RUSA History Section Executive Committee Annual MeetingOrlando 2004 Minutes

Annual 2004, Orlando
Annual 2004, Orlando

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Rosen Plaza Hotel, Salon 2

Phoebe Janes, Bill Buckner, Carole Callard, Ruth Carr, Nancy Eckerman, Nancy Godleski, David Lincove, Susan Malbin, Mary Mannix, Michael Mulholland (guest), Jim Niessen, Ann Reinert, Joe Straw


The History Section dinner will be at Ming Court, Sunday night at 6pm.
History Section will be a cosponsor of the Women's Studies Section, Association of College & Research Libraries program – “Telling Our Stories Now: Women Archives in the Digital Age”.
Phoebe announced that unfortunately Lou is not attending the Orlando Conference due to surgery. He will be missed.

There is a mistake on the agenda. Jim Niessen will be chairing the 2005 History Section Nominating Committee. Tom Kemp chaired last year’s nominating committee.


Bill Buckner reported that the Genealogy Committee’s program, “Day of the Dead/All Soul’s Dead: Honoring Families Past and Present Through Cultural Programming and Genealogy”, was on-track. He showed samples of the genealogy committee speaker’s handout. The speaker is George Ryskamp, Director, Center for Family History and Genealogy, Brigham Young University. The handout is posted on George’s website. It is a good handout and includes a nice bibliography. The speakers from Informa – Ana Elba Pavon, Children Services Manager, San Francisco Public Library and Oralia Garza de Cortes, Parent Education Specialist, Boyle Heights Learning Center will be giving a PowerPoint presentation. They will cover what the Day of Dead is and how to use the celebration to draw people into your library, in particular Hispanics. How to use the Day of the Dead for programming, with both children and young adults, will be discussed. The program will then segue into genealogy, the connection being how the graveyard connects to family history, in other words “what about those ancestors”. George also has a PowerPoint. The ladies from Informa will speak for 1 hour and 15 minutes, George an hour. It will be a three-hour program. Bill will do the introduction, in reverse order, with George first. The president of Informa will introduce their speakers. Bill does not want to butcher anyone’s name. The program will be in the Peabody Room, Orlando Ballroom 3, go downstairs and it will be all the way to the right. Bill wishes the room was bigger. The program will be from 8:30 – 11:30 am. According to RUSA, they need to have a greeter at the door, but this does not seem critical.

Genealogy Committee Dinner will be at Café Tu Tu Tango, which is up International Drive.

At their meeting Genealogy Committee will receive two product demos.

Phoebe asked if the Genealogy & Local History Discussion Group meets at both Annual and Midwinter. Tom Kemp is retiring from the chairship of this group. Jim Niessen is retiring from the History Librarians Group. Lou will be looking for individuals to fill these positions.

Carla told Bill that History Section could have two programs at a conference. There are presently four committees, each rotating the program planning. The Genealogy Committee will have a basic program every two years, if anyone wants to do an extra program. Bill had thought it was only one program per meeting. Phoebe was not aware of this, but if Carla stated it must be true.

Carla will be unable to attend the conference because of medical reasons but she is doing well.

Jim will represent H-Net at the ACRL-SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) forum at 4 o’clock today. The forum’s topic is open access in the humanities.

RUSA History Section is also cosponsoring the program “Improving Online Access to Original Materials: Current Research”. Included in the discussion will be an illustration of how MRI equipment has been used to read Babylonian scrolls that cannot be unrolled. 1:30 in Renaissance. This program is also being cosponsored by the AASLH\SAA\MAA Committee.

Many people can go to sections and divisions to cosponsor. Phoebe stated that we are doing that. Another example at this conference is the “People of Ararat: In Search of Our Armenian Roots” program on Sunday, 4-5:30 pm. This group, ALLIC, walked into the Genealogy Committee meeting at Midwinter and asked them to cosponsor. No money is involved in cosponsoring. It is a good thing to do.


At the preconference yesterday, there were 50 people in the room. The speakers were good, the program was very successful. As Phoebe pointed out this is a big money maker. Lunch was sponsored by ProQuest. Next year there will be a preconference at both Midwinter (New England Roots) and in Chicago. Due to the fact that Boston is such a significant area for genealogy it seemed a natural. Hopefully it will be held at the New England Genealogical Society. Michael Mulholland is working on the Chicago 2005 preconference. He knows Chicago well. They are hoping to get into the Newberry Library with the assistance of Jack Simpson, curator for local and family history at the Newberry, and one of the planned speakers. They have spoken with their public affairs and events planner to get the options. There are details to work out. Peter Bunce of the Great Lakes Branch of the National Archives is a planned speaker. The third speaker will be James Hansen from Wisconsin. The theme will be Midwest Genealogy Hospitality.

Phoebe pointed out the general success of the genealogy preconferences and we cannot pass up having one in Boston, although there is generally not one at Midwinter. Susan emphasized that there are so many people in general reference rooms that have to handle genealogy queries. More training we can offer these people the better.

The big announcement at Preconference was that Proquest and Ancestry are joining. Gale, who distributed the library version of Ancestry, did not go into genealogy that much, the way that Proquest does. Proquest will be the distributor.


