Executive Committee Minutes


Annual 2001 - San Francisco
June 16 and 19, 2001

16 June 2001


Nancy Huling, Ruth Carr, David L. Langenberg, Ann Reinert, Curt Witcher, Marilyn Carbonell, Theresa Mudrock

No quorum present. Meeting adjourned at 8:20.

19 June 2001


Nancy Huling, Carla Rickerson, Ruth Carr, Ann Reinert, Jim Niessen, Curt Witcher, Tom Kemp, Nancy Godleski, Phoebe Janes, Marilyn Carbonell, Jerry Millar, Theresa Mudrock

Curt Witcher, History Section Chair, called the meeting to order at 8:07.

Committee Reports:

  • Bibliographies & Indexes - met to discuss the 2002 program, which Ed Oetting will chair. The theme will be on historical fallacies on the web from various perspectives. Both scholars and librarians will speak. Issues include: how people deal with falsehoods on the web and evaluating web sites in history. The program may focus on a southern theme because of the conference locale of Atlanta. The program has received $600 from RUSA for the program based on the original program title, "What do you mean I can't use Hitler's 1960 web diary for my paper: Evaluating web sites in history."
  • Genealogical Publishing Company Award - there was a nice ceremony and lunch for the recipient (Margaret Ann Reinert).
  • Genealogy Committee -- preconference was successful with 55 registrants. Participant comments about the 5 presenters were excellent. A small taskforce within the committee is working on the next preconference which will have a southern flavor. Information about the preconference possibly including an outline and handouts will be made available on the RUSA web site. The program was fairly well attended given the narrow focus (Chinese genealogy). The committee met jointly with the Local History committee. Discussion focused on the preconferences -- possibility of adapting the genealogy preconference for a PLA institute; of having a preconference precede midwinter ALA conferences; preconferences during state library meetings such as the Michigan Library Association and the Utah Library Association. Updates of other events Library Day at Portland and the Society of American Archivists were mentioned. Committee members will continue efforts on local levels to expose the contributions of the Genealogy and Local History committees to a wider audience.
  • Historical Events - the Executive Committee passed the new charge for the committee. Chair of the History Section, Curt Witcher, will include this change in charge in his report to RUSA. The new charge incorporates creating a prospective calendar of historical anniversaries that will serve as a resource for library exhibit planners. ""Upcoming Historical Anniversaries" will be a way for librarians and event planners to anticipate upcoming anniversaries of significance. Divided into five sections--Arts & Literature, History & Politics, People & Personalities, Science & Technology, and Society & Culture--and containing entries for the years 2003 through 2006, the site will be a useful resource for librarians in public, academic, and special libraries who are charged with commemorating an historical event or personality through an exhibit, publication, or other special activity. Visitors to the Web site will also be given an opportunity, via on online form, to contribute their own suggestions for upcoming historical anniversaries."
  • History Librarian's Discussion Group - no meeting held during annual; ACRL Law & Political Science Section (LPSS) was considering creating a Historians Discussion Group but only 5 people attended the organizational meeting so LPSS will not create the discussion group.
  • Local History - met jointly with the Genealogy committee (see above under Genealogy).
  • Nominating - completed work for upcoming elections. The 2002 RUSA nominees for Vice President/President Elect are Nancy Huling and David Null. The nominees for Director at Large are Denise Beaubien Bennett, Mary Parker, Pam Sieving, Susan Neuman, and Carol Womack.

