Masonic Library & Museum Association

Minutes from MLMA Meeting 1999

Oct. 28-30, 1999 in Madison, Wisconsin

Group Picture

Pictured above are MLMA members who attended the October 1999 meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, and who were present on the last day for this photograph.
Front row: Jennifer Somerwitz (in blue jacket), Nancy Wilson (in red blouse), Marie Barnett (in blue blouse)
2nd row: Cynthia Alcorn (in red top), Al Bryant (in red shirt),
Paul M. Bessel (in dark suit), Jim Dufrsne (in light suit),
Glenys Waldman (in white blouse)
3rd row: Cathy Bryant (in light top), Michael Kaulback (in white shirt), Bill Kreuger (in white top), Dick Browning (in light suit)
remaining rows: Harry Strouse (in light shirt), Phil Rose (in blue suit), Mike Wells (in dark suit), John Platt (in dark suit),
Dick Fletcher (in light sweater) 


The 1999 MLMA meeting was held Oct. 28-30, 1999, in Madison, Wisconsin.

The following were in attendance:

Cynthia Alcorn Library of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
Marie Barnett Library of the Grand Lodge of Virginia
Mary Barnowske Library of the Detroit Masonic Temple
Paul M. Bessel Library of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, and
Library of the Grand Lodge of D.C.
Dick Browning Library of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas
Al & Cathy Bryant Library, Grand Rapids, Michigan
James Dufresne Library of the Grand Lodge of Maine
Samuel & Jeanette Ferguson Library of the Masonic Temple in Madison, Wisconsin
Richard Fletcher Masonic Service Association
Michael Kaulback Library of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
Bill Krueger Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa
John Platt Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
Phil Rose Library of the Masonic Temple in Madison, Wisconsin
Jennifer Somerwitz Library of the Grand Lodge of New York
Harry Strouse Library of the Scottish Rite in Chicago
Glenys Waldman Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
Michael Wells Library, Bloomington, Illinois
Nancy Wilson Library, Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction

The meeting began with introductions of all present.

Each officer (President, Vice President, Secretary) then reported on their activities during the last year for the MLMA. The Secretary pointed out the methods of computer communication that had been established for MLMA members, including our own website (

Glenys Waldman led a discussion about cataloging, including the Boyden system and others, and the use of computer programs in cataloging.

Nancy Wilson led a discussion about subject headings.

James E. Toomey was a guest to make a presentation about book conservation, including such things as prioritizing what needs to be done in each collection, how to obtain appropriate supplies, and what techniques can be used even by those who are not experts in this field.

There was also a discussion about mission statements, and this led to a discussion about how to try to get more Masons to use Masonic libraries. There was also discussion about circulation policies. 

There was a discussion about Friends of the Library programs, and how to get and use volunteers. 

Phil Rose gave a presentation about the use of the internet for library purchases, including books and online auctions.

David Benjamin, an archivist from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, presented a program about how to preserve photographs, and appropriate policies for libraries that allow others to use the photographs in their collection.

Those in attendance agreed to hold the MLMA 2001 meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Concluding comments were made by John Platt and others, thanking him for his efforts in the past.

Dick Browning suggested that the MLMA should have a display at the Conference of Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries.

Elections were held for officers for 1999-2001, and the following were elected:

  • President - Paul M. Bessel
  • Vice President - Jim Dufresne
  • Secretary - Cynthia Alcorn
  • Treasurer - Mike Wells

Agenda, as posted before the meeting:

Thursday - Oct. 28th

  9:00 am Welcome, etc.
  9:30 Cataloguing and subject headings
10:45 break
11:00 Cataloging and subject headings (continued)
12:15 pm break
12:30 Lunch
  1:30 Book conservation
  2:45 break
  3:00 Book conservation (continued)
  4:15 free time
  6:30 Dinner (followed by open ended discussion of attendees' problems, needs, concerns, etc.)

Friday - Oct. 29th

  9:00 am Establishing a "Friends of the Library"
10:15 break
10:30 Mission statements/collection development policies
11:45 break
12:00 pm lunch
  1:00 Using the Internet for collection development
  2:15 break
  2:30 Iconographic collections (development, maintenance)
  3:45 break
  4:00 tour of the Madison Masonic Center
  4:30 free time
  6:30 Banquet

Saturday - Oct. 30th

  9:00 am MLMA business meeting and election of 1999-2001 officers