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January 2021

Highlights of Fall 2020 Membership Meeting

ASERL convened its Fall 2020 Membership Meeting on November 28-29, via Zoom.  Much of the program continued our focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion issues, including the “Groundwater” presentation from the Racial Equity Institute.  On the second day, attendees heard about DEI-related initiatives at Duke University and Wake Forest University, as well as updates from ASERL’s expanding array of Committees, Interest Groups, and Communities of Practice.

See for the full agenda and copies of the meeting materials.  ASERL’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Spring Membership Meeting will take place on April 8-9, 2021.  The agenda for the upcoming meeting is currently under development.

Professional Development Highlights from 2020
 The ASERL Professional Development Series has grown substantially in 2020. Because of the pandemic, we increased our offerings from two webinars a month to an average of eight webinars per month. Leadership, instructional design, conflict resolution, pandemic support, and DEI-related training topped the list of requested topics.  These webinars have also been a platform for ASERL libraries to showcase their accomplishments in front of a national audience.  They also serve as a vehicle where diverse presenters can talk about a variety of topics; ASERL has received much praise for our commitment to supporting the BIPOC community.
Our top 5 webinars in 2020 (in terms of attendance):
  • Why I Left the Library Profession? (600 participants)
  • Why Do Most Diversity Trainings Fail? (586 participants)
  • DEI Committees: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (395 participants)
  • Uplifting LibGuides with an Anti-Racist Framework (367 participants)
  • Yes You Can Scan That Textbook (341 participants)
Recordings and slides from ASERL's webinars can be found at
2021 Professional Development Webinars
Into the new year, we continue to field requests for topics of interest, along with opportunities to highlight the accomplishments of our member libraries.  If you are working on a project that you think would make an interesting webinar for others, please contact Elaina Norlin at

Coming soon:  In the near future, we have several sessions that are attracting heavy interest. Here are the webinars that have received the highest number of registrations for January-February 2021.  Please go to for a complete listing of all our upcoming webinars.  
  • “First, Do No Harm." Tread Carefully Where Oral History, Trauma, and Current Crises Intersect (Jan 26, 2021)
  • Simple Ideas to Spice Up Your Virtual Presentations and Workshops (Jan 28, 2021)
  • (Not) Another Anti-Racist Reading Group: From Discussion to Action (Feb 1, 2021)
  • Why I Left the Library Profession II?  -- DEI Perspective (Feb 11, 2021)
A new series
We are currently developing an “An Afternoon With…” series that highlights diversity success stories from pioneers in the library profession and beyond.  The first webinar in the “An Afternoon With…” series will feature
Kim Haas, host and producer of  “Afro-Latino Travels” now airing on PBS television.  This webinar will be offered on February 16, 2021.  Upcoming panelists will include Tracie Hall (American Library Association), Anthony D. Smith (Institute of Museum and Library Service), and Athena Jackson (newly appointed Dean of Libraries at the University of Houston). 
Shared Print Updates
CRL joins Rosemont Alliance:  On January 14, the Rosemont Shared Print Alliance announced the Center for Research Libraries had become the newest participating library.  Judy Russell, Dean of University Libraries at the University of Florida and outgoing Chair of the Rosemont Alliance Executive Committee, added, “Since its initial founding, the Rosemont Alliance has focused on collective action in responsibly stewarding serials and journals in libraries across the United States.  A number of the Rosemont Alliance member programs have worked with CRL on collection analysis initiatives in the past and we look forward to further collaboration with CRL.  They are an important partner in improving our ability to work at scale to preserve these valuable resources for the scholarly community.”  The addition of CRL brings 44,000 new titles to the Rosemont corpus of retained print scholarly journals – 4,000 of which are the only known copy within the Alliance.  CRL’s collection will also fill more than 3,000 gaps in sparsely-held titles, to build more complete runs. See for the full announcement.

Doug Way appointed to Scholars Trust Governing Council & Rosemont Alliance Executive Committee: 
The ASERL Board of Directors recently appointed Doug Way, Dean of Libraries at the University of Kentucky, to serve as one of ASERL’s representatives to the Scholars Trust Governing Council and the Rosemont Shared Print Alliance Executive Committee.  Doug is successor to Don Gilstrap (Dean of Libraries at the University of Alabama), whose term on these bodies rotated as of December 31, 2020.  ASERL is most grateful to Don for his service, and we welcome Doug as he becomes more involved with ASERL activities.   The Board also offered its thanks to the other ASERL Deans who volunteered to help with these duties.

