Reference Services Section RSS 2008 Annual Highlights Research and Statistics Committee

Name of Committee
Research and Statistics Committee

Name of Section

Anne Cooper Moore

Dates of Meeting
January 28, 2008 (Annual 2008 Anaheim)


Members present: Char Booth, Liane Luckman, Anne Moore, Heather Tunender, Ellen Safley, Girija Venkat, David Ward

Members absent: Betsy Hageman, Holly McCullough, Linda Shippert, Luke Vilelle, Hosea Tokwe (virtual)

Visitors: Jason Coleman

Objectives of committee for this conference year
1. Award the RUSA 15th Anniversary Reference Research Grant
2. Select presenters for the 14th Reference Research Forum
3. Conduct the 14th Reference Research Forum
4. Create the 2007 Reference Research Review

Summary of Meeting
Committee members participated in the RSS open house at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Meeting II was cancelled as business was completed during the first meeting.

Chair 2008-2009: Liane Luckman
Web representative: Char Booth
Committee membership changes for 2008-2009
Intern Linda Shippert will be replaced by Qiana Johnson
New member: Anita Ondrusek
Going off after Annual 2008: Janelle M. Hedstrom, Holly L. McCullough, Linda Shippert
Reappointed through 2010: Heather Tunender, Luke Vilelle

Preparations for the 2008 Reference Research Forum were finalized.

The RUSA 15th Anniversary Reference Research Grant will be announced at the 2008 REFERENCE RESEARCH FORUM:
Julie Gedeon, Carolyn Radcliff, and Barbara Schloman, Kent State University, “Building a Model of Excellent Reference Service Based on WOREP Data”
Abstract: The Wisconsin-Ohio Reference Evaluation Program (WOREP) evaluates in-person reference service by asking the reference staff member and the patron to each answer questions about the same reference transaction immediately at its conclusion. Data have been collected from more than 120 academic libraries since 1983, and individual institutions have received reports on their performance, but no analysis has been done on the overall dataset. Using these data, we will build a model of excellent reference service using multivariate regression analysis to identify variables that contribute strongly to prediction of excellent in-person reference service. After a statistical model is confirmed, we will validate the model by gathering further information from a sample of libraries by conducting in-depth interviews with staff and administrators. In-person, one-on-one services continue to be relevant and important to both academic librarians and users. Personal reference services can be resource intensive; therefore, it is essential that libraries understand how best to deploy these resources to maximize results. Support would allow us to hire a SAS programmer who could write code to extract data to provide more detailed data analyses. We would also use monies to cover costs associated with
interviewing library staff to validate our statistical model.

Questions: How will we give them the money? What is the role of the R&S Committee in overseeing the grant?

2009 REFERENCE RESEARCH FORUM process: The criteria for selection will remain the same as last year. Because of the grant, we will only select 2 winners. We decided to distribute the Call for Proposals 2009 as soon as possible after Annual 2008 rather than in the fall to provide more time for preparation of proposals and reminders. We will advertise on blogs (Char will initiate), as well as listservs, to increase visibility. A small group consisting of Liane Luckman?, Heather Tunender, Ellen Safely, and Girija Venkat agreed to spice up our normal announcement to make it more appealing. They will send a draft to the committee members by July 15, 2008 and the announcement will be advertised by the end of July. Reminders will be sent out in September, October, and after Thanksgiving.

Processing of the 2009 REFERENCE RESEARCH FORUM proposals will be conducted by the committee between the deadline of January 5, 2009, and the notification date of March 20, 2009, through an ALA Community to be set up by Liane Luckman after Annual 2008. The final selection of the two presentations will be made at the committee meetings at mid-winter 2009 in Chicago.

The REFERENCE RESEARCH REVIEW 2008 will be made available on the website and distributed more widely to blogs, listservs, etc. The same peer reviewed journals will be examined for articles as in the 2007 version, but the committee will have more precise definitions of “reference” and “research” to assist in selecting articles to annotate. The entire committee will advise on what articles/annotations will be included in the final version of the REFERENCE RESEARCH REVIEW 2008. Annotations will be limited to 75 words. Ellen Safley will remain the editor with the assistance of the intern. Liane will set up an ALA Community for the committee to use in preparing the REFERENCE RESEARCH REVIEW 2008.

The 2008 Reference Research Forum went smoothly with lower than expected attendance because of bus transportation and multiple conflicting programs. We had a minimum of 62 attendees who signed our attendance sheets in addition to the 15 committee members and presenters. The RUSA 15th Anniversary Reference Research grant was announced and Carolyn Radcliff was in attendance.

Evaluate the committee's effectiveness in accomplishing its objectives
Everyone participated thoroughly and the quality of our RR Forum and Review were outstanding.

What problems did you encounter?
Ellen Safley spent many hours editing the Reference Research Review; hence, we are providing additional guidance and structure for creating the 2008 RRR.
Need to market and distribute the RR Review more broadly.

List any recommendations you have for action by the RUSA Board of Directors
Continue the RUSA Reference Research Grant.
Assist with marketing RUSA programs sponsored by all sections.