Executive Committee Minutes

Midwinter 2000 - San Antonio
January 15 and 18, 2000

15 January 2000


Nancy Huling, Cindy Krolikowski, Carla Rickerson, Lou Vyhnanek, Martha Henderson, Charles D. King, Ruth Carr, David L. Langenberg, Ann Reinart, Jim Niessen, Curt Witcher, Marilyn Carbonell, Tom Kemp, Theresa Mudrock

Curt Witcher, History Section Vice-Chair, called the meeting to order at 8:05.


The minutes for the June 26 and June 29, 1999 were approved.

Committee Announcements:

  • Bibliographies & Indexes - will be choosing items for the Best Bibliographies in History from approximately 50 nominees.
  • Genealogical Publishing Company Award - everything going on schedule despite the fact that Judith Reid not present.
  • Local History - will be meeting at the Texana and Genealogy Department of the San Antonio Public Library.
  • Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group - will be meeting at the San Antonio Historical and Genealogical Society Library in conjunction with the Genealogy Committee.
  • Historical Events - will be meeting on Sunday to decide on an event for the annual bibliography. There will also be discussion on membership.
  • History in Libraries Discussion Group - the topic for the midwinter meeting is the indexing of historical journals.
  • Nominating Committee - announced the candidates for various positions.

RUSA Committee Announcements:

  • Access to Information - meetings to be held on Saturday and Tuesday.
  • Conference Program Coordinating - will discuss procedure for preconferences.
  • Membership - full report to be given on Tuesday, there may be changes due to restructuring.
  • Organization - committee reviews due; virtual membership will be discussed; need to review bylaws dealing with discussion groups since History Section appears not to be in conformance with RUSA rules. Section reviews distributed to committee.
  • Planning and Finance - will meet on Sunday. During the 1999 annual meeting there was discussion of the issue of virtual membership - no overwhelming support in the committee due to expense.
  • Publications - will be meeting later today.
  • Standards - RUSA requests status of various section guidelines such as the "Guideline for Establishing Local History Collections" and "Guideline for Reprinting Books for Local Interest."

Other Announcements:

  • Section Brochure - no response from committee chairs about the revision.
  • RUSA Update deadline is 2 February 2000. D. Langenberg will write one last column for RUSA Update.
  • Carolyn Long will be attending the Tuesday meeting to explain the new tracking system for programs and meetings.
  • The History Section Dinner sign-up circulated.

    Meeting adjourned at 8:50.

18 January 2000


Nancy Huling, Cindy Krolikowski, Carla Rickerson, Martha Henderson, Charles D. King, Ruth Carr, David L. Langenberg, Ann Reinart, Jim Niessen, Curt Witcher, Marilyn Carbonell, Tom Kemp, Ed Frank, Agnes Widder, Caroline Long, Theresa Mudrock

Curt Witcher, History Section Vice-Chair, called the meeting to order at 8:00.

Committee Reports:

  • Bibliographies & Indexes - Books were chosen for "Best Bibliographies"; reviews are due to the RUSA editor on March 1. N. Huling suggests that titles be included in RUSA Update; the Association for the Bibliography of History will also post the list.
  • Genealogical Publishing Company Award - Awardee has yet to be contacted, an announcement will be made at that time.
  • Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group - There was a joint meeting of the discussion group and Genealogy committee at the San Antonio Historical and Genealogical Society Library. The location was quite out of the way; future sites will take proximity into consideration. The Genealogy committee is responsible for the program in 2001 and is considering a technology themed program of three parts: leading edge technology, current technology, and using technology to server customers. The committee will also explore the possibility of broadcasting the program over the web or on C-Span but this will require funding.
  • Historical Events - Three people showed up for the meeting and decided on the Korean War as this year's theme. A web page will be ready on August 1, 2000. A suggestion was made this committee would be an ideal venue for virtual membership; C. Witcher will look into this.
  • History in Libraries Discussion Group - Approximately 20 people attended the meeting dealing with the indexing of history periodicals. Potential topics for next year include the impact of remote storage, marketing library services such as instruction, and the impact of politically correct history in libraries. The discussion group will continue to meet only during midwinter; there is no interest in adding a meeting at annual.
  • Local History - Over 20 people met at the San Antonio Public Library. There were vendor updates and an introduction to the Texana collection. The program, "We Have History, Too! Documenting our Local History" for Chicago has been scheduled and money approved for the speaker. There was no discussion of guidelines and no volunteer to take over D. Langenberg's column in RUSA Update.

