Search the Catholic Portal

CRRA May/June 2011 Update

The May/June 2011 CRRA Update is now available at:

In this issue you will find news items regarding:

  • Tom Leonhardt Retires from CRRA Board of Directors and Digital Access Committee (DAC)
  • Welcome to CRRA’s Six New Members
  • From the Board: NEH Challenge Grant Proposal Deferred; CRAA to Develop Five Year Strategic Plan
  • The Collections Committee Update: Developing Critical Mass Around Three Themes
  • Member Institutions Continue Portal Usability Studies
  • CRRA in ACCU News
  • Mark your calendars to attend “Advancing Catholic Scholarly Research: A Symposium at Duquesne University.” November 9-10, 2011, Pittsburgh, PA.  Details at:


CRRA Welcomes Six New Members

Welcome to our newest members!

Look for more on our newest members in future updates.

Tom Leonhardt

After a distinguished career, Tom Leonhardt is retiring from St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX and returning to the Pacific Northwest.

From the beginning, Tom’s thoughtful voice has informed, encouraged and supported the development of the Alliance through his leadership on the Board and as Chair of the Digital Access Committee. Tom leaves with these words:


“I have been privileged to have been a part of CRRA from the time it was one person's vision through an exciting period of growth led by another person with a shared vision and the organizational and leadership skills to make it all work. Working with other directors of Catholic university libraries brought me into a group that not only included collaborative achievements but the good fellowship that one finds over drinks and shared meals. There are other associations, too, that come with CRRA, the Digital Access Committee being the one that I know best. Thanks to you all for your fellowship and shared memories.”

Thank you, Tom, for your many contributions in shaping the CRRA.  We will miss you and wish you the very best.



NEH Challenge Grant Proposal Deferred: From the Board

One goal in the strategic plan for this year was to submit a grant proposal to the NEH Challenge Grant Program. However, as the Board and Terry Ehling (strategic consultant) reviewed the proposal, the Board decided we would benefit from doing a five year strategic plan before submitting the proposal. The proposal spoke clearly to the mission and positive impact on Catholic scholarship but it was not clear what the financial target of the grant should be.  The purpose of an NEH challenge grant is to assist the grantee in building capacity and infrastructure to carry out its mission. In looking ahead, we recognized that the annual goals for 2011/12 mark the third year of the current strategic plan and realized this is a good time to develop a five year strategic plan. Doing so we believe will allow us to create a bold and even stronger proposal of what we can do over the next five years in supporting the needs scholars on our own campuses have expressed in focus groups and usability studies.  In the context of the longer term directions and goals, we will also be able to determine an appropriate financial target to assist in building capacity and infrastructure.


Developing a Five Year Strategic Plan

The Board is setting up a Task Force to develop a five year (FY2012/13-2016/17) strategic plan < Plan > to identify key directions and goals for the CRRA and the Catholic portal. The plan will include a statement of core values, vision and mission; a statement on the benefits of CRRA in advancing Catholic scholarship, and directions and strategies to carry out the mission and deliver value to stakeholders. While the planning process is underway, we will continue to implement the goals for the coming year (2011-12) and especially the three priorities identified in the March membership meeting.

We propose a task force of five to seven members and with representation from each committee, the Board and members at large. Pat Lawton, Jennifer Younger and Terry Ehling will be ex officio members. If you are interested, please send an email to Pat or Jennifer who will create a list of interested members for the Board.

Once the task force is in place, more information will be forthcoming on the process, time line, key questions and most importantly, opportunities for member input. We can achieve our mission and aims only through the direction and participation of our members.


Portal Anecdote: User Connected with Parish History

A variety of interesting requests come through the “Contact us” link on our homepage and one of the most rewarding to date came recently from a woman “working on a history of the Church of the Magdalene and gathering all print sources that [she] can find.”  She referenced a record for a parish history listed in the portal.  In a short period of time, the item was located, scanned, and sent to the church via the requester.  She was pleased to receive the document, and we were pleased to know that the portal had enabled access to a valued resource to one very real user.

Users are finding us!  If you have portal success stories to share in future Updates, please pass them on.

CRRA in the News

ACCU Summer 2011 Newsletter on the CRRA/Duquesne Symposium

The Summer 2011 ACCU Update includes an announcement of the upcoming November Symposium hosted by Duquesne University and the CRRA.  See the full article on page 12 of ACCU’s newsletter, available at:

For details about the CRRA/Duquesne Symposium, see




The Collections Committee Update: Developing Critical Mass around Three Themes

The Collections Committee states goal 1.1. on the 2011/2012 strategic plan as: “Encourage development of critical mass around three themes: Women religious, Vatican 2, and Catholic social action.”   The Committee emphasizes that highlighting these themes is not prescriptive but rather suggestive. The idea is to encourage members to think about their own holdings in these areas and to add to the portal what they may have in these areas, thereby supporting the portal goal to build collections.

If you have rare or uncommon materials in these subject areas, these would be especially welcome additions to the portal. Of course, contributions relating to any of the twelve primary collecting themes are helpful and highly desirable. If you have any questions about priorities, please contact Pat Lawton or any member of the Collections Committee.


All CRRA events and events of possible interest to members are posted to the CRRA calendar, please bookmark this link for future reference.

Check our progress and news on the CRRA blog:

CRRA Update is an electronic newsletter distributed via email to provide members with an update of CRRA activities.  Please contact Pat at 574.631.1324 or email [email protected] with your questions, comments, or news to share.

CRRA Calendar:
CRRA Goals for 2011/2012:
Duquesne/CRRA Symposium:
Task Force to Develop a Five Year Strategic Plan:





Share this post:

Comments on "CRRA May/June 2011 Update"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment