RUSA Reference Services Section RSS Management of Reference 2008 Midwinter Highlights

Committee: Management of Reference

Dates:  January 12 & 13, 2008

Present: : Elizabeth Doolittle (2nd  meeting); Betsy Park (chair); William Weare

Absent: Nancy Cunningham, Wendy Diamond, Gail Egbers, Kim Leaming, Pamela Morgan, Emilie Smart, Christine Stempinski, John Stratton, Jane Kessler (virtual member)

Visitors: (2nd meeting) Hector Escobar, Deborah Koshinsky

Objectives: To identify and develop tools useful in the management of reference; to identify issues of importance to reference managers. This year we are working on a template for a reference policy and procedure manual; and investigating a discussion session about changes to reference as a follow-up to the RUSA president's program at Annual 2008.

Summary:  Reference policy and procedure manual template: This project was carried over from Annual 2007 and the committee hopes to have it completed by Annual 2008. We have posted information on a wiki, including a timeline and several examples of manuals from other institutions (mostly academic).

Following the meeting at Annual, the committee  learned that the RUSA President's program will be on maintaining quality reference in changing times. After some discussion, the committee decided that we would not sponsor a discussion at Annual, but would change the focus (one suggestion was to look at reference 
managers as project managers) and do a follow-up to David  Tyckoson's program at Annual 2008.

The RSS Service to Adults committee is investigating a program entitled "When is nice to nice?" that would provide tips on ending the reference interview. MOR will work with this committee to see  if the program might be used to publicize the Guidelines for  Behavioral Performance for Reference and Information Service Providers.

Evaluate effectiveness: We are about half way through the project to design a template for a reference policy and procedures manual and expect to have it completed by Annual 2008. Because we learned about the RUSA program for Annual 2008 after Annual 2007, we have had to rethink sponsoring a discussion session.

Problems: Attendance was a real problem for the committee. Several committee members were unable to attend Midwinter because of personal and professional reasons.