History Section Executive Committee Minutes, Midwinter 2006

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mary Mannix (Chair), Sam Boldrick, Hui Hua Chua, Susan Malbin, Michele McNabb, Theresa Mudrock, Eric Novotny (Recorder), Ann Reinert, Lisa Scharnhorst, Joseph Straw, Becky Snyder, Paul Wartenberg, Agnes Widder, Curt Witcher, Lou Vyhnanek

1. History Section Meeting Minutes, Chicago Annual Conference, June 2005

Mary passed out draft minutes from the Annual Conference with apologies for the late distribution. Members were urged to read carefully and send corrections to Mary via fax, 310-924-1393.

2. State of the Section

Mary Mannix introduced Paul Wartenberg. He is the acting Member-at-Large for Carol Callard.

A visitor from ABC-CLIO, Becky Snyder, was acknowledged and thanked for their generous support of the section’s activities.

Mary updated the committee on Drew Smith’s status. His health is okay, but is facing a combination of pressures that required him to step down.

Robert Forwell was appointed to the RUSA Membership Committee. All other RUSA appointments have been filled. Applicants for committee positions will be forwarded to the committee chairs.

3. Reports from Section Committees, Discussion Groups, and RUSA Representatives

Chairs unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting reported at today’s meeting.

  • Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group—Curt Witcher
    The group is interested in promoting more discussions. Today’s discussion: two representatives from the Family History program will talk about digitizing their collections.

  • Genealogical Publishing Company Award Committee—Sam Boldrick
    The committee is meeting today and will report the awards after the winners are notified.

4. Upcoming Programs

Mary distributed the Conference program schedule for the History Section. This document charts which committees are responsible for the Section’s programs at upcoming conferences. Bibliographies and Indexes will sponsor the 2006 program and Local History will sponsor the program in 2007. A copy of the schedule through 2014 will be placed on the Section website. Please review for accuracy.

5. Webmaster and Update Editor Update

Tom Kemp was introduced as the new Webmaster. He is planning to meet with Rebecca at the conference to work on the transition.

RUSA Update. There were 2 volunteers to edit the Update. Donna Colamatteo will serve as the editor this year. Jennalyn Tellman will serve the year after. Please send entries to Donna at: DColamatteo@fredco-md.net.

6. Old Business from Chicago

7. Necrology

The section sadly mourns the passing of two members, Carol ..... and Charles Cummings. Mary has discovered that ALA can do an official memorial resolution at the request of the section. It was agreed that this would be desirable. Curt and Sam agreed to write first drafts of a resolution before Annual.

8. Job Descriptions

Mary asked all committee chairs to submit a one page job description listing their duties and responsibilities. This will help the vice-chair recruit members, and ensure continuity as committee chairs rotate off. E-mail job descriptions to Mary by Annual.

9. New Business

Agnes Widder (RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee) asked committee chairs to send her any problems/issues/advice from sponsoring prior programs. She is working on a “tip sheet” for those planning future programs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mary Mannix (Chair), Sam Boldrick, Mary Celeste, Hui Hua Chua, Tom Kemp, Cindy Krolikowski, Susan Malbin, Michele McNabb, Theresa Mudrock, Jim Niessen, Eric Novotny (Recorder), Jeanette Pierce, Ann Reinert, Lisa Scharnhorst, Janice Schultz, Joseph Straw, Becky Snyder, Paul Wartenberg, Agnes Widder, Curt Witcher , Lou Vyhnanek, Stephen Young

Mary began by providing a recap of Saturday’s meeting. Committee chairs were reminded to send a one-page job description before Annual.

Diana Shonrock, newly elected vice-president of RUSA stopped by to introduce herself and see if the Section had any questions/input for her. Members were encouraged to contact her at shonrock@iastate.edu, 512-294-7866. Diana encouraged members of the Section to consider RUSA level committees such as Professional Development or Planning and Finance. A list of RUSA committees is online: http://www.ala.org/ala/rusa/rusaourassoc/divisioncommittees/divisioncomm...

Mary Celeste asked about paying speakers for programs. Diana responded that we are able to pay speakers who are not members of ALA. Each section has a budget allocated for supporting programs, and committees can apply for funding. Ann asked about the $10,000 amount for program support mentioned at the RUSA Board meeting. Diana will check with Cathleen Bourdon and report back to the section. Diana also encouraged the Section to contact Cathleen directly with questions about funding.

