Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation

Minutes of the Meeting -- Spring 2008
Association of Asian Studies
Emory University Woodruff Library #314 Atlanta GA
Thursday, 3 April 2008, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

1. Introductions 2. Review of last meeting's minutes 3. Report of the Chair and Treasurer 4. Executive Committee Election: Liladhar Pendse (UCLA) and Jeff Martin (Michigan) have volunteered to stand. 5. Website Renewal Modeling (Philip McEldowney) 6. AAMES (Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, ACRL) Rajwant Chilana 7. DSAL (Digital South Asia Library) update (Jerry Hall and James Nye) 8. CRL (Center for Research Libraries) ebooks (Judy Alspach) 9. Cooperative collection development (Mary Rader and Bronwen Bledsoe) 10. LCCAP (Library of Congress Cooperative Acquisitions Programs) update (Carol Mitchell and Laila Mulgaokar)

The meeting started at 1:20 p.m.

1. Introduction
Chair Tim Bryson welcomed attendees to Emory, and called for new agenda items.
Andrea Singer requested that a place for general announcements be added at the end of the agenda: 11. General Announcements.

Attendees (listed below): introduced themselves and their institutions, and Tim acknowledged the retirements of Don Johnson (Minnesota) and Gurnek Singh (Syracuse), after Gurnek introduced his successor, Uma Sharma. Tim also announced that David Magier has moved to Princeton, and does not know how i nvolved he will remain in South Asian activities. However David will serve one more year on AAS's SAC (South Asian Council). (The group plans to honor Don and Gurnek, and send David off with our best wishes this evening at dinner at the Haveli Restaurant.)

Attendees introduced themselves and their programs. Judy Alspach (CRL), Deepa Banerjee (Washington), Bindu Bhatt (Columbia), Bronwen Bledsoe (Cornell), Tim Bryson (Emory), Merry Burlingham (UT-Austin), Rajwant Chilana (UICU), Pema Dorjee (LC-Delhi), James Gentner (LC), Jerry Hall (Chicago), Lauren Hartley (Columbia), Philip McEldowney (Virginia), Aruna P.Magier (AAS), Avinash Maheshwary (Duke - TRLN), Adnan Malik (U of California Berkeley), Samip Mallick (Chicago), Jeff Martin (Michigan), Susan Meinheit (LC), Carol Mitchell (LC-Islu), Laila Mulgaokar (LC-Delhi) , James Nye (Chicago), Liladhar Pendse (UCLA), Mary Rader (Wisconsin), Sarbjit Randhawa (UBC), Uma Sharma (Syracuse), Andrea Singer (Indiana), Gurnek Singh (Syracuse), Allen Thrasher (LC), and Sunita Vaze (NYPL) were in attendance, and Laura Wong (LC) was expected later in the day. She and Sunita have volunteered to attend an Asian Librarians' Liaison meeting later in the day.

2.Report of Last Meeting's Minutes
The draft minutes of the Fall 2007 meeting in Madison were approved as written, and can be given final status on the CONSALD web site:

3. Report of the Chair & Treasurer’s Report
Having welcomed, all, Tim deferred to Andrea for the Treasurer's report. She reported that the balance in the treasury after honoring retirees is $499.90. She asked whether we wish to continue the discussion of charging dues, which we began in Madison.
Philip said that we may need to consider dues if changes to the website including a separate URL occur. James Gentner mentioned that MELA (Middle East Librarians Association) does have dues, and, through an endowment, offers travel stipends to students.

Back to the top 4. Election
Tim thanked Merry Burlingham and Philip McEldowney for their service on the Executive Committee (2006-2008), and thanked Jeff Martin and Liladhar Pendse for their willingness to stand for election for one open librarian position on the committee for a two year term. Members of the group cast ballots and Merry Burlingham counted votes. (Later in the meeting Tim announced that Liladhar was elected, and suggested a short meeting of the Executive Committee immediately following the meeting.)

Back to the top 5. Website Renewal Modeling:
Philip acknowledged the web site committee: Sunita Vaze, Carol Mitchell, David Nelson, and himself, and suggested that he put up a draft site in time for the fall meeting in Madison. The committee has discussed this rather complicated ongoing project as a possible information source for a wider audience without duplicating SARAI (South Asia Resource Access on the Internet) .
Other ideas include making an open area as well as a password protected area. CORMOSEA and MELA pages were viewed, and alternatives such as WIKIs, Facebook, and others were discussed. Philip suggested that people contact him with suggestions including whether to plan to keep the site at the University of Virginia, or move. Avinash Maheshwary suggested that readability might be achieved by short line lengths and a simple format.

6. AAMES (Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section) of ACRL Rajwant Chilana directed the group to the AAMES web site at and described this active committee of the American Library Association's Association of College and Research Libraries. He indicated that the group invites participation on five committees, and will be sponsoring programs at this summer's ALA meeting. Deepa Banerjee will be a speaker there.