Instruction and Research will be sponsoring the program next summer. The program request has been submitted. The RUSA board will evaluate it. David asked how he would hear from RUSA. Phoebe stated that is the liaison’s job to report back, Agnes will be reporting. She will have more to say on Tuesday. The Committee will be meeting right after the Award Presentation following the Presidents Program.


Ruth Carr reported that in the ALA spring election, of the four candidates up for director at large, one of the two people elected was Carla, the History Section candidate.


Jeanette Pierce and Janice Schultz are committee members; the committee will be meeting to develop a short list, to contact over the summer, ending with a slate by fall.


Jim had a question about the Organization Committee. The new chair had emailed the members of the committee that they were suppose to have reviewed two sections, including history, but they did not. Jim asked if History Section has heard anything and Phoebe stated that we had not. She understood that it would be next year in 2005. The incoming chair will be contacted; it is understood, by Ann that members of executive committee will be appointed to review committees they are not on. Jim will be reporting on Tuesday.

Susan Malbin will be attending the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee on Sunday; they will be reviewing Guidelines for Establishing Local History Collections. The local history committee is working on the preservation guidelines; genealogy committee has passed these guidelines on to local history committee’s sole care.

Phoebe reports that the Professional Development Committee will continue. They will be meeting Sunday at 4:30 pm. There has been a great deal of ambiguity about the purpose of the Committee and the leadership of the Committee.


Nancy reported that History Section staffing of the RUSA booth -- 1-2 Jim Niessen, 2-4 Nancy Eckerman, 3-4 David Lincove, and Nancy, herself, 4-5.

Tuesday, June 29, 2005


Orlando Convention Center, Room 221E

Phoebe Janes, Bill Buckner, Nancy Godleski, Michael Kirley, Cindy Krolikowski, David Lincove, Susan Malbin, Mary Mannix, Jim Niessen, Ann Reinert, Drew Smith, Joe Straw, Agnes Widder

Phoebe stated that we were waiting for Agnes to arrive so that we could move to pass the minutes from Toronto. Susan asked how many people needed to vote on the minutes. Phoebe asked Nancy if she knew how many members were needed. Phoebe pointed out that there were four of the eight members of the executive committee present. Nancy stated that we needed 2/3 of the Board. Phoebe pointed out that there would not be enough executive members in attendance – Lou is out, Nancy Eckerman has already left, Teresa M. has not been to a meeting, and Rebecca is also not here. In response to Ann’s inquiries about the others in attendance, Phoebe pointed out that everyone else was representing a committee; the executive board has to vote on the minutes. It was asked if we could do it over e-mail, since committees are now allowed to have e-mail members such voting should be allowed. Phoebe stated that it would be done via e-mail. Nancy clarified that the yea or nay message would need to go directly to Phoebe. Executive Committee members will be receiving an e-mail message to approve the Toronto and San Diego minutes.


BRASS is developing a promo video on why to join ALA. People have signed up to be interviewed, such as Nancy Huling, for brief 30-second spots. It is moving along. They have hired a video firm. The video will be used to take to library schools and to be used online.

Membership Committee has asked, because of a number of members who register late or who do not register, along with interested exhibitors who do not have access to the web planner, for divisions to post their meetings on their webpages. Committees should not rely on the event planner. A no brainer request.

RUSA membership as a whole has gone up -- .79%

We may have heard of RUSA’s Ambassadors. Hopefully, RUSA members will visit library schools and other local organizations that will be training librarian students. There will be a little script, a sample script, which you can use, it can be catered to one’s own style, but it includes things to cover, what RUSA can do for you, etc. The Committee has been working on the script. Phoebe asked if the ambassadors were self-selected. Nancy said yes. Phoebe clarified that it is a volunteer program. It is moving along pretty quickly and should be in place in the next year. Nancy stated again that one would not read every word in the script. Susan stated that she and Mary Louise were at PLA and that PLA does not have a clue that there is a History Section, BRASS, or RUSA and they are all public librarians. Could RUSA take a tabletop or could RUSA Membership put in to have a table talk at PLA about the Sections? PLA meets every other year separate from ALA. Phoebe stated that the public librarians in RUSA should take the initiative here; it would help if we could get public librarians on the Membership Committee. Public librarians who see the necessity of belonging to RUSA and who attend PLA, they could be ambassadors. RUSA would probably support setting-up a booth. Susan asked how to go about doing this, would one go to membership committee? Nancy stated it would probably go through the Membership Committee and then an initiative would be taken from even higher up. Nancy replied that directions would be coming out on the ambassador program, an announcement that the scripts are available, looking for volunteers and recommendations of places where they should be a representative. Phoebe expressed that this is concrete progress for the Membership Committee.

History Section will have the responsibility for the RUSA booth every Sunday from 1-5pm Phoebe mentioned that we actually did it this time. Nancy stated there was bit of a mix up this year, but it worked out. Phoebe stated that Membership would be asking for volunteers every meeting.

