MOUSS Executive Committee

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Present: Gwen Arthur (Chair), Dan Barkley, Gary Cornwell, Mary Crocker, Susan Curtis, Anna Donnelly, Tami Echavarria, Betty Gard, Joanne Halgren, John Hepner, Mary Hollerich, Lisa Horowitz, Brett Lear, Lars Leon, Cindy Levine, Karen Liston, David Null, Ellen Safley, Colleen Seale, Diana Shonrock, Emilie Smart, Mary Ellen Tyckoson, Lynn Wiley

I. Introductions

Members introduced themselves.

II. Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved.

III. Approval of Minutes

The minutes from Tuesday, January 22, 2002 were approved with the following correction:

The Evaluation of Reference and User Services report, pp. 2, paragraph 2, sentence 3 should read: “The Committee has been asked by RUSA Board to investigate the possibility of redefining “reference”, and they are also considering the idea of redefining the reference transaction.”

IV. MOUSS Committee and Discussion Group Reports

MOUSS Committees

Services to Adults (Mary Crocker). Dee Stricker spoke at their Monday program on “relationship management in a digital age” (aka marketing), which received very positive evaluations. Stricker provided the audience with numerous ideas that could be applied to all types of libraries.

Boucher Award (Joanne Halgren). The 2002 Boucher Award was presented at the ILL Discussion Group meeting on Saturday to Tom Delaney of Colorado State University. Franca Rosen will serve as Committee Chair for 2002-2003.

Catalog Use (Cindy Levine). The CUC met twice in Atlanta and worked on refining topics and selecting speakers for their 2003 Annual Conference program entitled “One-Stop Metasearch Tools: Friendly Time-Saver or Confusing Quagmire?” They are soliciting new members for their committee.

Cooperative Reference (Susan Curtis). The results of their survey of cooperative reference initiatives in consortia will be published in the summer issue of RUSQ. They discussed the impact that certain cooperative efforts have on reference service. The committee reviewed the program proposal for Toronto, discussed what the panelists should touch upon, and agreed that those points should include: 1) how they defined their constituency; 2) how they are marketing the service, including marketing to other libraries; 3) where the marketing revenue comes from; 4) how they assess the impact of their marketing campaign; and, 5) future directions. Bruce Whitham will serve as moderator for the panel.

Evaluation of Reference and User Services (Lisa Horowitz). The Committee discussed the format, structure, speakers, and expenses for their 1-day preconference in Toronto. They reviewed a draft of their “Guide for New Members” which includes a history of the committee’s work; it will be posted on their web page for review. Members also discussed the creation, distribution, and goals of a survey instrument to determine what librarians currently consider to be “reference” and “reference transaction” and how libraries use reference statistics. They hope the survey will result in an article but would like some guidance on how to write an article in a committee setting. Arthur recommended they consult with the RUSA Publications Committee and Shonrock referred them to the RUSA publishing guidelines which she has found to be quite helpful.

Interlibrary Loan (Lynn Wiley). The Committee sponsored a program on acquisitions models for ILL which was very well-received by approximately 150 attendees. The following items were covered at their business meeting on Monday: 1) Their 2003 program request was rejected by RUSA but they are proceeding with plans for a preconference in Toronto, 2) the Education Subcommittee reported on progress toward a webCT training course to be offered several times per year for frontline practitioners, 3) the Committee roundly endorsed a recent proposal to create a new resource sharing section within RUSA and named a task force to work on the petition process, and 4) they voted to withdraw the “Guidelines and Procedures for Telefacsimile and Electronic Delivery of Interlibrary Loan Requests and Materials” and incorporate some of the text into the National Interlibrary Loan Code 2001 Explanatory Supplement.

Nominating (Gwen Arthur). Arthur reported the election results for MOUSS executive committee positions: Mary Hollerich is the incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Loreine Roy is the new Secretary, and Eric Novotny is the incoming Member-At-Large. Jeannie Welch is chairing the 2003 Nominating Committee which has already put together a slate of candidates.

