Cooperative Collection Development (STARS/CODES)

What Does Cooperation in Libraries Mean? Tools and Pitfalls in Creating Successful Resource Sharing and Collections Agreements, a program sponsored by the STARS/CODES Cooperative Collection Development Committee, was held on Sunday, June 26th. The program was very successful, with fifty-seven in attendance. Presenters Lars Leon and Carol Kochan talked about the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) cooperative experience in resource sharing; Leslie Horner Button addressed cooperative collection building within the Boston Library Consortium and the Five Colleges; and Kristine Hammerstrand spoke about the (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) CARLI consortium experience.

At the Committee’s meeting at ALA, members brainstormed on possible ideas for a program at ALA in 2013. Ideas included:

  • Academic/Public libraries: cooperation and complementarities
  • Purchase on Demand
  • Acquisition/ILL department mergers
  • Purchasing cooperatives in public libraries
  • Statewide purchase programs (e-resources)
  • Distributed collections
  • ILL of e-books

The group also discussed developing the Committee’s website and increased use of ALA Connect.

Kathy Leigh and Yem Fong are concluding their service as Co-Chairs and committee members. Sydney Thompson has been appointed as the STARS Co-Chair for the coming year.

Kathryn Leigh, Outgoing Chair

Cooperative Remote Circulation (STARS/LLAMA-SASS)

The Committee hosted a panel discussion on consortial borrowing on Sunday, June 26th. Twenty-five attendees listened to speakers Randy Dykhuis (Midwest Collaborative for Library Services), Melissa Trevvett (Boston Library Consortium), and Peter Collins (BorrowDirect) discuss topics such as selecting a union catalog model vs. Z39.50 search, workflow efficiencies, communicating to patrons, and negotiating policies. Questions from attendees included loan period policies, how to choose a system, predicting and managing increased workload, and usability testing.

LLAMA SASS has approved a program for 2012 Annual; the focus will be something along the lines of “Sharing Our Collections: Future Trends.” A few program ideas were offered by people attending the panel: technology to create a single intelligent ILL request form that auto-routes the request to the appropriate service, getting library directors together to talk with each other about resource sharing/access policies, and managing membership in multiple consortial borrowing groups.

Kristina Eden, Outgoing Co-Chair

Education and Training Committee

The Committee will again sponsor the very popular workshop: “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL but Were Afraid to Ask” at the 2012 Midwinter Meeting at the Dallas Public Library. The speakers will be Megan Gaffney, Karen Janke, Cindy Kristof, and Collette Mak. OCLC will again provide refreshments, and Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS) will handle registration.

Four YouTube videos featuring ILL librarians discussing different aspect of ILL have been filmed, with more to come. These videos are aimed at informing library school students about the opportunities in interlibrary loan since our field is rarely discussed in library education. The first set of videos will be vetted by MLS students and then released to the public in the near future.

The Committee will review the Atlas Mentoring Award to set selection and mentoring guidelines.

Margaret Bean, Outgoing Chair

Hot Topics Discussion Group

There were thirty-eight people who attended the Hot Topics Discussion Group meeting on Saturday, June 25th. Next year’s Chair, Naomi Chow, from the University of Hawaii, Manoa (, was introduced. The group voted in the new Chair-Elect, Troy Christenson, from Florida Atlantic University (

The following topics were covered:

  • Using email only to send and receive ILL requests vs. using Ariel or Odyssey.
  • Getting It System Toolkit (GIST), an easy method for making purchasing/acquisition decisions and orders instead of borrowing on ILL.
  • ILL statistics – what data do you save and how is it used?
  • ILL books on self-help shelves: yes or no?
  • ILL requests for e-content, borrowing and lending, and the effect on resource sharing.
  • ILL lending or borrowing statistics down and why?
  • Using Kindles, iPads, etc. for ILL: Are any doing this and how?
  • Obtaining/purchasing online “pre-published” article requests.
  • Experience using OCLC Knowledge Base?
  • Handling multiple ship-to addresses with a single OCLC symbol

Julia Gustafson, Outgoing Chair

Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group

About sixty-five people attended the ILL Discussion Group on Saturday, June 25th. Gerrit van Dyk and Jared Howland from Brigham Young University presented on licensing and lending for e-resources, and the presentation was followed by general discussion on many different topics. Ryan Litsey from Texas Tech University was elected as the incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, and David Atkins has taken over as the ILL Discussion Group Chair for 2011-2012.

