RUSA Update Fall 2009


CODES Communications Committee

The Communications Committee met at 1:00 pm on 7/11/2009. Members present were Daniel Mack (chair), Steve Alleman, Vicki D. Bloom, Rochelle Redmond Ballard; virtual members Corrado Di Tillio Matthew J. Wayman

The committee met to discuss revising the committee charges; assisting the CODES webmaster in efforts to clean up and improve CODES web pages; and facilitating communications between CODES committees, discussion groups, and other units. The committee is continuing its work to make serious improvements in CODES’ Web presence and in communication among CODES committees, RUSA, and ALA professional staff.

The CODES Communications Committee will meet virtually for the ALA 2010 Mid-Winter Meeting. The committee is currently investigating best practices for virtual meetings.


BRASS notes Fall 2009

Message from the (outgoing) Chair

ALA in Chicago.

Despite the difficulties of getting between meetings I believe that the Chicago meeting was very successful.

The new pre-conference “MBA in a DAY” was well attended and also received great reviews and feedback. This led the way for the rest of the programs and forums that were equally well received.

BRASS officially began with the New Members Reception hosted by InfoUSA in a bar that was my idea of Old Chicago; I could imagine that at one time Studs Terkel sat at that bar. It was good to meet with new and continuing members and the reps from InfoUSA.

We got stimulating ideas from the BRASS Forum and the BRASS Discussion Group as well as excellent presentations for the two Monday morning programs. The presentation on global business was well attended but the numbers for the economic development program were close to overwhelming. As always Standard & Poor’s supplied a terrific breakfast with food that lasted most of the morning!

The conference ended with an optional visit to the Euromonitor reception atop the Santa Fe building in downtown Chicago. The views were superb and made one remember why Chicago is such a popular meeting place for many of us. The final event was the dinner organized by Mark Andersen where the food was superb and the company outstanding.

I know that many of us will not be in Boston for Midwinter meetings so let’s just vow to make the next Annual in Washington, D.C. one to remember. I want to thank everyone in BRASS for making my year as chair enjoyable and memorable. In the words of Witter Bynner:

“I am a miser of my memories of you. And will not spend them.”

Rita Moss, Chair 2008-2009

Message from the (incoming) Chair

Stay tuned as BRASS prepares for a new e-participation era beginning with our “all virtual” January 2010 Midwinter Meeting. In the meantime, make sure you’re signed up for BRASS-L, the BRASS email group, for more BRASS-related news and information. Just go to and follow the links under RUSA. Keep an eye on the BRASS web site as we work to update it with handouts and other links from ALA Annual in Chicago and take advantage of all of the useful tools and publications you can find there like the BRASS Best of the Best Business Web Sites and Public Libraries Briefcase.

And don’t forget to explore the new ALA Connect system where you’ll find a growing clearinghouse of business database tutorials, committee information and more. I’m looking forward to working with all of the BRASS committees and getting to know more BRASS members. If you have questions about getting more involved in BRASS, please let me know!

Celia Ross, Chair 2009-2010

BRASS Programs Reports

BRASS Forum: Resources and Strategies for Job Hunting and Career Change Forum
The Resources and Strategies for Job Hunting and Career Change forum was a success, with thirty-five people attending. Presentations and handouts will be sent to the BRASS webmaster to be posted on the website. A new Public Libraries Briefcase, “Using Local Business Sources in a Challenging Economy” is ready to be posted as well. Topics for future Briefcases include social networking for business, finding info on private companies, and revision of the Small Business Sources Online (which was done in 2004). Rhonda Kleiman, Chair

BRASS Discussion Group: The Financial Crisis and its Impact on Business Reference
Close to eighty people discussed topics of interest to business librarians at the BRASS Discussion Group on Sunday July 12th from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM at the Palmer House in Chicago. The meeting started with a brief BRASS business meeting and then moved on to a discussion of the economic situation and its impact. Other issues and topics were also discussed later in the meeting. Detailed notes from the meeting will be available on the BRASS Discussion Group website soon. Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to a successful discussion.

Louise Feldmann, Chair

Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee The main discussion at the BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee meeting in July 2009 in Chicago consisted of the BRASS publications the committee publishes, the transformation of the midwinter meeting of most of the BRASS committees to virtual rather than face-to-face, and ideas for the BRASS Forum for the 2010 Annual meeting that will be in Washington D.C.

