MARS Goals 2006-2007

1) Complete the five-year section review

2) Draft Strategic Goals for MARS in concordance with the RUSA 2006-2009 Strategic Plan.

  • Following the RUSA model, begin planning for a SWOT analysis either at Midwinter 2008 with input virtually before that date to determine areas of opportunity and change for the next 5 years. Participants in this SWOT will be all interested section members.
  • Write an introduction to the process written and implement a timeline.
  • Identify a facilitator for the 2008 SWOT.
  • Appoint a task force to plan and coordinate the Strategic Goals process.
  • The SWOT (conducted during the next Chair’s term) will be used with the completed section review to determine if there are areas for retreat as well as growth. What is being done elsewhere in RUSA/ALA? Do we partner, do it better, or stop doing it?

3) Meet the continuing education needs of members. CE was identified in the RUSA Value survey as the 5th most important function of RUSA (out of 11 categories) and 10th in the successfulness of RUSA in meeting member needs.

  • Ascertain the skills needed by reference services personnel in the future and ways of preparing both new and experienced reference personnel to fulfill these needs.
  • The MARS Continuing Education and Publications Task Force is at work on determining member interests, areas of need, and methods of delivering continuing education content.
  • Develop at 3-5 plan for continuing education and publication activities for both conference attendees and non-conference attendees

4) Continue to develop the MARS Web Site as the public face for the section – both for members and non-members.

  • Determine and distribute deadlines for various content (committee rosters, program announcements and content, etc) and a "nag schedule" for committee chairs to ensure appropriately current content on MARS-level and committee-level pages.
  • Recognizing that most members and non-members will not visit the MARS page every week, current and accurate content is vital to return visits as well as the smooth functioning of the section.
  • Determine archiving mechanism and schedule for aged content. Determine if ALA has standard procedures and mechanisms for archiving. In the absence of organization standard, create our own. Determine what content should be archived.
  • Appoint an intern or assistant for the webmaster so that this person has assistance and has an heir-apparent. This may require a change in the bylaws?

5) Encourage a broader and more active membership in the MARS section

  • Seek ways to promote wider active participation in committees and discussion groups. Identify the MARS committees where virtual membership will be effective and develop a set of guidelines to assist chairs in working with virtual members. Encourage and support virtual membership wherever appropriate.
  • Explore use of technologies such as Web broadcasting and meeting software to expand MARS programming to reach more members and potential members.
  • Write a guide for working with virtual members. This is something that RUSA has talked about. Need to include in minutes of meetings work which has done virtually, particularly any actions that were taken.

6) Focus on current issues in technology and the provision of electronic reference through the work of MARS committees and ad hoc groups.

  • Explore the impact of new technologies such as linking services, metasearch, and NextGen library catalogs on users, on library reference services, and on reference collections. Stay abreast of emerging standards for reference technologies and assisting RUSA in the development of those standards. Advocate for the needs of users, especially those with disabilities or with limited access to technology.
  • Keep informed of legislation that affects access to electronic products, including copyright and licensing, archiving and fair use guidelines.