History Section Executive Committee Minutes, Annual 2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mary Mannix (Chair), Angela Bonnell, Ruth Carr, Mary Celeste, David Langenberg, Michele McNabb, Janalyn Moss, Eric Novotny (Recorder), Jeannette Pierce, Ann Reinert, Janice Schultz, Agnes Widder, Curt Witcher, Lou Vyhnanek, Stephen Young

1. Introductions

After introductions, Mary Mannix thanked the outgoing members for their outstanding service.

2. Approval of Minutes

The meeting minutes from Seattle were distributed, reviewed, and approved.

3. Update from the Chair—Mary Mannix

Mary distributed a proposal for a free “Introduction to Genealogy Librarianship” workshop during ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, January 10, 2008. The free workshop is intended to promote membership in RUSA and the History Section, while celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Genealogy Committee. The proposal was submitted by Mary to the RUSA Board in June. Jeannette Pierce has been in communication with Palinet [http://www.palinet.org/]. They are willing to co-sponser the event, and can provide meeting space in the Palinet headquarters in Philadelphia. This includes a computer lab that can accommodate 24-30 people. Mary will contact Palinet about meeting space options. Ideally we would like 2 rooms, a presentation room, and a hands-on computer lab. We could alternate between the rooms, which would allow us to accommodate more people and different learning styles.

Curt Witcher expressed a willingness to solicit speakers and to coordinate the program, pending RUSA approval of the proposal. Mary offered to coordinate publicity. Mary will also confirm that 2008 is the 40th anniversary of the Genealogy Committee, not the Section.

Agnes asked about honoraria for the speakers. Mary has not asked the RUSA Board for funding. She will do so at this conference. At a minimum the travel expenses of the speakers should be paid.

Ann Reinert began a discussion of possible events to celebrate the History Section’s upcoming 40th anniversary. As part of this, we are proposing a reduced rate for RUSA members to the annual genealogy pre-conference.

Jack Simpson has agreed to submit a proposal for an online genealogy class.

The guidelines for Developing a Core Genealogy Collection (formerly Guidelines for Developing Beginning Genealogical Collections and Services) will be submitted to the RUSA Board at this conference. They will also consider our proposal to sunset the “Guidelines for Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of Local History and Local Genealogical Materials.” We will need to check to ensure that the RUSA Website is updated.

This year’s History Section dinner is at the Burma Restaurant, June 24, 6:30 pm.

4. Program Update

Mary encouraged everyone to attend the Section’s program for this year entitled “All History is Local in a Digital World.” The Committee will be using the RUSA blog [http://www.rusablog.org/blog/_archives/2007/6/20/3036511.html] to list noteworthy history Websites, and to continue the conversation after the conference.

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

  • ABC-CLIO Online History Award Committee—Ruth Carr for David Lincove
    Faith Jones won the award for the New York Public Library collection of online Jewish memory books. See http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/jws/yizkorbooks_intro.cfm.

  • Genealogical Publishing Company Award Committee – Ruth Carr
    Ruth announced that Lou Vyhnanek is the winner of this year”s award. All applauded Lou, and were encouraged to attend the reception in his honor on Monday. In an unrelated move, Lou was announced as the incoming chair of the Committee.

  • Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group—Curt Witcher
    Curt reminded all of their discussion at this conference. He was encouraged to write a report of the discussion for the RUSA Blog [http://www.rusablog.org/].

  • Genealogy Committee—Stephen Young<
    The group is exploring ideas for celebrating the 40th anniversary of the committee. Ann Reinert indicated that RUSA Memebership is encouraging us to do something to commemorate the occasion. A reception was suggested, perhaps after the Friday pre-conference, or cake at the Section’s Anaheim program. Time constraints may rule out more ambitious ideas such as a trip to the Spanish Missions. Jeannette suggested some keepsakes—ribbons, buttons, etc… She will look into these and report back.
    As the coordinator for the 2008 program in Anaheim, Curt was urged to send a funding proposal to the RUSA Board. Agnes Widder will alert RUSA Planning and Finance. Curt will also submit a program proposal to the Program Coordinating Committee by Monday. Topics under consideration include “What’s New in Genealogy” focusing on the newest products and resources, and “Using DNA in Genealogy.”

  • Genealogy Pre-Conference Planning Committee—Janice Schultz
    Janice reported good attendance (55 people). The event included a Tour of the National Archives. The group is working on upcoming pre-conferences to be offered in Philadelphia, Anaheim and Denver. They are seeking a new chair.

  • Historical Materials Committee (formerly Bibliographies and Indexes)—Janalyn Moss
    The Committee is still in transition. They are working towards compiling a “New and Noteworthy” historical materials list. This would be similar to the annual “Best Bibliographies in History” but would include resources beyond bibliographies such as Websites and other reference materials.

