EC Meeting,May 2005, Lexington, KY USA

IAALD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

RADDISSON HOTEL, LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY,USA 

14 MAY 2005

 

MINUTES

9 a.m.12 noon Meeting of outgoing committee only

Present: Pamela Q. J. Andre (Acting President) (Chair), Debra Currie (Editor), Elizabeth

Goldberg, Qiaoqiao Zhang, Margot Bellamy (Secretary/Treasurer)

 

Apologies: John Beecher, Michal Demes, Jodee Kawasaki, Nick Maliha, Peter Walton.

 

1. Welcome and Opening Remarks

Pam Andre, Acting President, welcomed all those present and noted the apologies from other members.

2. Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved, with the addition, under the appropriate sections, of:

  • Participation in the USAIN business meeting
  • Proposal from Japan to host the 2010 congress
  • Listserv report
  • Website report
  • Issues arising from the strategy meeting

It was felt that some of these items might be better left to the joint meeting, or for the new EC to follow up.

 

3. Minutes of EC meeting held in Rome in June 2004

The minutes were tabled, approved and signed.

 

4. Matters arising (not on agenda)

Item 7 Editor’s report: It was agreed that various action points relating to the Editor’s report, including the relationship between USAIN and IAALD, frequency of publication, electronic publishing and establishment of an editorial committee and or board, would be deferred to the new EC. It was noted that there had been no action on contacting/visiting library schools. However, it was agreed that a strategy for targeting students in such schools in the USA and elsewhere, and possible establishment of a student membership category such as that in USAIN, should be explored.

This linked with the findings of the membership survey, that the average member was midcareer, and that more young people were needed.

Item 8 (a) World Directory: There had been no further action: PA recapped on the issues, and it was agreed that any future action on the WD was a matter for the new EC.

Item 8 (c) Listserv: It was noted that there had been no action on setting up discussion groups. However, in her report Barbara Hutchinson gave the geographical breakdown of the 116 non-US members. It was felt that regional reporters should be appointed, for which names were needed. It was agreed that this matter be passed over to the incoming EC.

Item 8 (d) website: The various issues connected with the website, including the setting up of a website committee, had been raised at the Strategy meeting in December 2004, and were on the agenda for the new EC.

Item 9 Conferences: questions were raised regarding future partnerships, corporate membership, ex-officio participation of national and regional associations on the EC, and how best to formalise such relationships (e.g. JAALD, USAIN, AIBDA). PA indicated that she was planning to mention these in her report to the General Assembly (GA) on May 18.

 

5. Acting President’s Report

PA reported that IAALD continues to progress, and that the actions taken in the last two years to revitalize the organization, expand membership, and plan for the future are making a positive impact. It is clear that IAALD fulfills an important role in the international agricultural information community and the Executive Committee continues to work to provide enhanced benefits for all IAALD members. She outlined her main activities since the last EC meeting in May 2004.

Management and Coordination

(i) Provided guidance and support for a number of administrative activities.

(ii) Worked with the IAALD Anniversary Committee to develop the programme for the anniversary celebration, the luncheon programme to introduce IAALD and the slide show of IAALD’s history.

(iii) Worked with the Nominations Committee on the nominations and scrutineering processes. Briefed Maria Pisa on her role at the General Assembly.

(iv) Coordinated and chaired the strategic planning meeting in December 2004 which included members from both the current and incoming Executive Committees.

(v) Worked with Toni Greider and others on various aspects of the XI World Congress.

(vi) Identified organizations to be invited to partner with IAALD as non-voting members of the Executive Committee. JAALD has agreed to be a member; AIBDA has been invited, but has not yet responded. NAL may be interested in such a role. Discussion with the NAL Director is needed.

(vii) Appointed Barbara Hutchinson at the Arid Lands Information Center, University of Arizona, USA, as the IAALD listserv manager. IAALD members were asked to provide their current email addresses and all members doing so were added to the list.

Program Initiatives

(i) IAALD became a member of AgNIC in December 2004. This is seen as a way of enhancing access to electronic agricultural information resources and web development resources for the membership.