Management of Reference (Betty Gard). The Committee has begun the process of updating its “Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Professionals” and hopes to have a rough draft completed in the next few months to that they can solicit feedback prior to Midwinter. They plan to revise the document at Midwinter and hope to present a final draft to the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee by Annual Conference 2003.

Organization and Planning (David Null). The MOUSS Bylaws were passed at a brief business meeting held at the start of the ILL program on Sunday. Null suggested that we may need to officially change the committee’s name to Organization and Planning Committee; the new bylaws have a formal procedure in place for this.

Bessie Boehm Moore Thorndike Press Award (Gwen Arthur). The 2002 award was presented at the RUSA President’s Program to Montclair (NJ) Public Library.

Library Services to the Spanish-Speaking (Brett Lear). Lear reported that they have made significant progress on revising their “Guidelines for Multilingual Materials” and have set a target completion date of September 1st. In addition, they hope to complete revisions to their “Guidelines for Library Services to Hispanics” by the end of January 2003 and will subsequently submit both documents to the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee for review. REFORMA has agreed to partner with them to create a list of “best books” for Spanish-language materials, and Michael Dowling of the International Relations Office is helping to coordinate this effort.

Library Service to an Aging Population (Emilie Smart). They met Saturday morning to develop a proposal for a program in Toronto and later submitted it to the MOUSS Executive Committee for approval. On Monday they met to discuss alternatives in case their program proposal was rejected by RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee.

MOUSS Discussion Groups

Reference Services in Medium Research Libraries (Colleen Seale). The group has officially moved its meeting time from Tuesday morning to Sunday in order to be represented at the Tuesday MOUSS Executive Committee meeting, and they have changed their name to Reference Services in Small and Medium-Sized Libraries Discussion Group. They have made additional changes to their format: selected speakers introduce topics which are voted on by the members. They hope to improve attendance through use of the earlier meeting time, improved advertising, and marketing. Hepner observed that none of the MOUSS discussion groups are listed on the RUSA web site; Arthur will check with Cathleen Bourdon to see who has responsibility for the site’s content and organization. Null moved to formally approve the group’s name change and it was unanimously approved. Null will notify RUSA Board and RUSA staff so that relevant documents can be updated.

Performance Issues for Reference Librarians (Dan Barkley). About 25 people attended their Monday morning meeting which included a short business meeting in addition to discussions on 1) the impact of digital reference and 2) the need for reference librarians to spend more time performing instruction than providing ready reference. They have developed a Steering Committee consisting of a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Recording Secretary, and are now looking for a 3rd person to fill the remaining position.

V. MOUSS Representatives to RUSA Committees

Access to Information (Tami Echavarria). The AIC discussed a number of issues related to information access, such as the sudden disappearance of certain government web sites, and heard reports from various ALA bodies: 1) The Intellectual Freedom Committee is concerned with the destruction of Palestinian archives in the Middle East; 2) The ALA Washington Office is seeking feedback from the membership regarding the effects of the U.S. Patriot Act; and 3) The RUSA Board reviewed and approved the Library Bill of Rights.

ASCLA ADA Assembly (Emilie Smart). They are drafting a survey of ALA members regarding conference accessibility issues. Michelle Visel from ALA Conference Services attended their meeting to answer questions about conference facilities because some visually-impaired members have noted that they must request special computers well in advance of the conference.

Organization (Ellen Safley). The RUSA Board has asked them for recommendations regarding virtual committee members. They discussed some of the organizational issues facing MOUSS and MARS, and have concluded that there are some common interests but also some unique purposes to each section.

Planning and Finance (Lars Leon). The Committee reviewed the 2003 budget which is showing a slight decrease in vendor advertising. Preconferences and web-based continuing education courses are good sources of revenue and can be used to off-set revenue shortfalls.

Conference Program Planning (David Null). Four of MOUSS’ five program requests for 2003 Annual Conference in Toronto were approved:

1) The Research and Statistics Committee’s 9th Annual Reference Research Forum has been scheduled for Sunday, June 22, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

2) The Cooperative Reference Committee received their second choice time slot, Sunday, June 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for their “Marketing Virtual Reference: Consortium Models” program.

