2004 MIDWINTER MEETINGS (SAN DIEGO)
SATURDAY AND TUESDAY
Saturday, January 7, 2004, Metropolitan Room, BRI, 8-9am
Present: Bill Buckner, Ruth Carr, Cindy Krolikowski, David Lincove, Phoebe Janes, Susan Malbin, Mary Mannix, Ann Reinert, Joe Straw, Lou Vyhnanek
Precedent is being broken; there will be no sign-up for History Section Dinner, to be held at Joe's Crab Shack, on the water behind the Conference Center, between 6-8.
History Librarians Discussion Group cancelled for Midwinter; a topic for discussion was not developed. Should its leadership, as well as the Local History Discussion Group, be rotated. This would also allow opportunity for new blood to participate.
Bib and Index Committee will not be able to attend either Executive Committee meeting at this Midwinter. Laura will be submitting a written report. Jim Niessen will also probably not be attending either meeting.
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND INDEXES COMMITTEE: LAURA DALE BISCHOF
Written Report Submitted, as follows:
"The charge of this committee is to "improve the usefulness of bibliographies and indexes through the evaluation both of specific publications and the pattern and effectiveness of coverage in all fields of history; to promote enhanced availability of historical works and information; and to serve as liaison among bibliographers, indexers, publishers, and professional associations." The end product of this charge is an annual "Best Bibliographies in History" article published in the summer issue of RUSQ.
Using the criteria detailed in the Best Bibliographies in History Manual, the committee considered over thirty bibliographies published in 2002 or 2003. From these, we picked 10 to highlight in the 2004 best bibliographies article. Each committee member was given one or two titles to review for the 2004 best bibliographies article. Committee members will write 150 word reviews following the guidelines listed in the manual. These will be collected and edited for style by the editor and assistant editor in late January and February. The editor will write a short introduction."
HISTORY LIBRARIANS DISCUSSION GROUP: JIM NIESSEN
RUSA ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE: JIM NIESSEN
RUSA STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES: CINDY KROLIKOWSKI
At Toronto Guidelines for a Unit or Course of Instruction in Genealogical Research at Schools of Library and Information Science, updated by Drew Smith, was approved. Guidelines to be considered today include Guidelines for Library Services to Hispanics and Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Professionals.
Bill asked for clarification of the review process for guidelines. Susan Malbin announced that the revised Local History Guidelines would hopefully be approved on Monday. She also asked for clarification of the process. Guidelines go right from the committees to the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee. If forwarded to Cindy she will present them to S&G.
Bill brought up the review of the Guidelines for Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of Local History and Local Genealogical Materials, Drew and Bill feel that they are more relevant for Local History Section or even they are perhaps more appropriate elsewhere, even in a unit outside History Section. This reflects an interpretation of ALA's 1991 preservation policy that states that ALA is more concerned with supporting ISO and ANSI preservation standards than creating their own. Drew will inquire with Genealogy Committee's standards subcommittee for clearance that they really do not want to pursue the revision of the preservation guidelines.
Cindy had to leave to attend the RUSA S&G meeting.
RUSA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE: MARY MANNIX
This committee, although will intentioned, is presently powerless and unsure of what they are suppose to be doing. The possibility of dissolving the committee will be presented to the RUSA Board at this meeting. The committee is itself ambivalent about its future. The committee's history is also unclear.
RUSA NOMINATING COMMITTEE: RUTH CARR
Ruth also chaired this RUSA committee. This upcoming ballot will include two (2) candidates for vice-president\president elect and four (4) for director at large candidates. All candidates appear outstanding. Ballots now are on-line and voting will be on-line. ALA has had problems with this new process this year, therefore it was a little slow. Ruth explained that each section's representative is responsible for bringing up potential section members for nominations, but are not limited to just nominating individuals in their own section. Ruth had a very good committee this year, with members who knew a variety of people. Phoebe thanked Ruth and her committee for their efforts.
INSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH SERVICES: DAVID LINCOVE
Written report submitted, as follows:
"Since the Annual meeting in June, 2003 the Instruction and Research Services Committee made revisions to the web page it created, "Using Primary Sources on the Web" to be found at http://www.lib.washington.edu/subject/History/RUSA . In mid-September, notices were sent out to various list serves, such as h-net, the National History Day list, and the Godort list, to publicize it. A few receivers of the information sent it on to other lists. This includes a list serve controlled by the American Memory project at the Library of Congress. Based on a Google search with the title it is possible to see that the site is now linked at a large number of sites in the US and a few other countries. These sites range originate from university libraries, junior colleges, teacher course web sites, sites for primary and secondary school teachers and students, and history or education organizations. The committee's web site is linked at the web sites of the Organization of American Historians, the American Council for History Education, local History Day sites, HistoryCooperative, UNESCO, and various other sites such as electronic newsletters, and thehomeschoolmom.com. We have received positive responses from many people about the sites, and some people offered suggestions about making corrections and additions. From September through the end of December, 2003 the site received 3,761 "visits" and 26,648 "hits'. The committee will maintain and publicize the sites and perhaps enhance it in the future.
At the meeting the committee will discuss the program it will host at the Annual conference in 2005 and additional ideas for initiatives."
David is hoping to have committee volunteers to keep an eye on the site, make sure links up to date and make suggestions for additions to the site for improvement. It needs to be an ongoing project to keep it worthwhile.
Site is presently hosted on a server at the University of Washington, one of the committee members volunteered to house it. At that point it is virtually impossible to place on ALA site, or site not trustworthy, one could not make changes to it quickly if on the ALA server. Site is linked from ALA site.
There was some discussion regarding the ALA website. Rebecca will be reporting on this situation on Tuesday. The ALA site has been a nightmare for Rebecca. Phoebe pointed out that it was easier to locate the "Primary Sources" site using Google than navigating through the ALA site.
Committee will be sponsoring 2005 History Section program, this will be discussed at their Midwinter meeting. Phoebe asked what is the essential work of the committee, now that the "Primary Source" site is finished. The committee's purpose seemed ambiguous. Committee has concluded that its goal is the creation of aids for students, teachers, librarians for instruction and research.
RUSA PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE: JOE STRAW
Will be meeting at later today, Saturday. Topics will include report from RUSQ editor and a packet from BRASS. Joe will report on Tuesday.
HISTORY SECTION NOMINATING COMMITTEE: LOU VYHNANEK
Lou has set-up committee for 2005. Jim Niessen will chair, members are Janice Schultz and Janet Pierce. They will be meeting at Midwinter; their deadline is September 2004. After Midwinter Lou will be making other appointments, he will contact chairs about their committees. If new people are interested, have them fill out volunteer forms, now on-line.
There was discussion about the concept of virtual appointments. Committees could have a small percentage of virtual members. Phoebe will be confirming the percentage with Cathleen. There is a place on the volunteer form for indicating that one is interested in being a virtual committee member. Bill suggestion. Susan asked for further clarification, what could you ask them to do to truly be a committee member. The usefulness depends on the committee and the nature of their business, i.e. nominating committee might work very well that way. Bill explained that due to budget cuts he has found that less people have money for travel; the committee does not want to lose people's experience simply because they cannot attend Annual or Midwinter. Bill gave examples of Genealogy Committee work that could be done virtually, working on guidelines, for example. Joe included that much legwork and background could be done virtually. Susan asked if a virtual member's time on committee would be the same as normal. Bill stated that on a resume a virtual member should state that they were a virtual member. Phoebe stated that we don't want to deny participation, simply because someone does not get funding to attend we do not want to penalize them, don't want to deny them professional association experience. Other discussion involved voting, proxies votes, open meeting requirements, and quorums. ALA is looking at these larger issues. Phoebe stated that people at RUSA should be able to offer guidance.
A Genealogy Dinner will be held at Molly's at the Marriott, 6:00pm on Saturday night. Marriott is right next to the Conference Center. There has been some concern that this would be in competition with the History Dinner. Ann informed the group of the history of the History Section Dinner. The History Dinner actually started as the Genealogy Dinner. Also, there was a time when Saturday night was reserved for the ALA Bash when it was free. Susan pointed out that SAA now includes the cost of the reception in the base registration fee, allowing people's institutions to pay for the event, and brining more people to the event and solidifying the membership, contributing to Bill's concept of the more meals together the better. Phoebe pointed out that for Orlando if one does not carefully look over the registration form one could end up paying for the Bash without choosing to do so. Joe asked what ALA base registration fee covers, are those fees covering the "physical plant" (conference rooms, etc.)?
