23:2 (2008:06) Profiles: Publications and Public Relations Committee

May 29, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Posted in Profiles, Publications/PR, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Susan Davis, Profiles Editor

I selected the Publications and Public Relations Committee for this issue’s profile for several reasons. Many NASIG committees are extremely busy as the annual conference rapidly approaches and would not have time to respond to my questions, and I hoped this group’s work was not so conference cycle-oriented. The other is that in its present form this is a relatively new committee, which I wanted to learn more about. Thanks to co-chairs Marit Taylor and Glen Wiley for agreeing to be profiled!

The Publications and Public Relations Committee (PPRC) was created at the 2006 NASIG Conference. In reality it is a reinvention of the old Publications Committee with added responsibilities in the area of public relations. As with the old committee, the board liaison is the immediate past president, who serves as the NASIG publicist. This year, of course, that liaison is Denise Novak.

(Editor’s Note: For those of you who love NASIG history, the Publications Committee was approved at the November 1998 board meeting, when Steve Oberg was NASIG president. The role of NASIG publicist was assigned to the past president starting after the 1999 annual conference, which was then Steve Oberg!)

The committee’s charge includes proactively encouraging publication of serials-related literature, excepting the NASIG Newsletter and the Conference Proceedings. The PPRC takes that mission seriously, publicizing publication opportunities particularly for new NASIGuides. These are intended to provide concise, helpful introductions to different areas of serials work. The committee doesn’t write the guides; instead they establish guidelines and provide mentoring, consulting and editing services. Fortunately, a number of NASIG members have volunteered to author a guide. So far this year “Cancellation Workflow” by Trina Holloway and “A Beginner’s Guide to Working with Vendors” by Wm. Joseph Thomas have been posted. Several others should be ready before the 2008 conference; including “The CONSER Record” by Steve Shadle (who helped to develop the standard), “How to Survive as a New Serialist” by Glenda Griffin, “Institutional Repositories” by Mary Grenci, and “MARC Fields for Serials” by Beverley Geckle and Elizabeth McDonald. Two more are in the pipeline—“FRBR Implications for Serials” by Steve Shadle or another volunteer and “Claiming” by Rubye Cross. Authors of previously posted guides are also asked to update them. A list of possible topics is on the NASIG website at http://www.nasig.org/publications_guides.cfm, and the committee is very open to suggestions about other topics that someone might offer to write about. So think about what you have to share with your fellow NASIG members and volunteer!

The other major committee project for the year is revision of the Human Resources Directory, which has been renamed as the Speakers and Consultants Directory. This resource is intended to be a way to bring together those who need to find a speaker or a consultant to help them with a new project or area of responsibility, and the many helpful experts on all sorts of areas among the NASIG membership. The Directory is open to everyone to use, but only NASIG members can be listed in the Directory. The Directory entries were reorganized to make them more consistent, and those whose entries had not been revised lately were contacted for updates, or in a few cases, withdrawn. This work has been ably carried out mostly by the committee’s webmaster, Kathryn Johns-Masten, and co-chair Glen Wiley. PPRC periodically advertises for new additions to the Speakers and Consultants Directory, in the NASIG Newsletter or on NASIG-L, which also serves to remind people that this helpful resource exists. This profile, then, is another opportunity to market the Directory and encourage members to consider adding a profile.

I asked Marit if there was a way to track use of the NASIGuides or the Speakers and Consultants Directory to see what impact they might be making. There was a way to see use of a particular area of the old NASIG website. I was able to calculate that there have been several thousand hits on the guides and Directory over the past year before NASIG moved to its new website. Of course there is no way of knowing what anyone looked at or did with the information, but there is definitely traffic on those pages.

Other helpful PPRC members not mentioned before are Susan Banoun, Linda Pitts, Sandy Folsom, and Gracemary Smulewitz, although Gracemary has recently had to resign from the committee because of new work responsibilities. Marit Taylor has served as chair of the committee for the last two years, stepping in when Linda Pitts found that she did not have the time to be chair. Linda has, however, remained on the committee and has been a very valuable contributor, especially shepherding NASIGuides through the development and editing process and writing announcements.

The committee has not yet been as active in the area of publicity, although they did prepare a preconference announcement. Publicity activities have been somewhat on hold because of the pending outsourcing of web responsibilities and publications, as well as the development of NASIG’s new website. They expect to do much more publicity in future years, developing standardized formats for announcements and NASIG publications, and publicizing NASIG’s activities and expertise to a wider audience.


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