Last Known Copy Initiative: The Rosemont Shared Print Alliance was formed with the vision “To ensure the preservation and availability of print journal literature.” In advancing this vision, the Rosemont Alliance Executive Committee has recently approved a new initiative to identify and retain those print journal titles that appear to have only one copy held by libraries participating in the Rosemont Alliance and for which only one copy was reported in OCLC (U.S. holdings).  Using data generated through collection analysis projects with the Center for Research Libraries, there are approximately 61,500 journal titles that fit these parameters and have not yet been committed for long-term retention.   The Rosemont Alliance has invited a representative sampling of libraries to join a pilot project to analyze the data on the last known copies, weigh commitments for their retention, and develop best practices for future use.  ASERL libraries participating in the pilot project are Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Georgia, and the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.
Update on Adam
Matthew Digital offer
Under Development: ASERL Licensing Principles
ASERL has secured an extension of our group-purchase offer with Adam Matthew Digital (AMD) through March 15, 2021.  If ASERL members’ combined expenditures with AMD for the period December 1, 2019 – March 15, 2021 equal or exceed a total of $2.9M, all ASERL libraries will receive perpetual access to the 79 titles published by AMD through 2016.  That portfolio of content is valued at $3.6M.  As of this writing, ASERL libraries have reached 87% of the group-expenditure goal.   For more information about this and all offers available to ASERL libraries, please see
Several of ASERL’s Interest Groups have asked us to draft and ratify a consensus set of Licensing Principles to be used in future vendor negotiations.  ASERL recently appointed 12 people to serve on the Working Group to research models and draft a document for ASERL to review.  We had LOTS of volunteers to work on this -- more than was needed for the research tasks.  When it is ready, the additional volunteers will be asked to serve as peer reviewers before the draft is submitted to ASERL leadership for final sign-off.  The final product is expected to be ready for public use in early Summer 2021.
Coming Soon:
Controlled Digital Lending Resource Guide
Coming Soon:
Member Input for new ASERL website
For the past year ASERL has been convening an informal discussion group to provide a forum for members to discuss their interests and concerns about Controlled Digital Lending (CDL).  As a result of these discussions, we are putting the final touches on a new, concise Resource Guide to assist libraries that are considering if and how they might implement a CDL program.  The “ASERL Resource Guide for Controlled Digital Lending” is expected to be published in early February 2021.  Watch the ASERL website for more information.
An important part of our 2020-2023 "ASERL Ahead" Strategic Directions is to improve member engagement, including an evaluation and update to ASERL's current website, which was originally deployed in 2011.  ASERL will soon call for volunteers to help with the many tasks that fall under this project, including website assessment, refining goals for a new website, drafting an RFP for potential vendors, and assessing the redevelopment work through the go-live stage.  Stay tuned for more information via ASERL email lists.

ASERL 2020 Holiday e-Card

On December 10, ASERL posted its fifth annual holiday e-card.  With so much turmoil and disruption in today’s world, the ASERL Board selected the theme of “Wild, Weird, and Silly.”  In addition to her responsibilities as ASERL’s Shared Print Program Coordinator, Cheryle Cole-Bennett is our in-house artsy-crafty person. 

“The pleasure of crafting our holiday card comes in the weaving of traditionally non-traditional holiday images into a greeting that conveys our heartfelt sentiments of the season - with maybe just a touch of humor. Because, you know, nothing says “Seasons Greetings” quite like a toothbrush tester with false teeth.
- Cheryle Cole-Bennett

More than 28 ASERL libraries contributed to the final product, available for your viewing pleasure at

Want to stay up to date about ASERL activities?
Our day-to-day announcements are shared with ASERL members via numerous listservs.  If you'd like to stay abreast of our work, please subscribe to the email list that most closely matches your roles and interests.  See
Reminder:  Amazon Smile & Kroger Rewards
Thanks to COVID-19, most of us are doing a lot more online shopping these days. 
  • If you use Amazon, please consider designating ASERL as the beneficiary organization of your online purchases.  More information can be found at
  • If you use Kroger (online or in-person) for grocery shopping, you can add ASERL to receive donations from your Kroger Rewards card.  The benefits to ASERL do not impact/reduce the Kroger Reward points you earn as a shopper. To add ASERL to your Kroger account, login at, click on “My Account” then “Community Rewards.” You can search for ASERL via our Kroger number: 
    and then click on “Enroll” to add ASERL to your profile.
These are both free and easy – and great new ways you can support ASERL!
Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL)
Robert W. Woodruff Library
540 Asbury Circle, Suite 316
Atlanta, GA 30322-1006
Telephone: 404-727-0137

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