(ii) Continued to work with various people on new IAALD Chapters or affiliates.

(iii) Acted as Co-Editor for the invitational issue of the QB entitled “Agricultural Information Management: Making a Difference in the Global Community”. Successfully solicited both articles and funding from a variety of international organizations.

Meetings and Conferences

(i) DC represented IAALD at the June 2004 meeting of the American Library Association meeting in Orlando, FL and the Mid-Winter meeting in Boston, MA. She also represented IAALD at the AgNIC meeting in March 2005.

(ii) IAALD exhibited at the AFITA/WCCA Conference in Bangkok in August 2004. PA and a number of Asian IAALD members provided support. A number of new members were recruited.

(iii) Represented IAALD at the INFITA meeting in Bangkok.

(iv) IAALD is also represented on the Conference Planning Committee for the EFITA/WCCA Conference in Portugal in July 2005, a role that Peter Ballantyne (PB) is expected to take over.

(v) A number of AGINFODATE Meetings have been sponsored by IAALD and coordinated by PB.

Plans

(i) Chair the 2005 General Assembly

(ii) Complete the transition to a new Executive Committee

Questions regarding strategic planning and partner organizations were deemed more appropriate for joint discussions with the new EC, and for them to take forward. In response to a question about the reason for joining AgNic, PA indicated that membership was a mechanism to assist people to develop their own websites.

6. Secretary/Treasurer’s report

Membership

Following on from the gloomy picture a year earlier, 2004 subscriptions had reached a total of 300, 54 more than in 2003, with much of the increase arising in the last quarter of the year. Subscriptions so far for 2005 (12 May) stood at 229 and were still coming in. The breakdown below shows membership numbers beginning to revive, although there was some way to go to recoup 1998 levels. 2006 subscriptions are all due to two-year payments:

Subscriptions 1998-2005 (to date)

 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Institutions 130125959176686141 
Institutions via agents 115107988888827654 
Institutions (LIC rate)*        18 
Individuals19717512810786808665 
Individuals (LIC rate) 513439134117345 
Hon (free)55555555 
Total 50144436530425924630022932

* Introduced in 2005

 

Invoices for 2005 were sent in mid-February together with PA’s letter to members. Ca 32 members had so far taken up the discount for 2 years’ payment at once. The wider application of new rates for low and middle-income country members is starting to have an effect. For 2005, however, membership fees for long-standing full rate members were not reduced. Having looked at the World Bank list in detail, it was recommended that, unless there is a special plea, or we want to do a special promotion, the lower rate should be applied only to the lower category of middle income countries. However, this is for the new EC to decide.

The benefits of the regional campaigns and recent promotion have had a definite and very positive effect on numbers (see Membership Recruitment report). In addition to the efforts of the regional recruiters, special mention was made of ASARECA’s sponsorship of 18 East African institutions for 2005; there is some overlap here with individuals recruited during 2004, and this might mean some non-renewal as individuals.

There are still issues to resolve regarding sustainability and payment methods for LIC members - bank transfers are not a realistic option for individuals. It would be critical to have new individual and institutional low-income country members renew for 2005-6 and beyond. It was also very encouraging that international organisations are joining and some are also encouraging or funding individual membership for their staff. An upcoming challenge is the recent upsurge of interest in francophone membership in West and Central Africa, and the problems relating to language and currency.

Finance

The draft accounts for the financial year 2004, January-December, were presented, with the following comments.

1. QB costs reflect the number of issues published during the year, and are thus considerably up on 2003, counterbalanced by the generous sponsorship of Vol 49 3-4 (international issue).

2. IAALD paid no UK corporation tax in 2003/4 and is no longer required to submit a return.

3. Foreign exchange transactions showed more significant fluctuations than in the year before, due to the fluctuations in the dollar. We tried to mitigate against this by using funds available in the US (E&T) rather than either transferring them to the UK account at a loss, or making payments to the Editor from the UK, but this is indicated in the balance sheet (Page 4).