Megan Gaffney, Outgoing Chair

International Interlibrary Loan Committee

During its meeting at ALA Annual, the STARS International Interlibrary Loan Committee discussed plans for analyzing and presenting the data gathered in the survey it was conducting. The survey on international ILL, which closed on June 30th, was open to both U.S. and international libraries. Two Committee members, Heather Weltin and Tina Baich, submitted a paper proposal based on the survey for the Interlending & Document Lendins Serivces (ILDS) Conference to be held in Chicago in September. Plans for preparing the paper were discussed. Karen Janke provided an update on plans for the pre-conference social the Committee is hosting for the ILDS Conference. Marlayna Christensen completed her term as Chair of the Committee. Tina Baich will serve as the Chair for 2011-2012.

Tina Baich, Chair

Licensing and Legislation Committee

The Committee met at Annual on Saturday, June 25th. Topics discussed were:


  • The latest headlines and updates on licensing and legislation

Standardizing License Language

  • Why reinvent the wheel? Yale has created aLicensingStandardsWebsitewhich should be very useful for anyone looking to keep their license language standardized

Legislation Alert

○     There has already been an official response to theSTMStatementonResourceSharing practices by theAssociationofResearchLibraries (ARL) and theInternationalCoalitionofLibraryConsortia (ICOLC)

○     The group will draft a resolution and submit it to RUSA in support of the ARL response

Committee action items agreed upon include:

  • Continue to seek relevant news on legislation and post to ALA Connect
  • Create more of a presence for the Committee on ALA Connect
  • Stay in contact with the Vendor Relations Committee; talk to the vendors and ask them to attend the meeting to answer questions. Get input from the listserv about concerns and issues, obtain a report from the vendors, discuss within the Committee
  • Meet via teleconference more frequently
  • Keep constant vigilance over breaking news and post to the ALA Connect page

Joseph Sharpe, Chair

Membership Committee

The STARS Membership Committee met at ALA Annual as part of the STARS All Committee Meeting. The STARS welcome letter for new members has been sent to forty-three new members, and no responses have been received. The Committee decided changes were needed to the format and content of the letter. It was decided to shorten the letter, focusing on providing links to information posted on the STARS site. It was also decided to make the letter more personal by adding the names and contact information for all members of the Committee in the signature. The group also decided that a member of the Committee will send a follow-up email two weeks after the letter is sent, offering additional support and a personal contact in STARS.

The “5 Things a New Resource Sharing Librarian Should Know” were discussed and edited. The Committee is putting the final touches on content for what will soon be turned into a web page for new resource sharing librarians.

The Committee discussed initiating a mentoring program, matching a new STARS member with a mentor or “buddy.” The mentor would help the new member get involved in STARS, give them a contact person for questions, and provide a friendly face at STARS events come conference time.

Additional activities discussed were preliminary planning for a STARS Happy Hour for Anaheim in 2012, starting a recognition program for STARS members who make an extraordinary contribution, and a STARS “member of the month” initiative.

Nora Dethloff, Chair

Rethinking Resource Sharing Policies Committee

The Rethinking Resource Sharing Policies Committee developed a sixty-plus item checklist for libraries to use as a way to reflect on the resource sharing services they provide. The STAR Checklist was distributed beginning in February of 2011. A number of libraries have completed it and have qualified as Rethinking Resource Sharing STARS, including seventeen libraries belonging to the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. They are listed on the RethinkingResourceSharingwebsite and have received certificates noting their achievement. In addition, a number of libraries in Australia completed the Checklist this spring and summer, many of which also qualified as Rethinking Resource Sharing STARS.

At ALA Annual, the Committee continued working on the next phase of the STAR Checklist. This involves transforming the Checklist from a simple list of items to a dynamic resource. The idea is to link each Checklist item to a relevant definition, example, or other resource. Linking practitioners to such information will enable greater understanding of any concept, best practice, technology, or other item mentioned in the Checklist that a library may not be engaged in. To this end, the Checklist will become a toolkit. A process for moving forward with this was discussed, and the Committee hopes to have completed the process by the end of summer. In addition, the Committee decided to begin offering STAR recognition for different levels of activity with Checklist items. Where before a library needed to be engaged in 80% or more of the items on the Checklist, the Committee is offering STAR recognition to libraries that are engaged in 60% or more, who will be awarded one star, 70% or more—two stars, 80% or more—three stars, and 90% or more—four stars.

The Committee also discussed its role in helping libraries that do not qualify as STARS or that are interested in learning more about how to engage in services, best practices, and other items noted on the Checklist. Committee members are committed to working with libraries that participate in the Checklist and are willing to offer advice and guidance in order to help libraries improve their resource sharing services.