Back to the top 7. DSAL Update
Jerry Hall reported that gramophone recordings from the Linguistic Survey of India DSAL project are almost ready for use, as well as some from the Linguistic Survey of Burma. The project has three aspects including audio and transcription, full text volumes, and maps from the Linguistic Survey, which locate the person narrating. (There are 242 phonographic transcriptions from the British Library.)
Jim Nye reported that the South Asia Union Catalog (SAUC) completed its sixth training session for catalogers, this one held in Kathmandu, and has become the fourth highest contributor of unique records to WorldCat. The project is beginning data keying by contractors to retrospectively convert Quarterly Lists as a way to facilitate on-going work by catalogers. (Quarterly Lists are lists of books published regionally --Punjab, Bengal, etc.-- as supplements to the Government Gazettes.) The lists include basic bibliographic information as well as copyright holder, publisher, and number of copies published.
Bronwen Bledsoe asked a question about the search interface, and Jim said a major revamping is underway to make the search more like WorldCat, with an advanced search as well.
Contracts for new dictionary projects have been signed for several languages and the goal is to have one dictionary per language in the vernacular and one from the vernacular to English. Perso-Arabic has been added to Platts. (See Tim indicated astonishment at the amount of material being digitized.

8. CRL E-books
Judy Alspach announced that patron requests at CRL (the Center for Research Libraries) are driving scanning (700,000 yearly scans). Depending on factors relating to the request ( size, number of reels, etc.) a scan might be supplied instead of film. Items being scanned now are made searchable through OCR, but older items are not internally searchable. See the eResources tab in the CRL catalog at CRL:
See also the CRL web site at: under "Indian Uprising of 1857 Resources" for a group of resources related to the Sepoy Mutiny, which were scanned at the request of Liberal Arts Interest Group member, Vassar College. (These materials are vetted to see if they have already been scanned elsewhere.)

NOTE: A short break was held, and the meeting resumed at 3:20, when the election results were announced. (See 4.)

Back to the top 9. Cooperative Collection Development
Background documents for this discussion are at:
Mary Rader and Bronwen Bledsoe discussed the "National Cooperative Collections for South Asian Studies Wisconsin-Cornell Pilot", which they have initiated this year. The essence of the cooperative agreement is that Wisconsin will embark on a new collection focus in South Asian theatre, while Cornell will pursue Himalayan materials, especially those from Nepal. Both collections will circulate through interlibrary loan . (Wisconsin will retain older Nepali language materials, while Cornell will develop future holdings, for example.)
The group was enthusiastic in discussing this pilot in cooperative collecting, which meets the changing needs of both institutions, and was approved at the CEO level at both universities. At Wisconsin statistics on use in relation to bindery costs were useful in the internal discussion. Mary and Bronwen discussed further details and invited those interested in continuing discussion at this time to join them in a lunchtime meeting on April 4th.
Other topics of cooperation were discussed, including which varieties of research materials people are willing to wait to receive, the character of "Rapid ILL" for document delivery, and the future (or not) of regional cooperative groups such as SAC West. (Adnan Malik indicated that Berkeley is interested in keeping SACWest alive.)

10. LCCAP Update James Gentner announced that retired LC librarian Alice Kniskern's mother passed away, and he would share addresses privately with anyone who wished to write to Alice.
Responses to the Future of Bibliographic Control report, will be disseminated before the ALA meeting.
The Library of Congress is facing a bad budget situation. Budget requests are at the same level as last year, but cost of living raises and salaries have gone up. The plan is to keep everyone on staff, but do no traveling for the rest of the fiscal year. There is a cost-sharing program to secure embassies around the world, and the assessment is based on the number of employees, so those costs are also substantial.
Carol Mitchell said the Islamabad program wishes to build better profiles rather than relying on circulars. There is less publishing as NGOs leave. Staff changes include retirement, reassignment, and buying trips by bibliographic representatives. Catalogers received training with Sunita's help.
Laila Mulgaokar described developments in the Indian publishing scene including art catalogs, for which a new profile will be added. Discussion ranged broadly, and Laila suggested people send her follow-up e-mails about their specific suggestions, which included a call for more Shiite material, regional films for India, and circulars for Routledge, Sage, and Oxford titles. Laila also asked for suggestions if U.S. participants are developing good contacts for specific types of materials.
Laila said that an empty position for a Bangladesh representative will be filled, and that they are using a new Tamil book dealer in Columbo. This year 50% of acquisitions trips were accomplished.
Regarding SACAP payments, James said that when the available balance reaches 20%, the New Delhi office informs Washington that funds are running low. Participants are then asked to deposit additional funds. (E-mails should go to billing person and bibliographer.) If no funds are deposited, monographs are cut off. The participant will receive an e-mail the day the monographs are cut off. In general most participants have some carryover, but five participants were stopped for six weeks this year.
James said the Nairobi office is now sending electronic rather than paper bills, and asks if that can work in SACAP libraries. (This can be a topic of conversation at the Madison meeting, which Fehl Cannon will probably attend.)

11. General Announcements
Andrea announced that copies of Rebecca Manring's guide to the Sukumar Sen Manuscript Collection, which was filmed as a SAMP project, are available to librarians at the AAS booth in the conference exhibit area.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Minutes submitted by AS 4/16/08

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Webbing - Philip McEldowney, University of Virginia

Last update - Monday, 02 June 2008