Mary Martin, Chair

BRASS Committee Reports

BRASS Education Committee The BRASS Education Committee successfully sponsored another Preconference, MBA (Mastering Business Acumen) in a Day with forty-eight attendees. The committee is beginning to plan the next tentative Preconference for the 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans. The topic will be Business Reference 101. The BRASS Best of the Best Business Web Sites (Free Resources) and the Selected Core Resources are undergoing some changes. The new pages will be in .pdf, thus making it easier on the BRASS Webmaster to upload. Work continues on keeping an eye out for annual “winners” from our “Best Business Websites” that would then be conveyed to RUSA at the annual Book and Media Awards Reception. The committee is exploring continuing work with the Emerging Leaders Project as well as partnering with the RUSA Professional Development Committee for potential course offerings which might include repackaging and delivering such programs like the Preconferences in a variety of formats.

Paul Brothers, Chair

BRASS Membership Committee The membership committee hosted the BRASS New Members’ Reception at Cavanaugh’s in Chicago on Friday night. We had around fifty-five guests, with many new members in attendance. InfoUSA generously stepped in to sponsor a great reception this year. During the membership committee meeting, we discussed other ways to reach out to new members. We decided to contact the ALA-accredited library schools again to provide them with information about BRASS. We also hope to be able to send out welcome letters to our new members this coming year.

Amia Baker, Chair

Committee Chairs Roster, 2009-2010

BRASS Executive Committee 2009-2010
Celia Ross, Chair
Mark Andersen, Vice Chair
Christy Donaldsen, Secretary
Rita Moss, Past Chair
Suzanne Sweene, Member-At-Large
Chris LeBeau, Member-At-Large
Susan Neilson, Member-At-Large

BRASS Committees & Chairpersons 2009-2010
Membership: Louise Feldman
BusRef in Academic Libraries: Lydia LaFaro
BusRef in Public Libraries: Tera Moon
Discussion Group: Donna Daniels
BusRef Sources: Nathan Rupp
Education: Paul Brothers
Nominating: Ryan Womack
Program Planning 2010: Andy Spackman
Publications: Van Houlson
Excellence in Business Librarianship: Todd Hines
Student Travel Award: Diana Wu
Emerald Research Award: Jennifer Boettcher
Outstanding Service to Minority Business Communities: Karen Chapman
Public Librarian Support Award: Terry Zarsky
Section Review (Ad Hoc): Michael Oppenheim

Brag About Your Publications!
The BRASS Members Publication List is compiled in order to showcase our section’s scholarship activities and serve as a valuable business research resource. The list, located at [ has admittedly languished in recent years. In an effort to revive interest in the resource, the Publications Committee will soon be migrating the resource over to ALA Connect. This will allow members to directly upload their own publication citations. We’ll provide notification via brass-l and BRASS Notes when the transition is made.

In the meantime, the Publications Committee encourages all BRASS members to tell us about your publications! We’d like to gather as many citations as possible, regardless of publication date.

There are two easy ways to send us your publication data:

  1. Submit via the web form
  2. Email your vita or publication list in any format (.docx, html, etc.) to Carol Smith at With your support, we can develop this list to become the resource it was originally envisioned as – a valuable, core research tool for all business librarians.

Carol Smith, Members Publication List Manager, BRASS Publications Committee


History Research Competency Guidelines

The History Section’s Instruction and Research Services Committee has begun the process of creating History Research Competency Guidelines. The intent is that the final product will be used by librarians working with history faculty to develop information literacy skills specific to history. Through subject specific examples these guidelines will address the vast informational needs of undergraduate historians.

Retirement of Ann Reinert

Ann Reinert, longtime member of the History Section and genealogy and reference librarian at Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, Missouri, retired this fall. Many History Section members have been befriended and mentored by her. Reinert won the GPC Publishing Company/History Section Award in 2001. With part of her award money she published a history of the History Section. History Section dinners at Annual and Midwinter conferences will not be the same, nor will discussions at the Section’s Executive Committee meetings about membership and finances, what RUSA monies are used for, should be used for, and why. Reinert decided there is more to life than the dusty library shelves and retired to Lincoln, Nebraska.

ann reinhart

Subscribe to History-L. History-L serves as a quick communication tool to serve the needs of History Section members and promote the organization. The online list communicates ALA conference programs and activities relevant to History Section members, and informs members not able to attend the conference the content of History Section programs. It serves as a medium for professional information or ideas relating to teaching; promotes educational or training activities relevant to History Section members; and serves as a place to discuss resources or seek assistance from History Section colleagues.

David L. Langenberg


RSS REVIEW Fall 2009

From the Chair:

Greetings, all! It was good to see all who were able to attend the 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago. For those who were not able to attend you were missed, but given the economic conditions that we are currently experiencing I understand about not having travel funds or needing to stay and staff areas due to staff cutbacks.

