2005 Midwinter Meeting Minutes Tues. Jan 18


RUSA/RSS Executive Committee Meeting II


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

8:00 –10:00 am, Hynes Convention Center 312

Boston, Massachusetts


Present: Maira Liriano (Chair), David A. Tyckoson, Cynthia R. Levine, Lisa R. Horowitz, Eric C. Novotny, Timothy McDonough, Robert Bellinger, Allan M. Kleiman, Ann M. Frenkel, Judy Solberg, John Hepner, Barbara Mann, Joseph Thompson, Carol M. Tobin, Scott Garton, Rebecca Johnson, Ellen Safley, Judy Solberg, Wayne Bivens-Tatem


An addition was made to the agenda.    Gwen Arthur, RUSA chair, as well as the MARS Executive Board, will meet with us at 9:30.


Minutes from the Tuesday MOUSS Board meeting at Annual were approved.    We expect to soon have an editor for the RSS update, which comes out four times a year, before and after Annual conference.


Lisa Horowitz asked about the location of web space for joint MARS/RSS efforts.    This is one of a number of issues pertaining to joint committees that still needs to be resolved.






Services to Adults

Robert Bellinger reported that the committee met on Monday, and planned for their upcoming program for Chicago on information literacy for adults.    The title is : "Back to School: Teaching Adults Information Literacy in Public and Academic Libraries, and Distance Learning Centers.”

The session will take place on Saturday from 4:00-5:30.    The four speakers were discussed.    It was agreed that the chair would work with each of them individually, and as a group, to ensure that their remarks focus on practical techniques (things that work, things that don't) rather than theoretical ideas. Handouts should be brief.    They do not want to use PowerPoint.


The committee discussed ideas for future programs.    Proposed topics included:

- Adults and students who don’t use libraries

- Reference as marketing and outreach

- Customer Service

- Working with community organizations and groups


The committee will work on developing a program proposal and will seek co-sponsorship from the newly formed Marketing of Reference Services Committee.



Library Services to the Aging Population

Allan Kleiman reported that the committee met four times.    They are in the process of preparing for their forum event which is scheduled for Friday, June 24 from 8:30-12:30.    The title is: “Libraries, Lifelong Learning, Information and Older Adults: A Pre-White House Conference on Aging Forum.”    It requires pre-registration.   They are working with other organizations and to prepare the session.


The committee also talked about encouraging ALA to increase their focus on the aging population, noting, for example, that ALA posters are targeted toward children, rather than toward aging adults.    They stressed the importance of promoting library services toward older adults, perhaps through a “senior read week.”


The committee is in the process of revising its charge.


Catalog Use Committee

Anne Moore sent the following report:


At Midwinter 2005 in Boston the RUSA/RSS Catalog Use Committee:

--Welcomed and socialized 5 new members;

--Revised their charge to broaden the scope of the committee to encompass other access tools and emerging technologies (see below and submitted for approval by Executive Committee);

--Analyzed the table notes and evaluations from the "Approaches to Explaining

the Catalog" discussion conducted at Annual 2004 in Orlando;

--Used the results from that program to beginning planning for a proposal for a program for Annual 2006. This program is tentatively titled "Catalog Transformed: From Traditional to Emerging Models of Use." The Committee members will research the new ways libraries are organizing access to resources and services and look for 2-4 libraries to present their solutions to these challenges. They want to encourage discussion and participation from the audience and for attendees to come out with answers and solutions. Planning is continuing.


Draft Revised Charge for Catalog Use Committee:

To focus on the use of catalogs and related emerging technologies in reference services including: to monitor significant continuities and changes; to identify and examine critical issues; and to provide a forum for discussion of innovations.


Cooperative Reference Services

Ann Frankel reported that the committee met on Saturday.    They had two visitors, and one incoming member.    They finalized plans for their ALA Annual 2005 program entitled : "Yours, Mine and Ours: Quality of Service in Cooperative Virtual Reference.”    They finalized the four panelists for the program, and chose the discussion panel format.   Upcoming tasks include choosing a moderator and creating the questions to be put to the panelists.


A discussion followed about the importance of developing an ongoing approach and checklist for publicizing guidelines.


Evaluation of Reference and User Services

Barbara Mann reported that the committee met Saturday and Sunday.    They had new members, and good attendance.


