2014 News and Initiatives

1. New Steering Committee Member - We are pleased to announce that Daria D'Arienzo has been appointed to the PLASC Steering Committee.  Given her many accomplishments, but especially her work with local communities and public libraries, we’re certain she’ll be a valuable member of the PLASC leadership. Daria worked in academia for years, serving as Amherst College Archivist and Head of Archives and Special Collections from 1984 until her retirement in 2007.  As a post-retirement project she was co-curator and co-author of the Mead Art Museum exhibition and related catalogue, Orra White Hitchcock: An Amherst Woman of Art and Science (2011).  She is a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists.  She now serves as Meekins Archivist at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, Massachusetts (population 1500).  Daria continues to work with small public libraries, historical societies, and other underserved groups to preserve their local history so that all communities can tell their stories-- her particular and long-time archival cause.

Welcome, Daria!  


2. Zee Maps – We heard you! - 46% of PLASC survey respondents say they joined PLASC to network and 40% indicate that local, in-person networking is of interest.  Yet 72% are unable to attend the PLASC meeting during SAA each year.  We know it’s a challenge to make the SAA meeting every year, so we’ve identified a tool to help you network with your PLASC colleagues, whether you’re at SAA or not. 

We’re using Zee Maps as a way to visualize PLASC members across the globe so you can connect with other members in your community, or elsewhere.  You can view the map at http://bit.ly/15Xo2w2. The Zee Maps visualization creates dynamic clusters of members based on the level of zoom established by the user, helping to identify regions and even cities with high concentrations of PLASC membership.  Using the map, you can locate over 900 PLASC members across the globe, which will assist in local networking, continuing education, and other shared opportunities. 

Here are some of our ideas for using the map. If you think of others, please let us know!

  • Create partnerships to bring educational opportunities to your area.
  • Start a local mentoring program.
  • Participate in a consortium for enhanced purchasing power.
  • Establish a local or regional speaker’s bureau.
  • Develop local or regional mini-conferences.
  • Find travel and carpooling companions, as well as roommates, for conferences, workshops and other events.
  • Share venues and presenters for public programming.
  • Cooperate on collecting a particular historical topic, especially one that has not been addressed.
  • Create regional brochures or other handouts describing historical materials and services offered in your area.
  • Put an SAA session proposal together (and send it to PLASC for possible endorsement!).
  • Collaborate on grant proposals and grant-funded projects.
  • Create shared emergency response plans.
  • Social Get-togethers.

We’ll update the map annually to represent all current PLASC members who provide their location using SAA’s membership data.  By relying on this data, the privacy of PLASC members is also protected, as only that information publicly available through SAA is disclosed.  When a PLASC member changes their name, location, or institution with SAA, the change will also be reflected on Zee Maps automatically during the next annual update.  Members may also add, delete, or modify their individual listing themselves by clicking “Map,” “Settings…,” and entering the administrative key “plasc” to unlock the map. Then, by clicking on the individual marker, users may change their information.

Questions about ZeeMaps? Please contact Steering Committee member Brittany Turner.


3. PLASC Blog – Stay Tuned - Starting in 2014, PLASC will have its own blog! The blog will be a great resource for additional communication among PLASC members. The PLASC blog will provide information about educational and networking opportunities, highlighting topics of special interest to PLASC members. We hope you’ll check in often!

Questions about the blog please contact Steering Committee member Christine Sharbrough.


4. PLA Networking Opportunity - There are several opportunities to meet up with fellow PLASC members:

Public Library Association (PLA) Conference, March 11 – 15, 2014, Indianapolis, IN. http://www.placonference.org/. Early bird deadline is January 10, 2014. 

American Library Conference, ALA (Las Vegas). June 26 – July 1, Las Vegas. http://ala14.ala.org/

PLASC will have a table reserved at the PLA All Committee meeting, which is held on Saturday morning, June 28.  The PLASC meeting will appear in the PLA list of meetings. We hope to organize a gathering of PLASC members at the meeting. 

If you’ll be attending and are interested in helping us get the word out, please contact Steering Committee Vice-Chair, Leslie Waggener.

We hope that the PLASC RT will have a regular presence at future PLA meetings. 


5. Resource List - Starting in 2014 we plan to provide an expanding resource list for PLASC members, with information closely tied to PLASC concerns. We also want to hear from you about your favorite tools and we hope you will help us populate the list.  We really would like the resources to come from those who use them! 

Please send suggestions to Steering Committee member Daria D'Arienzo.


6. Seeking participants - SAA 2014 PLASC Lightening Round

For SAA in 2014 (Washington D.C.) we are planning a Lightening Round on the following topics and are seeking proposals from members who’d like to participate: 

Marketing your collections and programs—how do you get the word out?

Social Media tools—are they working for you? Tell us how!

Please contact  Steering Committee Vice-Chair Leslie Waggener with your ideas. 

7. Please send in Your Images for our website!

If you’ve visited our website recently, you’ll notice a featured image from a PLASC member institution. Have something cool to share? Have other comments or suggestions about our online presence?

Please send it on to the PLASC Webmaster Jennifer Sharp.