Income vs Expenditure

1. Income from membership subscriptions (that is income from subscriptions for any year, not specifically 2004) was ca £ 500 lower in 2004 than in 2003, in spite of the increase in total number of 2004 subscriptions paid before the end of the financial year. This shortfall is due to the high number of individual low-income country members among that total. We have received some 2004 subscriptions in 2005

2. IAALD continues to spend more than we earn; a deficit of £7000 in 2004. Typically a volume of the QB averaged out over several years costs ca £10K to produce, print and distribute – the real cost of the QB should now be calculated more accurately as the publishing programme has caught up.

3. EC meetings cost more than in previous years – The June EC meeting and the December strategy meeting together cost £4500.

4. The Editor had received no honorarium for at least three years, but this has been remedied in 2005.

5. The Acting President had claimed no expenses other than for Exco meetings and AFITA attendance, which are reflected in the appropriate lines. The Secretary/Treasurer’s admin expenses remain about the same, the highest cost being mailings to the membership and other postage.

Comments on financial position

1. Continued deficit: The report a year before (June 2004) had presented a gloomy picture of IAALD finances at that point. While the overall outlook of the organisation is more positive, and active recruitment is achieving results, IAALD needs to be cautious and develop a strategy for financial sustainability and growth. Current routine activities run at a continuing deficit, and these plus any additional activities (conferences, additional meetings, mailings etc) cut into the reserves. It had been agreed to adopt a deficit policy to catch up on the QB, and to enable IAALD to engage in more outreach, recruitment and consultation, aimed at gaining more members and partners and getting a higher profile for IAALD. No doubt the new EC will wish to review this strategy.

2. E&T funds: Some £10K remain in the E&T fund, which will have no new sources of income. In 2005 so far this fund had been used to underwrite part of the CTA funding for congress sponsees (but this will be refunded) and to sponsor a reception at a training course in Tanzania. There appears to be no documentation indicating what was defined as E&T in the past – however, most of the income has gone towards training courses, scholarships and sponsorship. The new EC might wish to consider what can be defined as ‘E&T’ in future – for example, the lower rate to low income countries could be regarded as IAALD’s giving them an ‘educational opportunity’, i.e., the E&T funds are a subsidy. But this could only be a short-term strategy.

7. Editor’s Report

With the publication of four issues in 2004 and the subsequent publication of volume 49, no. 3/4 (2004) in April 2005, the Quarterly Bulletin was on the very brink of being back on schedule. Hard work and dedication on the part of many people during 2004 made this possible. The following issues were published during a very busy year:

 

Volume/IssuePub DatePages Quantity Cost Description
47 (2002), 3/43/4/0427350$3,223.08 USAIN Papers
48 (2003), 1/26/15/04168550$12,502.01 China Conference
48 (2003), 3/4  8/20/04 40375$3,986.10 Regular Issue
49 (2004), 1/2 12/16/0468400$5,592.28 RIBDA Papers

 

An ambitious schedule had been laid out for 2005, with three issues scheduled for publication by the end of 2005:

Volume/IssuePublication Schedule Description
49 (2004), 3/4Published 5/19/05, 60 pages, 425 copies50th Anniversary Issue
50 (2005), 1/2Anticipated late summer/early fall 2005Regular Issue
50 (2005), 3/4 Anticipated late 2005Congress Issue

 

Assistance from many quarters would be required to not only get these issues to press, but also insure that the issues themselves are a credit to the organization. PA and MB guestedited the 50th Anniversary Issue (49 3-4) , which allowed DC to focus efforts on preparing the first 2005 issue and laying the groundwork for the World Congress issue.

DC regarded it as critical that Vol 50 (three issues) be published before the end of 2005 in order to reinforce the organization’s soundness at a time when new members are being recruited and current members are reevaluating their memberships for renewal. Although IAALD had experienced a substantial decline in membership during recent years, many members have held fast and supported us during our struggle to get the Quarterly Bulletin back on schedule. Dc was determined to reward that resolve in this, IAALD’s 50th year, which may mean that she would not be able to devote much time to other IAALD initiatives. She was confident that the other EC members would be able to take up the slack.

