RUSA HISTORY SECTION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES ALA ANNUAL CONFERENCE, 2003


Tuesday, June 24, 2003, 8-11 a.m., Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto Room

Present: Nancy Godleski, chair, Agnes Widder, secretary, Joe Straw, Ruth Carr, Jeannette Pierce, Bill Buckner, Michael Kirley, David Lincove, Lou Vyhnanek, incoming vice-chair/chair elect, Jim Niessen, Phoebe Janes, incoming chair, Carla Rickerson


1. The minutes from the ALA Midwinter meetings were approved with these corrections:

the Saturday minutes: p. 2, Genealogy Committee paragraph, Heritage Quest cancelled its rental program.

the Tuesday minutes: p. 1 Genealogy Committee paragraph, Paul Smart will be an unofficial liaison to IFLA. Curt Witcher is the official liaison. The Section program for 2004 in Orlando will be co-sponsored with REFORMA. Under Instruction and Research Services Committee strike out the sentence “Should it become a standard and guideline?” p. 2 Local History Committee, line 2 change the sentence to read “We discussed the situation, which involved miscommunication.” Delete the last sentence beginning “The current committee chair...” Same page, under RUSA Membership committee. It is RUSA membership that has declined 2%.

2.Reports from Section committees and discussion groups and RUSA Committees. Also includes some Section Business as it occurred to enable people who had to leave early to do so.

RUSA Nominating Committee

. Ruth Carr. The nominating committee for 2004 is working on slates for spring election next year. There are two candidates for VP/PE. Candidates for director at large are being worked on. The deadline is Sept. 15th. This committee has five people.

Section business

(#7) ABC-Clio History Librarian Award. Jim Niessen. Caroline Long, Chair, and the RUSA Awards Committee were enthusiastic about the proposed award but we need to answer four questions: eligibility?, criteria to be used in selecting winners?, the process by which the committee members to choose the award are selected?, and restrictions on who may nominate a person for the award? Neither the Chair, nor any member of this committee came to this ALA conference. Also the award has to be approved higher up in ALA than RUSA. We will continue to work on development of this award.

HS Bibliography and Indexes Committee.

Jeannette Pierce. Two people on the committee met Saturday afternoon. Best Bibs lists for 2002 and 2003 were combined and have just come out in RUSQ. They discussed the guidelines used for selecting the titles and plan to update them. The manual will then be submitted to the Exec. Comm. for approval.

GPC award.

Michael Kirley, incoming Chair, reported for Ray Wright. The criteria for the award were discussed. There is a luncheon each year for the winner. As Orlando has no venues for this near the convention a place will need to be found for it.

Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group.

Bill Buckner. There was a joint meeting; 29 attended. There were two speakers, Mary Louise? Peron? And Claire Foreman. There were some technical problems: there was no internet connection, although $250 had been paid for this. ALA should look into obtaining reimbursement.

Local History Committee.

Bill Buckner. Members present had not seen the e mails about the standard so it was not voted on. This committee needs a good project to occupy itself with, otherwise it gets hijacked by genealogy (better wording?). The new HS Chair needs to speak with the Chair of this committee.

Genealogy Pre-Conference/Workshop Planning Committee.

Bill Buckner. Five people attended the meeting. Since Saturday the Committee has written a descriptive statement which Exec. Comm. edited. The purpose was changed to read “To plan Genealogy Preconferences and/or workshops to educate librarians whose work is in, or related to, the field of genealogy.” Under specific duties c. was rewritten to say “Coordinates its plans and efforts with the Genealogy Committee” and d. was added: “Reports to the Executive Committee.” This descriptive statement was voted on and accepted by the HS Exec. Comm. Now this is a new HS standing committee. This description will be forwarded to RUSA by? Carole Callard will be the new Chair of this committee.

Cont’d. The ALA Midwinter in Boston, 2005, will have a Workshop. The agenda for the Pre-Conference in Orlando, 2004 was finalized. They will ask for a tour of the Orange County Library Collection, as this is where they intend to have the Pre-Conference. They can get a room and equipment free there. They will need to organize transportation to the Library, 12 miles. They will ask Gale about providing transportation.

Genealogy Committee.

Bill Buckner. They had a speaker on genealogy in Canada on Sunday morning. It was not taped. Provinces in Canada have genealogical societies, but there is no overall umbrella organization of them. This may be coming, however. Marji Harris is to be thanked for her work on the online course. Brian Holdiman is to be thanked for his work on the web page. Drew Smith is to be thanked for his work on standard and guidelines. The Committee worked 1 ½ hours on guidelines for courses in genealogy to be offered by library science programs. There was a lot of good discussion. Their document will go on to the Standards and Guidelines Committee. They approved mailing this guideline to all library schools in North America. A library school professor who is also knowledgeable about genealogy will draft a letter to be sent out with the guidelines. They discussed the guidelines for editors of family history and genealogy bulletins and newsletters. This one is more for the use of publishers of such items and there will be more discussion about it at Midwinter ALA.

Genealogy Committee, Online Education Subcommittee.

Bill Buckner. This group worked hard on developing a proposal about ALA’s offering CE courses in genealogy for credit. RUSA wanted this proposal written. (More details? My notes are fuzzy.) In Canada 14,000 people have taken a similar program for which they get a certificate. Both librarians and the public can take this course.