Evan Simpson, Chair

Vendor Relations Committee

The Vendor Relations Committee has worked with Tony Melvyn of OCLC to have them supply lists for collection development: Top Serials and Books Loaned. The committee received these lists in late January and with OCLC’s permission has published them onunder the title OCLCsMostRequestedListsfor 2009-2010. We hope to receive periodic updates to these lists as well as a “most-unfilled” list.

Committee members are also reaching out to pertinent vendors such as OCLC, Atlas, Relais, etc. to engage them as participants in our meetings. We hope to have some of them in attendance at the Committee’s Midwinter meeting.

Becky Ringwelski, Chair

2011 RUSA Award Winners

Congratulations 2011 RUSA Award Winners!

This year’s RUSA achievement award winners were celebrated at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception in New Orleans. Photos from the event are available via ALA’s Flickr account. It was a lively event with delicious hors d’oeuvres and Mardi Gras beads aplenty. In addition to offering a hearty congratulations to this year’s winners, we’d like to say thank you to the sponsoring organizations that make these awards possible, and also to the committees who spent hours reviewing candidates and selecting the winners.

STARS/Atlas Systems Mentoring Award
Awarded to one library practitioner who is new to the field of interlibrary loan/document delivery or electronic reserves this is a need-based cash award of $1,000 for travel expenses to attend the ALA annual conference.

Micquel Little
Committee: Collette G. Mak (Chair), Charles William Gee, Mary Hollerich, Karen L. Janke

BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award
$1,000 monetary prize awarded to fund travel to and attendance at the Annual Conference to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master’s degree program. The award also includes a one-year membership in the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA.

Danielle Salomon
Committee: Doreen J. Harwood (Chair), Carol L. Anderson, Naomi E. Hafter, Garrett Trott, Eve M. Wider

BRASS Emerald Research Grant Awards
Two grants of $5,000 each awarded to support to conduct research in business librarianship.

Diane K. Campbell & Ronald G. Cook
Peter Jacso

Committee: Todd M. Hines (Chair), Louise M. Feldmann, Greg Fleming

John Sessions Award (labor)
In recognition of a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and, by doing so, has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Supported by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO.

Russell Library, Business & Career Programs
Committee:  Jannie R. Cobb (Chair), Yossi Gremillion, Susan Hurst

MARS My Favorite Martian Award
Awarded annually in recognition of excellence in service to MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section.

Linda S. Keiter
Committee: Kimberley N. Vassiliadis (Chair), Stephanie J. Graves, Shannon D. Jones, M. Kathleen Kern

RSS Achievement Award
Awarded annually to a Reference Services Section (RSS) member in recognition of exceptional contributions to the section.

Susan A. Ware
Committee: XXX


Recognition of Reference & User Services Quarterly Reviewers

The reviewing of reference books and professional materials is an important professional contribution.  We are pleased to honor the following individuals who have made considerable contributions to the “Sources” section of Reference & User Services Quarterly.

The following reviewers of reference books reached a reviewing milestone.  With their contributions to volume 50, they have each written at least 10 reviews for Reference & User Services Quarterly since volume 40.

Evan M. Davis, Librarian, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Suzanne Larsen, Interim Associate Director for Public Services, University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries, Boulder, Colorado

Bernadette A. Lear, Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian, Penn State Harrisburg Library, Middletown, Pennsylvania

We recognize the following reviewers of professional materials for their notable contributions:

Larry Cooperman, Adjunct Librarian, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida

Sarah Hart, Information Services Librarian, Children’s Services, Brampton Library, Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Katy Herrick, Children’s Librarian, Dallas Public Library, Dallas, Texas

Mike Matthews, Head of Serials, Media & Interlibrary Loan Services, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Natchitoches, Louisiana

Margie Ruppel, Reference Librarian, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho

Jenny Foster Stenis, Coordinator, Children’s Services, Pioneer Library System, Norman, Oklahoma

Rachel Vacek, Head of Web Services, University of Houston Libraries, Houston, Texas

Melanie Wachsmann, Reference/Teen Librarian, Lone Star College Cy Fair Branch, Cypress, Texas

Lisa Powell Williams, Adult Services Coordinator, Moline Public Library, Moline, Illinois


Reference Service Press Award
Recognizes the most outstanding article published in RUSQ during the preceding two-volume year.

