2009 Annual Minutes

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services
7/11/09, 9:00-10:30am
Swissotel St Gallen

Present:  Kate Silton (Chair), Ann Brown, Meghan Sitar, Carol Reichardt, Simmona Simmons-Hoda, Candy Merbler, Jaclyn Bedoya

Kate recapped the status of our work related to promoting the new Definition of Reference - See agenda for minutes copied from previous Exec meeting.  A decision was made that our efforts to promote the definition is on hold until we get more clearly defined goals.  In the meantime, we will be returning to our stated charge.  Ann recalled that there had been discussion of Liane Luckman and others writing an article about the definition, but Kate recalled that it was never discussed at Midwinter when the meeting ran out of time.  This is another item on hold until further direction is received. 

2. Swap and Shop idea.  The majority of the meeting was used to further plan the virtual sharing of reference marketing and promotional materials.  The following decisions were made and should be reviewed by committee members working on documents related to the project.

A.  The project will be called the Reference Marketing Showcase.  A discussion forum will be held at Midwinter 2010 to promote the project.

B.  Work will be done to complete the site, populated with materials, in time to include the example with promotion of the discussion group.

C.  Individuals that submit documents or other files will be asked to host the files themselves.  Instructions will be provided for uploading and sharing a Google Doc version within the submission in case individuals do not have access to local webspace at their institution.

D.  A Wordpress blog will probably be used for the project. 

E.  A Gmail address will be created for the project to receive submissions.  A rule will be in place to distribute messages to all committee members.

F.  Content submitted will be moderated, with moderation duties assigned for 1-2 month periods to committee members with the Chair providing a second review.  Language of submission will state that submissions are considered for "possible inclusion" to allow room for rejecting materials that have nothing to do with reference services.

G.  An effort will be made to connect submissions to the New Definition of Reference by including mention of it in the submission.

H.  Possible categories:  signs, videos, events, handouts, advertisements, websites, students radio/tv, contests, programming

I.  A bibliography/webliography will be created to accompany the project with links to useful tools to use in design and articles related to successful marketing strategies.

J.  The call for submissions will stress that submissions should include some mention of the return-on-investment and the value of reference.

K.  The call for submissions will encourage individuals to assign an appropriate Creative Commons license to their materials with or without permission to share with or without attribution, etc.

3.  The following assignments were made:

A.  Design/layout/organization:  Carol Reichardt
B.  Submission guidelines:  Ann Brown/Candy
C.  Acceptance letter: Kate Silton
D.  Non-acceptance letter:  Simmona
E.  Submission Call: 

The following assignments still need to be made in the future:

F.  Webliography/bibliography
G.  Controlled vocabulary/Categories

4.  The following timeline was established:

A.  Assigned duties should be completed in basic draft form (bullet points are fine) for discussion at a virtual meeting to be held during the first two weeks of August.  Please post drafts to our committee’s space on ALA Connect for further distribution. 

B.  Upon return to her office, Kate will send out a Doodle web poll to determine availability for the August meeting.  Members who do not respond to the web poll in any way will be considered absent and not working on the project, with the possibility for removal from the committee for non-participation.  Members who will not be available at all to meet during those two weeks should contact Kate.

C.  After the drafts are discussed, reviewed, and finalized during the virtual meeting, the next step will be to identify listservs for distributing the call as well as other marketing and PR committees within ALA.  The deadline for this work and the finalization of the above documents, and the prototype of the website (with populated materials from committee members) will be Friday, November 13.  The week after Thanksgiving, a check-in virtual meeting will be scheduled.  Kate will also send periodic check-in emails every few weeks to keep the project on course.

A subcommittee will be appointed at the virtual meeting in August to work on setting up the discussion forum for Midwinter. Kate will book a room in October.

E.  The discussion forum will serve as the soft launch for the project site, with the promotion of the discussion forum including a link to the site.  After the discussion forum, the submission call will be distributed to the previously identified listservs and ALA committees.

F.  The discussion forum will provide attendees with the opportunity to share ideas in person with the takeaway of the bibliography and online tools while previewing the site. 

G.  Once the call is out for submissions, attempts should also be made to promote the project in RUSQ, C&RL News, and other print venues.