My goal for RSS during this next year is to focus even more on how we can best meet the needs of our section members and the profession as a whole. I want us to seriously explore educational opportunities that can be created and delivered via such methods as virtual toolkits, tutorials, Web conferencing, chats, articles, etc. I know that members of RSS have much to offer and are committed to the section and the profession.

Later this fall we will be engaging in a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis via ALA Connect. This will help in our section review, but more importantly to help as we further focus our mission.

As a section within RUSA it is imperative that we strive to meet RUSA’s strategic objectives for 2008-2011: * Provide leadership and opportunities in professional development for reference, user technology, readers’ advisory, access, and computer-based research librarians and staff. * Work towards equity of access. * Seek ways to improve participation in RUSA by reference, user technology, readers’ advisory, access, and computer-based research fields’ librarians and library staff. * Ensure the effectiveness of RUSA in meeting its and ALA’s mission. * Increase the visibility of RUSA in the profession and promote the professional skills and services RUSA members offer to society at large (American Library Association, Reference and User Services Association, 2009).

I know that much of the work happens during the year via e-mail and other communication methods and that more and more committees are exploring ways to meet virtually. If I can assist with this process in any way, please contact me.

I look forward to working together during the coming year! Thank you for your interest and commitment to the work of the Reference Services Section! Please contact me if I can assist in any way or if you have ideas/suggestions that you want to share.

Barb Mann, RSS Chair

Introducing ALA Connect In order to get the most out of our involvement, it is critical that members remain active and engaged throughout the year. This requires good communication and electronic work spaces, which can be a challenge in an organization as complex as ALA. To help meet this challenge, we will be consolidating our work by utilizing ALA Connect. To help familiarize you with this new tool please review alaconnect torusa rss4a5642b259.pdf. See you there!

15th Reference Research Forum

The RSS Research and Statistics committee organized another extremely successful research forum with 128 participants. This year’s forum featured the following presentations:

  • What WOREP Results Say About Reference Service, Patron Satisfaction and Success Recipient of RUSA’s 15th Anniversary Reference Research Grant Julie Gedeon and Carolyn Radcliff (Kent State University)

  • Measuring the Effectiveness of Online Tutorials: A Pragmatic ApproachCindy Craig (Wichita State University Libraries) and Curt Friehs (Kansas City Public Library)

  • “Teachable Instants” in Instant Message Reference: Taking the Opportunity or Taking a Pass? Megan Oakleaf (School of Information Studies, Syracuse University) and Amy VanScoy (North Carolina State University Libraries)

For more information about the forum see the 15th Reference Research Forum

The Research and Statistics Committee also helps you follow newly published research about reference. See their new annotated list: Reference Research Review 2008

Annual Conference 2009 Wrap-Up

It was another busy time for RSS during the 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago. All the committees and discussion groups are hard at work. The annual Open House held on Saturday morning before the all committee meetings was another smashing success. Refreshments for this event were made possible by the generous support of Emerald Group Publishing Limited, publishers of Reference Services Review.

RSS offered two pre-conferences during Annual 2009. In collaboration with MARS was a continuation of the popular Reinvented Reference series, with this being the fifth iteration entitled Using Our Collection Wisdom. The RSS Committee on Library Services to an Aging Population sponsored, along with the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) A Dialogue with Aging Network and the Library Community: The New Guidelines on Library and Information Services to Older Adults. Both were well received and generated good conversations.

Several programs covering a wide variety of topics of interest to reference and information providers were also offered by RSS. These included When is Nice Too Nice? Solutions for Disengaging from the Talkative Patron, Catalog Use and Usability Studies: What Do They Show and How Should This Evidence Affect Our Decision-Making? (in conjunction with ALCTS CCS), You Got Me. Do You Like Me? Evaluating Next Generation Catalogs (in conjunction with MARS), Beyond ¡Hoal!: Spanish Reference Resources for Non-Spanish Speakers, and Resuscitating the Catalog: Next-Generation Strategies for Keeping the Catalog Relevant (in conjunction with ACLCTS CMDS and LITA).

Reinvented Reference V: Using Our Collective Wisdom
The RUSA RSS/MARS Preconference, “Reinvented Reference V: Using Our Collective Wisdom” was held Friday, July 10, 2009. This year saw a new format, which included both presentations from speakers in the morning and roundtable discussions in the afternoon with experts Bill Pardue, Char Booth, Brian Matthews and Lisa Ennis. About 40 participants gained practical, concrete ideas of how to conquer four common reference issues: staffing models, collaboration, assessment and working with information technology departments.