Bill voiced concern over the high cost of such services as high-speed internet connection for speakers, last quoted to him at $750. Several vendors have complained to him. These costs greatly effect pre-conference planning. This year they limited pre-conference costs and still it will cost $95.00, which is much more than many similar opportunities for genealogy training, such as NGS or FGS. They even got Proquest to pay for the breaks, but still could not keep cost down. Much discussion about conference planning costs follows Ruth pointed out that Cathleen had mentioned to her that one of the reasons ALA does not meet more frequently in Chicago is because of the high costs of the McCormick Convention Center. It is cheaper for the organization to leave town.
Phoebe encouraged people to review the Toronto minutes.
Present: Bill Buckner, Nancy Godleski Tom Kemp, Michael Kirley, David Lincove, Phoebe Janes, Susan Malbin, Mary Mannix, Ann Reinert, Joe Straw, Rebecca Tolley-Stokes, Lou, Agnes Widder
Delay approval of Toronto minutes.
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND INDEXES COMMITTEE: LAURA DALE BISCHOF
As noted before, Laura cannot be present. Committee met on Saturday and Laura reported to Phoebe that the work is proceeding as usual.
GENEALOGICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY AWARD: MICHAEL KIRLEY
This year's winner is Sam Boldrick. At their meeting this year, the committee discussed the nomination process. Mary Mannix will be designing a form to hopefully ease the collection of the relevant information. Also the committee will be keeping nominations alive for two years, to maintain a strong pool of candidates. There are presently not enough members on committee. This year the committee relied heavily on Ann's history for the background of its nominees; it was essential to the work of the committee. Michael is looking for a place for the lunch. There was some discussion of the number of people who should attend the lunch.
RUSA CONFERENCE PROGRAM COMMITTEE: AGNES WIDDER
Chicago genealogy preconference approved. Orland had been approved at Toronto. Susan reported that Local History agreed to be a cosponsor of the 2005 AAM/AALSH/ALA Committee's program. Agnes will submit to RUSA. preconferences are called workshops.??
GENEALOGY AND LOCAL HISTORY DISCUSSION GROUP: TOM KEMP
30 people attended the tour of San Diego Public Library and the presentation by Clive Henry of Otherdays.com. Tom has been chair for four years; his appointment is up in 2005.
Jim Niessen's appointment as chair of the History Librarians Discussion Group will also be up. Jim has also become quite active in ACRL. Concerns have been voiced about the narrow focus of HELD, that there should be more program, less discussion, and it needs a less informal structure. Although it's meeting was cancelled the news did not makes its way into to Cognotes, it was however posted on webpage.
HISTORY SECTION NOMINATING COMMITTEE: TOM KEMP
The Committee found it excruciating to get people to run but in the end they were successful. Drew Smith and Stephen Young will run for vice-chair. Carole Callard and Kathleen Smith for member-at-large. There are two nominating committees - History Section and RUSA. Financial cuts may be one reason that people will not serve.
GENEALOGY COMMITTEE: BILL BUCKNER INCLUDES GENEALOGY PRECONFERENCE PLANNING COMMITTEE: CAROLE CALLARD, BILL REPORTING FOR CAROLE
Genealogy Committee had a 4-½ hour meeting. It was very successful, with approximately 15 members in attendance and 15 non-members. The Committee would like to formally protest the $750 conference fee for an internet connection. The Committee is also quite concerned that the recent American Libraries genealogy issue that was put together without the input of the genealogy committee, although the issue did contain a blurb about the preconference.
Paul Smart was elected the IFLA representative for 2005-2009. The Committee wants to encourage him to come to genealogy meetings, which should be part of his duties.
The Standards and Guidelines subcommittee met for 2 hours with 8 committee members in attendance, along with 9 others. The RUSA S&G Committee approved Guidelines for a Unit or Course of Instruction in Genealogical Research at Schools of Library and Information Science. They removed one reference and would like to see the Guidelines have a broad distribution. It will be posted on the website and to the Genealib listserv. The Committee will next begin working on Guidelines for Developing a Beginning Genealogy Collection. The Committee wanted to let the Guidelines for Editors of Historical and Genealogical Bulletins and Family Newsletters lapse, but Tom ??? offered to work on it. The Committee is also developing a new guideline -- Assessment and Marketing of Genealogical Data and Services. The Subcommittee approved standing down from the Preservation Guidelines and sending them to Local history. Preservation is covered in other guidelines, the History Section guidelines seem redundant and better served elsewhere.
