Library Services to the Aging Populations

2005 Annual Meeting Minutes Tues. June 28

RUSA/RSS Executive Committee Meeting II


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

8:00-11:00 a.m., Hyatt Regency Chicago: Comiskey


Present: Maira Liriano (chair), David Tyckoson (vice-chair), Cynthia Levine, Lisa Horowitz, Brett Lear, Tim McDonough, Robert Bellinger, Allan Kleiman, Ann Frenkel, John Hepner, Joe Thompson, Lori Thornton, Carol Tobin, Anne Cottongim, Scott Garton, Rebecca Johnson, Wayne Bivens-Tatem



Maira Liriano called the meeting to order, and asked for introductions.

The following additions were made to the agenda:

-          Find home for orphan guidelines: Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services

-          Discuss repeating the Preconference: Reinvented Reference: Integrating Traditional and Digital Reference


The minutes of the RSS Executive Committee meeting of January 18, 2005 were approved as amended.


Maira announced that Dave Tyckoson won the Mudge Award.   She also announced the election results:

Susan Beck (Vice Chair)

John Hepner (Member-at-Large)

Brett Lear (replacing Kay Vyhnanek for Member-at-Large through 2006)




Services to Adults

Robert Bellinger reported on their successful program entitled “Back to School: Teaching Adults Information Literacy in Public and Academic Libraries, and Distance Learning Centers.”  They had three speakers.  The session was well attended, with about 300 attendees, although the room was too small to easily accommodate that number.  The speakers discussed librarians as teachers of information literacy, and included the issue of teaching that occurs remotely with patrons who are not physically in the library.  The committee was pleased with the audience response, as well as the number of questions prompted by the presentations.  They also met Monday with three new members.  The current chair is going off the committee, so Dave Tyckoson will be looking for a new chair.  Future projects include a program for 2007 focusing on marketing.  They will coordinate with the new Marketing Committee.


Allan Kleiman reported that the committee met twice, and discussed the following:

-          The forum on “Libraries, Lifelong Learning, Information and Older Adults” took place on June 25, and was attended by 110 persons

-          Committee Web Site needs revision.  Richard Bray, Virtual Member has agreed to work on that.  It was felt that the URL is impossible to market to librarians needing information on aging.  It would also be better for the committee to work more closely with the ALA Office for Outreach and Literary Services (OLOS).

-          A subcommittee will be formed before Midwinter to work on revising the Guidelines for Library Service to Older Adults.   They will incorporate changes made as a result of the WHCOA Forum.

-          The committee charge in the ALA Handbook needs to be broadened to reflect the actual work of the committee.  They hope to have something for the RSS Board at Midwinter.

-          The committee has established links with Canadian Library Association’s Task Force on Older Adults and is working on the development of an International Conference on Library Service to the Aging in 2008 at IFLA in Quebec. Kleiman will contact IFLA before they meet in August.

-          Program proposals have been developed by the OLOS Office for the upcoming American Society on Aging/National Council on the Aging Conference in Anaheim 2006.   A Table Talk Program proposal has been developed by Kleiman for PLA Boston 2006

-          The committee discussed issues to be addressed by Kleiman in presenting testimony at the Campaign for America’s Libraries on Saturday 6/25 on Library Services to Older Adults.  Kleiman will write up his testimony and share with the Committee.

-          The committee discussed their changing relationship with OLOS, and ASCLA/LSSPS. Where does the Committee fit in?  How can they work more closely? More co-sponsorships? Joint meetings at conference?

-          As a result of the publicity of the White House conference on Aging, there is current interest in finding a funding source for the Bessie Moore Award and resuming the Award in 2006/2007.  Should the award be merged with a book award instead?

-          The committee discussed the possibility of developing an annual Best Books on Aging list perhaps to be published in Booklist each May (Older Americans Month).

-          They considered final details for speakers and programs for our pre-conference “Bridging the Ages,” to be held in New Orleans next year.

-          Committee involvement with the IMLS funded training being sponsored by Libraries for the Future.  Has anyone heard details? Or been invited?

-          How should the results of the 6/24 Forum, “Libraries, Lifelong Learning, Information and Older Adults,” would be disseminated?  What will be the steps for follow-up?  Do we know of any librarian delegates?

-          Presentation made by Allan Kleiman, Chair on Saturday 6/25, at Campaign for America’s Libraries.  Members thought that the theme for older adults should be: Successful Aging @ Your Library.

-          Allan Kleiman’s proposals for Table Talks at 2006 PLA Conference on the baby boomers and computer training for older adults. Several in attendance volunteered to be co-conveners.

-          Review of Program on Civic Engagement held on Sunday 6/26.  How do we get older adults to be interested?



