Products and Services Committee Minutes Midwinter 2004

Business meeting

RUSA MARS Products & Services Committee
ALA Midwinter Convention: San Diego, California
Sunday, January 11, 2004
U.S. Grant Hotel: Pavilion Ballroom
11:30a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


Present: Deborah Bezanson (Co-Chair), Van Houlson (Co-Chair), Dianna
McKellar, Roleeta Nandan, Steve Ostrem, Leslie Dillon

Absent:  Katherine Downton, Lanette Hart

Open Forums vs. Programs:

The business meeting, which followed the Committee's discussion forum 
entitled Library Instruction in the Courseware Environment, began with 
comments on the differences in open forums and programs.  It was determined 
that open forums are less formal and are listed in the official Program as 
meetings but contain no further descriptions.  The forums presented by the 
Products and Services Committee are intended to provide open dialogues and 
communication between librarians and vendors, giving a broader perspective 
of pertinent issues.

Venues for Publicizing Discussion Forums:
MARS Box located in the Convention Center for Fliers
Updating the Products and Services Committee's Web Site:

In the past, the Committee has updated its web site frequently and has 
put PowerPoint Presentations from guest speakers on its site.  The committee 
member who was hosting the site at his institution is no longer a member of 
the Committee, and since that time, it has been difficult to have the site 
updated.  The site has not been recently updated.  The ultimate goal is to 
have the site hosted by ALA.  Until that is achieved, Susan Hocker, the 
Committee's liaison from ExCom, has volunteered to host the site for up 
to 3 years. Susan can be contacted at  

New Webmaster for MARS: 

It was noted that MARS is interviewing for a webmaster.  Those interested in 
the position should be put on the MARS-L listserv, where the position is 
expected to be advertised. 

Virtual Committee Meetings:

Methods of increasing communication between committee members prior to 
upcoming conferences were discussed.  Many committee members currently use's Virtual Reference Toolkit software to provide their virtual 
reference services.  Prior to the upcoming ALA Annual Conference, committee
 members may utilize the meeting room feature of this software to have 
virtual meetings and discuss plans for the Conference.

Socials and/or Additional Committee Meetings:

Additional ideas for increasing communication between committee members 
include gathering informally during the ALA Conference at a function such 
as the MARS happy hour prior to the Committee meeting or having two Committee 
meetings during the Conference. 

Scheduled Committee Meetings for the Upcoming ALA Conference in Orlando:

The Products and Services Committee of RUSA MARS will meet on Saturday, 
June 26, and Sunday, June 27, 2004 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Submitted by Dianna McKellar
University of Delaware Library
Products & Services Committee