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House approves changes to ADA Library

October 30, 2012

By Karen Fox, ADA News staff

San Francisco—Weighing member use against the financial stability of the Association, the ADA House of Delegates Oct. 23 approved a change in certain services of the ADA Library.

The ways that members use the Library are evolving, and for the next year the ADA will explore the use of online catalogs and other digital services in place of hard copy materials to meet members’ information needs.

The changes approved by the House are set to take place in stages over the next year. ADA Library services will stay the same through the end of 2012, including the transmittal of journal articles either in PDF format or in print as well as use of the archived materials, and Library staff are still available to respond to inquiries by phone and email.

The budget cuts, which were proposed by the Board of Trustees, were among several difficult decisions made “in order to best allocate financial resources,” said the ADA in a statement regarding the changes. Fewer than 1 percent of members used the Library’s services last year, and library usage and methods of research are changing.

“The Board considered the cost and the value of all ADA programs as part of the budget process and ranked programs in terms of alignment with the ADA Strategic Plan ... After a thorough assessment and ranking of all programs of the ADA, some aspects of library use were determined to be of lower wide-spread usage and the Board agreed it was prudent to sunset those in 2013.” (Read the full story at Library Status.)

The House’s action will result in a reduction of staff in the ADA Library and an end to walk-in member use, book purchases and loans, though reference services and journal article delivery are expected to continue.

At its hearing Oct. 20, the Reference Committee on Dental Education, Science and Related Matters considered a proposal submitted by the 8th District to maintain the Library’s current status. After hearing testimony on both sides of the issue, the Reference Committee offered its own version, which the House approved as Resolution 159H-2012:

“Resolved, that the library collections and physical space be maintained without disposition in 2013 and that appropriate agencies develop a transition plan for the Library to be reported to the 2013 House of Delegates.”

The 8th and 11th Districts had offered another plan for a committee to study the issue for a year, but delegates voted instead to approve the reference committee’s recommendation.

An article on the House adoption of the Association’s operating budget is at ADA Financials.