WAML General Business Meeting: Annual Conference 2019

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Annual Conference 2019
Joe Crowley Student Union
University of Nevada, Reno
Friday, September 20, 2019

Prepared by Louise Ratliff – WAML Secretary

The meeting was presided over by Susan Powell, President, who called it to order at 3:37 pm.

Thank yous and awards (Susan Powell)

Susan opened the meeting by thanking our UNR meeting hosts Chrissy Klenke and Heather Ross. She then presented each of them with a thank-you gift on behalf of the organization, a pair of attractive glasses engraved with a map of Reno.

Susan next presented a Distinguished Award plaque created by the UNR Maker Space to Ken Rockwell, accompanied by a letter from her and the Board. Highlighted achievements are Ken’s long-running  New Mapping of Western North America column, and Ken’s leadership in creating an index to the IB, along with many other contributions to the organization.  The Board also awarded him a lifetime membership in WAML. Ken commented that he remembered Stan Stephens had told us we needed to have more recognition of members.

Board Reports

Louise Ratliff briefly summarized the Executive Board meeting that took place on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, from 10:00 am to noon.

  • Concerning the annual conference, the Board decided to form a Program Committee for next year’s conference, in order to distribute the workload among several people. Matthew Toro will seek volunteers.
  • Phil White designed new WAML stickers, which he made available at this meeting. They are similar to the old design but now feature the WAML name.
  • Susan Powell is working with the IB editors on potentially restructuring their roles; this work will continue during the coming year.
  • The Board approved a charge to the Ad Hoc Web Committee Task Force, chaired by Julie Sweetkind-Singer. The Task Force will evaluate the current WAML website and suggest improvements to the Executive Board.
  • The Board approved the charge to a newly-formed Membership Task Force, which will evaluate membership practices and suggest improvements to the Executive Board.
  • A lengthy discussion was held about WAML’s organizational “identity,” concerning WAML’s reliance on individual members to manage various organizational activities and operations. For example, the website domain account is managed by one individual, not the organization per se, and the organization does not have its own non-personal address for contact purposes.  The Board will continue this discussion during the coming year and rationalize the various roles.
  • The Board discussed the need for formal branding/design/logos for use with announcements, documents, web presence, etc. Follow-up on this topic will be delayed until January because it involves coordination with the Mission/Vision and website redesign activities.
  • The Board heard reports from other Board members, managers, editors, and committee chairs, which are included in the meeting notes below.

Committee and Manager Reports

The Membership report (Greg Armento).  Membership continues to hold steady with non-renewals (and those renewing old lapsed memberships) matching new membership. As of 9/17/19 there are 94 members total, of which 82 are paid, new and/or renewed members, and 12 are lifetime members.

Scholarship Committee (Phillip White). The Scholarship Committee selected two excellent recipients from a pool of fifteen applicants. This year’s scholarship recipients are Mia Partlow, currently a Fellow in Data and Visualization Services at North Carolina State University, and Rennie Lum, a recent MLIS recipient from Syracuse University and Archives technician at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The committee members (Andy Rutkowski, Susan Powell, Sarah Zhang, Nick Beyelia, Anita Martinez, Taylor Hixon, Phil White), as usual, had a long discussion about who to select due to the overall strength of the top candidates. The Scholarship Committee tweaked the program this year slightly based on feedback from recipients over the past year: We no longer differentiate between a student scholarship and diversity scholarship. These two categories often overlapped and the committee agreed that identifying individual candidates with one category or the other was irrelevant. The committee will work to develop a long-term funding strategy in 2019-20.

Ad hoc Mission Statement Task Force (Phillip White). Phil briefly summarized the work of the committee, which was fully presented yesterday afternoon prior to the Sounding Board session. He submitted the following report to the Executive Board:

The Mission and Vision Statement Task Force was convened at the 2018 WAML annual meeting in San Diego. The Task Force members are: Ken Rockwell, University of Utah; Louise Ratliff, UCLA; Sierra Laddusaw, Texas A&M; Jessica Benner, Carnegie Mellon; and Phil White, University of Colorado Boulder (Chair). In late 2018, the WAML Executive Board agreed to expand the scope of the task force to include development of a vision statement in addition to a mission statement. The Task Force began its work in spring 2019 by discussing themes that the members perceive to be related to the goals, values, and aspirations of the organization. In late spring 2019, the Task Force surveyed the WAML membership to further identify and explore the organization’s goals and aspirations. After reviewing survey results, the Task Force determined that it was necessary to seek further input from the membership at the 2019 annual meeting in Reno.

At yesterday’s presentation, an activity was conducted for members to add their comments, sentences, etc., to large pieces of paper, each one representing one of several bullet points for mission and vision statements. These will continue to be available through the end of the meeting tomorrow. Phil will have the final report and proposal submitted to the Exec Board in time for publication in the November issue of the IB.

Business Manager (Lisa Lamont, not present). Lisa submitted a report via email:
We sold no books.  Last year she had hoped to get all of our occasional papers digitized; this fall she will get new quotes and see if we can get the process going.

Treasurer (Bruce Godfrey).
Calendar Year Start Balance (1/1/2019) $21,652.61
Ledger Balance (9/18/2019) $26,793.63
Income (1/1/2018-9/18/2019)* $11,173.25
Expenses (1/1/2019-9/18/2019)** $6,032.23
Running Totals (1/1/2019-9/18/2019) +$5,141.02
* Membership | annual conference | interest earned
** Honorarium | domain renewal | web hosting | Mapping the Grand Canyon Stipend | scholarships | IB indexing | some annual conference paid – some not yet paid

WAML IB Editor (Chrissy Klenke)
Chrissy will send a call on Monday for contributions to the next IB, to be published in November. Please consider sending your presentation from this meeting, and also feel free to send other reports for issues after November.

