MOUSS Executive Committee

Tuesday, 28 January 2003
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Present: Diana D. Shonrock (Chair), Gwen Arthur, Robert Bellinger, Gary Cornwell, Anna Donnelly, Betty Gard, John Hepner, Mary Hollerich, Lisa Horowitz, Rebecca Johnson, Brett Lear, Cynthia Levine, Karen Liston, Carolyn M. Mulac, Loriene Roy, Ellen Safley

I. Approval of Agenda

The meeting opened at 8:07 a.m. with approval of the agenda.

II. Approval of Minutes, ALA Annual 2002

The minutes from Tuesday, 18 June 2002 were corrected as follows:

1. Lisa Horowitz noted that the second paragraph on page 2 should add that the Evaluation of Reference and Services Committee compiled a bibliography for the ALA annual meeting in Atlanta that they hope will be published.
2. Diana Shonrock added that the “Guide for New Members” cited in paragraph 2 on page 2 is for the Evaluation of User Services Committee.
3. Loriene Roy’s name is spelled incorrectly on page 2, paragraph 4.
4. Gwen Arthur suggested one change on the RUSA Board Report on page 5, bullet point three. We want to keep the ALA Washington Office apprised of state-level developments, not appraised.
5. Rebecca Johnson moved that the minutes be accepted. Cynthia Levine seconded this motion. The minutes were approved as corrected.

III. Summary of the “Future of MOUSS” Discussion

David Null facilitated a discussion among the 74 people who attended this forum. The structure of the discussion included distributing questions to the audience and asking them to work on responses in groups. There seems to be an overall agreement that this is an important time for those involved in MOUSS to consider how the section can best represent the interests of its membership, especially those involved in adult, front-line reference services. Diana Shonrock will summarize this discussion in the near future

Forum attendees were also asked to identify what sort of issues they saw facing specialized services in the next couple of years. Respondents provided these comments:

1. There is a need to process so much more information.
2. Libraries are so important in delivering information.
3. We need to reorganize our services and our physical facilities to match the needs of our users.
4. There may be a need for a new section in MOUSS, including a possible merger between MOUSS and MARS.
5. There is a shift to using more paraprofessionals at the desk. There are training issues associated with this staffing switch.
6. Technology is changing the definition of front line reference.
7. Staff is facing more dual and triple assignments (e.g., collection development, reference, instruction, university committees).
8. Rotating chairs within an organization (team approach) causes problems.
9. Do electronic resources serve the people? How?
10. How do we provide service to remote users?
11. Instructional components of reference work are growing. How do we deal with this?
12. There’s an indication that we need to go back to thinking hard about customer services and what the users needs are.
13. Reference librarians acknowledge the need to be aware of publishing trends.
14. Digital reference, electronic serials, and shared resources have impacted reference.
15. Librarians are concerned about the issue of confidentiality.
16. Reference departments will have to deal with generations A-Z, not just Generation X.
17. Librarians acknowledge the need to evaluate reference services along with the need to keep up with current research.
18. Marketing of services is important.
19. Librarians are concerned about ethical and legal issues such as the Patriot Act.
20. They are also concerned about overall management issues of all kinds.
21. Reference librarians also speak of the need for their continuing education and training.
22. They observe that contact with the public can affect change.
23. There is a need in the workplace to create linkages between areas of the library, including linking reference to information technology and technical services.
24. Catalogs are changing with the emergence of portals.
25. It is important to consider all types of libraries.
26. There is a need to strongly look at the needs of multicultural society.

In addition to these comments, Diana Shonrock recorded suggestions people had for new committee names. She will share these notes with the Executive Board.

Executive Committee members discussed merging MOUSS with MARS into one section. Will reference librarians find a place within ALA? How will MARS respond? Shonrock added that any change will be preceded by an examination of the committee structure of both sections. A merger of the sections may lead to stronger discussion groups. John Hepner added that MOUSS might consider offering other opportunities for discussion of issues. Shonrock summarized the activities that will take place between Midwinter 2003 and Annual 2003. MOUSS will invite further discussion on its electronic list. Board members suggested that MARS may want to sponsor similar face-to-face and electronic discussions. Shonrock will provide a summary of MOUSS discussions to Cathleen Bourdon, Executive Director of RUSA. The Organizational Task Force will be involved. Shonrock will then report back to the MOUSS Executive Board. Levine suggested that Shonrock seek to clarify a timeline of activities that is in agreement with MARS’s actions as well.