Orland Preconference will be "Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: Back to the Basics". $1,900 was received from Proquest to sponsor breaks and lunch. $95 is the charge for session members and that was after cutting out everything. The speakers will be: Carole Callard, Tom Kemp, Janice Schultz, and Harriet Protos. Questions will be solicited from participants in advance. RUSA has cut the pr; the preconference will need 50 paying participants. As this preconference is continued to be held, speakers may change each year. The highest attendance for this preconference was 82. Attendance has been dropping, but the price had also gone up to $145. Committee is very concerned about having to pay for technology at preconference. The preconference?? at Midwinter in Boston will include a reception at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society and they will provide two speakers. Michael M. will be working on the Chicago preconference.
The Committee's 2006 program will again be a back to basic program. The Conference Committee has asked Genealogy Committee to do an additional programming and every two years organize the basic program. The basic preconference generally appeals to a broad audience, thus the Conference Committee's interest.
ALLIC will be putting together a program on Armenian Genealogy. They asked Genealogy Committee to co-sponsor and they have agreed to do so. It is slated for Sunday at 1:30 pm. Tom Kemp will be representing the Committee as a speaker.
In regards to the continuing ed course, RUSA has asked for names of potential contractors. RUSA will advertise for people and a Genealogy subcommittee will make referrals.
The 2004 program at Annual will be "Day of the Dead", put on in conjunction with REFORMA. It will be included in the REFORMA conference track.
The concept of honorary councilors was revisited. The criteria was revamped, the person must be retired and have served on the Genealogy Committee. Previous criteria had been focused on notable works and a 10-year factor.
A new list to facilitate database discussion is being pursued. Donovan Vicha presented information about the forumware software involved. The first step will be to start small with a committee. Mary Mannix will monitor the list. Once the forum has proven reliable, than the membership will be broadened. Hopefully this will make more people aware of the Committee, History Section, and RUSA. The Committee does not feel that this list\forum will compete with Genealib nor does Drew Smith, the owner of Genealib.
The Committee will be developing a taskforce to communicate with the publishing industry.
INSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH SERVICES: DAVID LINCOVE -- UPDATE
Three committee members have agreed to review the "Primary Sources" site every 6 months. The will add other websites, etc. The Committee discussed future projects, such as an annotated list of important print resources in history that have not been digitized, such as print reference and research tools and print primary source collections. Committee members will begin to compile a list of their selections; the final list will be annotated. The committee is waiting to see what their members come up with, at that point such questions as if it will deal just with the US or the whole world will be addressed. They will be brainstorming and will be see how idea develops now and at Orlando. After next meting the place will be more conceptualized.
In 2005 they will be in charge of the History Section program. The focus will be on doing history in the electronic age\primary sources in the electronic age. The overall topic is teaching historic research with primary sources. The are planning on three speakers, including an academic librarian, to discuss methodologies for integrating primary and other sources, a history teacher experienced with introducing primary sources to students, and someone from outside academia, perhaps an historical society employee in order to draw in in other people. Susan recommends pulling someone in from AAM. Michael asked if they have thought of using a vendor, such a Proquest, who are distributing primary sources. There was some discussion if the audience would be only academic librarians. It was pointed out that other librarians, such as public librarians, frequently service college students and professors looking for primary sources. There was also talk about integrating the program somehow with History Day, along with being careful of utilizing vendors. The committee has until May 15 to make their proposal; Agnes is the point person.
LOCAL HISTORY COMMITTEE: SUSAN MALBIN
The guidelines were reviewed at great length, changes made, and approved on Monday. Susan will send to Cindy and for RUSA's approval. Local History would like to review the Preservation Guidelines and a subcommittee was formed. The group focuses around Kansas City area in the hopes to increase the chance that they will meet. This committee consists of Janice Schultz, Marry B., Mary C., and Ann. Their work will be reviewed in Orlando. The committee chose to endorse the AASLH/SAA/MAA 2005 program. A local history dinner is being considered in Orlando. One Local History Committee member, Mary B., has asked for more actual discussion in committee and discussion group meetings. Core committee for 2006 program has been formed; it will be Janice, Mary B., Michael Kirley, and Michelle McNabb.