Susan and Phoebe discussed how it could be touchy for RUSA to send representatives to other conferences, because of this; a central RUSA committee should make the determination on how to proceed. Mary brought up the issue of state associations, which, at least in her part of the world, are 75% public librarians. Phoebe agreed and mentioned that when she was on Membership that came up regularly, although it never went anywhere. What is needed is a member or someone in each state who is willing to serve as a representative. The organization needs to set up a mechanism to accomplish this and has not been able to, although the committee is making progress. Phoebe feels the same way about ACRL, that there are history librarians in ACRL who are not familiar with the RUSA History Section. Ann asked if it would be possible to combine memberships. Phoebe pointed out that that is the problem, people don’t want to put the money out to belong to two. Drew asked about some type of discount, Nancy pointed out that that has come up in discussion but nothing has ever progressed. Phoebe pointed out that new librarians when they join ALA feel that they need to commit to one division. Jim mentioned that there has been talk of a dues change that might include a flat rate or have it graduated according to salary. The other idea that has come up is not to charge for divisions, which has monetary implications. Phoebe is happy that this is being thought of. She believes the major problem is that people do not want to pay for more than one division because it is too expensive, and then they are locked into just thinking about the one division. She was in ACRL for ten years before she discovered the History Section.
Susan is worried about the “stuff”, the material that is being cared for by public librarians that do not know how to proceed. Mary agreed that they are dangerous. Phoebe pointed out that that might not be the approach that we want to take.


The Committee met Sunday 1-2pm. David’s proposal was fine but they reduced the budget for the program at Chicago by $750 because they do not pay for equipment. The Committee was pleased that the program did not overlap with other related programs. The Committee is juggling time spots, using an intricate chart that includes title, any co-sponsors, proposed time, budget Agnes has learned a lot from this process. For example, every section in RUSA can have two conference programs. We are planning one and will be cosponsoring one with AASLH. This will be based on a document put out by the Colorado digitization people and it will be on what to do once a grant has run out -- business plans for digitization programs. To cover the equipment costs ALA must be listed as the main sponsor, so Agnes was suddenly listed as the chair for a program she has nothing to do with.

David’s program will be Saturday 10:30-12. There are other RUSA programs at that time, but they do not deal with instruction. Phoebe wanted David to know that there will be a lot of competition at that time. David asked what else would be offered then. Agnes listed something on reference and chat (virtual reference) and other reference programs. She did not bring the sheet with her that would supply greater detail. Phoebe asked if Agnes has a composite view of how many programs RUSA has sponsored. Agnes responded that there were plenty; most divisions have two and then there is the President’s Program. Eileen Hardy of RUSA will be in touch with David, and other chairs of programs, for such things as a reminder to get handout request in by the first week of June. Handouts can be delivered to the meeting room or have them sent to you. Eileen will also be distributing reminders about program fliers, av equipment again, and he will get an online request form to confirm needs.

The committee noted the history and genealogy preconference. There will also be a legal research preconference in Boston and the Midwest genealogy preconference at Annual. They were very excited about the funding received from LexisNexis.

The Meetings Committee will be getting a revised copy of the chart and, if we were interested, Agnes could distribute it to us all. Phoebe encouraged her to send a copy to David. Phoebe will send it to the History Section Plus distribution list. Agnes will send it to Phoebe who will see that it is distributed.

Introductions were made, especially for the benefit of Drew Smith, in coming vice chair.


The Publications Committee met on Sunday and had a report from the RUSQ editors. There are still signs of life, manuscript flow is significantly up. They have received 31 new manuscripts and the journal is filled through next summer. They plan is to do a theme issue on digital archives for Fall 2005, will have more on that later. They talked about the plans to put the journal online. There is some concern although the subscriber base is steady, but there is no growth. They are thinking about ways to advertise. There are still concerns, but the doomsday talk is stopping. They did not cut pagination and have stopped talking about it; again, they are pleased with manuscript flow. Phoebe stated they had previously talked about outreach to get broader subject articles.

The term of the Update Editor, Suzanne Sweeney, is over. They will be looking for a new editor; there will be a search for an editor, with probably interviewing done at Midwinter. Phoebe asked if that was a paid position. Joe was not sure; he thinks it is volunteer, but not sure. It is an excellent way to get web experience. Next Update will include a call for interest. Phoebe also asked if one needs to be a RUSA member. Joe thinks that they do, but will confirm with Suzanne.

Michael brought up the distribution of Update. He had asked a variety of people, who responded that they were not getting the email version. There is no longer a print version. Phoebe pointed out that she believes one must go to the ALA website and sign on as a member to get it. Joe gets it as an email. Nancy stated that one gets an e-mail with a link. Phoebe summarized that some people seem to get it as a link, others do not. Phoebe asked Joe to pass along that many people are getting nothing.

Bill Buckner reports that vendors are complaining that the RUSA list they got was garbage. He asked if anyone checks it. Perhaps that is the problem with the Update distribution. Phoebe stated that this is a membership question and asked both Membership and Publications to contact their chairs about the situation. Someone should be responsible for the accuracy. Phoebe will also ask Cathleen. Phoebe asked Bill to clarify what he means by garbage. Bill stated that one vendor sent out a flier to the whole list, 300 plus in the list had no contact information. He sent them all first class and got a large stack returned. Phoebe believes that there is a place called Membership Services Office in RUSA and that is the hub of all these lists. Jim Niesssen mentioned that there have been discussions about membership rosters with fragmentary information; they are the result of privacy issues. Some members have asked for privacy about their information, not only for advertisers, but also from RUSA and ALA administration. Nominating Committees often get fragmentary information. Phoebe mentioned that maybe they give a different list to vendors. She stated that it is hard for her to complain when all she has is anecdotal information; her complaints are not taken seriously.