Jenny S. Bossaller, Denice Adkins and Kim Michelle Thompson

for “Describing Vernacular Literacy Practices to Enhance Understanding of Community Information Needs: A Case Study with Practical Implications” (RUSQ 49:1, Fall 2009)
Committee: Robert H. Kieft (Chair), Kay A. Cassell, Dr. Sara M. Rofosky Marcus

Dartmouth Medal
This medal honors the creation of a reference work or resource of outstanding quality and significance.

Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion and the online Berg Fashion Library (Oxford University Press)
Committee: Barbara M. Bibel (Chair), Drew F. Alfgren, Christina S. McGowan, Theresa Mudrock, Jack O’Gorman, Teresa Portilla Omidsalar, Jason A. Reuscher, David A. Tyckoson, Sarah Barbara Watstein

Sophie Brody Medal
Awarded to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature.

Judith Shulevitz, The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time (Random House)

Honorable Mention: Eshkol Nevo, Homesick (Dalkey Archive)
Committee: Carol Gladstein (Chair), Jack Forman, Asia Gross, Andrea Kempf, Edward Kownslar, Ellen Loughran, Kaite Mediatore Stover, Katharine Phenix, Miriam Tuliao

Zora Neale Hurston Award
Awarded to an ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature. Sponsored by HarperCollins.

Theresa Venable
Committee: Cynthia Crosser (Chair), Amy Harmon

Louis Shores Award
A citation that recognizes excellence in book and other media reviewing for libraries.

Bill Ott
Committee: Megan M. McArdle (Chair), Christine E. King, Kaite Mediatore Stover, Corrine C. Syster

Genealogical Publishing Company/History Section Award
Citation and $1,500 cash awarded to a librarian or library in recognition of their professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research.

Mary K. Mannix
Committee: David A. Lincove (Chair), Brooke A. Becker, William D. Buckner, Jennifer Daugherty, Mr. Thomas Jay Kemp

Gale Cengage Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship
Citation and $3,000 cash awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business librarianship.

Nicolette Warisse Sosulski
Committee: Penny L. Scott (Chair), Bobray J. Bordelon, Jr., Irwin D. Faye, Penny L. Scott, Susan Shultz

Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award
Awards $1,000 in travel funds for ALA’s Annual Conference to a public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and who requires financial assistance to attend the conference.

Suzanne J. Kaller
Committee: Patricia E. Kenly (Chair), Pinar Arcan, Naomi E. Hafter

Gale Cengage Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services
Citation and $3,000 monetary award presented to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons’ reference needs.

Government and Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina
for NCPedia

Committee: Michael Levine-Clark (Chair), Larayne J. Dallas, Michael Levine-Clark, Carol Lynn Schuetz, Kathy Tomajko

Virginia Boucher Distinguished ILL Librarian Award
Citation and $2000 award recognizing a librarian for outstanding professional achievement, leadership, and contributions to interlibrary loan and document delivery. Sponsored by OCLC.

Edwin F.  Rivenburgh
Committee:  Amy Rebecca Paulus (Chair), Barbara B. Coopey, Robin Moskal, Amy Rebecca Paulus, Cherie’ L. Weible, Martha Cheatham Yancey

Margaret Monroe Award
Citation presented to a librarian who has made significant contributions to library adult services.

Joyce Saricks
Committee: Allan Martin Kleiman (Chair), Shelley Quezada, Loriene Roy

Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award
$5,000 and a citation awarded to an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship. Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning.

Diane Zabel
Committee: Charles B. Thurston (Chair), Julia M. Gelfand, Joanne M. McIntyre, Charles B. Thurston, David A. Tyckoson, Eve M. Wider


Our awards are made possible with generous support from the following sponsoring organizations.

Atlas Systems

Gale Cengage Learning

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO

Reference Service Press


Genealogical Publishing Company



President’s Note

Hello, all. One thing that I have discovered during my year as president of RUSA is how quickly the time passes. As I am writing this, April is winding down, and before long, Annual will be here, and I will be turning over the gavel (and the responsibilities) to Gary White. It has been a productive year in RUSA, and I know that under Gary’s leadership RUSA will continue to move forward in serving its members and promoting the work of public service librarians in all types of libraries.

