MOUSS Executive Committee

Midwinter 1999 Meeting Minutes
Monday, February 1, 1999

Present: Linda Thompson, David Null, Brett Lear, Robert Foy, Gwen Arthur, Eveline Yang, Ellen Safley, Mary Hollerich, Phelix Hanible, Carolyn Mulac, Anne Eccles, Allan Kleiman, Janie Silveria, Diana Shonrock, Anna Donnelly, John Hepner, Anna Horn, David Tykoson, Frances Benham, Ruth Nussbaum, Barb Mann, Frances Rocham, Alberto Herrara, Jr., Martha Steele, Robert Foy, Mary Parker, Juleigh Clark.

The meeting was called to order at 8pm by Linda Thompson, Chair.

After Ellen Safley and David Null discussed MOUSS goals, a motion was made and seconded to accept the draft of MOUSS goals for 1999/2000.

Meeting times for MOUSS committees were discussed. Ideas brought up by the group were as follows:

  • All discussion groups meet at the same time in the same hotel/building.
  • All committees meet in the sames large room at the same time.
  • Stagger starting times of groups/committees in one morning in same building.
  • Schedule the Executive Committee meetings at the beginning and end of the blocks of meetings (as mentioned in the first three suggestions).
  • Committees should use email more and perhaps only meet once at ALA.

Allan Kleiman volunteered to work on the ideas discussed and write up a draft proposal for meetings. He will send this proposal through email and it can be discussed before the annual meeting in New Orleans.

Two new awards have been approved for MOUSS and David Null will appoint committees/chairs.

Committee Reports were given orally. Written reports are to be turned in to Juleigh Clark (jclark.cwf.org). Highlights follow:


Catalog Use (Phelix Hanible): planning a program for 2000 -- Is MARC dead?
Cooperative Reference (Janie Silveria): have done bibliography on Cooperative Reference and plan to do survey to find out about more recent developments, especially to look at LC's "Reference in the Digital Age" initiative.
Evaluation of Reference (Mary Parker): evaluation program at Reference Institute (October 1998) was very successful and they may reprise the workshop; updating Reference Assessment Manual.
Nominating Committee (Mary Parker): nominated four candidates to run in upcoming election.
Fee-based Reference (Anna Donnelly): looking at revising the charge of the committee / combining with a similar ACRL committee or dissolving; working on an annotated bibliography of fee-based reference to publish on the web.
ILL (Eveline Yang): announced the Virginia Boucher Award for a Distinguished ILL Librarian. The first winner will be at 2000 Annual Conference.
Library Service to an Aging Population (Allan Kleiman): planning a Pre-Conference for 2000 annual.
Library Services to the Spanish-Speaking (Alverto Herrera, Jr.): working on guidelines.
Management of Reference (Gwen Arthur): sponsoring case study discussions at 1999 Annual Conference; taking ownership of the "Behavioral Guidelines for Reference Librarians".
Organization (Ellen Safley): collecting committee descriptions and documents for the MOUSS web page.
Professional Development (Anna Horn): held a discussion forum on Jan31 which was very successful.
Research and Statistics (Diana Shonrock): received 20 paper proposals and selected three to be presented at the 5th Annual Research Forum.
Services to Adults (Brett Lear): planning a program for 2000 on why the library as a physical place is relevant to society.

Discussion Groups (at-large members attended and reported on the Midwinter Discussions)


Performance Issues (David Tyckoson): Good attendance and discussion.
Reference Services in Large Research Libraries (David Tyckoson): Thirty people attended, however, no one showed up to run the discussion. There may have been a mix-up with the room and the discussion may have taken place elsewhere???
Reference Services in Medium-Sized Research Libraries (John Hepner): meets Tuesday mornings, so the group hadn't met yet at Midwinter; may do some revision in steering committee organization - currently it's a 5 year term which may be too long.

MOUSS Representative to RUSA Committees


Conference Program Coordinating Committee (Anne Eccles): two preconferences were approved - Library Service to Aging Population & History/Genealogy.
Membership (Ruth Nussbaum): need volunteers for the RUSA membership table at Annual.
Organization (Frances Benham): reviewing and evaluating virtual committee membership. Linda Thompson will interview chairs of MOUSS committees that have virtual members; proposal to dissolve Library Services to Youth Committee was accepted with regret.
Planning and Finance (David Null): RUSA is in good financial shape. There was profit from both the Institute and from pre-conferences and publications.
Publications (Robert Foy): encouraged committees to publish the talks from Annual programs.
Standards and Guidelines (Carolyn Mulac): Guidelines for medical, legal and business questions at general reference desks need a committee home.

RUSA Board (Linda Thompson)
The Options for the Future (ALAConferences) Proposal was discussed. Various interpretations of the document confused members and Jo Bell Whitlach has more questions to be resolved before the Board takes a stand on the issue. The RUSA Board instructed the RUSA Councilor to ask for postponement. If it is not postponed, the resolution to endorse will be voted against by the RUSA Councilor.
ALA Council is revising the policy governing external relations. They wish to make the distinction between formal liaison and offering service to an organization. If the latter, it is not necessary to condone the organization's principles.
RUSA has been asked to submit a position paper to the ALA Congress on Professional Education to be held in April. Jo Bell Whitlach wants the position paper to address competencies for reference librarians. These competencies will be based on existing guidelines for delivery of reference service. Beth Woodard, RUSA Update Editor, will be the RUSA delegate to the Congress.
The RUSA President's Program at Annual 1999 will be entitled: "What's on the menu: how to tell junk food from gourmet fare in electronic products".

Other Business
David Null began a discussion on the Library of Congress's recent program series on Reference Service in a Digital Age. Concerns mentioned included the facts that 1) LC had not tried to work with MOUSS, the official body already working on these issues, and 2)LC has pulled back on their own services to libraries (ILL and reference).

Respectfully Submitted,
Juleigh Muirhead Clark,
Secretary