Web policy guideline subcommittee has drafted a proposal for guidelines that was reviewed by the RUSA Executive Committee and RUSA Board. They got feedback from these sources and from the Publications Committee and now will be working on writing a more polished version. Joe clarifies that this is for the individuals section. Phoebe stated that the proposal was approved and commended at the Executive Board. Phoebe stated that Joe is understating the amount of work. It was a huge document that Joe crafted with several other people. It was really, really good. Although we have had websites, there have been no guidelines. Guidelines are now crafted, they will be amended a little bit, tweaked, and then will go on the website. Phoebe will alert our webmaster, Rebecca, to this. Joe stated that it would be a living document. It is general enough that it can change as webmasters change and technology changes. Phoebe stated that it is very philosophical. Joe clarified that it was written with broad strokes, a basic guide for webmasters, basic information about what they need to put up. Phoebe finds it curious that we have had a website for several years but that this came up as an urgent need. Phoebe asked what the genesis of the committee was? Was it the problem RUSA had last year? Joe clarifies that actually, the creation of the subcommittee was approved in Atlanta 2002, and one of its initial charges was to look at basic web policies for the division, not in response to the situation last Summer. It was not in response to that situation but was in the pipeline before that. Joe became chair in Spring of 2003. The original draft did not include a section on challenges to content. They had to go back to add rules about accuracy. RUSA was thinking before problem arose. Joe had basically done all the drafting since Midwinter based on the committee’s discussion and the feedback that they got back. Phoebe proclaimed that Joe‘s work is a real contribution to the organization, the board was “knocked out” by the intensity, scrutiny, and clarity that Joe brought to the issue. Phoebe asked Joe to let Lou know once it is revised, so that everyone can be aware of it. It will probably not be completed before next Midwinter.

RUSQ will be looking for manuscript submissions for a special issue on Digital Image Archives. Acceptable papers will include evaluation studies, user services, information retrieval, property rights, and technical processes in libraries and archives. Manuscripts should comply with normal RUSQ guidelines. Submission deadline is February 15, 2005. The issue will come out in Fall 05, it will be volume 45, number 1. Susan asks for write-ups of present projects or research design. Joe believes that all would be acceptable; he believes that the subject will be interpreted broadly. Phoebe stated that it is very helpful for us to know what upcoming issue subjects and themes will be. Danny Wallace and Connie Van Fleet,, are the contacts. Joe will distribute the call for proposals at Agnes’s request; Jim recommended posting it to H-Net announcements.


Michael announced that the award ceremony was yesterday. Sam Boldrick was this year’s winner. At the same time, Sam was presented with an unexpected secondary award by a representative of the Association of Caribbean University, Research, and Institutional Libraries. It gave him further recognition for having received the GPC Award. Essentially, it was an award for getting an award. Phoebe stated that Sam gave a wonderful, gracious, very heart-felt acceptance award, which included a great plug for the History Section. Sam mentioned that all history is local; genealogy is the most local of all. Mary Mannix is incoming chair, as the remaining committee member. Phoebe pointed out that we were not the last award given; we were towards the end, but not the last.


Tom Kemp is retiring from the position of chair of the Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group. Phoebe is sorry that he is not in attendance so that she could thank him for his many years of service. Drew Smith reported that Curt Wichter?, in response to a call for interest, will be taking on the role. Phoebe asked if this group meets at both Midwinter and Annual and is there a predetermined discussion subject? Drew reported that usually the chair invites a couple of presenters. Bill further explained that Tom has said that over time the meeting had evolved into a tour, followed by demos, with discussion afterwards relating to demo or other issue. It recently migrated to just demos.

Phoebe has asked what can be done in terms of advertising this group. Phoebe asked abut genealogy discussion groups. Drew runs Genealib, with over 800 subscribers, and the Discussion Group information certainly gets out to all of them. Phoebe pointed out that discussion groups could make the History Section visible; they can also be recruitment tools. Again, as Susan has said, there are a lot of public librarians out there; Phoebe wants to make sure they are aware of what History Section is doing at ALA.

Bill pointed out that the first issue of Cognotes had a nice article about RUSA discussion groups, but the History Section’s groups were omitted. This information might have been emailed but then disregarded. Cognotes are not a strong communication tool. Phoebe pointed out that Cognotes is a can of worms. There are complaints about how things are represented. She had to write a letter once in response to something and did not receive the response she had been looking for. Phoebe would be happy to pursue writing the author of the article in question. Bill pointed out that the article appeared in issue four. Jim Niessen pointed out that History Librarians Discussion Group does not meet at Annual and there might have been a standard email asking people to report about the group’s meeting at Annual. He might have deleted it, not knowing it was actually for general information. Bill pointed out that the writers might not have been aware that the Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group is its own animal separate from the Genealogy Committee, thus causing confusion There was some discussion about the importance of Cognotes. Jim pointed out that it seems mysterious what meetings are reported on; Phoebe pointed out that the articles are dependent on the interests of the reporters; Jim proposed perhaps a committee running a program could give a heads-up to Cognotes.