Section program for 2004 in Orlando is being planned by the Genealogy Committee and will be co-sponsored by REFORMA. It will be on Hispanic genealogy. Persons with information?/artifacts?/exhibits? on the Day of the Dead/All Souls Day as celebrated by Hispanics should get in touch with Bill Buckner.

Genealogy Committee is interested in having its website available via Google or Yahoo.

Historical Events Committee.

Phoebe Janes. Jennifer Paust resigned from chairing this committee. We will wait a year and then revisit this situation. No members were appointed.

Instruction and Research Services Committee.

David Lincove. They met and made changes to the web site they are developing to advise students about primary sources in history available on the internet. It is currently on the University of Washington server, as it was developed by Theresa Mudrock. It will be finished in several weeks and we will receive the link in the mail. They would like to have it on the ALA server. They discussed the 2005 HS program for ALA Chicago, which is this Committee’s responsibility to organize. It will focus on bibliographic instruction for history in the electronic age. Title, tentatively, “Doing History in the Electronic Age: Challenges in Library Instruction.” They plan three speakers: a librarian, a professor of history, and a person from a historical society. It was suggested that they should also have a public or high school librarian on the panel and include how public or high school libraries handle instruction. Exec. Comm. discussed the day, time of day, and size of room needed. The Committee will look into co-sponsorship with ACRL. This program needs a room for 200. They will ask for a late morning slot on Sunday.

HS History Librarians’ Discussion Group.

Does not meet at annual ALAs. Jim Niessen continues as Chair.

RUSA Access to Information Committee.

No report.

RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee.

Carla Rickerson. Mix up with meeting location with RUSA Conference Program Committee. The program proposed by Genealogy Committee was approved and given $350. There is also $50 given for handout production. ALA office can print up handouts. The genealogy workshop planned for Boston Midwinter has been approved too. 14 programs were proposed. RUSA can only have 12 at the annual conferences. Each section can offer two programs. The ILL people in MOUSS are going to become their own section. The rest of MOUSS is going to refocus itself to serve the front line service librarians.

RUSA Membership Committee.

Phoebe Janes. There will be co-chairs next from U. of Iowa. Brainstorming on things to do to increase recruitment.

RUSA Finance Committee.

Phoebe Janes for Ann Reinert. Institutional memberships in RUSA are down. RUSQ having been cut from 120 to 100 pages is to be reduced to 80 pages to reduce RUSA costs. The editors have written against doing this; Phoebe circulated their letter. Possibly a compromise will be done, by reducing it 10 pages, to 90 and increasing the price by $5 to institutional members. We suggested RUSQ be redesigned to save space by putting more words on a page, reducing the type size, increasing advertizing, shortening the reviews, etc. These things are being thought about at RUSA level anyway.

RUSA Organization Committee.

Jeannette Pierce for Jim Niessen. The Task Force on organization structure is finished. There is an overlap checklist for the section review process to use to identify overlaps and uniquenesses between RUSA entities, which has been approved. The BRASS section review went well; it is healthy. The RUSA Membership Committee and Editorial Board have been reviewed. The Membership Committee has done well under the current chair, but who the chair is affects how well this committee does, it is felt. BRASS is to have a representative on the RUSA web committee. MOUSS is creating a section to be called STAR, Section to Transform Access? There is a petition to change the RUSA name to STAR? MOUSS hopes to change its acronym to something that will encourage front line librarians, not just management, to join. The History Section is to be reviewed in 2005. CODES is to be reviewed in 2004.

RUSA Publications Committee.

Joe Straw. The Committee met Saturday morning. Mostly they discussed the issues to do with RUSQ. The Committee doesn’t wish to reduce the size of the periodical. The editors did not attend, but the Committee read their letter. The Committee discussed ways to raise revenue. They feel a need to know more about how its readership feels about RUSQ. Should it be online or print? They may do an assessment to find out what the readers of it want. How to encourage more advertizing? Joe has been asked to lead a subcommittee to revise the guidelines for the RUSA web site. Webmasters from each RUSA section need to be involved as much as possible, Nancy said. Bill Buckner reminded us that we are volunteers doing volunteer work. He also wondered how much the decline in RUSQ subscriptions was due to non-fulfilment by Rowe.com.

RUSA Standards and Guidelines.

No report.

3. RUSA Board of Directors Report.

Nancy Godleski. The Board met Saturday afternoon and will meet again Tuesday afternoon. There is to be a new group in RUSA for front line reference librarians. This will replace MOUSS minus the ILL librarians (which have created a section for themselves). The new group might be called STARS and is designed to appeal more to non-managers. Nancy gave figures for registration for this ALA and exhibitors, which are both much smaller than usual. She gave a lot of information about the ALA web page difficulties. ALA had outsourced creation of its web page to a vendor called Active Matter. They didn’t do a good job and some pages just aren’t there. There was a meeting June 7th at which ALA presented a list of things it wanted the vendor to do, none of which have been addressed. Clean up and coordination is needed. A new search engine is needed. There is no good back-up. The HS webmaster didn’t get a password until lately. Procedures need to be written for managing web pages and there needs to be a person at ALA to communicate with. Nancy reminded us that when we refer to librarians and library staff members in our publications we are to do it in such a way that both librarians and library staff members reading our documents will feel it refers to both groups.

Respectfully submitted,

Agnes Widder