HISTORY SECTION WEBSITE: REBECCA TOLLEY-STOKES
Rebecca gave background of her history as our website. She came on board in Atlanta in response to an appeal from Jim Nieseen. She asked for guidelines and there were none, there were few webpages, mainly roster lists. She has created pages for different groups when things forwarded to her, for example Bill has send her information on Genealogy Committee, Michael Kirley sent correction for GPAC site. Some committees have no webpages at all with on content, such as B&I. Susan asked what could go on webpages - no rosters, no addresses; she is confused about what is on public site as compared to the member site. Do committees need to submit two separate pages of content? Phoebe and Rebecca explained that the website makes the distinction, can see rosters when sign-in. Susan asked if minutes can be posted and are they considered private. People who are not formal members often come to meetings. Rebecca sees no problems with posting minutes Executive Committee minutes are put up.
Bill asked what is the status with the posting of the Executive Committee minutes, are we not behind. Rebecca stated that the last minutes up are Philadelphia she went on to explain the problems with uploading. It used to be simple ftp, but is no longer, now a very slow system - Active Matter Content System. ALA is changing the variety of levels that is contributing to the slowness. She has to do all work on-line in program, one little change can take 15-20 minutes. It has all been very frustrating for Rebecca, lots of glitches, frequent response from DonovanVicha (RUSA Web Program Officer), is to try later.
Susan brought up problems with support at this conference, including lack of computer access. Phoebe stated that there is a level of dysfunction presently within ALA and the website is an example of it.
Rebecca says that ALA is making some changes, such as testing, since September, for a shortened URL. For two days, the website will be completely down, January 18 and 19 and no one will be able to do any work on it. She soon will be access through an administrative area that will make it much easier.
Phoebe stated that it is very clear to ALA that everyone furious about the site. Everything that had been simpler for Theresa and when Rebecca came on right when changes were made that made her work much harder. She has done pages for other organizations and they have been much simpler.
Upcoming changes will also make it easier to navigate the website; left-hand items should help the end-user.
Rebecca believes that MARS webpage is pretty good and has been using it as a model.
Phoebe has considered forming an adhoc committee to assist Rebecca but would rather not do that.
The History Section can assist Rebecca by making sure rosters up-to-date and committee information current.
Bill asked if stats are being kept for website visitation?
Phoebe thanked Rebecca for her wonderful work, functioning under inhumane conditions with the job from hell. Rebecca's expertise is seriously needed. Chairs should be contacting Rebecca. Phoebe would like Rebecca to attend Executive Committee meeting in Orlando, so that people will get to know her.
RUSA MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: NANCY GODLESKI
Membership has been dropping, but holding close for the last year or so. Looking for ways to recruit more members. There will be a poster session in Orland to help explain organization, the work of Hal Mendelssohn. There will also be a smaller poster at RUSA both, an eye catcher. History section has a four-hour block at the booth, it will hold steady, always be our time. The potential times are Saturday or Sunday 9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm or Monday 9-1, no time on Monday afternoon because it is the RUSA President's Program and Award Ceremony. Discussion followed regarding the time we would want and how they conflict with usual meeting times. Settled for Saturday or Sunday afternoon, Saturday afternoon being our first choice. A RUSA ambassador program is being developed to visit library schools. Susan described the SAA student chapters.
RUSA PLANNING AND FINANCE COMMITTEE: ANN REINERT
In FY 2003 there was $111,624 of excess revenue. In the 2004 first quarter annual report RUSA is still ahead $68.644, we have earned about 20% of the revenue and spent 21.2%, but have not yet posted the RUSQ expenses. RUSQ subscription holding at 1,235, but down from 1,500 in FY02. In the 2005 budget they anticipate membership revenues dropping in response to the poor economy. A Wells Fargo grant ended 12/31/03 and this grant was one way we were keeping budget in black. Photocopy and postage fees are being significantly reduced.
Earned $30,00 in Toronto preconference.
Not a lot of discussion about actual budget. Endowment now at $238,154, Ann asked how much interest we earned, they said 8%, but it is not reflected in budget distribution.