Bill Buckner announced that two preconference, for Boston and Chicago, have been approved. There were some technical problems with the genealogy program on Sunday. He stressed the importance of confirming the technology needs for meetings and knowing the various hotel setups. The requirements do differ from hotel to hotel. The technology firm that ALA has hired can be contacted for this type of information; they know the various hotel set-ups. Bill believes the firm used in Orlando will be the same one in Chicago. Different groups have different levels of expertise. Bill is passing the contact information for this group to Drew.

The Committee was scheduled to meet for two hours on Saturday, 2-4pm and they ran over. Sixteen members are rolling off, with 27 members at this time. There are 8 new members, 7 second term members, 12 continuing members, and of that group, there will be 2 virtual members. Lou will cut off application volunteer forms at end of summer.

The Genealogy Committee will have the History Section program again in 2008; they are set to provide a basic genealogy program in 2006. Planning is going on for Midwinter 2005; they discussed what they would like that program to focus on. They thought the target audience for the program would be either new genealogy reference librarians or librarians in small libraries. The focus would be on basic genealogy with everyone very interested in the referral process. A librarian in a small collection should be aware of national referrals – National Archives, Family History Centers.

Drew Smith is the incoming chair and Donna ?? will be the new secretary. Bill thanked various member of the committee for their work -- Drew Smith of Standards and Guidelines Committee, Carole Callard for Preconference Planning, Tom Kemp for his guidance, and Janice Schultz for being secretary. They have appointed a new committee officer, who will be Mary ??. She will serve as a reporter, for example, to report to RUSQ. Bill and Drew had talked about ways to get other members of the committee involved, such as having someone in charge of the genealogy dinner and someone in charge of public relations. Hopefully Drew will find someone for those positions and get them involved. Bill had also given a brief update on the ALA’s communication initiatives. They had been waiting for RUSA to develop forum-ware software, but it has not materialized. Donovan told him that the idea is going to be taken to the whole ALA and individual sections can communicate via chat. This will answer the questions about virtual memberships.

Tom Eduland is working on Guidelines for Editors of Historical and Genealogical Bulletins and Family Newsletters and submitted a draft. The draft will be submitted to the Local History Committee and FGS for comments. We will then incorporate their comments into the guidelines.

The Guidelines for Developing Beginning Genealogical Collections has been renamed -- Guidelines for Developing a Core Genealogy Collection and Providing Basic Genealogy Services. The committee is a third of the way through the review and will continue in January. It will be sent out to Genealib for comments.

Bill reported that the program went really well and is already available on tape. The speakers were very happy with the program. There was not a not large audience – 26 to 30 people. You can tell that everyone did a lot of work for the program. Phoebe pointed out that it was a wonderful, wonderful, engaging program. She thanked Bill for doing a wonderful job. It was fascinating, unfortunately, it was not well attended, but thankfully, it was in the Peabody, not a smaller hotel further away where attendance would have been worse. Drew has found out that there was a scheduling issue opposite the Reforma board meeting, probably 75? (7 to 5?) people tied up with that. Most attendees were genealogy related people. Phoebe was pleased by the fact that Reforma speakers were writing down everything the genealogy speaker was saying and came up to Bill afterwards pitching ideas for future programs. It was a wonderful partnership; Phoebe believed we converted Reforma with this program and that it was good that we cosponsored. Bill believes that before the program the speakers did not quite get “it”, until they actually saw the other speakers present. Phoebe stressed that it linked beautifully. It was linked in Bill’s mind before the program, but the Reforma people were not so sure. The genealogist was a brilliant presenter and linked it right into ancestor worship.

Preconference went well. Bill does not have final numbers yet, but there were about 45 paid registrants, with over 50 people in attendance. There was a big announcement. Proquest announced to the group , even before sending out a formal press release, that they would be distributing Ancestry. The two rivals in genealogy are going together. Gale is giving up the distribution rights. Proquest is renaming the database Ancestry Library Edition, effective August 30. Drew clarified that Gale will be honoring existing contracts. Any new contracts will be through ProQuest and people subscribing to both products will get a substantial discount. My Family still owns their product; Proquest will simply be distributing it. Several years back Proquest bought Heritage Quest. My Family will not change their name and will still be marketing their product directly to individuals. There was some discussion whether or not this was a good thing, whether or not discounts will come to pass and last.

Although the preconference did go very well there were some technological problems at the beginning. The preconference planning committee met on Saturday. Two wonderful programs are in place. At Midwinter they are going to do a program in Boston. It will include two speakers from the New England Historical and Genealogical Society . That conference is pretty much planned.

The online genealogy course was discussed, but it is understood from Mary that there have been some developments that will probably make all this moot. It had been talked about at Midwinter and a committee was going to solicit for authors. Bill thought there might be some legal issues surrounding a committee soliciting for something where people would get paid money and thought that it should go through ALA. The committee agreed that they needed to meet with RUSA to see where this should be going. Budget issues were discussed, how to advertise, and how to give credit\certificate of completion. A taskforce will look into this.

Paul Smart, our representative to the IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) Genealogy and Local History Section reported on the last conference, held in August in Berlin. Four papers have been posted on the IFLA website at It was clarified that the IFLA site is in English. The Section’s theme was Cooperation among Archives, Libraries and Museums. The attendees also toured the Centre for Berlin Studies. IFLA’s next meeting will be August 22nd - 27th 2004, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The theme is Resources for Immigrant History: Their Origins, Lives and Contributions.