Diana was asked about issues affecting the section, for example getting the PLA to publicize resources created by the section. She indicated she will contact her counterpart at PLA about this, and encouraged the section to take the initiative in contacting other sections about placing materials on websites or announcing on listservs.

3. Reports from Section Committees, Discussion Groups, and RUSA Representatives

  • ABC-CLIO Online History Award Committee—Jim Niessen
    Jim will be sending out the call for applications for the ABC-CLIO Online History Award. The award recognizes innovative uses of technology in support of instruction. Anyone is welcome to nominate a recent project (completed in last 2 years). Additional information and past award winners at: http://www.ala.org/RUSATemplate.cfm?Section=rusaawards. The section thanks ABC-CLIO for their ongoing support.

  • Bibliography and Indexes Committee—Lisa Gay Scharnhorst
    At the Mid-Winter meeting, the Bibliography & Indexes Committee selected the 10 best history bibliographies for 2005. Look for the list in the Summer issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly.  The Committee also met with presenters and worked on details for the program it will be hosting at Annual in New Orleans.  The program is titled “Fate of History Bibliographies in the On-line Environment” and will be held on Monday, June 26, from 10:30am to noon. Presenters include publisher representatives and a speaker from H-Net.

  • Genealogy Committee—Stephen Young
    The committee made minor changes to the New Orleans program. These will be submitted to ALA.
    The committee is smaller than in the past, perhaps because some members seem not to have been formally appointed. The committee is actively seeking additional volunteers. Mary reminded committee chairs that it is a good idea to bring paper copies of the committee volunteer forms to meetings. Copies are available in the RUSA office.
    Discussion segued into the topic of committee websites. Committee chairs were urged to maintain an archive of meeting minutes on their web sites and to review the online rosters to make sure they are up to date. Mary reminded members that they need to renew appointments. A question was raised about adding photos to the online rosters. It was thought that this may not be possible as the rosters are dynamically generated from ALA membership lists.
    The Publishing Industry Taskforce is still working on its charge. The Standards and Guidelines sub-committee is looking for members. Stephen will check with Drew on the status of recently completed guidelines including the guidelines for Beginning Genealogy Collections. The accreditation group is working on credentials for genealogy librarians.

Before the next committee report, Mary asked about the section councilors and a clarification of their role. Tom indicated the designation was originally created to commemorate early active members of the sections. It has since became an honorific position.

  • Genealogy Preconference Planning Committee—Janice Schultz
    About 40 paid attendees were at the last Pre-conference. The committee is working on the New Orleans session, but is finding it harder to attract speakers. Tentative titles for the next several preconferences are:
    New Orleans, “Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: A Tribute to New Orleans”
    Seattle, “Sleepless in Cyberspace”
    Washington, D.C., “Researching your Nation”s Treasures”

  • History Section Nominating Committee
    Nancy Eckerman chaired the meetings and welcomed new members Bill Bushoner (sp?) and Paul Smart.

  • Instruction and Research Services Committee—Hui Hua Chua

    The main agenda item was future committee projects. After some discussion, the committee decided to focus on creating guidelines for research competencies for history, similar to competencies already created by other ALA sections for political science and literatures in English. The committee is particularly interested in creating guidelines specific to the discipline of history that will be of practical use to history librarians in providing instruction. Committee members plan to investigate already-existing standards from relevant library and non-library organizations such as the American Historical Association, and contact other groups in ALA who have created or are creating guidelines, including the Information Literacy Advisory Committee.
    The committee also wants to explore ways to help history librarians and students increase their knowledge of government documents for historical research. Consolidation of public service points in libraries and mass digitization of historical documents have increased the need and desire for this knowledge. Committee members will brainstorm ideas related to this project before ALA Annual 2006.
    Finally, committee members proposed updating and transferring the popular and well-received Web site created by past committee members “Primary Sources in History” (http://www.lib.washington.edu/subject/History/RUSA/) to the section’s Web site.