Catalog Use

Report from Anne Moore (reported on Saturday)

The RSS Organization and Planning Committee reviewed and slightly revised the draft charge revision, which was then approved by RSS Executive Committee on Saturday, June 25.   It reads: “To focus on the use of catalogs and related emerging technologies in reference services, including: monitoring significant continuities and changes; identifying and examining critical issues; and providing a forum for discussion of innovations.”


The committee is planning a joint program with MARS User Access to Services Committee for Annual 2006 in New Orleans.   The title is: Catalog Transformed: From Traditional to Emerging Models of Use.   The committee consulted with Bryna Coonin (Chair of MARS User Access to Services) at their Monday meeting to continue joint planning.  The program will consist of an overview of models of integrating the catalog, e-journals locator, and database list into a single interface (ways catalogs are being transformed).  This will be followed by questions to the panel on usability and instruction.  They would like to maintain focus on users rather than technologies and products.  The committee prepared a descriptive paragraph and questions for the panelists during the Monday meeting.  They will prepare a bibliography of relevant sources.


They also discussed the following activities for the future.

-          Sponsor an interactive discussion at Midwinter 2007 in Seattle to allow small groups to develop ideas to emerge from the Catalog Transformed program.

-          Develop the Catalog Use website.

-          Bibliography of materials related to catalog use issues


Cooperative Reference

Ann Frankel reported on their program Yours, Mine and Ours: Quality of Service in Cooperative Virtual Reference, which took place Sunday morning.   There were about 150 attendees.   There were four panelists.   Issues raised included the importance of ongoing training and the key role of the coordinator.  There were many question from participants.  The committee is currently working on a revision of the guidelines for cooperative reference services.  They are also working with the RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Committee, which has a proposal for a program at Annual on “problem users.”


Education and Professional Development

Not at meeting – Report from Lise Snyder

This is a new committee that officially begins its work following ALA Annual 2005.   They took advantage of the RUSA/RSS All Committee Meeting to meet informally and discuss their charge, their interests, and possible areas of focus for the coming year.


Evaluation of Reference and User Services

Not at meeting – Report from Barb Mann

The committee continued fine-tuning the Guidelines for Measuring and Assessing Reference Services, especially the assessment piece.   They discussed future topics including print vs. online and evaluative tools, user perspective, and assessment.


Management of Reference

No report



Not at meeting – Report from Christy Donaldson

This is a new committee.   They discussed how their libraries are marketing reference, and what types of outreach programs are in place.   As a new committee, their official term starts after Annual.   They decided to keep in touch with each other via email and set up other ways for the group to communicate.  They discussed setting up a blog with rss feed.  After the meeting, they found out about the ALA Online Communities and decided that they would wait and use this since it sounds more useful overall than a blog.


Organization and Planning

Report from John Hepner – The Organization and Planning Committee discussed the draft revision to the charge of the Catalog Use Committee.   A few wording changes were made in consultation with the committee.   The revised charge was approved for presentation to the RSS Executive Committee for adoption.   [This revised charge was approved by the RSS Executive Committee at the Saturday meeting.]


The committee discussed the revised RSS Handbook.  Changes include: officer duties as bulleted lists, Vice-Chair presentation of orientation sessions for new chairs, distribution of minutes by Secretary, RSS Representative to RUSA Organization Committees as members of RSS Organization and Planning Committee).  There are currently some missing links.  A further revised copy of the Handbook will be posted on the website after the 2005 Annual Conference.  Hepner asked everyone to look at the RSS Handbook on the website.


Organization and Planning reviewed and made corrections to the draft of RSS Goals and Objectives, June 2005-June 2007.   The added a new Objective 5 to Goal 1.   They will ask RSS Representative to the RUSA Organization Committee to request a postponement of the news RSS section review (currently scheduled for 2006) to 2007.   The committee the revised Goals and Objectives for presentation to the RSS Executive Committee for adoption. 


The committee clarified that the RSS Representative to the RUSA Organization Committee is and should be a member of the RSS Organization and Planning Committee and should be included in the OPC committee roster.


The committee referred the following outstanding issues to the next OPC for further consideration and/or action: establishment of co-sponsorship with a revised charge of the CODES Dual Assignments Discussion Group (already tentatively approved by CODES), creation of a new committee or discussion group to address electronic reference sources issues, and expansion of the name and charge of the Library Services to the Spanish-Speaking Committee to address broader multicultural issues.


Hepner reported the suggestion that the RSS liaisons to RUSA be added to the committee list. 