RSS Section Review
The Organization and Planning Committee is hard at work drafting the five year section review for RSS. Committees and discussion groups have submitted their self-studies. During the Annual 2009 Conference the Organization and Planning Committee also held an open meeting for RSS members to discuss the work this far. Stay tuned for more information on this important work.

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Cindy Levine, editor.


STARS Section Report
Katharine Calhoun, Editor

Executive Committee:
Chair (2009-10)
Denise Forro

Vice-Chair (2009-10)
Sherri Michaels

Past Chair (2009-10)
Stephanie Atkins

Secretary (2008-10)
Anne Bouvier

Member-at-Large (2007-10)
Wendy Allen

Member-at-Large (2009-10)
Christine Baich

Member-at-Large (2008-11)
David Larsen

Ex-Officio (non-voting) members: Webmaster (2008-10)
Tom Bruno

Webmaster (2009-11)
Richard Uttich

Column Editor (2008-10)
Katharine Calhoun

STARS Programs at ALA Annual 2009

STARS sponsored two well-received programs at ALA in Chicago: * The Secret Life of Our Data: Privacy in the Digital Age was presented by the Legislation and Licensing Committee on Saturday, July 11th; * Resource Sharing in the 21st Century: Beyond Books and Journals was presented by the Interlibrary Loan Committee on Sunday, July 12th.

Committee Reports

Codes, Guidelines and Technical Standards
Since ALA Annual in 2008 the Codes Committee has been drafting guidelines based on the technical report for natural disasters. At Midwinter 2009 we submitted “Resource-Sharing Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters Guidelines” to the STARS Executive Board for approval. During the August STARS Executive conference call, the guidelines were discussed and were approved in September. Now the guidelines will be reviewed at Midwinter 2010 by the RUSA Standards Committee.

The Codes Committee is now in the process of writing “ILL Operations Management Guidelines” based on the recommendations from the STARS Task Force for Qualifications for Interlibrary Loan Operations Management’s report of a few years ago. The guidelines will be submitted to the STARS Executive Board during their October conference call. The goal is to send the approved guidelines to the RUSA Standards Committee by either Midwinter or at the next annual conference.

Michelle Foss, Chair

International ILL
The International ILL Committee members are pleased to announce that the results of our survey regarding International Borrowing and Lending are now available. The Executive Summary is posted on RUSA’s website.

In addition, an article about the survey will be published in the Fall 2009 issue of Reference and User Services Quarterly.

Heather Weltin, Chair

Research & Statistics
The Research & Statistics Committee is preparing a pre-conference program for the Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2010. In preparation, we have been conducting an online survey to determine the statistical needs and desires of the STARS members. We are hoping to have the survey completed by September 10th and will begin analysis thereafter. The results will help us plan the pre-conference program suited to the needs and desires of the membership.

We want to thank those members who participated in the survey and helped us plan this pre-conference.

Johnny Johnson, Chair

Discussion Group Reports

Hot Topics
The STARS Hot Topics Discussion Group met on July 11th at ALA Annual in Chicago. Hot topics that were discussed included finding free versions of materials online including e-books and full-text materials, the costs of interlibrary loan, charging for books versus charging for articles, and measuring our success by gathering statistics to reflect our services. Also during this meeting Julia Gustafson from The College of Wooster was elected Hot Topics Discussion Group Chair-Elect.

Margaret Bean, Past Chair


Messages from MARS, the Newsletter of the RUSA Machine Assisted Reference Services Section, Laura Jordan, Editor

September 2009

From the Chair


We’re looking forward to an exciting year in MARS, providing information about emerging technologies and reference and offering you opportunities to share your experiences with these technologies!

Low cost/high impact tech tools, multimedia products, discovery services, mobile technologies, screen casting, web analytics, free reference web sites, virtual reference, library instruction, and continuing education opportunities are just a few of the topics on which MARS programs, discussion forums, and web publications will focus this year. Check out the summary of MARS Executive Committee actions at Annual 2009 below for more details about MARS current activities, and stay tuned in the coming months as we ask for your input on ways to better convey MARS 21st identity and mission for the 21st century.

