MALA Meeting 3/30/04 Minutes

Location: Ponce de Leon Branch, Atlanta Fulton Public Library

6:30pm

 The meeting featured three speakers: Dr. Ismail Abdullahi, Dr. Stephen Koplan, and Charles Beard.

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 Dr. Ismail Abdullahi, professor with the Clark Atlanta University (CAU) School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), provided an update on the potential closing of the Clark Atlanta University SLIS.  Dr. Stephen Koplan, professor with Georgia Perimeter College - Dunwoody, reported on efforts by Georgia Perimeter – Dunwoody Campus, to set up a degree/certificate program (LIST) for library paraprofessionals.  The main program was presented by Charles Beard, Head Librarian, State University of West Georgia on the subject Continuing Education Requirements and The Georgia State Board for the Certification of Librarians.

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Dr. Abdullahi summarized issues behind the decision to close the Clark Atlanta University (CAU) School of Library and Information Studies in 2005 is as follows:

Dr. Walter Broadnax became President of CAU in 2002 after Dr. Thomas W. Cole, Jr. retired. For the past years, CAU was experiencing financial difficulties. After his arrival, Dr. Broadnax hired the Stillwater Consultant Group to analyze the university’s financial problems and develop a strategy of financial recovery. The Stillwater recommended cost reduction strategies for financial recovery of CAU. Following the still water report, the university setup an implementation committee that did not include SLIS faculty. The implementation committee recommended the closure of five academic programs that includes SLIS. This recommendation of the closing of SLIS was presented to the University Academic Council on August 18, 2003 and the council rejected the recommendation by fifteen members voting no, one in favor and one abstention .

Despite the rejection of the recommendation to close SLIS by the University Academic Council, President Broadnax presented the recommendation of the implementation Committee to the Board of Trustees on October 17, 2003 as a package to phase out the five programs. Recently, SLIS faculty and Alumni has challenged the financial data presented by the implementation Committee to the Board of Trustees did not include the state grant/contract of 475,000 for 2003.

Valdosta State University offered alternative cooperative solutions including absorbing some expenses and adding CAU tenured faculty to their SLIS program. However, CAU administration refused the offers and would not meet with representatives from Valdosta State University (VSU). One concern of CAU involves loss of the state monies. The CAU SLIS people developed a report giving the complete figures and it was sent to the Trustees with an appeal to reconsider the decision.  It is expected that the appeal will be considered when the CAU board of trustees next meets to consider the SLIS.  [NOTE: This board of trustees meeting has since been postponed until mid-July]. 

 CAU SLIS needs much support from the librarian and academic communities: MALA, GLA, SLA, etc. If the Trustees don't approve the appeal, CAU SLIS will be phased out of existence. If that should occur, Valdosta will need support to convince legislators to transfer funds and additional support to the VSU SLIS.

 Efforts to support CAU SLIS would include a meeting co‑sponsored by groups such as library management, alums, MALA, and GLA to meet at CAU to plan and provide feedback to the Trustees. Further ways to show support for CAU SLIS in its upcoming appeal including a physical show of support for a professional library education presence in Atlanta.  We will get a list of the Board members to communicate our concern to them as soon as possible, and then look to hold a meeting. (Note: This letter was sent on 4/22/04.  See http://www.matllib.org/lettercautrustees.htm .)

 

 MOTION:  Tim Wojcik moved and Steven Vincent seconded: MALA supports the continuation of ALA approved library science education in the metro Atlanta area.

The motion carried.

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 Dr. Stephen M. Koplan, Curriculum Director of the proposed Library & Science
Technology (LIST)program for Georgia Perimeter College, gave a brief overview of its content and expectations along with a status report of its approval by the Board of Regents.  The LIST program will be a two-year course of study for library paraprofessionals (support staff) that will consist of two tracks: A degree track leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree (which requires participants to take courses in the general college curriculum in addition to specialized library-specific courses) and a certificate track. The latter
is designed for those already working in libraries who have the equivalent of an associate's degree or higher; participants would only need to take library-specific courses.  An internship is required of both tracks.
Similar programs are in place throughout the country (45 in all) with the majority located in California.  Because of Georgia's large size, distance-learning coursework is expected to be implemented at some point.  Pending Board of Regents' approval, the first classes should begin in the spring of 2005.

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Charles Beard from West Georgia State University was the featured speaker for the main program on the topic of: Continuing Education Requirements and The Georgia State Board for the Certification of Librarians.   He has been serving on the State Board since 1991.  

[NOTE: The following 2 paragraphs are from the Board website:  http://www.sos.state.ga.us/plb/librarians/  

The Board was set up for the purpose of ensuring that librarians who work for any public library serving a population of 5,000 or more and every library operated by the state or its authority shall have certain minimum education qualifications. In order to carry out this charge, the Board has the authority to adopt rules which establish standards for licensure. The act also provides for public funds to be withheld from any library which fails to comply with the registration requirements of this act. There are approximately 961 current licensees.

The Board is comprised of six members, five of whom are appointed by the Governor, and serve for terms of five years. Of the appointed members, three are certified librarians, one is a trustee of a public library, and one is a member from the public at large. The sixth member is the director of public library services of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The Board meets four times per year.

 The Librarian Certification levels (from http://www.sos.state.ga.us/plb/librarians/licensure.htm  ) are:

grade 2-undergrad plus 12 semester hrs. in a planned program of Library science

grade 5b - masters from ALA accredited library schools;

grade 5d - foreign credentials equivalent to an ALA accredited program; A service is hired to evaluate foreign degrees

grade 6 - 6yr degree in Library Science

grade 7  -  Doctorate in Library Science

 This State of Georgia re-certification program meets the concern of training library workers for the future with the continuing education requirement for re-certification. Librarians must report having completed 10 hours of acceptable continuing education during the previous 2 years as a condition for license renewal.  This training may be offered by professional associations, a course or program at a college or school, government agency training programs, or employer staff training if verified by management. 

 Entities which can be used for training include: professional associations,  educational institutions, bibliographic utilities (e.g. SOLINET), or board- approved programs.   Any programs or courses should relate to library issues.

 Re-certification by the State of Georgia is $100, renewable every two years.  The Re-certification notice is sent in April and renewal paperwork and payment from the librarian are due back to the Board by June 30th.

 The librarian must maintain records for 4 years to keep track of the training in case of an audit.

 The GLA website has the links, copy of form for C.E. credit, and details on the certification at: http://www.library.gsu.edu/gla/certification.htm .

The statement of “Continuing Education Requirements” may also be viewed at: http://www.sos.state.ga.us/plb/librarians/cont_ed.pdf  

 

Mr. Beard emphasized that continuing education credits were available from a variety of sources.  It is imperative that the librarian make the distinction between attending a passive program, which does not earn continuing education credit, and a program of instruction which does qualify for credit.  Charles assured MALA that, as long as it provided instruction, its programming could qualify for state of Georgia re-accreditation credit.

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 Other Business:

 An interim MALA website has been set up and is being actively updated for some months now.  Since the website is on a personal webpage (Tim Wojcik’s Bellsouth.net page), work will begin to obtain an independent website address. Tim Wojcik will price the cost of hosting the permanent MALA website.

Removal of the very old GeoCities MALA website is being pursued.

 

(Note: As of 5/30/04, the new MALA website is http://www.matllib.org , served by iPowerWeb.)

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 Treasurer's Report

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 Reminder that the next MALA meeting will be instructional and will qualify for State of Georgia librarian re-certification credit hours.

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 The refreshments were marvelous.

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Adjourned at 8:45 pm.