Message from the Chair

Hello all Reference Services Section members!

Although RSS officially participated virtually in the recent ALA Midwinter 2011, there was a great deal of real RSS activity and there are many people to thank. I especially want to recognize the efforts of two committees in particular. The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee and the Service Achievement Award Committee are both brand new committees this year and each had the challenge of creating a process from scratch for how they would accomplish their work. Please take a moment to read the report below from Sarah Hammill regarding the three discussions that took place in San Diego, and the report from Lori Thornton regarding the process to select the first recipient of the RSS Service Achievement Award. In addition to the Discussion Forums, RSS also organized its (first?) Midwinter RSS Pancake Breakfast with twenty-two people participating in San Diego.

The RSS Executive Committee and RSS Board held an official “Midwinter Meeting” online on January 21. The draft minutes have been posted by RSS Secretary Marjorie Schreiber Lear and can be found at On February 9 the Executive Committees of RSS and MARS also held their regular joint meeting, this time online.

Please make sure to vote in the ALA elections! In March you should receive an email with instructions for accessing the ballot. RSS members will be voting on proposed changes to our RSS Bylaws, which you can see in advance at The proposed changes include the creation of a RSS Archivist, the removal of the standing Discussion Groups (now replaced by the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee), the allowance to meet virtually along with a face-to-face meeting at ALA Annual, and documentation of processes that are now current practice. On the RSS ballot you will also be selecting between two candidates for RSS Vice Chair/Incoming Chair and a two candidates for RSS Member at Large.

Registration is now open for ALA Annual 2011 in New Orleans and RSS will be offering a full line up of excellent programs, discussions, meetings, and two Friday preconferences. Highlights include:

●     Saturday, June 25, 8:00 – 10:00 am: RSS Open House and All Committee Meeting

●     Saturday, June 25, 1:30 – 3:30 pm: Marketing Reference on a Dime [The RUSA President’s Program]

●     Sunday, June 26, 1:30 – 3:30 pm: Reference Research Forum

●     Sunday, June 26, 4:00 – 5:30 pm: Using Today’s Numbers to Plan Tomorrow’s Services: Effective User Services Assessment [Program]

●     Monday, June 27, 8:00 am: 10:00 am – Behind the Text: Pulling Back the Curtain on Virtual Reference (MARS/RSS) [Program]

Thank you to all of the RSS members who contribute to making RSS the premier volunteer organization focused on the interests of frontline librarians, information specialists, and library support staff who are engaged in all aspects of reference and information services!

Joe Thompson

RSS Chair 2010–2011