If you are interested in becoming more active in MARS and working with us on any of these or other topics, please let us know. We would love to have you join us. Since most committee work is done via email, conference calls, etc., we welcome virtual members (who are not obligated to attend Conferences). As MARS Chair, I’m always happy to provide more information about MARS. Just email me at

Before going any further, I want to extend hearty congratulations to our latest “Favorite Martian,” Carole Pilkinton, (Head, Electronic Resources & Serials Access Department, at the University of Notre Dame), who was the 2009 recipient of the Machine-Assisted Reference Section Recognition Certificate. Carole was recognized both at the MARS 2009 Annual Chair’s Program and at the RUSA President’s Award Ceremony. Congratulations also to our incoming officers, Vice Chair/Chair Elect Matt Bejune, (Coordinator of Undergraduate Library Reference Services, Purdue University) and Executive Committee Member-at-Large Shannon Jones, (Head, Outreach Services at Virginia Commonwealth University). Welcome also to Jim Langan (Reference and Technical Services Librarian, University of Pittsburgh), who has accepted an appointment as MARS Historian.

Chicago temperatures may have been unseasonably cool this summer, but MARS members brought their usual excitement and high energy to MARS 2009 Annual programs and meetings. Thanks to the efforts of Kelly Lawton, Chair of the Program Committee, MARS Chair, Rosemary Meszaros, and the Program committee members, the MARS Chair’s program, “Who Cares About Privacy? Boundaries, Millennials and the MySpace Mindset,” featuring speakers Frances Jacobson Harris (University Laboratory High School Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Siva Vaidhyanathan (author of the book the Anarchist in the Library), was an outstanding success, drawing several hundred people and ending with a lively discussion of the issues raised.

In addition to the chair’s program, MARS and RSS co-sponsored the fifth Reinvented Reference pre-conference, “Using Our Collective Wisdom.” The pre-conference featured a new format to allow a more interactive experience. For the morning session, four speakers (Bill Pardue, Virtual Services Librarian at Arlington Heights Memorial Library; Char Booth, E-learning Librarian at UC Berkeley; Lisa Ennis, Systems Librarian and Assistant Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Brian Matthews, User Experience Librarian at Georgia Tech Libraries) gave their perspectives on collaboration, staffing, IT relationships, and assessment. Following lunch, participants broke into smaller groups for round table discussions with the speakers, focusing on the influence of these issues on participant libraries.

As in past years, the traditional MARS Happy Hour followed the conclusion of the Preconference. Many thanks to Arlie Sims, Outreach Co-Chair’s Jim Langan and Stephanie Graves, and the other Outreach Committee members for a fine job of arranging for the Happy Hour on very short notice.

Other MARS offerings at Annual 2009 included informative and lively discussions by the Virtual Reference and the Hot Topics Discussion Groups. The Virtual Reference Discussion Group focused on “Using Web 2.0 to Strengthen External Support for VR Services,” following an opening presentation by Julie Strange, Statewide Coordinator, Maryland AskUsNow!. Hot Topics presented a panel discussion, “Casting a Wide Net: Using Screencasts to Reach and Teach Library Users,” which appropriately opened with a screen cast from Committee co-chair Michelle Jacobs (Associate Librarian, UCLA College Library), who could not attend. Her opening remarks were followed by presentations by Stephanie Rosenblatt (Education Librarian, California State University, Fullerton.); Eric Frierson (Education and Political Science Librarian, University of Texas at Arlington), Carmen Kazakoff Lane, (Head – Extension and Inter-Library Loans, Brandon University), and Mick Jacobsen (Adult Services Librarian, Skokie Public Library).

The Local Systems and Services Committee teamed up with the LITA Next Generation Catalog User Group to present “You Got Me, Do You Like Me? Evaluating Next Generation Catalogs,” featuring a panel of academic and public librarians who discussed usability testing, assessment, and other topics related to the transition to open source and off-the shelf next-gen catalogs.

In conclusion, I want to extend a special thanks to Rosemary Meszaros, whose term as MARS Chair ended this July, for her leadership of MARS and her help and guidance to me as Vice Chair this past year. Many thanks also to Debbie Bezanson, whose term as Member at Large ended in July and who is now stepping in as Chair of the MARS Chair’s Program Planning Committee for 2010. Thanks to all who have and are serving MARS so well over the years. I’m looking forward to a great year.

Carolyn Larson MARS Chair 2009-2010

Head, Business Reference Section Science, Technology & Business Division Library of Congress Washington, DC 20540

General MARS News

Highlights from Chicago
This year’s Annual Conference in Chicago was as busy as ever. There was much to consider at the three Executive Committee (ExCom) meetings. The Future of MARS Subcommittee had brought issues for discussion, including looking at MARS’ mission statement, a possible name change for the section, and removal of the MARS archival materials to the ALA archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. Jim Langan has been appointed as the new MARS Historian. This is a two-year appointment with potential reappointment. The Planning Committee is now considering the recommendations submitted by the Future of MARS Subcommittee, and a proposal will most likely be sent by Planning to MARS-L for comment. A MARS membership vote regarding the mission changes will occur in the spring.