3) The Catalog Use Committee received $100 to cover costs for their “One-stop Metasearch Tools: Friendly Time Saver or Confusing Quagmire?” program, scheduled for Sunday, June 22, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

4) The Library Services to an Aging Population Committee also received $100 for their program entitled “The Boomers are Coming, the Boomers are Coming”, scheduled for Saturday, June 21, at 10:30 a.m.

Null also reported that the ILL Committee’s program proposal was rejected due to the large number of requests submitted by MOUSS as well as the number of programs the ILL Committee has sponsored in recent years. He noted that most sections are permitted no more than 2 programs in any given year and MOUSS was already well over that limit. RUSA typically sponsors 12 programs in addition to the President’s Program and the Notable Books program. Committee chairs are reminded that preconference requests for 2004 in Orlando must be approved at Midwinter.

VI. RUSA Board Report (Gwen Arthur).

Gwen Arthur reported on highlights of the RUSA Board meetings at the ALA 2002 Annual Conference. They included:

  • The RUSA Board's endorsement of the Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights on Privacy.
  • The Board's endorsement of the adoption of the term "e-member" for electronic members of committees.
  • A request from the ALA Washington Office for the Board to encourage their committee members and colleagues to keep the Washington Office appraised of state-level developments negatively impacting freedom and access to information.
  • An update from Carol Tobin on the RUSA Organization Task Force: that group will continue working on its charge after the MARS and MOUSS reviews are completed.
  • The presentation of a draft statement on professional competencies by Jo Bell Whitlatch and a request for feedback on the document.
  • A report that the ALA Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), charged to "promote the mutual professional interests of librarians and other library workers", will convene for the first time in Atlanta.
  • A recent $700,000 grant from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage to the American Library Association will be administered by RUSA. The grant provides support for libraries to develop reading lists, publicity materials, and other information about home ownership for the public.

VII. Section Review (David Null).

The deadline for submitting our section review to RUSA Board is July 15 and while the report is nearly completed, we still need to add a few comments regarding virtual committee members. Pending their approval, we will likely disband the Fee-Based Reference Service Committee and several members have already accepted other appointments. The Services to Adults Committee charge may be revised. Null will add a brief mention to the report regarding a recent proposal to create a resource sharing section within RUSA. Null will also draft a few additional paragraphs for the report and distribute it to the Executive Committee in the next few weeks.

VIII. RUSA Organizational Task Force (Emilie Smart).

Smart reported that the Task Force was charged with developing recommendations on any needed changes in RUSA organizational structure that will result in an organization that meets the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s reference/user services library staff. Their discussions were conducted via email and conference call during spring and early summer 2002. The Task Force considered a number of intriguing options, including suggestions for separate sections dedicated to frontline reference, management of reference, instruction, and resource sharing. Upon reviewing all MARS and MOUSS committee charges, Smart concluded that some sort of merger between the two sections could be a viable alternative to separate “frontline” and “management” reference sections. In addition, Hollerich provided some background information about a proposal she submitted to the Task Force regarding the possibility of creating a new resource sharing section. Smart distributed a brief list of the committees and discussion groups that she thought could be formed in a newly-reconstituted reference section as well as a few which could be transferred into a new resource sharing section. She also attended a PLA conference to see why public librarians might prefer it over RUSA and found that most public library reference librarians do much more than reference and therefore get more out of PLA because it offers programs on circulation issues, children’s services, etc. A number of other people echoed Smart’s observations and agreed that public librarians don’t seem to identify with the existing RUSA sections. Arthur wondered how we might get more front-line and public reference librarians interested in MOUSS. A number of people expressed interest in meeting with members of both the Organizational Task Force and MARS Executive Committee. Shonrock reported that we would hold an open, facilitated discussion on the future of MOUSS at the Midwinter conference in Philadelphia.

IX. Other Business.

None. Meeting adjourned at 11:55 a.m.