American Library Association elects Morris librarians into new positions
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 12:10
Four of the university’s own were recently elected to offices within the largest and longest established library association in the world, the American Library Association. Megan Gaffney, Shelly McCoy, Deborah Ryszka and John Stevenson now each hold positions in the ALA.
Founded in 1876, the ALA is comprised of more than 60,000 members and unites librarians from nations all over the globe. The organization aims to promote its five principles of diversity, equity of access, education and continuous learning, intellectual freedom and 21st century literacy.
Associate Librarian and Coordinator of Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services at Morris Library Megan Gaffney was elected Member-At-Large of the Reference and User Services Association Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section over the summer, she says. Gaffney will serve a three-year term in the RUSA STARS section to which she was elected.
“It provides a lot of networking opportunities, especially when working in interlibrary loans” Gaffney says.
As Member-At-Large, she will help the RUSA STARS plan ALA events and conferences as well as create policies that govern interlibrary loans, she says. In the Morris Library’s interlibrary loans office, Gaffney says she works to loan books to and from other libraries around the world. In the similar way that students and faculty may borrow books from the library, libraries borrow books from each other, she says.
Associate Librarian John Stevenson now serves as Government Documents and Maps Coordinator on the Government Documents Round Table, he says. Founded following the Watergate scandal, he says, GODORT is a section of the ALA that works with federal documents and other government publications.
Stevenson says he views the position and involvement in the ALA as a way to give back to the library community. At the university, he says, he works in the Student Multimedia Design Center helping students and staff with digital transfer services and instructing technology workshops.
He says the position will broaden his view of the field.
“Librarianship is a profession that has many specializations and the ALA and the Round Table offer a view outside of the narrow idea of it,” Stevenson says.
Librarian and Student Multimedia Design Center Head Shelly McCoy now sits as Secretary of the ALA’s Video Round Table. This section of the association is devoted to video collections and services in the libraries of the world, according to the Round Table website.
During her tenure as Secretary, McCoy says she will help promote the rising field of video librarianship. The VRT and her position are both closely related to what McCoy does while working on the lower level of Morris Library in the university’s Student Multimedia Design Center, she says.