The joint MARS-RSS meeting had to be cancelled due to schedule conflicts with the RUSA Awards events.

All MARS members are urged to join MARS-L listserv and to log in to ALA Connect web site. Incoming Chair, Carolyn Larson, has included several MARS documents, reports and forms on ALA Connect. Go to, login, then under Browse on the upper left, you will see “Committees” as an option. Click on “Committees,” and you will then be able to choose “RUSA MARS.”

Highlights from RUSA Board meetings included issues such as dropping the third RUSA Board meeting and likewise the Sections dropping their third ExCom meetings on Tuesdays beginning at Midwinter 2010. This change will mean that more committee work will be completed electronically. MARS has considered this option by having committee reports done electronically rather than at a meeting and having approval of minutes also done via email.

RUSA introduced the new RUSA Executive Director, Susan Hornung, who replaces Barb Macikas. Susan began her new position in August. At the RUSA Board meeting, it was suggested that since ALA was trying to attract more participants to conferences, especially Midwinter, that programming be allowed at Midwinter as well as at Annual. ALA is also looking into delivering conference events electronically. Both ALA and RUSA are further developing the recording of presentations at conferences for distribution to members who could not attend. It has not been determined if there will be a fee involved.

Since I am passing on the office of Chair of MARS to the eminently capable hands of Carolyn Larson, I have only great hopes for MARS and its future. It is a vital section which contributes greatly to the professional life of all librarians with its relevance to today and tomorrow’s cutting edge emerging technologies. It has been a privilege to work with all of you!

Rosemary L. Meszaros
MARS Past Chair

Annual Conference Committee Reports

MARS Best Free Reference Web Sites
Members of the MARS Best Free Web Site met during the MARS All-Conference Meeting at ALA Annual Conference. Both Matt and Donna are new to the committee. Kay explained the process used last year in selecting the best free web sites which relied totally on email. Instead of that, Kay suggested that the group might use a social-bookmarking site, such as DIIGO which would allow the formation of a private group. Nominations could be bookmarked to the group; annotations are allowed and can be extracted to a document. Matt asked if a voting mechanism was also included in DIIGO. Matt and Donna thought this would work, and Kay will investigate further. Carol Strickland, MARS member-at-large, suggested that we draw up a timeline of nominations, voting, and final voting. She also said that the article naming the current year’s winners appeared in the Fall issue of RUSQ.

Amy W. Boykin, Trible Library
Christopher Newport University
Co-chair, 2008-2009 & 2009-2010

User Access to Services Committee
The outgoing User Access to Services Committee Co-chairs (Dianna McKellar and Marilyn Ochoa) reported that the committee meeting discussion focused on possible future projects for the committee. Although no firm plan could be given, ideas included the continuing discussion of the uses of Web 2.0 tools, the assessment of those tools that could involve a follow up survey to the one completed last year, and the use of ALA Connect to house discussion of the topics selected.

Nominees sought for RUSA achievement awards

The nomination period for RUSA’s cornucopia of achievement awards offered in 2010 is now open!

Among the annual awards offered are those recognizing achievement and excellence in reference, business reference, history librarianship and interlibrary loan. There are also awards honoring those who have cultivated successful relationships with minority business communities and the labor community, respectively, achievement in book reviewing, and outstanding projects promoting African-American literature, just to name a few. Winners are recognized at the ALA Awards Ceremony on the Monday afternoon of the 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Those interested in nominating a colleague or themselves for an award should visit the awards homepage of the RUSA website to view a complete list of awards and nomination procedures, which vary by award. Nominations must be received by December 15 for all awards except the Zora Neale Hurston Award, which has a nomination deadline of December 1. Winners will be announced in early spring 2010.

RUSA 2010 Annual Conference program slate finalized

RUSA has released its list of programs scheduled for the 2010 Annual Conference, June 24-29, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

RUSA, the home to general and specialized reference, readers advisory, resource sharing and collection development within ALA, will offer 14 programs on a variety of timely topics in these fields, including screencasting and mobile virtual reference, international ILL, readers’ advisory research and trends, electronic reference product development, digitization of historical collections, collection-centered library programming and the 16th annual Reference Research Forum. Speakers will be announced following the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting, and program locations will be available in late spring.

