Executive Committee Minutes

Annual 2000 - Chicago
July 8 and 11, 2000

8 July 2000


John Haskell, Judith Reid, Nancy Huling, Cindy Krolikowski, Carla Rickerson, Charles D. King, Ruth Carr, David L. Langenberg, Ann Reinart, Marilyn Carbonell, Agnes Widder, Nancy Godelski, Theresa Mudrock

John Haskell, History Section Chair, called the meeting to order at 8:10.


The minutes for the January 8 and January 11, 2000 were approved.

Committee Announcements:

  • Bibliographies & Indexes - will be meeting at 2:00, the reviews have been submitted to Reference & User Services Quarterly.
  • Genealogical Publishing Company Award - Paul Mogren (this year's recipient) is in Chicago, the RUSA awards will be held at the Marriott on Monday from 5:30 to 7:30.
  • Historical Events - there are not enough members to work on the webliography. A general discussion of the future and history of the group ensued. The official committee review recommended re-examining the committee's purpose and product. The Executive Committee can disband the committee if need be. Further discussion at Tuesday's meeting.
  • Local History Committee - Coordinating this year's program, We have History Too, presented by the Chicago Historical Society on Monday at 9:30.

RUSA Committee Announcements:

  • Access to Information - will meet to discuss the Library Bill of Rights.
  • Conference Program Coordinating - meeting on Monday with the History Section's proposed Chinese genealogy program for San Francisco.
  • Membership - RUSA is pushing membership especially encouraging minority members and support staff (paraprofessionals). The History Section is responsible for manning the RUSA booth from 1:00 to 5:00.
  • Organization - will be looking at the History Section review, considering the name and charge of the Access to Information committee and taking an overall look at RUSA's organization.
  • Planning and Finance - will meet on Sunday.
  • Nominating - a question came up about who is the History Section's representative to this committee.
  • Standards - Three guidelines from the History Section are in limbo, two that are up for revision and one that has never been published.

Other Announcements:

  • The History Section dinner sign-up circulated. The dinner will be at the Parthenon restaurant at 314 S. Halsted at 6:30 Sunday, July 9. The price is $14.50 per person.
  • The preconference , Reference Services for Genealogists, provided an interesting overview replete with electronic examples. Approximately 60 people registered and RUSA staff were exceptionally impressed with the class. The class will probably be converted to a web course as a prototype for ALA's continuing education initiative.
  • The History of the History Section will be ready to be distributed at ALA Annual in San Francisco (2001).
  • The next chair of the Awards Committee will be Sam Boldrick.
  • Carla Rickerson replaces Claire Gabriel as member-at-large.
  • Need to think about soliciting vendor support for the section's 40th anniversary celebration.
  • Executive Committee meeting minutes will be posted on the section's web site.
  • RUSA Update deadline is 20 July 2000.


Preliminary discussion began about the need to attract academic librarians to the section. If the section does not attract academics then ACRL will likely develop a history section on the lines of the Literatures in English section. Perhaps the WESS model can be used to attract academic librarians with interests in collection development and instruction.

Meeting adjourned at 8:59.

11 July 2000


John Haskell, Nancy Huling, Cindy Krolikowski, Carla Rickerson, Charles D. King, Ruth Carr, David L. Langenberg, Ann Reinart, Jim Niessen, Curt Witcher, Tom Kemp, Ed Frank, Agnes Widder, Paul Mogren, Jessica Albano, Theresa Mudrock

John Haskell, History Chair, called the meeting to order at 8:09.

Committee Reports:

  • Bibliographies & Indexes - Phoebe Janes is the incoming chair; a copy of the article submitted to RUSQ was distributed. The committee is responsible for the 2002 program so members brainstormed possible ideas.
  • Genealogical Publishing Company Award - Paul Mogren received this year's award.
  • Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group - The preconference was a success. At the discussion group, which met jointly with the Genealogy committee, three publishers presented material including Brookhaven Press and Heritage Quest. In the future the committee and discussion group will meet separately.
  • Genealogy - Will be expanding membership by adding 8 or 9 new members.
  • Historical Events - Four new members attended so the committee will not be disbanded. David Langenberg will continue as chair. Projects include a calendar of upcoming event anniversaries and a checklist for commemorative bibliographies or exhibits.
  • Local History - This year's program was a success, We Have History Too, attracted some 60-70 people. The revision of the guidelines and the proposed new guideline is stalled for now this may mean beginning the guideline process again if RUSA decides to sunset those guidelines that are behind schedule.