The committee is planning to have two 15 minutes slots at each meeting on new products. At this meeting Heritage Quest brought new information on Persi. Don Gillette, MMT Corporation, presented information on Clio, which provides 500 out of print county histories on a hard drive.

The Taskforce on the Genealogy Publishing Industry will be looking into a review list of books. There seems to be a lot of interest about this among the Committee. Michelle McNabb is heading up this new committee.

Tom Kemp is working on a list of people to be named honorary counselors – Martha Henderson, Priscilla Ciccariello, Carolyn Leopold Michaels, and Ottilia Koel. This process will allow the committee to recognize these individuals for their years of service while drawing upon their wisdom. Tom announced that the Godfrey Library has established a new Filby award and a lifetime achievement award with a prize of $5000. Tom Kemp was recognized for chairing the discussion group.

A member of the Committee has asked if the RUSA award ceremony could be on Sunday, not Monday. Phoebe explained that it is always associated with the President’s program, essentially providing a captive audience.

Bill had attempted to go to the RUSA Conference Coordinating Committee Meeting, whose time had been changed. It met Sunday 1-2, he had been told it was to meet on Monday, 8-11. The information in the program was conflicting. He went to the ALA Office to confirm, but they too had the Monday hours. The time had been changed because the Committee chair, Carla, was not able to attend. Bill could not find anyone at the RUSA Office to help him confirm this. If there is a change in conference committee time, the rep should make people more aware. Agnes believes that whoever is in her position should make the chair of whatever committee who has programs at the meeting aware of changes in meeting time. She apologized. Bill mentioned that there were similar problems in Toronto. Phoebe agreed and emphasized that there was not a chain of command to be followed in such situations. All sorts of programs were cancelled and people were not aware. Bill and Phoebe agreed that this sort of information should come up at the Saturday meeting. One purpose of the Saturday meeting is to troubleshoot the conference. Any changes that might impact people should be announced on Saturday. Nancy stated that we all should be at the Saturday meeting if possible. Phoebe agreed that it was to make sure the conference is covered. Ann reemphasized that if you cannot be at a meeting one should let chair know; it was just common courtesy. Phoebe stated that she encouraged people to not attend if they had nothing to report.

New business presented by Drew Smith. The Genealogy S&G Subcommittee has presented to the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee Guidelines for a Unit or Course of Instruction in Genealogical Research at Schools of Library and Information Science. The RUSA Committee accepted these guidelines at Midwinter, with the understanding that they would seek feedback from the community, which they did. They incorporated the feedback at this conference and went back to RUSA Standards and Guidelines. They asked what they are to do now. The RUSA Board instructed them to email to 3 specific individuals and provided Drew with their contact information. In addition, the guidelines should now go to the History Executive Board for approval. Phoebe moved that we approve the guidelines and commend Drew for his work. Phoebe reminded us that the comments that came out of the RUSA Board commended Drew for his work and emphasized the “brilliant wording”. Phoebe reminded Drew to inform the RUSA Board that we have approved the guidelines and let us move forward.


The Local History Committee met yesterday and discussed at great length the Guidelines for Establishing Local History Collections that Susan had presented to the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee the day before. She thanked Cyndi very much for getting her through the guideline approvals; she was very helpful. The Committee made editorial and substantive changes. She passed them all on to the incoming chair, Janice Schultz, who will present the revised second draft at Midwinter; then we will post to all individuals on the committee and the committee’s listserv, before going to Standards and Guidelines. They will be e-mailed to Cyndi, who will e-mail to the Chair. Janice has all the appropriate e-mails, four in all. The sooner we get the new local history guidelines out there the more stuff will be saved.

The Local History and Genealogy Preservation Guidelines Subcommittee presented the first draft of the Guidelines for Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of Local History and Local Genealogical Material. Everyone took a copy with them and will post comments to the listserv. Janice will discuss them at Midwinter. The Mid-Continent group did a great job – Ann, Janice, Mary Celeste, and Mary. Ann commented that they put a lot of work into them. Susan agreed that they really did.

There had been some discussion at the Committee’s Midwinter meeting that there was no discussion at our meeting. We would like to extend the meeting to 2 hours, with a reserved half hour of discussion for topics of general interest in local history. Susan asked how to go about doing this. Does Susan fill out the meeting room request? Janice designates the room need, whoever is getting the room designates for how long they want the space. Bill reminded the group that Genealogy has extended their meetings. The meeting in Boston will be in some cool venue, such as the Athenaeum, like the Masonic tour in Philadelphia. Susan thanked us all and stated that she enjoyed being chair. Phoebe replied that Susan has been a wonderful chair.


Written report submitted:

“The committee will be reviewed at the Midwinter meeting and questions were distributed and discussed in anticipation of the review. The other major discussion topic related to the Draft Resolution on Creation of an ALA Task Force to look into the uses of Personal information by Library Boards or Friends of Libraries. We agreed that legal issues must be reviewed as well as ALA guidelines. We will advise the RUSA board to propose an amendment broadening the scope of the resolution to include exploration of
Federal/State laws and legal implications both from the Association and government. (Note: this resolution was withdrawn before it reached Council, so this was not brought before the RUSA Board.)"