As always, RUSA is well-represented in the programming at ALA Annual Conference. There are four preconferences sponsored by RUSA sections—BRASS, MARS, RSS, and History. CODES is putting on its annual Literary Tastes Breakfast. There is the RUSA Awards program where we recognize outstanding practitioners in our division. RUSA sections are also putting on an additional thirteen programs covering topics from marketing reference to Ill to readers’ advisory to developing information services. The program choices reflect not only the needs of the profession but also the wide range of interests and knowledge that RUSA members can share with our colleagues. All of these programs offer opportunities for librarians, RUSA members and non-members alike, to develop and expand their skills. They are also a great opportunity for current RUSA members to encourage friends and colleagues to join RUSA. So bring a co-worker along to one of the many RUSA section offerings and see if they would be interested in being part of the great work that RUSA members do.

Over the course of the 2011-12 year, RUSA will be developing its new three-year strategic plan. This plan will help to guide the division and the sections as we move ahead. There will be a variety of opportunities for RUSA members to participate in the process. The RUSA member survey that we conducted at the end of April will give us valuable input in the planning process. I have also set up a taskforce with representation from each of the RUSA sections that is charged with drafting recommendations for structural changes that RUSA can implement that can help to: 1) Increase membership; 2) Better meet member needs and interests; 3) Facilitate member participation; and 4) Make the best use of RUSA committee and board meeting time. This taskforce will build off of the excellent work done by the RUSA Electronic Participation Taskforce. These recommendations will come to the Board at Midwinter 2012 for use in developing the RUSA strategic plan for 2012-15.

In closing, I would like to thank RUSA Past-President, Susan Beck, RUSA Vice-President/President Elect, Gary White, RUSA Councilor, Kathleen Kern, and RUSA Secretary, Theresa Mudrock for their support and their excellent work on the RUSA Executive Committee. I would also like to thank all the members of the RUSA Board whose commitment to making RUSA work for its members is evident in all that they do. I would add my thanks to the RUSA committee chairs, and the RUSA section boards for supporting RUSA members needs. And a thanks as well to all RUSA members for their passionate interest in user services. Finally, RUSA would not be able to function without the work done by our Executive Director, Susan Hornung, and the RUSA staff, Marketing Specialist, Liz Markel and Web Services Manager, Andrea Hill. I am grateful to all three for their work behind the scenes to keep RUSA running smoothly. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as RUSA President, and I thank all of you for the opportunity.

Barry Trott
RUSA President

A Message from the Executive Director

Dear RUSA Members:

The annual conference is beckoning with some spectacular programming and preconferences from RUSA that are described in this issue of RUSA Update. All the programming looks terrific, but I do want to make special mention of our Literary Tastes Breakfast, co-sponsored by RUSA and CODES. This is an honored RUSA tradition and beloved event for book lovers and reference librarians, in particular. This year, the authors,Guy Gavriel Kay, Judith Shulevitz, and Nathaniel Philbrick, are the speakers. Their books debuted to great reviews and are well-deserving as top selections of the committees for The Reading List, the Sophie Brody Award, and Notable Books, respectively. I know you’ll enjoy these engaging authors as they speak about their works and the craft of writing, so I hope to see you at this wonderful event.  The event takes place Sunday, June 26, 8-10a.m., at the Royal Sonesta, 300 Bourbon St., Grand Ballroom. Tickets may be purchased here.  Also, please check out our new site for Literary Tastes. Here you’ll find all the news about the Breakfast and other RUSA book award events, links to resources for book lovers like Goodreads (a quick way to find our literary awards lists and add them to your to-be-read list), and much more as we continue to develop this site and add new information.

I hope you all received the message sent recently to all current RUSA members about the 2011 RUSA member satisfaction survey. The survey closed the week of May 16 and preliminary reports are currently being prepared from the data collected. I am very happy to report that overall satisfaction came in at 7.18 out of 10 for RUSA – please see the graphic below. We will be releasing more information as it becomes available and analyzing the feedback from members for ways to improve our services and benefits to all RUSA members. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who responded; it’s clear that, although the state of the economy is causing unprecedented stress to libraries and librarians, we have a very loyal and caring membership with marvelous ideas about moving RUSA forward as the premier association for reference staff. Thank you for your input and keep the great ideas coming!

Have a wonderful time in New Orleans; if you can’t make it this year, I hope to see you in Anaheim in 2012!

Susan Hornung

Executive Director, RUSA

RUSA Member Satisfaction
Overall Average
April/May 2011


What’s New With RUSA Guidelines? From the Standards and Guidelines Committee – 4/26/2011

RUSA’s newest guidelines document, “Resource-Sharing Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters,” made its official appearance in the Winter 2010 Reference & User Services Quarterly (v.50, no.2, p.197). It is also posted as a PDF on the RUSA Web pages under “RUSA Guidelines.” The STARS Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee produced this title and kept it on track along the path to approval.