RUSA Committee Reports:

  • Access to Information - Proposed new title for the group is Information Access for Reference & User Services. The charge was reviewed, it was decided that there was no need to change the charge since the committee serves a viable purpose as a liaison group.
  • Conference Program Coordinating - 13 program proposals were reviewed though RUSA only sponsors12 programs. The History Section's proposal, "Current Trends in Chinese Genealogical Libraries" was approved and granted $1500 (50% of all available RUSA funding). The plan is to bring people from China to present though a reminder was made that ALA funding cannot be used to pay for librarians to attend. We may be able to bring in the Chinese American Librarians Association and Asian Pacific Librarians Association to co-sponsor the program. The program proposal form required choosing a track; unfortunately there were no definitions of the tracks so it was difficult to determine where this program fit. Two possible tracks were "public services outreach" and "reference services special population."
  • Organization - Catherine Friedman is upcoming RUSA president. Committee met twice, it was clarified that reorganization may actually result in adding sections and discussion groups to attract new members. Reorganization is still in an early phase and comments will be solicited on the RUSA listserv and on libref. One possibility is a division review. New committees and taskforces in the offing include ones on professional development, core competencies, and the future of reference services.
  • Planning & Finance - The entire budget was reviewed; some endowment money ($2000-$3000) will be added to supplement programming and to fund an essay contest for new members. There is a funding proposal for 2 continuing education programs including the one for genealogy.
  • Publications - There are no new publications in the pipeline so the committee is seeking proposals for the occasional papers series. No History Section flyer was printed since no responded to the call for information. We may be able to take wording from the section's review for a future flyer.
  • Standards and Guidelines - Need to revise 2 local history guidelines. A sunset provision was discussed whereby proposed guidelines would be dismissed after 3 years of inaction plus current guidelines would be dismissed after 8 to 9 years of inaction.
  • Board of Directors - There was discussion of the strategic plan in light of a membership decrease of 7 percent. The only divisions with increased memberships are those that hold separate conferences such as ACRL. Retirements are contributing to decreasing membership. To increase membership there will be a survey of reference librarians in ALA who are not members of RUSA to discover how to attract these librarians. A suggestion was made that state chapters would increase membership. RUSA is revamping the award structure because there are too many awards, not enough nominees and the award amounts are small. RUSA wants to set a minimum award amount of $3000 (which is in the ALA guidelines).


  • New Tracking System - Questions arose dealing with the lack of definitions for each track; whether there would be fewer programs because of the tracking system; and whether the History Section would continue to have 1 program each annual.
  • Awards - Worry that the minimum award amount proposed by RUSA would be too high for many small vendors including those that sponsor History Section awards - the Genealogical Publishing Company about the minimum amount. General comments about the disorganization and bad timing of RUSA's award program and the need for section representation on the RUSA Awards Coordinating committee. Discussion concerning whether the History Section award could be included in the section's program rather than in the RUSA program.
  • History of the History Section - The history is 75% complete. When done it will be placed on the section's web site and possibly distributed at the 2001 program (or given its length, a flyer with the url could be distributed). The University of Washington contingent (Nancy Huling, Carla Rickerson, Theresa Mudrock and Jessica Albano) will explore options for a possible anniversary dinner sponsored by vendors.
  • Academic Librarians - Some suggest there is a need to establish new committees to meet the needs of academic librarians of the section. Many of the committees are focused on genealogy and local history rather than the needs of academic librarians. Jim Niessen will lead further discussion of this via email.
  • History in Libraries - Decision to change the name of the discussion group to History Librarian's Discussion Group made and will go to the RUSA board.
  • Section Listserv - Discussion about using Hist-bibl list but no firm decision made.
  • Library History Roundtable - The NCC (National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History) produces a weekly report, distributed through H-Net (www2.h-net.msu.edu/~ncc/), on Washington DC issues that affect history. The History Section may want to explore becoming a liaison to the group if the membership fee is not onerous and depending on the NCC's lobbying activities.

Meeting adjourned at 10:10.