Also discussed at this time was the upcoming History Section review. Phoebe stated that she does not want to be overly anxious but we will need to get ducks in a row. Ann stated that normally appointments from within History Section review other History Section Committees. Agnes wanted clarification if all of the History Section will be reviewed. Phoebe went over the questions: Is committee aware of its stated purpose?, etc. In addition, questions for individual committee members � do you feel that this committee is serving a useful purpose?, if so describe your reasons, would you recommend changes or recommend that the committee be discontinued?, etc.

There was some discussion by members who had previously worked on a History Section review. Essentially, the reviewers just watched what went on in committee, i.e. were all people who were supposed to be there present.


Ann reported that the budget is doing what it does this time of year. There has been a change in the budget with the addition of the Walgreen’s education grant. They are still choosing which ALA unit will administer it, with a variety of units working on it. It is temporarily in RUSA’s budget. Membership revenue is flat, although the business plan called for an increase in revenue. This included revenue from five preconferences at Annual, one Midwinter, and a web ce course. RUSA membership is declining and dues revenue is no longer sufficient; this may be used as a justification to raise dues.

There is an ending reserve of $264,712, we keep what comes with membership to run RUSA for ½ year or 40%. It costs approximately $200,000 to run RUSA for half a year. The endowment lost $9,044. Ann is questioning who is investing and what they are investing in. Ann is going to find out how to get a report of the endowment. Nancy asked if they were getting “old” information, because it takes some time for the information to become public. RUSA is, of course, a part of ALA and we would want to support them, but Ann is concerned about the money’s investment.

Jim asked if the 1996 dues increase has done anything. Susan pointed out that if they raise dues people must feel that they are getting something back, perhaps some type of cooperative membership with another division, for example look at what Proquest will be doing; it is a business model. Nancy pointed out that ALA always shoots this concept down. Jim pointed out that he believes the “members only” content of the website was supposed to serve this purpose. Many people agreed that this has not been impressive.

Drew asked what the major expenditures were. Phoebe pointed out that other divisions have comparable or lower fees. Their expenses must be similar, so how do they afford it; do they have more members? Jim pointed out that many of them, such ACRL, which has a lower member free, but brings in money. Ann mentioned that there was some discussion of RUSQ becoming an e-journal to lower production costs, but the problem is that it is not the mailing that is the major expense, but the paste-up. Again the question was raised what is the value of RUSQ? If we don’t have it, what do you get for membership.

Bill asked if there might be some way to develop an alternate type of membership, a membership for people who don’t go to conference. Nancy pointed out that it is the conference registration fee that supports the conferences. Michael pointed out that the majority of members do not attend conference and that would greatly decrease the revenue. Phoebe brought up the fact that belonging to an organization is not simply about attending meetings but about being a member of the organization.

Ann stated that it looks to her like an increase of $5-10 won't make any difference. By Midwinter, we will know if we have a $20,000 deficit. Phoebe asked how many people could live without RUSQ. If that journal died it would be a lot of money saved. Drew calculated that $50,000 would be saved. In the 2004 fiscal year budget it was a little over $53,384, the only thing more expensive was administration at $156,000. Eighty percent of the budget is administration and RUSQ. The only thing that would be cut which would make a difference is RUSQ. Perhaps make it a subscription journal or an e-journal. Drew asked if $50,000 is spent just on mailing and printing, is there any paid staff? Susan pointed out that we do need a peer-reviewed journal, perhaps it would be useful to go to once a year. It is well thought of, even if its readership is limited, and it adds value to the division.


The Primary Sources website, “Using Primary Sources on the Web”, is continuing to go strong; there is now a link from the AHA website for history teachers. The website is on the server at University of Washington. The first quarter it received 3,160 hits and 19,600 views. Phoebe pointed out that that was phenomenal. The committee should pat themselves on the back. Secondary teachers belong to AHA. AHA/OAH are pushing programs to high school teachers.

The conference program at Annual will be “Primary Sources in the Electronic Age”. It will be an hour and a half long on Sunday morning. The program will focus on primary sources in all formats. Three speakers are planned. The first is an academic historian. They invited one person from Northwestern but they couldn’t commit and are waiting to hear from another. The committee’s goal is to get all papers nailed down by October 1.

The second speaker will be an academic librarian involved with library instruction in history. To locate this speaker they decided to do a call for papers. Theresa Murdock, the incoming chair will be heading this up. September 1st will be the deadline for review of abstracts. They will follow up with the finalists through telephone calls to see if they can speak. There is almost nothing written by librarians on the subject. They hope to be able to find a good librarian speaker.

The third speaker will be either a high school teacher or museum or historical society employee. Susan supplied David with Bill Barnett of the Field Museum as a contact. This is in process. Museums can be seen as a kind of classroom. They want to find a curator who can talk about the museum as a classroom. Michael mentioned someone at the Chicago Historical Society who does outreach with school groups to study the neighborhood in which they live. Phoebe emphasized that they have many good ideas. Phoebe also has a contact at Chicago Historical.

