2011 ALA Conference Program

You Can’t Always Get What You Want
But Sometimes You Get What You Need
Special Collections in Tough Economic Times

View Program Introduction slides

Sunday, June 26, 2011
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOMCC) -- Room 356-357
900 Convention Center Blvd.
New Orleans, LA

Presented by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS)
Co-sponsored by the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA)

RBMS Conference Program Postcard

Ellen S. Dunlap, President, American Antiquarian Society
Kris Kiesling, Elmer L. Andersen Director of Archives and Special Collections, University of Minnesota
Richard W. Oram, Associate Director and Hobby Foundation Librarian, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin

Jennifer Schaffner, Program Officer, OCLC Research

Program Summary:

How have rare book and special collections libraries weathered the global financial crisis of 2008? Presented at the end of the second full fiscal year in which libraries have absorbed budget cuts, layoffs, and job and wage freezes, a panel of special collections library administrators will compare notes on their experiences during this period and will discuss whether the economic downturn might have resulted in positive, as well as negative, developments for their institutions.


Ellen S. Dunlap Ellen S. Dunlap has been president of the American Antiquarian Society, a national research library of American history in Worcester, MA, since 1992. Previously she was director of the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia (1983-1992) and research librarian at the Humanities Research Center (now the Harry Ransom Center) at the University of Texas at Austin (1973-1983). A graduate of UT Austin, she received her masters degree in library science from that institution in 1974. Dunlap is currently chair of the Independent Research Libraries Association and a past board member of the Rare Book School, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities (where she was president), the Research Libraries Group, and the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries, which she helped to found in 1985.
Kris Kiesling Kris Kiesling is the Elmer L. Andersen Director of Archives and Special Collections at the University of Minnesota, a position she has held since 2005. Previously she had held a number of positions at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, starting as head of the Department of Manuscripts and Archives in 1990, and ultimately serving as Associate Director for Technical and Digital Services. She received her MLIS from the University of Michigan in 1988. She has been involved in archival descriptive standards development, including Encoded Archival Description (EAD), and Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), and taught numerous workshops on EAD. Kris is a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists.
Richard Oram Richard Oram is Associate Director and Hobby Foundation Librarian at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, where he is responsible for all collections and public services. He received his Ph.D. (English literature) at Cornell University, his M.L.I.S. from the University of Texas, and B.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Previously he was head of special collections at the University of Toledo and Washington and Lee University. He is a former Chair of RBMS and has served as Chair of the Security and Publications Committees. Oram has published over 20 articles, including an essay on the recovery of stolen special collections, soon to appear in the ACRL's Guide to Security Considerations and Practices for Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collection Libraries. He also co-edited The House of Knopf (2010) in the Dictionary of Literary Biography Documentary series.
Jennifer Schaffner Jennifer Schaffner is a Program Officer with OCLC Research and the RLG Partnership. She designs projects and leads work with the RLG Partnership concerning archives, rare books, manuscripts, scholarly expectations, data curation, and collaboration among libraries, archives and museums. Jennifer has an MLIS from the University of Alberta and an MA in history from UC Irvine. Jennifer specializes in public services, special collections, and support for scholarly research. She is active professionally in RBMS, SAA, APHA and SHARP. Prior to joining OCLC Research, Jennifer worked in rare book libraries and archives at UCLA and the California Historical Society. Earlier her career focused on general reference, public services and bibliography at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New York Public Library, and Stanford.