply for grants to attend their association conferences (for non-library association liaisons) will be known as liaisons by the External Liaisons Committee who administers these grants.
    • They provide the updated names and institutional affiliations of new liaisons to the STS Liaisons Committee web master who communicates with the appropriate ACRL web person to have the STS Liaisons list updated.

 

Maintaining STS Liaisons Committee web pages and ALA Connect materials - Annual Activity - all year as needed

  • The STS Liaisons Committee appoints a web master each year (unless the person continues) who maintains current information on the committee site by working with contacts with ACRL who manage the web pages. This includes any updates needed for:
    • The STS Liaisons list
    • Adding Reports to the STS Liaisons Reports Archive, etc. 
  • The Co-Chairs or other committee members also work to maintain the STS Liaisons Committee ALA Connect site with updated documents for reference by future committee members, updates to the committee FAQ, etc.

 

Connecting with STS Liaisons and Maintaining the STS Liaisons Reports Archive - Annual Activity - Quarterly

  • One or more STS Liaisons Committee members should be appointed each year to keep regular (quarterly) contact with STS Liaisons. This can take the form of quarterly email updates checking in on how liaisons are doing and seeing if they have questions.
  • In June and July continuing and new Liaisons should be notified of the August Deadline for Liaison Travel Grants and how to apply
  • In each quarterly email, a reminder about liaison annual reports and how to submit them (send to committee member working with liaisons, committee chair/co-chairs, and to the committee web master)
  • This committee member/s should also keep an eye on the liaison reports list and contact liaisons individually about reports if it's been more than a year since one was received.

 

Spring Online Liaisons Forum - Annual Activity - Sept-June

Organizing the online forum is another important activity of the Committee. It involves inviting liaisons to speak at the Forum, selecting a topic or theme that will be of interest to the STS community, and coordinating with ALA.

  • Sept-Oct: One or more committee members agree to plan and facilitate the online forum for the year. They brainstorm topics for the forum that can be suggested to presenters as topics of focus, but presenters can always also just provide a summary of their association and highlights on that association's activities / initiatives that will be of interest to librarians
  • Oct-Dec: The forum planner/s sends a call out to current STS Liaisons (sometimes to other liaisons in ACRL as well) and/or reaches out to STS Liaisons who have not presented before or whose associations have not been described in a recent forum and sets a slate of presenters (usually 3-5 presenters with 5-10 minutes presentation time each
  • Jan-Apr: The forum planners prepare publicity and arrange a time and date with presenters. They also arrange a method for online presentation of the forum along with recording. This has been done with ALA in the past and includes a speaker recording permission form. If in the future this is done using a committee member's institutional online meeting platform, speaker recording permission forms should still be included in the process in order to post the recording on ALA Connect. Elois Sharpe of ALA was the previous contact for arranging web meetings and recording permissions.
  • Apr-May: The forum planners send out a notice to the STS list and other relevant lists publicizing the online forum
  • May-June: The planners host a practice session with presenters and facilitate the forum and record it
  • June-July: The planners post the recording and slides in the STS Liaisons Committee ALA Connect site and send out a link to these to the STS list and others as applicable.

 

ACRL Annual Plan for Excellence Report - due in late June / early July:

 

May-July: Each year the Chair/Co-Chair of the committee puts together a report of activities (brief) related to the ACRL Plan for Excellence, ideally shares it ahead of time with the full committee for feedback, and then submits it to ACRL via a Google Form that is sent to the Chair/Co-Chairs.

 

Future Responsibility: Social Media Workflow:

Some Committee members have been interested in creating a social media workflow, such as featuring a monthly tweet / post of some type from STS liaisons, or some other type of ongoing brief reporting. This is still under discussion by the committee, but is a potential role for one or more committee members in the future.