Highlighting this year’s events is the RUSA President’s Program: For the Love of Reference scheduled for Monday, June 28, 1:30-3:30 p.m. This year’s program explores the twin appeals of information discovery and fulfilling users’ needs that drive the devotion to reference and readers’ advisory work. Presenters will include practicing reference librarians, library educators and information diggers who are researchers for people like fiction authors and fact checkers for news organizations. A full listing of programs can be viewed at the RUSA website. Program participation is open to all Annual Conference registrants.

In addition to professional development programming, RUSA’s 2010 Annual Conference events will also feature the Literary Tastes Breakfast, a beloved RUSA tradition featuring a panel of the best writers of the year. Attendees will enjoy a scrumptious breakfast while listening to writers ruminate on their work and the writing process, read from their current works or speak about their upcoming publications. Past speakers have included Khaled Hosseini, Nathaniel Philbrick, Edward P. Jones and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This ticketed event will be held Sunday, June 27, 8-10 a.m., and tickets will be available for purchase when general conference registration opens Jan. 4, 2010.

Genealogy skills for all, New England historic resources focus of 2010 RUSA Midwinter Institute

Engaging speakers and informative presentations will abound at the upcoming Midwinter Institute “The Genealogy Reference Desk: Where Everyone Knows Your Name,” a full-day workshop focused on New England genealogy resources and genealogy research techniques, and presented by the History Section of RUSA.

Genealogical research skills and tools are a vital resource for any library providing reference services. They’re particularly important in public libraries, where genealogy remains one of the most time-consuming reference duties—especially for generalist desks or libraries without genealogy or history specialists on staff—and in academic libraries, where genealogy sources are often the primary tools for helping students with local history projects. This institute, sponsored by ProQuest, will focus on the “nitty-gritty” of genealogy research. New reference librarians will benefit from the fundamental tools presented at this event; experienced genealogy librarians will find it to be an excellent refresher. The skills and resources at the core of this event are relevant to all attendees, no matter the locale of their patron’s interest.

The institute will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), held in conjunction with the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting. Speakers will present topics specific to New England and Colonial Research, along with general research methodology, and include:

  1. D. Brenton Simons, President and CEO of the NEHGS, will address “Sustainability in Genealogical Collections" and maintaining an institution during a downturn economy.
  2. Christine Baron, principal of Baron Consulting, will speak on the“Old North Church Project,” a NEH-funded collaborative project between the Old North Foundation, New England Historic Genealogical Society, and HyperStudio-Laboratory for Digital Humanities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology aimed at creating an online educational program that combines public history and genealogy.
  3. Laura Prescott, a professional researcher, writer and speaker and consultant for who previously worked for NEHGS, will present “Timelines: Placing Your Heritage in Historic Perspective.”
  4. Drew Smith, one of the Genealogy Guys, owner of the Genealib listserv and an information literacy librarian at the University of South Florida, will be speaking on “Using Web 2.0 Tools with a 101 Knowledge Base.”
  5. David Dearborn, of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and a New England specialist, will present “An Overview of American Colonial Records.”

Founded in 1845 and located at 99 Newbury Street, Boston, NEHGS is the country’s oldest nonprofit genealogical organization in the country. Located in the heart of the. Boston’s beautiful Back Bay neighborhood, their eight-story library and archive is one of the nation’s leading research centers for genealogists and family historians of every skill level. The institute will conclude with a tour of this beautiful facility for participants only.

Interested participants can register for this event only, or can register in conjunction with Midwinter Meeting registration by adding it as a ticketed event. For institute-only registration using the online form (login required), select “Institute and Ticketed Events Only” as the registration type, and proceed to select this event from the list.

Advance registration for the meeting and this event opens Oct. 1 and ends Dec. 4, 2009. Advance registration prices for this event are $100 for RUSA members, $145 for ALA members, $75 for retired and student members, and $220 for non-ALA members. On-site registration, priced at $125 for RUSA members, $125 for ALA members, $100 for retired and student members, and $245 for non-ALA members, will be available until Friday, Jan. 8. All interested participants are strongly encouraged to register by Jan. 8, as only a handful of seats will be available at the door on the day of the event.

ASCLA Midwinter Institute prepares librarians for successful consulting careers

Librarians looking to strike out on their own in the library profession, or those library professionals approaching retirement and seeking a flexible way to maintain employment, won’t want to miss “Assembling a Consulting Toolkit: What You Need to Know to Become a Successful Library Consultant” in Boston this January.

