RUSA Reference Services Section RSS Executive Committee 2008 Meeting Highlights

Committee: RSS Executive Committee

Chairperson:  Lisa Horowitz

Highlights provided by: Susan Ware, RSS Secretary

Dates of Meeting: Sat. Jan. 12, Mon. Jan 14, Tues. Jan 15, 2008

Summary of Meetings:
NMRT representative, Wendy Girven, extended NMRT's invitation to co-sponsor RSS programs by providing planning, advertising, participation, and financial support. The RSS Board will seek NMRT support of RSS Open House at Annual 2008.

Guidelines for Library and Information Services to Adults was revised by the Library Services to an Aging Population Committee and submitted to the RUSA Board for approval. (RUSA Board approved the Guidelines on Jan 15.)

A new definition of reference was approved by the RSS Board and submitted to the RUSA Board for approval. ((RUSA Board approved the new definition on Jan 14 and will market it to relevant library statistical reporting organizations.)

RSS Vice Chair, Judy Solberg, will be making committee appointment during the next few months; Committee chairs are encouraged to contact her to with nominations.

Slate of Candidates for RSS Board elections: Chair/Chair Elect: Barb Mann, Wayne Bivens-Tatum; Members-at-Large: Sarah Hammill, Paula Smith; Secretary: Catherine Hamer, Marjorie Schreiber; Candidates for RUSA President: Susan Beck, Larayne Dallas (both from RSS)

John Hepner led a discussion of issues that should be addressed in an update of RUSA's Access to Information statement. He will report RSS Executive Committee recommendations to Amanda Powers of the RUSA Access to Information Committee.

Committees were encouraged to submit proposals for programs (Annual 2009), Discussion Forums (Annual 2008, Midwinter 2009), and preconferences (Midwinter 2010). With only two slots available for Annual programs, committees also are encouraged to plan publications, Web resources, and online continuing education workshops.

Annual 2009 programming:  

  • Proposals must be submitted by May; Preconference proposals must be submitted 18 months in advance and must be self-supporting
  • A RSS member is needed for the RUSA Conference Program Planning Committee
  • The proposal for a Joint RSS/MARS 2009 Preconference (Reinvented Reference 5: Emerging Technologies for Reference Services) has been submitted; 3 RSS members are needed for the Preconference Committee. Judy Solberg will appoint them.
  • The Services to the Aging Committee and the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) are considering co-sponsorship of a free 2009 preconference. 
  • The RSS Board approved a Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee proposal for a 2009 program incorporating their recently approved guidelines; Program will be co-sponsored with REFORMA. 
  • The Services to Adults Committee is planning a program: “When is Nice Too Nice” (disengaging from the chatty patron); They are looking for co-sponsors; If planned for 2009, proposal must be submitted in May
  • The Catalog Use Committee is planning a tutorial program on creating tools for pushing your catalog; will use a wiki to facilitate it; could become a fee-based online workshop; MARS may be a co-sponsor
  • The MARS/RSS joint Virtual Reference Service Committee is considering a program that compare the current options, vendors, and technologies available for virtual reference; Committee was cautioned adhere to ALA guidelines regarding vendor participation in programs
  • Co-sponsored programs will be given priority in final prioritization by RSS Exec Comm

RSS Awards approved:

  • Criteria are being drafted for “Best of RSS” Award; Several award names have been submitted; Award will be a certificate, not monetary; Organization and Planning Committee will continue leadership in the development of the award
  • The Bessie Boehm Moore Award will be reactivated by the Library Services to an Aging Population Committee and funded by Senior Service America, Inc.; $1,000 and a citation of achievement will be awarded to a library organization that has developed an outstanding and creative program for library services to the aging.

Future of Reference Conference:
RSS Board approved a proposal asking for RUSA financial support of a Future of Reference Conference, to be held on August 4 & 5, 2008 in Denver, CO.  In return, RUSA may seek privileges such as reduced registration for members, free registration for select members, free booth space, recognition in publicity and program, and speaker representation. The Bibliographic Center for Research (BCR) is leading the conference planning. Proposal was submitted by Kathleen Kern, past RUSA Representative to the VRD Conference and Joseph Thompson, RUSA Director-at-Large.

RSS Discussion Group 5 Yr. Re-Petition Process:
RSS Board recommends that the Organization and Planning Committee revise Article 9 of the ByLaws to eliminate the DG re-petition process and to include DGs in the RSS Section Review process. DGs would be subject to the same review questions as committees, and that process would be sufficient to analyze their viability. Revision would also require DGs to maintain a list of attendees to be reported as part of the review.

RSS Goals and Objectives and Strategic Plan:

  • Board voted to archive the current RSS Goals & Objectives and to plan a Midwinter 2009 forum for their review by the membership.
  • A SWOT discussion by membership would be helpful in creating G&Os that are more operational and action oriented
  • Planning should include a process for continuous review and feedback
  • The Organization & Planning Committee should be charged to track Section progress toward G&O/Strategic Plan; Committee chairs should address RSS G&O/SP in their reports; G&O/SP should be highlighted in Committee Chair Checklist and Orientation.

RSS Section Review:
The Organization and Planning Committee will appoint someone to meet with each Committee and Discussion Group to assist in answering the section review questions from RUSA.

RUSA Reference Research Grant:
RUSA Board approved a $2,000 grant to be awarded to honor the 15th Anniversary program of the Reference Research Forum. The award will be given at the 14th Reference Research Forum, and will be used by the winner for research in the coming year. The winner will present that paper at the 2009 Annual Reference Research Forum.

Joint RSS/MARS Board Meeting Highlights:

  • RSS and MARS Boards approved ex-offico (non-voting) membership of MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Group Chair on RSS/MARS joint Virtual Reference Service Committee
  • Issues related to joint RSS/MARS web space were discussed. What branding will be on the page? What will the URL be? How will joint preconferences pages be handled? How will links be arranged? How will pages and documents be archived? These issues will be presented to the RUSA Board
  • Podcasting and video-casting of portions of the joint preconference were discussed. Issues related to permissions, equipment, and technical support must be resolved.