RUSA Committee Reports:

  • Access to Information - discussion revolved around 3 topics: 1) constructing a privacy survey with the notion of privacy as a "human right rather than a property right." 2) Develop a statement concerning privacy and intellectual property. 3) Broaden the role of the committee to include the development of related policies and agenda for RUSA; inform members on the issues; develop an educational program for members such as a discussion form; and liaison with other groups interested in the issue. 4) Plan for a midwinter forum on the issue including aspects such as advertising the forum, writing articles for RUSA Update, and posting information on listservs.
  • Board of Directors - discussion topics included: 1) RUSA Update - the committee voted to incorporate the publication as a column within RUSQ. No printed version of RUSA Update will be created after the current year; it will be available on the RUSA webpage. 2)Virtual committees - the history section as no virtual committees/members so need to submit a report to RUSA. 3) Copyright - the Washington, D.C. office will offer a web course on copyright. 4) Conference tracks - the new tracking system will be evaluated. Initial comments are mixed with some contending that it is confusing and distracting while other like having programs in subject tracks. There is concern that the tracking system not outweigh traditional program timeslots. 5) Midwinter - some discussion but little support for shortening the midwinter conference though some proposed moving more meetings earlier to Friday rather than meeting on Tuesday. 6) Board retreat - there will be a board retreat during the midwinter meeting focusing on strategic planning. Section chairs will be involved since sections are essential to both programming and membership. Jim Niessen will probably attend for the History Section.
  • Conference Program Coordinating - a full slate of proposed programs approved; the History Section program granted $600 and will request the usual slot of Sunday morning however the tracking system may not make this time slot possible. Carla Rickerson will check to see when the tracks will be set and how much input the section has on choosing a time slot.
  • Membership - Phoebe Janes will serve as the History Section representative to this committee.
  • Organization - discussion again focused on membership. The committee is synthesizing ideas brought forth by the division review and the RUSA survey by the Ivy Group to figure out how to increase membership. One prime area identified that may have membership implications is the need for a general reference section within the division. This section may absorb MOUSS and MARS.
  • Planning & Finance - recommended to the RUSA board that RUSA contribute $5,000 towards ALA's fight against the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The committee also discussed the financial problems associated with RUSA institutes which are losing money possibly due to bad timing, low turnout and cancelled meetings. One source of revenue is publication, high quality publications can provide a good revenue stream but very few are currently in the pipeline.
  • Standards and Guidelines - some local history guidelines will automatically expire after the midwinter meeting 2002 if no action is taken. Ed Frank, the chair of the Local History committee needs to be contacted about this.


  • Program Planning -- some updates announced: 1) 2003 genealogy preconference needs to submit all paperwork concerning the event by the midwinter meeting. Forms are now available online. 2) 2003 program is the responsibility of the Local History committee. Discussion continued from the midwinter meeting on is there a need for a separate program committee in the History Section. Traditionally responsibility for the program has rotated among 3 committees (Genealogy, Local History and Bibliography & Indexes). This means that in any given year 2 of the 3 committees are working on a program. One possibility discussed is a creation of a program committee with members from all History Section committees with oversight provided by the Executive committee. Another possibility is to create taskforces within committees with responsibility for program planning. For now the decision is to retain the current structure with possibility of adding the new committee, Instruction & Research Services, to the rotation.
  • History of the History Section - 100 printed copies were made possible by the generous contribution of Ann Reinert. Copies were distributed to Executive committee members and a copy will be sent to the archives. Eventually a copy will be posted to the section's web page.
  • 40th Anniversary - Carla Rickerson and Jim Niessen thanked for arranging for pastries and coffee and the program. ABC-Clio sponsored the refreshments. It was suggested that the section should begin planning for the 50th anniversary as soon as possible.
  • New Committee - the new committee title and charged passed by the Executive committee. The committee is aimed at academic librarians and is called "Instruction & Research Services." News of this new committee will be included in the section's report to RUSA.
  • Update editor - need for a new editor for the section's column in RUSA Update. Nancy Huling has been editor for a decade.
  • Preconference - the Executive committee passed a resolution to create a preconference subcommittee of the Genealogy committee.
  • Section webmaster - decision again postponed on selecting a new webmaster who may serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive committee. A decision will be made during the midwinter meeting.
  • History Section dinner - some discussion on if the dinner could be more celebratory.
  • American Historical Association - Jim Niessen, Phoebe Janes and Nancy Godleski will work on a response to a letter received from the AHA and will elicit conversation on Hist-Bibl.

Meeting adjourned at 11:17.