  • Instruction and Research Services Committee—Angela Bonnell for John Russell
    The group is continuing work on information competencies in history. They are also working on their program proposal for the 2009 Annual Conference. After a discussion of planning issues (funding equipment, etc.), it was agreed that the section would benefit from a “tips on sponsoring an ALA program” document. A version was created by Theresa Mudrock several years ago. Interest was expressed in reviewing and updating this (as needed) for use by the entire section.

  • RUSA Membership Committee—Ann Reinert
    The section was given a Sunday afternoon slot to staff the RUSA Membership Booth this conference. This time conflicts with our section program. The Committee needs additional volunteers to all the time slots the Booth is open.

6. Webmaster Update—Mary Mannix

Lisa Scharnhorst is unable to continue as Webmaster for the section. David Langenberg expressed interest in taking on this task. Mary urged everyone to review their committee Web pages and send updates, corrections, etc. to David at DOVIDL@udel.edu.

Stephen Young reported problems using the RUSA committee volunteer form on the web. People have reported filling out the form and never getting a response. Agnes indicated that she has been regularly receiving the Web forms. She was holding many of these appointments as she believed there were a limited number of open slots. For some committees there are no limits. Agnes will review the volunteer forms she has and make appointments to the no-limits committees. Agnes asked committee chairs to encourage volunteers to re-submit the form just to make sure she has them.

7. History Section Program Sponsors

  • 2007 - Local History Committee
  • 2008 - Genealogy Committee
  • 2009 – Instruction & Research Services
  • 2010 – Historical Materials

8. Old Business—Mary Mannix

Committee chairs will receive a call from Agnes to submit material for RUSA Update. Send content to Donna Colamatteo, dcolamatteo@fredco-md.net, the History section Update editor.

The Section needs to update our membership brochure. Mary asked the members-at-large to work on this and distribute a draft by ALA Midwinter.

Mary is willing to coordinate the project of compiling job descriptions for committee chairs and officers as past chair. She has already received descriptions from some committee chairs. These could be part of a handbook for the section, perhaps including tips on sponsoring a program. The descriptions could also appear on the Section’s Website. Agnes asked all to bring descriptions to Midwinter.

10. New Business


Meeting adjourned.

Tuesday, June 27, 2007

Mary Mannix (Chair), Mary Bogan (incoming Secretary), Angela Bonnell, Ruth Carr, David Langenberg, Susan Malbin, Michele McNabb, Janalyn Moss, Eric Novotny (Recorder), Jeannette Pierce, Ann Reinert, Carla Rickerson, Jack Simpson, Janice Schultz, Agnes Widder, Lou Vyhnanek, Stephen Young

1. Introductions

After introductions, Jeannette Pierce announced that Eric Novotny recently received tenure from the Penn State University Libraries.

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

  • RUSA Membership Committee—Ann Reinert
    The Committee would like an updated History Section membership brochure. It was noted that the Rare Books and Manuscripts section saw an increase in membership after they updated their brochure. Mary indicated that the Members-At-Large were charged with this task at Saturday’s History Section Executive Committee meeting. (See meeting minutes for 6/23/07.) Agnes Widder asked that the draft of the updated brochure be sent to her.
    Joe Yue will be the incoming chair of the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee is looking at offering a discount to those who belong to multiple divisions within ALA.

  • Genealogy Committee—Stephen Young
    Stephen reported on two program proposals for the 2008 Anaheim conference. One will involve a panel discussion of new online resources in genealogy. The second is called “What Can Genealogy Do for Your Library?”.
    The group continues to work on a 40th anniversary event. They will submit a formal proposal for funding to the Planning and Finance committee. Mary offered to contact potential co-sponsors (PLA, LAMA, RBMS, etc.)

  • Historical Materials Committee—Janalyn Moss
    The Committee continues their work developing the proposed “New and Noteworthy in History” list. They are hoping to publish this annually in the Fall issue of RUSQ. They are also brainstorming topics for their 2010 program.

  • Instruction and Research Services Committee—Angela Bonnell
    A draft of the information competencies document has been written. When it is ready Angela will send to the Webmaster. The group is making progress on planning their 2009 program.

  • Local History Committee—Mary Celeste
    The program “All History is Local in a Digital World” was well attended (at least 130 people). Mary Mannix suggested writing up a report of the discussion for RUSA Update and the RUSA Blog.
    There was a lengthy discussion of the merits of an Archivist for the History Section. The ALA archives are at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, but they are only interested in keeping certain documents. Mary Mannix will inquire about the possibility of having more of our Section’s documents deposited with the ALA archives. Ann Reinert has files including brochures, pictures, and some committee files. She is hoping to do a scrapbook for the Section. Stephen Young has created a binder of materials for his Committee.

  • RUSA Access to Information—David Langenberg
    The group is currently in “flux” and questioning its role and purpose. They would like each section to discuss what they want from this committee. Agnes agreed to make this an agenda item for a History Section Midwinter meeting.
    Ann Reinert indicated she has chaired this group previously. She saw the Committee’s role as a place to discuss weighty issues (e.g. Cuban libraries), and to bring these issues to the attention of the sections. The group is not expected to resolve or act upon on the issues directly.