Expected soon are new guidelines from the History Section’s Instruction and Research Services Committee. These are guidelines for providing research and information resources to undergraduate students of history. Reports indicate good progress with the committee’s work. On the revision front, members of the RSS Management of Reference Committee have been working hard to review the “Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Providers.” We expect that a draft will soon go out for public comment.

A potential project would be collaborative. The “Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements” is an ALCTS product—not recently revised—with obvious appeal to CODES members.

The Standards and Guidelines Committee has some challenges. For example, two guidelines linger without proper revision. “Guidelines for Information Services” and “Guidelines for Medical, Legal and Business Responses at General Reference Desks” are the two aging guidelines. We hope that solutions will be found for the problems encountered during the attempts to get them on the right path.

For more information, please contact Larayne Dallas (, Chair of the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee.


Literary Tastes Breakfast: Amazing author lineup is complete!

Sunday, June 26, 8:00-10:00 am; Royal Sonesta, Grand Ballroom

The final author lineup for the 2011 Literary Tastes is set! We’re rolling out the red carpet for three noteworthy and award-winning authors, and invite you to join us for breakfast while these amazing writers speak about their work and the craft of writing.

The 2011 lineup:

  1. Judith Shulevitz, author of the 2011 Sophie Brody Medal-winning title The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time.
  2. Nathaniel Philbrick, Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times best-selling author of 2011 Notable Book The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of Little Bighorn, Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea.
  3. Guy Gavriel Kay, author of 2011 Reading List Fantasy winner Under Heaven.

Registration for the breakfast and conference is now available at the 2011 Annual Conference website. The breakfast is a ticketed event sponsored by the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES). Conference participants can add the breakfast to their registration by locating it on the list of ticketed events in the online registration form (Event Code: RUS2) located at Tickets are $55 for RUSA members, ALA student members and ALA retired members. Non-members pay $60. You do not have to register for conference in order to attend this event!

RUSA’s 2011 ticketed events include:

  1. The Genealogy Reference Desk: How to Make it Big and Easy. Friday, June 24, 2011, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm; hosted by RUSA History Section (HS). Event Code: RUS3.
  2. Strange Bedfellows: IT and Reference Collaborations to Enhance User Experiences. Friday, June 24, 2011, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; hosted by RUSA MARS and RUSA RSS. Event Code: RUS4.
  3. Business Reference 101: Core Competencies for Business Librarianship. Friday, June 24, 2011 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; hosted by RUSA BRASS. Event Code: RUS1.

Instructions on how to register can be found on 2011 ALA Annual Conference Site.

RUSA’s New Orleans Program Line-up Now Set!

The 2011 RUSA conference programs in New Orleans promise to be outstanding! Submissions this year represented a wide range of topics ranging from Libraries Fight Back! to The Business of Social Media: How to Plunder the Treasure Trove. Visit the RUSA Programs page to see detailed descriptions of all these exciting sessions.

Don’t Miss These Special Events

RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception.

Sunday, June 26, 2011, 5:00 – 6:30 pm; Monteleone, Grand Ballroom (Twitter hashtag: #rusaawards)

Join the division as we celebrate the most outstanding achievements of our colleagues in reference and user services.

RUSA Section Social and Networking Events

Friday and Saturday, throughout New Orleans (Twitter hashtag: #iloverusa)

Keep an eye on the RUSA website and RUSA blog, and follow us on Twitter (@ala_rusa) to learn more about various formal and informal gatherings of RUSA’s special interest sections. Many of these events take place on Friday and Saturday, and offer opportunities for serious networking and/or informal chatting with colleagues from around the country.

Message from the BRASS Chair

Dear BRASS Members,

The 2011 Annual ALA Conference in New Orleans in just around the corner from June 23-28. It’s not too early (or too early!) to start planning to attend.

Check the BRASSwebsite for the latest BRASS news and conference information.

BRASS has many exciting programs and activities planned for this conference. Whether you are new to business librarianship or a veteran, BRASS has something to offer. Meet other business colleagues, network and learn. All of this and Cajun food, too! This will be too good to miss!

I look forward to seeing you in NOLA!


Mark E Andersen, BRASS Chair, 2010-2011

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee

The committee’s main business at ALA Annual in New Orleans will be selecting a topic for the BRASS Forum at the 2012 annual meeting. We’d love to hear from BRASS members who have suggestions for topics they would like to see presented. This is your chance to let us know the kinds of programs which would best fill your professional development needs. Suggestions can be emailed in advance to the committee chair or presented at the meeting in person. We look forward to hearing from you and putting together some great ideas for next year.

