2005 Midwinter Meeting Minutes

2005 Midwinter Meeting Minutes



Barbara Mann, Chair, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM

Minutes from meeting at ALA Annual Meeting approved.

Main item of discussion was the RUSA RSS Guidelines for Measuring and Assessing Reference Proposal. Presentation to RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee will be on Sunday and members needed to brainstorm on anticipated reaction and how to respond to them.

Susan Ware, RSS Guidelines Project Co-Chair, Discussed history of the project, progress so far, and the proposed guidelines document.

Ms. Ware went over origins of project. Represents three years of work.

Discussed results of reference survey.

Discussed impact of new technologies on reference work.

Need for a revised definition of reference transaction.

Need for new look at performance standards.

Realization of need for guidelines

Discussion points:

Latest guidelines draft:

Committee members speculated about feedback from RUSA. What kinds of questions they might ask

Main points of draft:

Results of the statistical survey pointed up need to set performance goals.

Gives libraries a place to start in the process of collecting statistics.

Report is a bibliographic essay.

Feedback form:

Members went over what kinds of information did RUSA and the Guidelines Committee want from the form?

What is RUSA going to do with the information?

Members agreed on the need for a statement on why we need guidelines and a revised definition of the reference transaction.

How will the guidelines affect libraries?

Members agreed that guidelines should not be applied rigidly or uniformly.

Provides libraries with assessment tools they can use to measure service and performance.

Should be left to individual libraries to decide how to use guidelines.

Literature on definitions of reference. Original bibliography compiled by Lanell Rabner and Suzanne Lorimer.

Chair Mann reported that she is still investigating publication of the Ref. Def bibliography. Reference and User Services Quarterly seems to be the best venue for publication.

Judy Solberg and Walter Bell reported on literature updates. They will continue to look for articles on new definitions of reference and report back to the committee.

Members agreed that the document should be given widest exposure on relevant listserves.

Chair Mann asked for further discussion at the Sunday meeting.


Walter F. Bell

Lamar University

Revised Barb Mann