One committee member hopes to do an intensive search for a bibliography for a handout at the presentation. It will also be posted and updated on the website. They had earlier talked about compiling a bibliography of certain kinds of reference sources not available online. They are setting aside other projects for now to work on the conference program One member of the committee brought up the idea of having a poster session at the back of the program. Phoebe stated that they could always do that. They would like to extend the time of the program to two hours. The program was an hour and a half. They will need talk to Agnes about this or e-mail Carla.


Cindy stated that Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers was approved by the RUSA Board. Both Drew (Guidelines for a Unit or Course of Instruction in Genealogical Research at Schools of Library and Information Science) and Susan (Guidelines for Establishing Local History Collections) went before the committee and did an exemplary job of explaining what they wanted with their guidelines. Cindy was happy to have heard that the Genealogy Committee is beginning work on Guidelines for Developing Beginning Genealogical Collections. Cindy asked about the status of the Guidelines for Editors of Historical and Genealogical Bulletins and Family Newsletters, being worked on by Tom Edland. Drew reported that a draft was done. The Local History Committee is working on Guidelines for Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration of Local History and Local Genealogical Material. It was reported that there is a first draft done. Bill asked what the process for introducing new standards is. Does the RUSA committee need to approve the idea? It was responded that a section committee could simply do one and submit it. The RUSA committee does not have that much control.


As has been reported before, the Professional Development Committee has been a non-committee with no real charge for several years. We did meet, with ten people in attendance, a much more substantial attendance than ever before. The Committee has finally been given a charge -- “to provide leadership and coordinate development of RUSA programming apart from Midwinter and Annual Conferences”; RUSA sees a large part of that being the overseer of the development of web courses.

Mary learned of a very disturbing situation at the meeting. While the Genealogy Committee has been given the run around, from Tom Kemp’s days, about developing an online course and made to jump through a series of hoops, David Tyckoson was developing a basic reference course, which the Professional Development Committee knew nothing about until it was a done product. It made no sense to Mary why Genealogy was treated poorly and made to go through a long involved process and Tyckoson’s course was outside the process. Mary stated that she strongly expressed at the Professional Development Committee her concern with the way Genealogy Committee was treated. The reference course, which will be an online version of what he teaches anyway, has been ready to go for two years, and he has been working out the details of his contract, etc.. There is also an individual working on a copyright class. This course does not seem to be going anywhere yet. It would seem that when RUSA first approached Tom they must have approached three different individuals about three different courses that they thought would fly and be moneymakers. The process for each course seemed to each develop differently and no one told Bill what was going on in the broader context. The Professional Development Committee is either going to wait for people to come to us with ideas or go out to individuals.

What the Genealogy Committee needs to do is take to the Professional Development Committee names of individuals who would like to teach the online course. They do not need to go through a call for proposals, etc. The Genealogy Committee does not need to worry about the political details they have been concerning themselves with to date. The Professional Development Committee will give these names to RUSA and RUSA will contact the interested people. RUSA will then deal with the contract negotiations with the interested individual. Bill expressed concern about the lack of organization on the part of RUSA for this process and the lack of budget. He questioned what was the status of the proposal guidelines that he was made to adhere to. Mary pointed out that the Professional Development Committee has already approved the Genealogy Committee’s proposal; she also expressed a lack of understanding why the reference course did not have to go through the process for approval. Bill asked about the status of legal and copyright issues. Such issues, copyright and ownership, will be part of each instructor’s contract. Copyright was the reason that it took two years for Tyckoson to get his course up and running, he wanted to maintain copyright and RUSA did not want him to. Bill is concerned that RUSA is opening themselves up for legal action if there is not a more formal way to recruit instructors. Mary stated she believed it would be no different than paying someone to present at a conference; we are not dealing with very large sums of money. Each individual’s contract would also detail if they are just developing the course or if they will be teaching the course, who will own it, and the payments for each would be contract specific. There is now a very basic process, much tamer than what Bill went through. Phoebe pointed out that no doubt part of the problem has been that the Committee was in disrepair, without leadership or charge. In conclusion, the Professional Development Committee now has a charge. All the Genealogy Committee needs to do is give Mary a name or names of individuals interested in teaching the class. Bill put forward Drew; Drew stated that the Committee will take care of identifying people to do this.


We have a prioritized list of people to contact for each of the positions. Phoebe asked if they had a mix of public and academic and Jim responded in the positive. Jim stated that his committee members Jeanette Pierce and Janice Schultz are great.

Drew, since Lou was not in attendance, expressed appreciation to Phoebe for her work as chair. A round of applause followed.


Written report submitted:

“The RUSA Board of Director's accomplished the following at our meetings in Orlando. Approval of the preconferences and programs for the 2005 Annual conference. Approval of the "Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services" and the revisions to the "Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers. These guidelines will be posted on the RUSA website and published in RUSQ. Endorsed the resolution on the 40th Anniversary of the Library Services to an Aging Population. ALA Council will be asked to endorse the resolution. The new RUSA Section, RSS, will sponsor the following new committees: Publicity/Outreach Task Force, Education and Professional Development for Reference Librarians, Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services, and User Education and Literacy. In addition two new discussion groups are forming: Ethical and Legal Issues for Reference Services and Reference Services in Public Libraries. The discussion of a RUSA membership dues increase will take place at the Midwinter Board meetings.”

Submitted by

Mary K. Mannix

History Section Secretary

Final edit 2 June 2005