American Numismatic Association governor Clifford Mishler has announced his candidacy for the organization's office of President. At my request he provided the following thoughts on the organization and its numismatic library. -EditorIt is my view that the ANA backbone is comprised of four delivery services for the membership.
1) The Numismatist
2) The convention venues
3) The Summer Seminar
4) The circulating library
Given the present budget constraints under which the ANA is operating, as it reaches to achieve balanced budget performance (a pursuit which is likely to be complicated by the troubling economic times presently being experienced across the country), it must focus available assets on these four areas of delivery.
Yes, the ANA also offers an impressive Money Museum, but it can provide only a narrow range of service to the membership. And, it also sponsors a range of meritorious educational outreach programs, none of which are self-sustainable financially, with the benefits thereof being difficult, if not impossible to track.
Accordingly, it is my belief that we must concentrate our efforts towards enhancing the service and impact of the four backbone areas indicated. Being chartered as a non-profit, educational organization, whose purpose is to encourage the study and collecting of money in its many forms and related items, these four backbone areas are ideally suited for providing the ANA and the greater hobby community with the greatest bang for its buck.
We must assure that The Numismatist serves the broad spectrum of membership interests, that the convention venues serve to provide maximum exposure for the membership and participating dealers, while exposing the allure of the hobby to the novice and developing higher levels of enthusiasm among those already possessed of a degree of captivation with the hobby, that the Summer Seminar sessions serve to build and broadcast the knowledge quotient level within the hobby, and that the (Dwight N. Manley) circulating library serves to provide the membership with the ultimate research resource to serve their needs.
While I have never been a heavy user of the ANA library myself, I have long been an avid reader of, and advocate of the availability of published numismatic references and literature, going back to my very first .resource,. the 1950 .Annual Catalog. of the Tatham Stamp and Coin Co. that I received when making my first coin purchase.
By the mid-1950s, while still in high school, I had managed to build a personal reference library that probably numbered three or four score books and pamphlets, occupying perhaps three feet of shelf space, a reasonably respectable resource in those days.
By 1958 I was embarking upon a career of contributing to the published resource base of the hobby, beginning with the self-publication of a study with an ungainly title; 1958 United States and Canadian Commemorative Medals and Tokens. After continuing similar annual compilations for the next five years, in 1963 I embarked on a 40 year career in association with Krause Publications, with my reference resource becoming the ever expanding company library.
What I learned in the process is that one can never have too many resources, nor too much information at hand. Thus, I feel that it is vitally important that the ANA continue to develop and expand its circulating library and services to serve the ever expanding needs of its membership and the greater hobby community.
The library must be comprehensive in nature. Its services must change with the times, fully embracing the evolving electronic world. Of paramount importance, it must always be user friendly. As one of the four backbone units of the organization, the ANA library is deserving of appropriate assignment of physical, personnel and financial assets that are in keeping with the significant role it plays in the success of the organization and the greater hobby community.
I'm sure many E-Sylum readers have similar thoughts on the need to maintain a comprehensive and accessible ANA library. I would encourage the ANA members among us to carefully consider the positions of all candidate when voting - the library can use our support. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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