The Africana Librarians Council (ALC) was founded in 1957 as part of the African Studies Association (ASA) under the name Archives/Libraries Committee. The ALC continues today as a coordinate organization of the ASA. Members of ASA - whether they are librarians, archivists or documentalists working with materials from and about Africa or scholars interested in the preservation of or access to Africana - may join the ALC.
The Africana Librarians Council meets twice each year : a Spring meeting at a member institution, and a Fall meeting during the African Studies Association's Annual Meeting.
Collections and User Services Committee activities include discussion of issues relating to access to the intellectual content of library materials through reference works, bibliographies, indexes, etc., reference and bibliographic instruction. Matters pertaining to collection development and the broad themes of Africana librarianship can also find a forum in this group. Formerly, Bibliography Committee, name changed in Spring 2015.
The committee chairperson coordinates the nomination process for the biennial Conover Porter Prize for Africana Bibliography or Reference Work.
For more details on the activities and discussions of the Collections and User Services Committee, consult the meeting minutes and reports on this web site.
Update on 2020 Award Cycle. Following their deliberations in May 2020, the Conover-Porter Award Committee decided that the sole submission for this year's cycle did not meet the criteria for the award, and therefore decided against awarding the prize this year. The Committee notified the secretariat of African Studies Association of their decision.
The Conover-Porter Award for Africana Bibliography or Reference Work is presented every two years by the Africana Librarians Council of the African Studies Association (US). The award recognizes outstanding achievement in Africana bibliography and reference tools among works published in the preceding two years. The Conover-Porter Award was established in honor of two pioneers in African Studies bibliography, Helen F. Conover, of the Library of Congress, and Dorothy B. Porter, of Howard University.
The Book Donation Committee's main activity is administering the annual ASA Gretchen Walsh Book Donation Awards program. (Formerly, Book Donations Task Force.)
The Committee created a Directory of Book Donation Programs (University at Albany website) and discusses the major issues in supply of library materials to African Libraries.
The African Studies Association offers an annual grant program, the ASA Gretchen Walsh Book Donation Awards, to assist book donation projects with shipping costs to send books to African libraries and schools. The ALC Gretchen Walsh Book Donations Committee reads grant proposals and makes recommendations to ASA. The Committee generally selects grants in amounts from $200 to $1,000. Those applying for partial funding of a project should clearly show how additional funding will be solicited. The grants are intended to encourage innovative projects that incorporate essential elements, including: Recipient participation; High quality materials; Attention to details of logistics.
ASA accepts direct donations to support this form of outreach to assist African libraries and schools with shipping costs for books and media donations, to supplement other ASA funding including outreach grants. All those who wish to donate may do so by sending a check directly to ASA signifying this specific intention for your donation. ASA members who wish to donate at the time of annual membership or conference registration will now be able to check a box designating a donation specifically toward this award.
Cataloging Committee activities include discussion of issues relevant to cataloging, classification and related work in making materials in library collections accessible to researchers, along with action as needed on specific concerns and projects. The Committee is also a clearinghouse for reports of cataloging-related groups of other organizations.
One ongoing project of the Cataloging Committee is the Africana Subject Funnel Project.
For more detailed descriptions of discussions and activities, see the meeting minutes and reports on this web site.
The Cataloging Committee aims to provide greater and better access to Africana materials through the Africana Subject Funnel Project. Started in Spring 1995, the project concentrates on creating new subject headings and changing or updating old subject headings.
The Africana Subject Funnel Project falls SACO (Subject Authority Cooperative Program) under the Library of Congress Cooperative Cataloging Program. The funnel project coordinator is the current Cataloging Committee chairperson.