Roman Catholic

Members Present

  • Jessica Boyer, Mount St. Mary’s University
  • Ezra Choe, Baylor University
  • Stephanie Garrett, Catholic Distance University
  • Kathy Harty, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology
  • Barnaby Hughes, Atla
  • Alan Krieger, University of Notre Dame
  • David Kriegh, Saint Mary’s College of California
  • Brian Morin, Mt. Angel Abbey
  • Ann Owen, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology
  • Steve Perisho, Seattle Pacific University
  • Derek Rieckens, Catholic Theological Union
  • Connie Song, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology
  • Christa Strickler, University of Notre Dame

Year in Review

On June 23, 2023, members of Atla’s Roman Catholic Denominational group met virtually as a smaller but lively group. Many of us had just seen each other in person the previous week at Atla Annual 2023 in Fort Worth, but the new conference schedule did not allow for an additional and less formal meeting such as the one we conducted in Baltimore last year. However, we did note that much of what is discussed in our annual online meeting comes to fruition at the annual conference, with useful Catholic-focused content presented to the Atla community. Hopefully, this year’s meeting will be the starting point of engaging sessions when we reconvene in Long Beach in 2024. In the meantime, this group is taking the lead in developing a top-level LibGuide at Atla that will provide clear direction for Catholic researchers and researchers of Catholicism. We also resolved to keep an eye on the accessibility of recently discontinued resources such as Origins as well as publications with unpredictable distribution patterns, such as the English edition of L’Osservatore Romano. I hope that our common bonds and institutional diversity will dovetail to provide a foundation for greater collaboration with the shared goal of providing the widest and best resources for our faculty, students, and seminarians, no matter where they are studying.


  1. Opening prayer: Stephanie Garrett
  2. Review of 2022 Minutes: approved as submitted to the Annual Proceedings
  3. Welcome, Introductions, and Updates
  4. Old Business
    1. Presentation Roundup - Ezra Choe, Christa Strickler, Stephen Sweeney, and Kathy Harty all presented at this year’s conference. Connie Song attended the Perlego presentation.
    2. LibGuide Project - After discussions with the Atla staff, we have permission to have a top-level guide on Catholicism, rather than being a subset of the World Religions guide. Stephanie had sent out a survey for what to include, but only received six responses. We do not yet have a shell, but will create a Google Doc for ideas.
    3. Core Print Analysis - GreenGlass is not really an option for our group, but it would certainly be a good idea to collaborate in some way between identifying core titles that should be part of any library of a particular type (e.g. seminary library) and identifying which libraries have a particular focus that could be part of a resource sharing network.
      • Stephanie will send out the link to the survey, which will also be sent to the Catholic Library Association listserv by Kathy Harty.
      • Connie has set up a Google Doc for all to contribute ideas.
      • Ezra will assist with all duties.
    4. Catholic Library Association Update - CLA is moving to a virtual, 2-day conference that combines the awards and presentation content. The 2024 conference is April 25-26. All are encouraged to consider presenting, as well as suggesting awardees for the Jerome Award, given by the Academic/Archives/Library Education section.
    5. Origins - no longer operative, and there is nothing similar that gathers less well-known statements and documents. However, the website might still contain previously published items.
    6. David will investigate and report.
  5. New Business
    1. Following the April announcement of talks between the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA) and Atla, in June it was announced that CRRA was becoming part of Atla. CRRA members approved the vote, and are aware they will need to become institutional members of Atla. The Catholic Portal and the Newspaper Archive will remain openly available. The Atla website has posted an FAQ with more information.
    2. Atla indexers have not received any issues of l’Osservatore Romano since February 25, 2022. There is a new U.S. publisher, possibly EBSCO, but Atla has had no communication from anyone. If any institution has issues they could donate for indexing, please contact Barnaby Hughes.
  6. Closing Prayer: David Kriegh

Round Robin Reports

Baylor University – Ezra Choe, Theology and Religious Studies Librarian, is new to Atla and this group and very interested in cooperating in theology with anyone’s projects.

Catholic Distance University – The new president begins July 3 and envisions taking it to a research-level institution, as well as becoming bilingual. Stephanie Garrett is currently working on developing language fluency, as well as the library’s Spanish-language holdings.

Catholic Theological Union – Derek Rieckens reports that the Lutheran School of Theology and McCormick Seminary will be leasing space at CTU, which means the library will be weeding 30% of its print collection in order to create space. He will be working with SCELC to use OCLC GreenGlass in analyzing their holdings to make selections.

Mt. Angel Abbey – Brian Morin has secured a fully-funded archivist/cataloger position, and the library has completed its first year with new ILS Koha and OpenAthens.

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology – Connie Song reports the library is in preparation for remodeling the reference room, currently weeding the reference collection. Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, she is beginning thesis work for her MAT.

Mount St. Mary’s University – Library director Jessica Boyer reports that the library is migrating to a new ILS, Alma.

Sacred Heart Seminary & School of Theology – Jennie Bartholomew has retired, and the school is in the process of a library director search. All 3 full-time librarians now have faculty status. The school is developing an institutional repository using Omeka through a consortia purchase. Cardinal Stritch University, one of the founding members of the SWITCH consortium in Milwaukee, closed suddenly this spring.

Saint Mary’s College of California – David Kriegh earned an MA in Theology from Holy Apostles College & Seminary this past May. The library is in the process of weeding about ¼ of the collection in preparation for a building remodel.

Seattle Pacific University – Steve Perisho reports that the institution has been struggling financially. Forty percent of the faculty have been laid off, and no replacements will be hired for library paraprofessionals.

University of Notre Dame – Christa Strickler is in her first year as the e-reserves metadata librarian. The university is preparing for a new library system. Alan Krieger reports that the library is in the midst of strategic planning and gap analysis and commented on CRRA’s new partnership with Atla.

Atla – Barnaby Hughes is now on the editorial board for the Catholic Library World journal. He has been indexing the journals from the Oblate School of Theology and the Catholic Southwest / Texas Catholic History Association for Atla’s Catholic Periodical Literature Index (CPLI).