Next Year’s Conference (Matt Toro)
Matt and Bruce worked on this today. The 2020 conference will take place in Moscow, Idaho, most likely in September.  For 2021, we need a volunteer to host the Conference.  Note: According to Tom, the bylaws say the conference must be in a state/province listed in our bylaws, unless there is a 75% vote for an exception. [Note: The figure of 75% stated in the meeting is incorrect; it is actually a 2/3 vote.] Hawaii would like to host in 2022.

Liaison Reports

Kathy Rankin reported on MAGIRT. The ALA annual conference was held in Washington, DC, in June, 2019.  Library of Congress’ Geography and Maps Division had an open house in which Ed Redmond and other library staff showed treasures, then the attendees went out to eat together.  Library of Congress also had an open house in it Jefferson Building, and Iris Taylor, who is the new chairperson of MAGIRT and is a celestial cartographic material cataloger at LC, showed maps at that open house from the Geography and Map Division, which is in the Madison Building.  MAGIRT also had a panel discussion that was “Using Innovative, Map-Based Outreach Programs to Reach Students K-12,” which examined how librarians from a variety of backgrounds use cartographic resources in their curricula.  Louise Ratliff, who recently retired as a map cataloger from UCLA, received the MAGIRT Honors Award, and it was presented by Paige Andrew at the annual award dinner at Gordon’s Biersch Restaurant.
MAGIRT’S Projects for the coming months include the following: Update MAGIRT’s information portal (which is their web presence); address the decline in MAGIRT membership numbers; expand webinar and podcast development; and provide information on BIBFRAME (cataloging), GIS, 3D mapping, story maps, and Oxygen (metadata) to bridge knowledge gaps. The other new MAGIRT officers are Sierra Laddusaw, vice-chairperson/chair-elect, secretary, Paige Andrew, and assistant treasurer Pete Reehling.  Marguerite Ragnow is treasurer.
MAGIRT will be dropping its LibGuide subscription. The geospatial resources section will be redone.  The LibGuide is being backed up, and some of the content will be moved to ALA Connect.
MAGIRT is trying to figure out whether the map scanning registry is still needed.  It has been up since 2006. It merged with the WAML registry in 2012.  Chris Kollen has talked about this issue at this WAML meeting.
MAGIRT will be celebrating its fortieth anniversary in June 2020.  The group plans to have a celebration as well as a program at the ALA Annual Conference, which will be held in Chicago.  The 2020 Midwinter meeting will be held in Philadelphia.

Julie Sweetkind-Singer gave the NGAC (National Geospatial Advisory Committee) report on their 5-6 September meeting, focusing on how to help FGDC with implementation of Spatial Data Act.  Discussion concerned such topics as what the NGAC is responsible for, how to give recommendations to FGDC on what their reports should look like, and how to provide background information to legislators, especially what the value is to their constituency. Other topics included public-private partnerships, membership, the LANDSAT advisory group, bylaws, and the Census Bureau.  Summary meeting notes are here: https://www.fgdc.gov/ngac/meetings/september-2019/draft-meeting-summary-ngac-sep-2019.pdf

Chrissy Klenke reported on the GSIS (Geosciences Information Society). The GSA Conference takes place in Phoenix this Monday, at which GSIS will meet. Matt Toro will attend. The theme is what is new in your institution?  They have links to all of their presentations, and a good newsletter.  They talk a lot about geosciences instruction.

daniel Brendle-Moczuk reported on ACMLA (Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives).  Their conference was held at McMaster University in June.  Their organizational officers are down to 3 executives: daniel is President, there is a treasurer and a secretary.  They are having difficulty recruiting volunteers. Daniel suggested offering scholarships (like WAML).  Their publications are in LAC (Library and Archives Canada). Multiple copies will be mailed out for free to libraries who want them!

Evan Thornberry reported that he is working on a national portal for research data. Ontario is working on this and they serve up lots of data but only to Ontario.  ACMLA will hold its annual meeting jointly with the Canadian Cartographic Association in Victoria in late May 2020.

NACIS (the North American Cartographic Information Society) will meet in Tacoma October 16-19, 2019, and Kathy Stroud will attend. She encouraged others to attend.

Matt Toro reported that AGIC (Arizona Geographic Information Council), an arm of the Arizona State Land Department, will host a major 4-day conference in October.  Their Education & Training Symposium is open to anyone working with or interested in geospatial technology.

Matt Toro gave a summary of the Mapping Grand Canyon Conference at ASU (Arizona State University) in March/April 2019, at which the speakers were the highest calibre experts! (https://lib.asu.edu/mapping-grand-canyon-conference)  The conference commemorated the 150-year anniversary of William Powell’s survey down the Colorado in the Grand Canyon, and the 100th anniversary of Grand Canyon National Park. Over 1100 viewers from US, Canada and other countries, watched some or all of the live stream.  All presentations are available in video for 2.5 years, and also are in ASU’s digital repository. Matt is working with a NAU (Northern Arizona University) colleague to prepare a conference of native Americans.

Old Business


New Business

LaVonne Jacobsen brought up scholarship/endowment funds, and asked what the membership would like to see.  Susan is looking into the possibility of setting up an endowment and what the amount needs to be. She is also looking into a matching campaign.  ESRI has already agreed to make a contribution.

WAML pins (from last year).  Would be perfect as part of our new identity promotion.

Tom Brittnacher spoke about the WAML organization. As the organization has developed, individuals have taken on roles such as ISSN, ISBN, Website domain, tax documents.  We want to see us have a central address and not rely on individuals to be responsible for these.  The Executive Board will be working on this during the coming year.

Meeting adjourned at 4:44 pm

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