Lydia LaFaro, Chair

BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee

We are pleased to say that our committee has planned a wonderful program for ALA Annual. The Small Business Financing forum will be led by a panel of experts including representatives from the Louisiana Small Business Administration and local financial institutions. They will cover different kinds of financing available to small businesses around the country. The committee will also have two new Public Libraries Briefcase published by the end of the year.

Elizabeth Malafi, Chair

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee

The committee is pleased to offer Start Me Up: Information Mining for Entrepreneurs, a publisher’s forum to be held Sunday, June 26 at ALA Annual Conference. Representatives from BizMiner, Business Decision Academic, ReferenceUSA, and SimplyMap will discuss how their products can be used by entrepreneurs to mine information to use in starting their businesses.

Nathan Rupp, Chair

BRASS Conference Program Planning Committee

One of the most highly anticipated programs at Annual is the BRASS program which will take place Monday, June 27 from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. This year Mark Andersen, BRASS chair, leads the BRASS program: The Business of Social Media: How to Plunder the Treasure Trove!

Presenters include Scott Brown, the owner of the Social Information Group and popular workshop leader for SLA’s recent webinars on using social media; Laurie Bridges, librarian at Oregon State University who has spoken and written extensively on the use of social media; and Stephen Abram, a leading technology commentator. Presenters will demonstrate how business can successfully target social networking applications and how librarians can better position their reference services and collections to assist business users with this exciting new medium.

What better way to advertise this program and share information about this program on Facebook? Visit the BRASS NOLA Business of Social Media Facebook page and join the conversation. And if this program interests you, please "like" it. Tell your friends and colleagues, too.

Breakfast, which is graciously provided by Standard & Poor’s, will begin at 8:00 am with actual program starting with introductions beginning at 8:30 am.

The hard working members of the 2011 Program Planning Committee are:

Mark Andersen, BRASS Chair
Anthony B. Lin
Betsy Clementson
Ed Hahn
Jason Dewland
Julia Martin
Laura B. Carscaddon
Mary K VanUllen
Paul Brothers
Ann Fiegen, BRASS program chair

Ann Fiegen, 2010-2011 Chair

BRASS Discussion Group Committee

Does your library use Facebook, instant messaging, or Twitter? These are just some of the types of new communication channels that libraries are using to reach and serve their patrons. Please join the Business Reference Discussion Group at ALA Annual for New Media at the Reference Desk, a discussion on new media and how it is affecting the reference desk. The discussion will take place on Sunday, June 26, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. A brief membership meeting will precede the discussion.

Edward Hahn, 2010-2011 Chair

BRASS Education Committee

The RUSA-BRASS Education Committee cordially invites you to attend the pre-conference Business Reference 101: Core Competencies for Business Librarianship. The pre-conference will be held on Friday, June 24, 2011, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Morian Convention Center, Room 343, during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Business Reference 101 provides an overview of business resources and collection development techniques in business and related topics. The pre-conference is designed for beginning business librarians, generalists who have assumed responsibility as business librarians, or any academic, public, or special librarian interested in the field of business reference.

Presenters are Rhonda Kleiman, Economic Development Manager at the Library System of Lancaster,and Bobray Bordelon, Economics & Finance Librarian/Data Services Librarian at Princeton University.

Advance registration for this preconference runs until May 13, 2011. Get some of your colleagues together and take advantage of group pricing. For more information including registration and pricing, please visit the RUSA registration page.

The BRASS Education Committee mission is to study and review the educational needs of business reference librarians and other librarians involved in providing business reference services; to explore and encourage the development of curriculum and continuing education programs in the area; to sponsor educational activities in the area; and to promote communication between the profession and library educators. In order to fulfill our mission, our committee offers preconferences (Business 101, MBA in a Day), Business Research LibGuides (Best of the Best Business Web Sites and Selected Core Competencies for Business Reference), and other activities. For more information about our committee, please visit our ALA Connect page.

Leticia Camacho, Chair

BRASS Emerald Research Award Committee

The BRASS Emerald Research Awards are two $5,000 cash awards, sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing, for ALA members seeking support in conducting research in business librarianship. The 2011 recipients of the award are:

  1. Peter Jasco, University of Hawaii
  2. Diane K. Campbell, Rider University Library and Ronald G. Cook, Rider University

Todd Hines, 2010-2011 Chair

BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship Committee

Congratulations to Nicolette Warisse Sosulski, business librarian at the Portage District Library in Portage, Michigan, who has been chosen as this year’s winner of the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship.

