Message from the Chair


Amy Rustic, Editor

Hola, Everyone!

I am honored and humbled to chair the section that focuses on frontline reference issues! As the chair of the Reference Services Section, I look forward to working with each and every one of you to continue the great work the former leaders of this section have started.

Speaking of former leaders, I have big shoes to follow (and Liane, it doesn’t matter if they are only a size 5!). Many, many thanks go to Liane Taylor, outgoing chair of RSS. I can go on and on about Liane’s work but it is really evident in all aspects of RSS and many facets of RUSA; if something has become more efficient or effective, you can bet Liane was behind it!

In interests of space, I will focus on just two things that Liane has done to ensure that our section is streamlined, efficient, and effective. Liane is responsible for the detailed Chair Orientation Manual. She added a calendar that has been instrumental in helping the section to document and record the sections history. It includes setting goals for each committee, which ensures that the section continues to be viable and applicable to individuals involved in frontline reference.    Furthermore, she saw the need for an RSS Archivist. You will see Cindy Levine, the RSS Archivist, listed as a co-chair of your committee; she is not a co-chair but is quietly working behind the scenes to make sure that the section stays organized. She has created categories within ALA Connect for each committee to record minutes, goals, current activities, and rosters.

I would be remiss without mentioning the leadership of Joe Thompson. Let me mention one of his many contributions (and there are many!) to the section. Through his leadership as chair of Organization and Planning he was the mastermind in making a fundamental, and I would argue fun, change to the RSS Annual Open House. At the Open House in Anaheim we debuted a trivia contest. It was through Joe’s thoughtful deliberation that the trivia contest was a success and included awesome prizes! We will miss Joe but rest assured he is still involved in RSS as a member of the new Young Adult Reference Services (YARS) Committee, a committee he was instrumental in creating.

So, you might be wondering what you can expect from me. First, I would like to welcome Ann Brown as the RSS Chair Elect. I look forward to working with Ann who is sharp, considerate, collegial, and fun; I believe we will make a great team!

Regarding RSS this year, I would like to focus on our members and what they have done for the section. We already have the RSS Service Achievement Award which honors a member for either a sustained contribution towards attaining the goals of RSS or a single significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section. Furthermore, you can become a prestigious member of the RSS Honor Roll. If you have served RSS in three or more different capacities, let the RSS Recognition Committee know! See for the current members of this esteemed list!

More recently, we have published the RSS Members Publication List. Please let us know what you have published by filling out the form here. This is a way to showcase the activities of RSS Members and it also serves as a resource for you!

Finally, modeling after ACRL’s Member of the Week, I would like to implement RSS Member of the Quarter. This will coincide with the RSS Review and will feature a short interview with an RSS Member. Stay tuned via RSS-L for more information.

To conclude, I look forward to the year ahead and getting to know each of you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me ( with questions or ideas on how to improve the section. If I don’t know the answers, I have a great team (which includes all of you) to ask!

Keep in Touch,

Sarah J. Hammill
RSS Chair