Looking Ahead

The Quarterly Bulletin and IAALD are at a major crossroads. The QB is critical to the success of the organization, and its being behind schedule has no doubt contrubuted to the decline in membership. DC had indicated a willingness to continue as Editor because she believed that she has much to contribute to IAALD. However, if the QB is going to help rebuild IAALD, some changes would have to be made.

(1) Number of issues per volume: DC and former IAALD Editor Toni Greider had agreed that it is physically impossible for a volunteer editor to produce four issues a year and also tend to their other responsibilities. They recommend that IAALD consider moving to a semi-annual production schedule, such that the Editor would have the time required to produce a better and timelier product. This would also allow the Editor and Assistant Editor to focus more attention on the website.

(2) Link with USAIN: Adoption of (1) above would also entail a name change but this could potentially fit with the recommendation that IAALD consider proposing to USAIN that some semblance of the QB serve as the official journal of both organizations. This collaboration would benefit both organizations, in that USAIN needs something tangible to give its members for the membership fees it collects, and IAALD needs help, both financial and people-wise, with the production of the QB. The easiest way to facilitate this collaboration would be for USAIN to develop a dues structure that offered dues with or without the journal. They would in effect buy subscriptions to the journal for their membership, allowing IAALD to retain ownership of the journal. Another possibility would be to offer a joint membership in both organizations. The membership fees for both organizations are quite reasonable, such that a combined membership fee would still be fairly affordable.

Discussion identified several issues needing urgent consideration by the new EC:

  • 2005 schedule
  • link with USAIN
  • Putting the News section on the website
  • Setting up of and tasks for Committee/Board
  • How to publish the World Congress issue(s)

8. World Congress 2005

Events relating specifically to IAALD were reviewed to ensure that all were aware of the timetable and what would happen on each occasion. The GA agenda was reviewed, and it was agreed that minutes of the Dakar GA and the agenda should be available at the IAALD table for those members planning to attend. The major items would be reports from the outgoing officers, introduction and approval of the new EC and a view of the future from the incoming President.

 

2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Joint meeting of outgoing EC and Committee-elect.

9. Welcome EC Committee-elect

PA welcomed members of the EC-elect:

Peter Ballantyne (President), Stephen Rudgard (First Vice-President), Elizabeth Dodsworth, Dorothy Mukhebi, Shuchun Pan, together with continuing members Debbie Currie (Editor) and Elizabeth Goldberg. Other members of the new committee unable to attend were: Toni Greider (Secretary/Treasurer),Barb Hutchinson, Takashi Nagatsuka, Vielka Chang-Yau, H. V. Mote (not yet arrived at conference), together with Nick Maliha and Michal Demes who had been elected for a second term.

10. Issues from a.m. meeting

PA, MB and DC summarized the key points from their reports. Particular issues discussed were:

  • Future of the Education and Training Fund
  • QB: ED proposed that a business model of the QB was needed before issues such as Editorial Board/Committee, frequency etc. were decided.

EG listed particular issues carried over from the a.m. session which were briefly discussed, to be carried over on to the agenda of the new EC:

  • Membership: possible creation of a student category
  • Membership survey implications: average age of membership implies they are at midcareer; IAALD needs young people with new ideas, content-oriented
  • Directory: set up Task Force to look at feasibility of an electronic version
  • Web site: need for committee
  • Listserv: set up regional focal points
  • Partnerships: give national and regional organizations ex-officio status on IAALD EC. Suggestions included JAALD, AIBDA, USAIN, IFLA (Agricultural Chaper), INFITA. It was agreed that ex-officio status would require institutional IAALD membership. It was agreed that the core group for IAALD membership and targets for partnership needed to be identified. It was suggested that an FAO meeting in Santiago in 2006 would be an opportunity regarding Latin America. Others mentioned were AgNIC for assistance to web development and GFAR.
  • Membership certificates: required as proof of membership in some countries

11. A. O. B.

PB asked how the EC works. PA explained the allocation of tasks among members, and the establishment of committees and task forces for both regular and specific activities (e.g Directory, membership drive, membership survey).

DC was tasked with asking the USAIN Board (whose meeting she would be attending the same day) for their ideas on collaboration.

Signed:                                                                                                                         Signed:

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