Ann brought up the question of how much money should be put in endowment. ALA encourages putting money into endowment. This money then becomes ALA's money and all we get back is interest. This is giving ALA a gift, of course the broad view is that ALA is an advocacy group, they need these funds, and we are contributing to the overall group.
We get $18,500 dollars interest this year and we put $15,000 in endowment for coming year and we are in the black, then perhaps endowment money not being correctly handled.? Lou, who also attended meeting, points out that perhaps a professional should making these decisions, based on input. Ann points out that we should be looking for a report of the endowment money, who is managing, etc. Ann gave some background of the history of the endowment. Phoebe points out that new people go into committee each year and it takes years to understand; Lou added that people like him go to the meeting and don't really know what is going on, vice-chairs generally have not been involved in process long enough.
RUSA would also like to see the construction of a wish list. They will then try to collect money from corporate giants.
Susan again brought up the fact that the RUSA staff is not being responsive. No accountability for poor conference planning, there is no means for evaluation. Susan pointed out that Tom had earlier been commenting that PLA's meetings are becoming increasingly popular. It may not be long before PLA will pull further away from ALA. Minimal standards not being meet by RUSA staff. Phoebe is offended by the fact that they are asking for a wish list but are not meeting basic needs, taking care of everyday business. Cathleen seems over stretched and now she has a column in American Libraries. Ann pointed out that Cathleen is also the executive director of another professional organization.
Lou pointed out that endowment could be more thoroughly explained. People in attendance need to be more thoroughly informed, often not in the position to vote. Phoebe pointed out that being somewhat "out of the loop" is a particular challenge of that appointment. Ann stated that she does not mind going to the meeting and the fact that she has attended before assists her.
RUSA PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE: JOE STRAW
Publications Committee meets on Saturday. Connie Van Fleet reported on the status of RUSQ. It is showing health and stability. It will continue at its present 80-page format, although there has recently been talk of reducing the pages. More submissions have been received and advertising presently holding steady. Advertisers were being lost the last few years but the trend is reversing. Not robust, but there is less doomsday talk regarding its future.
A number of proposals were put before committee, in particular a book proposal for BRASS to publish their Orland program "Success by the Numbers: Stats for Business Development". This will include a webography for statistical sources for different areas of business. Committee will support the efforts.
Other proposal put before the committee, Lillian Lewis discussed the development of a forum for library school graduate students to publish. This would provide a fresh perspective to the field and at the same time promote new voices. It sounds as if this could follow a law review model. As presented, however, it is more similar to a book with yearly topics to be determined by RUSA or individual sessions with assigned mentors for the editing. Committee discussed this proposal at length; in particular, committee was wondering what audience would be attracted. Good to encourage library school students, but what would be the utility for practitioners. A working group was established to consider such questions especially to look at the marketing end of it, who would buy it, perhaps tie it into RUSQ instead. Connie Van Fleet will lead committee.
Lillian Lewis also proposed the encouragement of conference programs to produce something - occasional paper, web documents, proceedings etc. However, seems difficult to get commitments. No formal decision made.
Joe chairing a subcommittee for the development of web policy and guidelines for RUSA. They meet first at Annual, since then Joe has crafted a draft of a series of proposals for RUSA webpages. Draft was discussed at Midwinter at subcommittee meeting on Sunday. Other members of committee: Vicky Bloom (CODES), Jean Haward (BRASS), Page Weston (RUSA representative to ALA web advisory committee), DonovanVicha (RUSA Web Program Officer), and Jean Alexander (MOUSS). Document was tweaked, will propose to publication committee sometime in spring. It is a series of very general policy and guidelines, while staying away from present situation with ALA website. The draft is concerned with content and elements, such as things that should be on front page, what under the individual sections, policy for updating. Committee has been working since Annual. Working documents in next couple of weeks, then for review for publications committee.
Michael Kirby inquired how the content of webpages from conference sessions would be supervised, referring to a recent situation where such content was removed from a RUSA site. Committee has discussed this, what to do when false content appears, etc., but no consensus was met.
RUSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS REPORT: PHOEBE JANES
A situation developed last fall following information posted to the website from a presentation at Toronto, which included some critical comments about a vendor - Exlibris. The speaker had been asked to evaluate a product from the vendor; these were posted to MOUSS website. Vendor wrote a letter which scared the MOUSS chair, in response, Nancy Hueling went to the ALA attorneys who responded very conservatively and recommended taking the site down. This, of course, was an unacceptable response; we cannot have web content guided by a vendor. No one at ALA had any experience with this type of situation; there was absolutely no precedent. Following a serious of letters, and many weeks, Exlibris responded the RUSA was overreacting, they simply wanted a rebuttal on the website in response to what they said were inaccurate comments by the presenters; they never asked us to take website down. Website went back up. Something had gone very wrong in communication between vendor and MOUSS chair and RUSA. Situation dropped. Phoebe argued that this should be handled at the ALA level, not the RUSA level. At the section level, this type of expertise cannot be truly developed as people rotate on and off committees. This will simply be the first of no doubt other future nasty situations. Everyone else at the Board believed it should be handled at RUSA's level, and then presented to ALA.
New history section award, ABC-CLIO History Librarian Award, sailed through. The only change was that the award would be presented at the RUSA award ceremony, not a history section ceremony.
Phoebe took a position regarding the RUSA award ceremony. The question was raised if the sections would want their own ceremonies. Phoebe stated that we do not want to have our own ceremony, at the time of the discussion, History Section only had one award, and we do not want take on the expense of an award ceremony or bookend it onto a program. All sections were asked about this and the discussion does not reflect any negative view towards any particular section and their awards. Might be more worthwhile for larger sections, history sections stay the way it is. Ann and Michael presented concerns regarding poorly planned ceremonies and the length of the award ceremony; on the other hand, Susan and Phoebe pointed out that the larger ceremony increases all RUSA members understanding of each section's work and their award recipients.
As Agnes already reported, genealogy "Back to Basics" preconference approved for Orlando.
Genealogy Standards and Guideless approved. Drew Smith commanded for excellent job, his "wording brilliant".
Professional development committee not yet dead. The Board expressed some concern that it would certainly look bad if a committee with such a title could not succeed. Committee needs either guidance or leadership from above. Someone had an idea when committee was developed. The committee's mission will be reevaluated.
A leader of the Virtual Reference Desk conference, George, is being wooed by Cathleen and Nancy to have Virtual Reference join RUSA. He presented a proposal to cosponsor a conference with RUSA; this cooperation is a step in the right direction. Sponsorship will be in name only, with RUSA members getting the member rate, other ramification for RUSA still unknown.
New Session, STARS, was approved, the Section to Transform Access and Resource Sharing, this would include such individuals as inter-library loan staff. The focus was left intentionally ambiguous. Again, this is an attempt to bring new people into RUSA, increase membership.
MOUSS will metamorphosis into a new group, not yet named but presently called "reference section". Its audience will be the general reference librarian. To date, MOUSS has been largely attracting managers. This action came out of a general survey of the sections performed a couple of years ago. The hope that this new section will bring in new people, in particular those who do not presently have a section home.
Bill asked whether some further action was needed to appoint Paul as representative IFLA. Phoebe stated that he merely needed to present to us and we approved anonymously.
Bill also asked about the process for upcoming review. Phoebe will ask Jim Niessen, of the organizational committee, who was not present, to report in Orlando.
Bill also inquired as to the correct disposition of his committee's records. It was voiced that the ALA archivist is not overly concerned with records at the section and section committee level. Ann has been keeping correspondence and is willing to take possession of records. Concern was voiced regarding the lack of holdings for the various committees and the lack of continuity this causes for incoming officers. Copies of early history section committee records were obtained in the 1970s from the ALA office and occasional deliveries of History Section records have been made to the ALA archives, however, the formal disposition of History Section records remains a concern.
RUSA ACCESS TO INFORMATION COMMITTEE: PHOEBE JANES
Sam Boldrick resigned, due to retirement and did not attend Midwinter. Phoebe will fill out his term on the committee. Committee addressed the Cuba resolution relating to the 73 Cubans dissidents jailed for disseminating literature, one of whom refer to himself as a librarian. The Board made a recommendation to ALA Council; a weak document was approved, which was neither for the right nor for left. The passing of this recommendation removes the situation, which may not truly be a librarian issue, and its political ramifications, away from RUSA.