They met with Standards and Guidelines regarding revisions to the Definitions of Reference document.    The session they offered at Annual 2004 counts as a public forum.    Feedback is still being sought.    There was discussion of the chain of events necessary for approval from the Executive Committee and Standards and Guidelines.   There is interest in writing an article.


The committee discussed ideas for future projects including performance measures, collection size, and assessing usage.


Management of Reference

David Ward reported that the committee was engaged in planning for their 2005 Annual program, scheduled for Sunday, June 26 from 1:30-3:30.    The program title is “Reference Interactions in the Digital Age: Revising the RUSA Behavioral Guidelines.”     The session will focus on the newly revised guidelines that expand beyond face-to-face interactions to include remote forms of reference encounters.    A panel will discuss some of the issues raised by the new guidelines, with a focus on the applicability and uses of the guidelines for such diverse functions as staff training, service evaluation, etc.


The committee discussed the format of the program, and met with a couple of the speakers to solicit further ideas from them.


They discussed submitting an article about the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance after Annual 2005.    They are interested in submitting it to high visibility publications such as LJ or American Libraries.


They discussed future directions for the group, including doing a SWOT to analyze issues involved in reference management, and looking at strategic planning for reference.


Nominating 2006

Judy Solberg reported this year’s slate:


Candidates for Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect:

Gale Etschmaier, George Washington University

Susan Beck, Rutgers University


Candidates for Member-at-Large:

Wayne Bivens-Tatum, Princeton Univ.

John Hepner, Texas Woman's University


Organization and Planning

John Hepner presented an update on activities since the 2004 Annual Conference.    The new roster of committees and discussion groups were submitted for ALA Handbook; a joint RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Committee was created; OPC and RSS Executive Committee members volunteered as mentors for new committees and discussion groups (roster of assignments distributed); the RSS Bylaws text changes were made and posted to RSS website.


The committee discussed RSS committee changes still under consideration: the proposed change in the name for the Cooperative Reference Committee is no longer necessary; the Catalog    Use Committee name and charge changes consideration has been suspended: the possibility of creating a new Electronic Reference Resources Committee instead was discussed; discussion continued about proposed changes to the Library Services to the Spanish-Speaking Committee to broaden its coverage of multicultural and diversity issues as a Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Reference Service Committee; also discussed was the favorable reception by CODES to RSS co-sponsorship of the Dual Assignments Discussion Group with the broader committee charge recommended by RSS OPC and with co-chairs - one from CODES and one from RSS.


The committee discussed 2 bylaws-related issues raised by the RSS Chair:


Traditionally, the RSS Past-Chair automatically becomes Chair of the Organization and Planning Committee.    Bylaws do not specify duties of officers: this used to be specified in the old MOUSS Handbook.    Diane Shonrock will track down a copy of the Handbook for the OPC to update for posting to the RSS website.


MARS voted to eliminate a provision in their bylaws for discussion groups to petition for continuation every 5 years, but the question was raised by the OPC Chair about the ability to make this change because the provision is part of the RUSA bylaws, with which sections must coordinate.    Discussion noted the provision has never been enforced and actually would be unnecessary if sections were required to include discussion groups in their 5-year section reviews.    Diane Safley was asked to bring the issue up with the RUSA Organization Committee.


By the 2005 Annual Conference, the OPC will draft revised goals for RSS to be presented to the RSS Executive Committee for adoption.    Email will be used for OPC discussions of the draft.    The Chair distributed a resource document which included the texts the old MOUSS Goals and Objectives, the RUSA Strategic Plan, and the ALA Key Action Areas as well as the Bylaws statement of RSS responsibilities.    The OPC will concentrate initially just on goals statements: if time allows, some objectives may be added. Both the RSS Chair and Chair-elect were asked to submit their suggestions for RSS goals to the committee.


Research and Statistics [reported at Saturday meeting]

Joan Stein reported that the committee has twelve members, and is losing five.   A new chair is needed.   There is a good slate for the upcoming research forum.   They inquired about the status of the proposal to count the Research Forum as a RUSA program so as not to take an RSS program slot.   Stein brought up the issue of privacy relating to the selection process.   It was suggested that the Research and Statistics meetings be listed as closed, and the committee be exempt from the expectation of that their meetings take place in the open all-committee meeting space.