RUSA Committee Reports:

  • Access to Information - Bibliography on Access to Information issues is available on committee's web site at www.ala.org/rusa/access_biblio.html. Intellectual freedom guidelines are being revised by Intellectual Freedom Committee. The Intellectual Freedom Committee is also developing several documents, including Libraries and the Internet Toolkit (tips for staff dealing with questions on Internet use including sample statements, letters, speeches). An official legal memorandum on library's obligations regarding Internet filtering/non-filtering has been solicited; The Committee revised the RUSA guidelines, Guidelines for Information Services. The Committee is planning a midwinter discussion group concerning issues dealing with public service librarians.
  • Conference Program Coordinating - The proposal for the 2001 genealogy pre-conference, "Sites, Sources and Services: A Mini Course for Librarians Serving Genealogists," was approved.
  • Membership - Membership is slowly declining in RUSA; possible remedies include virtual membership and a survey of reference librarians who are ALA members but who do not join RUSA. A call for volunteers for the RUSA booth was made. The History Section may want to consider holding a happy hour on Friday night; this has proved successful for MARS in attracting new members.
  • Organization - The new RUSA Guide to Policies and Procedures omits RUSA bylaws. Discussion centered on conflicting section bylaws, this topic will also be the focus on the annual meeting. Discussion on virtual membership noted that procedures should be regularized but that sections should not be forced to have virtual members. The History Section review was distributed for comments.
  • Publications - Interviews were held for editor of Reference and User Services Quarterly. Connie Van Fleet and Danny Wallace were hired. The publication will begin standardizing features, adding more illustrations and attempt to balance practical information with more academic and theoretical material. The Committee will produce a 1-page tip sheet on publications to be distributed to incoming chairs and placed on the web.
  • Standards and Guidelines - Several guidelines were reviewed. Many History Section guidelines need revision including "Guidelines for Local History Collections" and "Guidelines for Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of Local History and Local Genealogical Materials."
  • Board of Directors - [Includes Planning and Finance report] The History Section was not officially represented at the meeting because the vice-chair was not allowed to substitute for the chair. This will be followed up with RUSA. ALA will be mounting a distance ed continuing education program. Genealogy will probably be a RUSA pilot for this endeavor. ALA will be working with library schools to provide accreditation. A RUSA Continuing Education Committee will be established and will require History Section representation. The issue of declining membership in RUSA discussed -- a survey consultant will be hired to discover why reference librarians who are ALA members do not join RUSA as well as to discover better ways RUSA can serve its members. Publication possibilities are being solicited by RUSA. C. Krolikowski and A. Widder will explore possible publications such as a best bibliographies compilation and a history of the section. The History Section needs discuss the direction of the section including factors such as the membership issue in light of RUSA's strategic plan. RUSA is concerned about the proliferation of smaller awards, the small number of nominees for awards and the unorganized nature of the awards program. It was noted that the History Section does not have a representative on the RUSA Awards Coordinating Committee. RUSA is seeking section appointees for the Core Competencies Taskforce. A general concern was felt that ALA Council members do not represent front-line librarians especially young adult and children's librarians.

Discussion of New Track Structure:

Carolyn Long discussed the new subject tracking system for the ALA conference due to be implemented for 2001. It is hoped that the tracking system will result in less duplication of programs. Each track will be held in one location, there will be one no-conflict slot per track to allow for exhibits. The General Assembly will remain a no-conflict time. The RUSA office will do all scheduling of programs and committee meetings for the division. This probably means the History Section will lose its traditional Sunday afternoon program time slot. A sample skeleton schedule was distributed to illustrate the tracking system.

Other Discussion:

  • The 40th anniversary of the section is coming up (1961-2001) and there is a need to plan some sort of celebratory event or publication.
  • Is there need for a section listserv? H-Hist-Bibl acts as a defacto list but History is the only RUSA section without a listserv. A listserv could be established under ALA management.
  • The History Section needs to address itself to the interests and concerns of academic librarians. Many academic librarians feel that the section is biased toward those interested in genealogy and local history. This issue should be addressed more fully at annual.

Meeting adjourned at 10:40.