The Discussion Group met at 9:30 in Bonham Room at the Marriott River Walk. Susan Peters called the meeting to order.
William Gargan agreed to serve as the next MLAIB discussion leader.
Scott Stebelman announced that this would be his last ALA conference. Scott is leaving the profession to pursue other creative and scholarly interests. The group expressed its gratitude to Scott for the important contributions he made to the Discussion Group since its inception. He will be missed.
It was agreed that Martha Zarate would take over the listserv and that Susanna Van Sant would assume responsibility for the web page. Susanna will investigate the possibility of moving the web page to the ALA server.
Terence Ford reported on recent developments concerning the MLA Bibliography. As the result of a sizable grant from the Mellon Foundation, the MLAIB plans to expand in several directions. Beginning with the year 2000, MLA will take over the compilation of the CCCC Bibliography of Composition and Rhetoric. The MLAIB will also begin coverage of publications on the teaching of language and the teaching of literature. Coverage of West Asian literature is being improved as well. The classification scheme will be revised and additional staff added in order to accommodate these changes.
The Directory of Periodicals, published last July, will be the last to be issued in paper. MLA has offered the electronic version of the Directory free to all of its vendors and will only provide updates in this format. So far, only Silver Platter has taken advantage of the offer. The Directory should be available through Silver Platter next month. There are currently 3,950 titles in the Directory of Periodicals, of which approximately 500 titles were added last year.
Scott Stebelman presented a paper entitled "Retrieval Performance and Citation Characteristics of the MLA International Bibliography and the Annual Bibliography for English Language and Literature: A Comparative Study." A lively discussion on the strong and weak points of both reference sources followed.
The group began a discussion of relative merits of the print and electronic versions of the MLAIB. Reasons for libraries to keep the print version were explored. It was suggested that this topic be taken up again at the annual meeting in Chicago.
In terms of future projects, Scott Stebelman suggested that the group might want to update the Bibliography on the MLAIB that was done three years ago and check on the links to user aids for the MLAIB that currently exist on the web page.
The meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.