Library Services to the Spanish-Speaking  – no report


Joint MARS/RSS Virtual Reference Committee

Joseph Thompson reported that the co-chairs for the new joint RSS/MARS committee have met to discuss formation of the committee.


They concluded that membership should be about ten individuals including the Co-Chairs. One Co-Chair will represent MARS and one Co-Chair will represent RSS. It was proposed that each section have four seats on the committee in addition to the Co-Chair seat. Additional contributions to the committee could be in the form of virtual membership, intern positions and consultant positions. Also, subgroups could be formed. Members of subgroups would not have to be members of the main committee.
Possible Committee Activities and Responsibilities:
- Maintaining the "Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services"
- Maintaining the "DREI Rubrics for Digital Reference Service Providers"
- Cooperating with the "MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Group" as well as other RUSA committees.
- Planning a program for ALA Annual 2006 in New Orleans.


Liriano Report

Maira Liriano reviewed recent organizational changes.

STARS is now a separate RUSA section representing the interests of librarians and library staff concerned with interlibrary loan, document delivery, and other resource-sharing issues.


The following new groups are being formed as part of the new Reference Services Section:

New RSS Committees:

Education & Professional Development

Marketing & Public Relations for Reference Service

User & Information Literacy

Virtual Reference (co-sponsored with MARS)


New Discussion Groups:

Ethical and Legal Issues in Reference

Reference Services in Public Libraries


Joint Meeting with MARS Executive Committee and Gwen Arthur

At this point in the meeting, a joint session took place with the MARS Executive Committee and Gwen Arthur, new RUSA president.  


A discussion occurred focusing on the directions and goals of the new Reference Services Section.    Gwen Arthur expressed the hope that this section can be a home for those interested in general and frontline reference.    Allan Kleiman noted that RSS is also the section that focuses on services to different populations.    Discussion took place about the scope and focus of MARS, and the ways in which RSS and MARS can complement the work of each other.





Hot Topics in Frontline Reference

The discussion topic was the “death of print reference sources.”    There was a large turnout.    It was noted that it would be desirable to have a summary of the discussion for the website.


Performance Issues for Reference/Information Librarians

Scott Garton reported (for Denise Shorey) that the Performance Issues in Reference discussion went well.    There were about 20 people in attendance.    They are interested in archiving the discussion.    Their publicity worked well.


Reference Services in Large Research Libraries

Carol Tobin reported that the Reference Services in Large Research Libraries Discussion Group met Jan 16, 2005 at the Lamont Library of Harvard University at the invitation of Carrie Kent, Head of Research Services at Widener Library. They had an attendance of 43. The discussion topic was the place of general reference in large academic libraries, i.e. where does reference report administratively, new models and current practices. After the meeting, many of the attendees went to see the renovations in Harvard Widener Library. They are working on moving the discussion group list to ALA from the University of Pittsburgh.


Reference Services in Small and Medium-Sized Libraries – no report




Access to Information – no report


Conference Program Coordinating

Scott Garton reported that the preconference proposed for Annual 2006 by the Library Service to an Aging Population Committee, "Bridging the Ages: From Older Adults to the Baby Boomers" was approved by the Committee and referred on to the RUSA Executive Board.

Two other questions will also be taken to the meeting of RUSA Executive Board.
1.  The RSS section would like to see the annual New Reference Research Forum become a Division program so that it doesn't count against the section's 2 allotted programs.
2.  The impact of the increase in number of sections from 5 to 6 needs to be addressed.  With a limit of 12 programs, the flexibility of the sections to propose programs and of the Program Coordinating Committee to approve programs is severely restricted.

(At the RUSA Executive Board meeting on Monday it was decided to increase the Divisions programs from 12 to 16. Two per section, 1 for the President's Program, 1 for RSS' Research Forum which will no longer count as one of RSS's 2 programs, and 2 for RUSA)

In response to his question about the rationale behind the calendar for program proposals, particularly about the May 15 deadline, he was informed that this is mainly for financial planning for the RUSA office.  Program proposals submitted on May 15 don't need to be complete down to the last dotted i and crossed t but should include anything that will have an impact on finances such as the number of speakers, whether any of the speakers are non-librarians, whether any catering is involved, and if there are any out of the ordinary AV requests.