“Assembling a Consulting Toolkit” is a daylong institute offered by ASCLA, a division of ALA. The event will be held Friday, Jan. 15, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., in conjunction with the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting, and is designed to prepare participants to begin—or advance—a successful consulting career. Seasoned consultants and ASCLA members Nancy Bolt and Sara Laughlin will present an overview of library consulting for guide attendees, who will discover through self-assessment their personal consulting potential. Participants will work together in an active and engaging format to explore different roles that consultants play, services consultants may deliver to clients, marketing consulting services, managing a consulting business and finding clients.

“I’m pleased that these two long-time members of ASCLA’s Independent Librarians Exchange Section (ILEX) are willing to share their expertise in creating consulting opportunities with others,” said Brenda Bailey-Hainer, president of ASCLA. “If you’re interested in starting your own consulting business, this is a session you won’t dare miss.”

Interested participants can register for this event only (event code ASC1), or can register in conjunction with the [ALA Midwinter Meeting]( registration by adding it as a ticketed event. For institute-only registration using the online form (login required), select “Institute and Ticketed Events Only” as the registration type and proceed to select this event from the list. Advance registration for the meeting and this event opens Oct. 1 and ends Dec. 4, 2009. Advance registration prices for this event are $195 for ASCLA and ALA members, $145 for retired and student members and $225 for non-ALA members. On-site registration, priced at $225 for ASCLA and ALA members, $170 for retired and student members and $260 for non-ALA members, will be available until Friday, Jan. 8. All interested participants must register by Jan. 8—there will not be seats available at the door on the day of the event.

Universal design best practices to be presented, discussed at 2010 ASCLA Midwinter Institute

Maximizing the library experience for all patrons, including those with functional differences, is a challenging endeavor—one that libraries can get help with by attending “Breaking Down Barriers: Best Practices in Universal Design for Libraries,” an institute at the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting sponsored by ASCLA.

The topic of this intensive half-day event, assembled through a partnership between ASCLA and the Institute for Human-Centered Design (ICHD) (formerly Adaptive Environments), has become even more timely as a result of the recent economic crisis, which has brought people to libraries in record numbers to take advantage of the unique opportunities, experiences and services available there.

By implementing universal design principles, libraries can create physical, communication and information environments that minimize limitations and provide outstanding library services to all patrons, including those with functional differences. The agenda includes presentations on an array of best practices in universal design, including opportunities for experiential learning and a forum for presenting your library’s universal design problem or aspiration and receiving on-the-spot consultation and solutions.

“It’s important for libraries to create a welcoming environment for everyone in their community,” said Brenda Bailey-Hainer, president of ASCLA. “This institute is an excellent opportunity to learn about techniques for eliminating obstacles to library use for community members who are often underserved.”

“Breaking Down Barriers” will be held Friday, Jan. 15, 8 a.m.–1 p.m., at the ICHD, located at 200 Portland Street, Suite 1, in Boston. The MBTA’s North Station is only a few blocks away, providing easy access to the Green and Orange lines, as well as several commuter rail lines. Subway, commuter rail and other pertinent transit information and schedules are available at the MBTA website.

Interested participants should note that the institute (event code ASC2) is a separate ticketed event; registration for the Midwinter Meeting is not required in order to attend this event. For institute-only registration using the online form (login required), select “Institute and Ticketed Events Only” as the registration type, and proceed to select this event from the list. Advance registration for both Midwinter and “Breaking Down Barriers” opens Thursday, Oct. 1, with the following advance registration ticket prices available through December 4: ASCLA Member, $155; ALA Member, $155; Non-member, $155; Student/Retiree Member, $120. Ticket prices increase after Dec. 4. Visit for the most up-to-date information on registration.

IHCD is an international non-profit organization, founded in Boston in 1978, committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities. IHCD’s work balances expertise in legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human-centered or universal design.

ALA 2010 Scholarships online application now available

ALA has more than $300,000 for students who are studying library science or school library media at the master’s degree level. Scholarships typically range from $1,500 to $7,000 per student per year. The application and instructions are available on-line at The application deadline for all scholarships is March 1, 2010.

There are many types of scholarships available for the study of librarianship. These include scholarships for students who are interested in Children’s Librarianship, Youth Librarianship, Federal Librarianship, new media and Library Automation. In addition, there are also scholarships available for minorities, persons with disabilities and for people who are already employed in libraries but do not have an MLS.

To be considered for an ALA scholarship, applicants must attend a master’s program in library and information science that has been accredited by the ALA. Applicants interested in school library media must attend a program that meets ALA curriculum guidelines for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Complete guidelines and instructions are available on the website.

For more information, visit or call the ALA Scholarship Clearinghouse at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4279.