IV. MOUSS Committee and Discussion Group Reports

Services to Adults (Robert Bellinger). Bellinger reported that the Committee had a brief meeting. They are working with Ulla de Stricker, a presenter at the 2002 ALA Annual meeting, to arrange for the publication of her article, “Relevance in the Relationship: Public Library Strategies.”

Library Services to an Aging Population. No report.

Virginia Boucher/OCLC Award. The Committee met. The winner will be announced soon and the award will be given in summer 2003.

Catalog Use (Cynthia Levine). The Committee has organized a program for ALA annual on One-Stop Metasearch Tools. An ALCTS committee may co-sponsor this event.

Cooperative Reference. No report.

Evaluation of Reference & User Services (Lisa Horowitz). The Committee is working on three activities. They are compiling an annotated bibliography of the history of the definition of reference, which will be located on the Committee’s Web site. Second, the Committee is organizing a preconference in Toronto on the evaluating reference and user services. Third, they have been working for several years on guidelines for reference statistics. Two people have been designated as project managers for this project. They will create, with Dr. Mary Jo Lynch’s help, a survey to gather information on what people think reference is, a reference transaction is, and what they want to measure. There is an opening on this Committee for someone with research/statistics experience. Diana Shonrock volunteered to assist this project. The Committee hopes to organize a program on their results for ALA Annual in Orlando.

Interlibrary Loan (Karen Liston). The Committee is on track with planning their preconference “Drive Through ILL” for ALA Annual in Toronto. Mary Hollerich added more information about the Committee’s plan to transition to a MOUSS section. The RUSA Organizational Task Force will submit a plan to the RUSA Board of Directors at the Toronto meeting. The Board will prepare a response in the form of a report. Bylaws will be developed in Fall 2003, the earliest time that the Section could meet.

Liston provided news from the ILL Workgroups. The work group on Web availability forms has designed 3 forms that will soon be on the Committee’s Web site. The Workgroup on licensing will continue. The UCITA Workgroup provided a lengthy report on the impact of UCITA on ILL. The Union List of Serials Workgroup had a separate meeting. And there has been a great deal of interest in the activities of the Virtual Member Workgroup.

The ILL Committee will cosponsor a program with ALCTS on serials at ALA in Toronto. The Committee has been alternating scheduling programs and preconferences. They will start to plan their 2004 Orlando program.

Management of Reference (Betty Gard). The Committee has been concentrating on the revision of the behavioral guidelines to include, among other changes, guidelines for general, in-person and remote reference. They will send the draft revisions to RUSA’s Standards and Guidelines Committee. MARS has also offered to review the draft. After Standards and Guidelines provides its input, they will distribute the draft for wide input. Diana Shonrock suggested that the behavioral guidelines also connect to the RUSA Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians.

Organization and Planning (Gwen Arthur). The Committee reviewed the bylaws. Committee members also reviewed the MOUSS intern document and suggested that the document mentions that interns will receive mentors. They also felt that not all interns will be interested in serving as secretary for Committees. Shonrock invited the Committee to submit ideas for revisions for the intern document. The Committee also discussed the MOUSS Goals and Objectives, which they feel have become severely dated. They will review these before or at ALA Annual 2003, keeping a potential reorganization of the Section in mind. They will send their suggestions out for comment.

Research and Statistics. Eric Novotny left a report on the Committee’s activities. They received 15 proposals for the annual reference research forum and selected three to present on June 22 at ALA Annual. The Committee is seeking public library members.

Services to the Spanish Speaking (Brett Lear). The Committee met with the RUSA Guidelines and Standards Committee to discuss multilingual guidelines for materials. They also plan to begin work on guidelines for library services to Hispanics with information available by ALA annual in Toronto. They need some volunteers who speak Spanish to work on a best books project and will investigate a potential collaboration with REFORMA.

Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group (Karen Liston). Liston reported that the two topics of interest were the establishment of a new Resource Sharing Section in RUSA and the purchase of ARIEL by InfoTree.

Performance Issues for Reference/Information Librarians Discussion Group. Their meeting was cancelled so members could attend the Future of MOUSS discussion.

Reference in Large Research Libraries Discussion Group. No report.

Reference Services in Small to Medium-Sized Libraries Group. No report.

Task Force on the new Resource Sharing Section. Mary Hollerith reported that members expressed an overwhelming desire to proceed with the establishment of the section.

V. MOUSS Representatives to RUSA Committees

Membership. Rebecca Johnson reported that RUSA Membership Committee discussed RUSA’s committee review. They requested help from members to staff the RUSA booth at ALA Annual. They are working with ALA to provide discounted memberships to library support staff. The Committee would like to see content on the ALA Web site that discusses why someone would want to become a librarian and how they would go about it. They also discussed how to recruit and retain ALA members. They will contact deans of schools of library and information science to find out what students know about ALA and what reasons they might have for not joining. The letter to ALA members to renew membership needs to be more attractive. They are also looking at ways to honor older or long-term members. A number of the sections for RUSA have mentoring programs. The Membership Committee would like to serve as a conduit to refer people to the appropriate mentoring experience.

Nominating. Gwen Arthur reported that the Nominating Committee has a list of possible candidates for the RUSA positions that need to be filled and are working on approaching others.

Organization. Ellen Safley said that the Committee is working on a BRASS Section review. The Membership Committee and the RUSQ editorial Advisory Board were reviewed. The RUSA Board has asked the Committee to complete a report on the organizational overlap between RUSA level committees and Section level committees. They will also add a checklist to use for review.

Planning and Finance. Mary Hollerich reported that each of the ALA Divisions was invited to contribute $6,500 a year to the Spectrum Scholarship fund. Because they are uncertain about the coming budget year they opted to refer this and reconsider this at a future date. The MARS preconference at annual brought in additional revenue, which offset a drop in advertising revenue in RUSQ. RUSQ lost 500 subscribers in the last year. ALA is surveying the institutional members who have dropped these subscriptions and will look at ways to improve advertising. RUSA membership overall is up a little bit but about one third of members did not renew because they are retiring or no longer working in reference.

Professional Development. Carolyn Mulac said that the Committee is looking at ways to increase the number of professional development opportunities for people at ALA. They will encourage committees to create publications, Web sites, and other products from successful events to benefit those who are unable to attend ALA.

Standards and Guidelines. Diana Shonrock welcomed names of individuals who might sere as a representative to this Committee.

VI. RUSA Board Report

The Standard and Guidelines Committee approved the Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians, which will be printed in the last issue of this volume of RUSQ. It will be loaded within the next week on the RUSA Website, under RUSA documents. Online voting will be active for 2004 elections. The Board approved in principal the establishment of the Resource Section. RUSA Update will become an online version, which will allow for longer contributions from sections. RUSQ editors and RUSQ Update editors were reappointed. The RUSA subcommittee on Polices and their charge were approved. ALA’s revised Web site will be available in April 2003. RUSA has questions on the placement of advertising on the Division Web sites. A checklist for section Web pages will soon be available on the RUSA Web site.

RUSA has contributed to the CIPA fund; CIPA will head to the Supreme Court in March 2003 with a decision expected in late spring. 2004 budgets will be 5% less than 2003 budgets across the board. RUSA also discussed funding for the APA. An ALA committee has produced a report on restrictions to government information that will be sent to Sections in April 2003. The RUSA Board meeting also reported on legislation they are monitoring, including the reauthorization of IMLS. RUSA will develop a plan for promoting the section in the library community.

VII. RUSA Organizational Task Force Report.

Mary Hollerith reported that ALA has given permission to put the petition for the establishment of the Resource Sharing Section on the RUSA Web site.

VIII. Adjournment

Anna Donnelly moved to adjourn the meeting. Cynthia Levine seconded the motion, which was approved by all. The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Loriene Roy, Secretary