The Program Coordinating Committee will look at trying to pull together some exemplary proposals at different points in the process so that Committees will have a better idea of what needs to included at what time.



Rebecca Johnson reported that their meeting focused on increasing RUSA membership.    There was an update on status of the RUSA videotape and the proposed RUSA Ambassadors project.    There were reports from liaisons from all RUSA Sections, and a visit from J. Chrastka (ALA office) who informed the committee that he would be able to help the committee with mailing lists, etc. Student membership is down.    They also addressed the assignment of times to the various sections for the RUSA booth at Annual in Chicago.   There was discussion of preparing a list of programs and committee meetings to be distributed at the RUSA booth.   It could also include discussion session topics.



Wayne Bivens-Tatem reported the RUSA Nominating Committee finalized a ballot for the 2005 elections:


Vice-President/President Elect

Diana Shonrock

Rosanne Cordell



Bill McHugh

Loriene Roy


Member At large

Eric Novotny

Linda Friend

Cynthia Levine

David Hovde



Ellen Safley gave a report on the process for reviewing the continued existence of discussion groups.    Clarification is needed as to whether it is necessary to periodically petition in order to justify continued existence of discussion groups.    RUSA says that discussion groups should be systematically included in all section reviews.    This could remove the need for re-petitioning.  


Planning and Finance

Judy Solberg reported on the future dues increase.    This may be spread over three years.


Professional Development 

Eleanor Lomax submitted the following report:

RUSA Professional Development Committee Meeting met Sunday, January 16, 1005    - 4:30-6:00 pm.    The committee reviewed its charge and it is included below.


"To provide leadership and coordinate the development of RUSA programming, apart from Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings, including:

- generating and recommending topics and authors for courses;

- evaluating proposals for courses and/or learning opportunities from outside sources."


Topics already proposed and in the works are Business 101 and Genealogy.    Both of these will be web-based. Readers Advisory was proposed as another topic of interest.    It was also suggested that RUSA might want to partner with other organizations to present programs, (State associations, ACRL, etc.).


The committee is looking for suggestions from the sections for topics of interest and also for people within the sections who would be interested in developing and presenting courses or learning opportunities.    Other section representatives will be going back and looking at past programs and determining if any of these would be adaptable to the web or for "going on the road" to other conferences.


Lomax is asking for ideas from the section on topics and/or needs of the section members and any individuals in the section interested in proposing a course.



Publications – no report


Standards and Guidelines

The RUSA Standards & Guidelines Committee reviewed the following documents:


1. "Guidelines for Establishing Local History Collections" from the Local

History Committee of the RUSA History Section


2. "Elements for Basic Reviews," developed by the ALA/RUSA CODES Materials

Reviewing Committee


3. "Guidelines for Defining, Measuring, and Assessing Reference Services"

from the RSS ERUS Guidelines Project


The following RSS guidelines are due for revision soon:


1. "Guidelines for Cooperative Reference Service Policy Manuals"

The Cooperative Reference Service Committee will be revising these in the

upcoming year.


2. "Guidelines for Library Services to Older Adults"

The Library Services to an Aging Population Committee will begin work on

revision after the October White House conference on aging.


3. "Guidelines for Library Services to Hispanics"

A nearly complete draft of this exists, but the Library Services to the

Spanish Speaking Committee is currently in limbo.



The "Checklist for Creation or Revision of a RUSA Guideline" is now

available online. It is listed at the end of Chapter 4 of the RUSA Guide to

Policies and Procedures. The direct url is:




Web Policies Subcommittee

Bao-Chu Chang submitted the following report:

The Web Policies Subcommittee met on Sunday, January 16 from 9:30-11:00 am.    The group reviewed and discussed the draft proposal from policies and guidelines for the RUSA website.    Two suggestions were made to 1) reorganize the section headings to give the document a more logical flow if information; 2) to move the procedural information on responding to challenges to content to the end of the document as an appendix.    Joe Straw, the committee chair, will revise the document and submit it t the full publications committee.   George Porter, RUSA representative, will take the draft to the ALA Web Advisory Committee.  


The group also agreed to recommend that a web committee (or subcommittee) be established to formalize the working relationship between the RUSA webmaster and section webmasters/coordinators, and the commitment of these people as well.