  • RUSA Conference Coordinating Committee—Mary Mannix
    Both of the programs submitted by the Genealogy Committee for Anaheim 2008 were approved with funding.

  • RUSA Planning and Finance—Agnes Widder
    Requests have come in from committees who want to use technology not currently available at most conference hotels (e.g. iPods with microphones, digital video cameras). They would like RUSA to consider purchasing these resources and making them available for programs. RUSA may create a task force to explore emerging technologies. This would likely include representation from each section. Mary Mannix observed that the RUSA Board is discussing purchasing laptop computers for use at committee meetings. This could be used to involve virtual committee members in meetings.
    Membership in RUSA is up. They are looking for funds to conduct a 5 year analysis of RUSA membership.
    Approved the transfer of $50,000 to increase the RUSA endowment. The endowment interest will be used to support both program and non-program activities (could be used to subsidize a free genealogy workshop). David Tyckoson is interested in receiving proposals for these funds.
    There was discussion of ideas for a 40th anniversary celebration. Those present voted in favor of using the regular History Section dinner, with an invited speaker and possibly a sponsor to reduce costs and attract attendees. As a special event this could be included on the conference registration form. Stephen Young will contact Eileen Hardy about this, and will check on possible speakers/venues.

  • RUSA Professional Development
    Jack Simpson continues to develop an online genealogy course. The medical reference course is on hold.
    It is hoped that the Library Support Staff Certification Project (LSSCP) will provide more opportunities for support staff to pursue professional development.
    Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) is working with associations and library schools to offer distance education courses for topics that may not be available at all schools.
    The History Ssection discussed ideas for additional online courses.

  • RUSA Publications—Eric Novotny
    All were encouraged to use the RUSA Blog http://www.rusablog.org/ after the conference as a way to continue conversations.
    Diane Zabel, editor of RUSQ wished to remind sections contributing material to be published in RUSQ (such as the annual “Best Bibliographies in History”) to be mindful of the publication calendar. There is often no flexibility to accommodate last-minute changes.

  • RUSA Standards and Guidelines—Susan Malbin
    Reviewed the state of the Section’s guidelines. Things should slow down as most History Section guidelines have been recently updated, or are scheduled to be sunset.

  • RUSA Board—Mary Mannix
    RUSA will be participating in the Emerging Leaders program again. Members are asked to submit names and applications to ALA. Those selected as Emerging Leaders receive funding towards attendance at conferences. They are expected to participate in a group project. Ideas for projects should be submitted to the RUSA Board. Last year’s projects included designing a RUSA Powerpoint template, and creating a video for YouTube on librarianship as a career. For more information on the application process, eligibility requirements, etc…. see the Emerging Leaders wiki: http://wikis.ala.org/emergingleaders/index.php/Main_Page.

  • RUSA Organization Committee—Carla Rickerson
    Continuing to conduct regular reviews of the sections. The BRASS review is just getting started. The History Section is scheduled for review in 2010. The committee is considering expanding the time for conducting reviews. This will give sections more time to prepare and engage in broader discussions amongst their members. They are also looking at adding additional questions to the review.

  • RUSA Nominating Committee—Curt Witcher (submitted via e-mail after the conference)
    The RUSA Nominating Committee had a very productive hour meeting on Saturday, June 23rd, noon-1. The two positions in need of qualified candidates and up for discussion were vice-president/president elect of RUSA and a number of director-at-large positions.
    A names of a number of very qualified candidates were submitted for each position. Through discussion, the lists were narrowed to four potential candidates for RUSA vice-president/president elect and eight potential candidates for the RUSA director at large positions. Further discussion produced a ranked order in which the potential candidates for each position would be approached. The chair, Kathleen Kluegel, will be contacting the potential candidates for vice-president/president elect while Collette Mak will be contacting the potential candidates for the director at large positions.
    A number of History Section leaders are among those on the lists to be contacted.

3. New Business

Mary Mannix wrote a letter to support the Michigan Genealogical Council’s nomination of Carol Callard for the FGS Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award.

4. Action Items

  • Curt Witcher is coordinating the speakers for the free genealogy workshop.
  • Stephen Young and Agnes Widder will work on funding for cake/beverages at the the 2008 History Section program, and for subsidizing the History Section dinner. Mary Mannix offered to contact potential program co-sponsors (PLA, LAMA, RBMS, etc.)
  • Mary Mannix will send additional information on the Emerging Leaders program/application process
  • Mary Mannix will contact Donavan Vicha and Lisa Scharnhorst to arrange the transition to the new History Section Webmaster, David Langenberg.
  • Jack Simpson will continue working on the online genealogy course.
  • The members-at-large will review and update the History Section membership brochure.
  • All committee chairs, elected officers, and representatives to RUSA level committees are to draft one-page descriptions of their responsibilities.

Mary Mannix received enthusiastic applause and appreciation for her service as Chair.

Meeting adjourned.