Hepner submitted the Annual Report from the Organization and Planning committee. (see attached)


Research and Statistics (reported by Joan Stein at Saturday meeting)

The committee reviewed submissions for the annual Reference Research Forum.   Many of the proposals had been eliminated through email prior to the meeting.    After a lengthy discussion, four proposals were chosen (with one serving as alternate). The proposals selected were:

  1. Proposal 5 – Assessment of Student Learning from Reference Service
  2. Proposal 10 – Creating the Infrastructure to Connect Digital Reference Services and Researchers: The Digital Reference Electronic Warehouse (DREW) Project
  3. Proposal 12 – CSI Cyperspace: A Comparative Case Study Investigation of the Untimely Demise of Six Virtual Reference Services
  4. 4. Proposal 20 – What’s Coming Off the Shelves? An Analysis of Reference Sources (alternate)

Joan will contact the authors.


Five members (including the chair) are going off the committee.   Dave Tyckoson will be looking for a chair, and new member are needed.


They prepared for the Forum at Annual, to be held Saturday from 1:30-3:30.   This is now a permanent time slot in RUSA, so it will not be necessary to find a partner in the future.   Joan will do the flyer.


The committee distributed responsibilities for putting together the Reference Research Review.   They discussed issues relating to the content and format, and to putting the information on the website.


Library Services to the Spanish-Speaking

Brett Lear reported that he has talked to two new people who are interested in being co-chairs.   They plan to follow through with the guidelines, which are close to completion.   Patricia Clark met with Standards and Guidelines in San Diego.   A discussion followed regarding challenges of managing this project with the transition in leadership.  Maira Liriano will work with the committee when she becomes chair of Organization and Planning.  There was also discussion about the idea of broadening the focus of the committee to multilingual library services.  There is no consensus at this point, and no immediate plans to change.


User Education and Information Literacy

This is a new committee.   The group met informally at the All-Committee meeting.   Nancy Huling, former RUSA chair, is the committee chair.   There is a great deal of interest in this committee.


Virtual Reference

This joint RSS/MARS committee had its first official meeting on Sunday.   They have five projects underway: 1) maintaining guidelines for implementing and maintaining virtual reference 2) they are testing ALA online discussion forum for communication 3) Proposal for program at Annual in New Orleans: Abuse is in the Eye of the Beholder 4) Discussion session with MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Group (60-70 attendees) 5) They would like to put together a searchable index of services to help with promotion – a subcommittee is working on it.


Preconference Program 2005

The Preconference, entitled Reinvented Reference: Integrating Traditional and Digital Reference, was attended by over 120 people.  Joe Janes presented the rousing keynote.  Three case studies were then presented.  One institution, for example,  used a combination of local and consortial digital reference to meet their users’ need, while another found success with instant messaging.  Then, small groups applied the various RUSA guidelines to the case studies and their own institutional experiences.  In the afternoon, three invited speakers, Marie Radford, Jerilyn Veldof, and Eva Miller, spoke about reference from the user perspectives.  In the final discussion, participants were given a set of questions to help them create a plan for working toward integrating reference in their own institutions.  The workshop was very successful.





Ethical and Legal Issues in Reference

Anne Cottongimreported that 12 people attended the discussion, and the group discussed the legal and ethical issues of offering a chat reference service.   Beth Woodward, who has recently published an article on the topic was invited to start the discussion.   A representative of the ALA copyright office also added to the discussion of the legal issues in chat reference.


Hot Topics in Frontline Reference

(reported on Saturday by Cheri Smith)

Discussion Group Chair Cheri Smith of the University of Notre Dame introduced Karen Munro, Literature Librarian in the Reference and Research Services Department of the University of Oregon Library.  Karen gave an online demonstration of the blog that she created in 2003 (URL:  She began her blog by posting the reference questions that she received at the reference desk; in the beginning she had no specific purpose in mind.  Karen has found that blogging has enabled her to keep track of the questions that she has received for both her self-evaluation and for departmental records, providing anecdotal evidence of reference desk activities for library administration and the library’s PR/communications officer.  She also considers such blogs to be Internet-based publicity for the profession and what it can do.  Karen also provided a handout with a sampling of the questions that she has posted on her blog and mentioned the article “Silence in the Stacks” (by Scott McLemee) on the dearth of blogs for academic librarianship (Inside Higher Ed, June 9, 2005, URL: http:// 


After Karen’s presentation, the audience of approximately 25 responded with their experiences in using departmental blogs to update staff members of recent changes in services, etc., thus eliminating the need for paper logs at the reference desk.   Searchability in blogs, issues about privacy and confidentiality in posting reference questions, and using classroom software (e.g., WebCT) instead of blogging software was also discussed.


Performance Issues for Reference/Information Librarians

Lori Thompson reported that 30 people attended the discussion, which lasted three hours.   There was a good mix of participants.   They used the Behavioral Guidelines as a focal point.


Reference Services in Large Research Libraries

(submitted by Carol Tobin)

Thirty people attended the session. The group decided to follow the discussion group model of hoving a chair, past chair and vice chair. They then discussed marketing, tiered reference and library blogs.