  • Local History Committee—Mary Celeste

    The committee discussed the “Guidelines for Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of Local History and Local Genealogical Materials.” Members volunteered to serve on a committee to review and revise these guidelines. They hope to have revisions completed by Annual. The group will explore avenues for making the guidelines more visible perhaps by working with the PLA or Library Journal. Soliciting co-sponsors was suggested, and Mary volunteered to create a distribution list.
    The committee is responsible for the Section’s program at the 2007 Annual Conference in Washington D.C. They discussed planning details including time preferences. The intention is to invite three speakers to discuss digitization projects and issues. The tentative title is “All History is Local in a Digital World.”

  • RUSA Access to Information Committee—Phoebe Janes
    No report.

  • RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee—Agnes Widder The committee reviewed all proposed RUSA programs and pre-conferences. The History Section pre-conferences for Seattle and Washington were approved. The committee did inquire about photo ID registration cards for the National Archives visit. They also suggested taping the Washington conference (video/DVD) as a way to make money. The committee was urged to consider opportunities for publishing the content of the pre-conferences. The section was asked to consider sponsoring a guide to genealogy written by librarians for librarians.
    January 26 is the deadline for submitting new program forms on the web for the Annual Conference in 2007. This is the deadline for the first draft. Program sponsors can update these as new information is received. Eileen Hardy is the RUSA contact for anyone with questions about planning a program.
    Mary suggested it would be a good idea for Agnes to visit committees who will be sponsoring the next few section programs to help guide them through the process. Agnes is working on a document detailing program procedures. The RUSA web site also useful information on planning a program: http://www.ala.org/ala/rusa/rusaourassoc/guidetopoliciesandproced/rusame...

  • RUSA Membership Committee—Robert Farwell
    No report.

  • RUSA Nominating Committee—Ann Reinert Ann will be in touch with members concerning nominations for the RUSA Board.

  • RUSA Organization Committee
    No report. A card was distributed for Carla Rickerson who was unable to attend.

  • RUSA Planning and Finance Committee—Ann Reinert
    Ann distributed several reports on ALA revenues and expenses. It was noted that the money for the section has significantly declined from the 2005 allocation, with an increase in funds devoted to RUSA’s Continuing Education initiatives. Agnes inquired about the source of funding for the section programs. This is supposed to come from the endowment. Reports on membership for 1994-2002 and a document on the proposed ALA membership dues increase were distributed. The RUSA Board voted to support the dues increase. A decline in membership combined with no increase in dues since 1995 has resulted in approximately 30% less spending power. The section expressed concern that the increase will discourage new members and public librarians who may not receive financial support from their institutions. Suggested that ALA consider explore offering new benefits similar to those in other professional associations (e.g. discounted life insurance).

  • RUSA Professional Development Committee—Mary Mannix
    Mary reported that Drew was working on the Genealogy course. She will check with him to confirm this is still the case.

  • RUSA Publications Committee—Joe Straw
    The committee interviewed candidates for the position of RUSQ editor. Diane Zabel (Pennsylvania State University) was recommended for the position, and the RUSA Board approved the recommendation. Diane will begin her term as RUSQ editor after the Annual Conference.
    A copy of results from the RUSQ reader’s survey was distributed and discussed. Generally responses were very favorable, for example, 91% of respondents found the information in RUSQ credible. Possible issues included a relative lack of young readers, and a desire for more practical “how-to” articles. The majority of respondents (71%) preferred to receive RUSQ in print.

  • RUSA Standards and Guidelines—Cindy Krolikowski
    The Local History Guidelines were forwarded to the RUSA Board for their approval at this conference.

  • RUSA Board of Directors—Mary Mannix
    As noted earlier, the Board approved the recommendation of Diane Zabel as the new RUSQ editor. They also voted to support the proposed ALA dues increase.

  • History Librarians Discussion Group
    Considering the following topics for future discussions: collaborating with local history agencies and a discussion of collection development issues (weeding, maintaining a balanced collection). The topic at the next Midwinter meeting will be making use of county records.

4. New Business

There was some discussion of the 18-month lead time required for program proposals. Mary reminded everyone that the initial submission requirements are minimal. This initial proposal can be modified later as you confirm speakers and other details.

Agnes asked if there is any formal evaluation planned of the unit responsible for the ALA website. Mary suggested that the site may receive additional attention/resources with the extra revenues available if the dues are increased.

The Section heartily congratulated and thanked Mary for her fine job as Chair.