Reference Services in Public Libraries

Maira Liriano reported that she spoke with the chair, Pamela Morgan, who said that the turnout was small due to conflicts.   Pam reported via email on the discussion:


She chaired the first RSS "Reference Services in Public Libraries" Discussion Group.   They had about 15 participants from Chicago, Public Library, East Baton Rouge Public Library, Houston Public Library, Berkeley Public Library, and Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Library for a lively discussion.   The initial topic was "Revitalizing Reference Services in an Electronic Environment."   But the discussion  included the trends in reference questions we are getting, outreach, community, and customer service.  They are all preoccupied with getting people to the library (either in person or virtually) and making sure they come back.



Reference Services in Small and Medium-sized Libraries

The group elected officers for the upcoming year, and selected discussion topics: reference statistics, consortial virtual reference, using IM at the Reference desk, federated search tools. 




Access to Information

(reported on Saturday by Tami Robinson)

The group endorsed the IFC resolution on Threats to Library Materials   Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation.   The made no recommendation on the Resolution on Workplace Speech.   There was a friendly amendment to Resolution on Use of Biometric Technology in Libraries to give examples of biometrics (iris scans, fingerprints, etc.) for clarification so people know what the term means.  They voted to support ACRL IF program for 2006.


Conference Program Coordinating Committee

Scott Garton reported that all three proposals were approved. There was a time change for the Catalog Use Committee program, which was changed to 4:00-5:30 Sunday.   He reported that Eileen Hardy will put together a process for automatically approved proposals (such as the Research and Statistics Committee programs).   Hardy also indicated that technology at programs is becoming very expensive.   Be specific about requests and avoid live internet connections and extra microphones when possible.



Rebecca Johnson reported that the RUSA/Membership Committee created a short video that was presented at the RUSA President's program.   This video, which includes testimonials about RUSA by several of the members, is available on the RUSA website and is available for any type of ALA promotions.


John Chraska, from the ALA office, talked to the Membership Committee about the expected effects of the rise in RUSA dues next year.  ALA fully expects membership to drop by 8-12%.  To counter this, ALA will send out at least four reminders for membership renewal, including both email and snail mail.  The use of email will also mean that the various divisions (such as RUSA) can stay in more frequent contact with their members.


RUSA has a new project for the Membership Committee -- to present a program, with division chairs and presidents, to describe what each of the divisions does for new members.   The committee is hoping to be able to include some kind of refreshments at this program.   No time slot has been decided for this.



No report


Planning and Finance

No report


Professional Development

- There were some general announcements and the minutes of the meeting at Midwinter were approved.
- Some procedural matters/questions and answers provided by Cathleen Bourdon were reviewed.
- Current Projects:

·         The Reference Interview by David Tyckoson - The fourth offering of this course has recently been completed.

·         Genealogy 101 - Drew Smith - Approved before Midwinter and now in the contract negotiation stage.

·         Reader's Advisory - Neal Wyatt - Approved after the committee's suggestions were incorporated and now at the contract negotiation       stage.

·         - Proposed Projects:
Business 101 - Celia Ross - Reviewed and discussed at the meeting and recommendations will be forwarded.

- Discussion of recommending pricing tiers for these courses that would include a student rate.
- Discussion of possible evaluation methods after a course has been provided.
- Discussion on requiring that a resume and/or references accompany future proposals.

- Above will require making changes to the online proposal submission form.
- Sections will be asked to make suggestions for promoting these courses.
- Other possible projects:

·         Web-based ILL 101

·           Consortium Building

·           Book Reviews

- Bobray Bordelon reelected as Chair.
- Action item - Section reps asked to report on any successful Section programs that might be adaptable to a Web course or could be repeated at State or local conferences.



No report


Standards and Guidelines

Wayne Bivens-Tatem reported that the committee is currently involved with four sets of guidelines.   Two are from Library Services to the Spanish Speaking.   One deals with measuring and assessing reference services.


Web Policies

No report



Maira Liriano will send email with RUSA Board Report




The board discussed the draft of the Goals and Objectives, 2005-2007.   This includes both short and long term goals.   The intention is to review it annually, and regard it as a flexible document.   Several changes were suggested.  A vote was taken and the Objectives were approved unanimously.  Methods of publicizing the objectives were discussed.




A motion was made to repeat the Preconference: Reinvented Reference: Integrating Traditional and Digital Reference.   This was discussed, but it was determined that there are practical obstacles to repeating the Preconference at this time, despite the fact that it was so successful.   People are not currently available to carry this forward.   There was also discussion of having regional forums in the future.  The motion to repeat the Preconference was not approved.


The Virtual Reference Committee needs resolution on the issue of web space. 


There was a motion to assign the set of orphan guidelines entitled “Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services” to the new Education and Professional Development for Reference committee.   This motion was unanimously approved.