Sosulski was chosen by our committee because of her demonstrated commitment to excellence in business librarianship. She has done everything from create programs on finance and job hunting for patrons, to instructing library science students on business research, to serving as the chair of the Michigan Library Association’s Economic Development Community of Practice, and more. She serves a diverse group of people at her library, and has worked hard to meet a vast array of patron needs, including job hunters in a horrendous economy, small business concerns, youth financial education, and fellow business librarian training.

Time and again her warmth, energy, enthusiasm, and dedication were noted by her nominators. She has been described as being “at the heart of the business librarian community in Michigan,” Sosulski is a stellar example of what a business librarian can be. To read more about Sosulski, please see the full press release on the RUSA blog.

Penny Scott, 2010-2011 Chair

BRASS Gale Cengage Student Travel Award Committee

The BRASS Gale Cengage Student Travel Award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, is a $1,000 cash award and a one-year membership in the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA. The award is given to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master’s degree program to attend the ALA Annual Conference. The applicant should have demonstrated interest in a career as a business reference librarian.

The committee is pleased to announce the 2011 award recipient: Danielle Salomon, a GSLIS student at UCLA. Congratulations, Danielle!

Doreen Harwood, 2010-2011 Chair

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee

Suzanne Kaller is the 2011 recipient of the BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award. The award, sponsored by Morningstar, offers $1,000 in travel funds to ALA’s Annual Conference. Ms. Kaller is a Business Librarian for the Arapahoe Library District in Centennial, Colorado. She has an MBA and MLIS from the University of Denver, and a BA in Economics from Queens College City University of New York. She was instrumental in the formation of the Business Services Interest Group of the Colorado Association of Libraries, and is actively involved in four local Chamber of Commerce organizations. One of her colleagues said it best: “Suzanne is an outstanding example of how a business librarian can help local businesses (and our economy) to grow during these tough economic times”.

Congratulations, Suzanne!

Patricia Kenly, 2010-2011 Chair

BRASS Publications and Communications Committee

The BRASS Publications Committee is pleased to have developed a handy Master Schedule of BRASS events for the upcoming annual conference. Download or print your copy now at the main ALA RUSA BRASS page. We hope it helps you to enjoy a more “BRASStastic” conference!

In other news, we continue to work on keeping BRASS Web pages fresh and up to date. Hyun-duck Chung, our trusty BRASS webmistress, has incorporated dynamic content into the BRASS Events & News page to keep members up to date on BRASS and RUSA goings-on.

The Publications and Communications Committee will hold their annual meeting at conference on Saturday, June 25, 2011, from 4:00 – 5:30 pm in the Regal Suite of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Interested in our committee? Come join us!

We look forward to seeing everyone at conference!

Carol Smith, 2010-2011 chair

CODES is now on Facebook!

Check out CODES on Facebook for up-to-date information about upcoming events and programs. Get recent news, post notices on the wall, find new colleagues and reconnect with old ones. Visit and "like" CODES’ new Facebook page.

You can post information news about CODES programs, committees, and other activities by writing on CODES’ wall. You can also submit information, questions, or comments to the page’s administrator Daniel Mack either via Facebook message, or by email to

Website renovation
The Chair of the CODES Communication Committee, Vicki Bloom and Andrea Hill, the newly hired webmaster for RUSA, have made revisions to the CODES web site. Check it out!
Call for new members
The CODES Collection Development Planning and Assessment Committee is looking for new members to join our merry band! We’re in the midst of some exciting program planning on e-book assessment for 2012, and we would love to add your expertise! The current co-chairs are Christopher Platt with the New York Public Library and Serin Anderson with the University of Washington Tacoma Library. If you are interested, please contact either of us directly by email.

Christopher Platt and Serin Anderson, Co-chairs

ALA Programs

Literary Tastes Breakfast
Sunday, June 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am; Royal Sonesta, Grand Ballroom

Come celebrate the best reading of the year and have breakfast with Guy Gavriel Kay (winner of The Reading List best Fantasy Novel of the year), Nathaniel Philbrick (a Notable Book List winner for The Last Stand), and Judith Shulevitz (winner of the Sophie Brody award). Following breakfast the authors will sign their books and talk with audience members. Information on tickets and registration can be found on RUSAs events page.

What we Learn from Our Readers, A Conversation with Nancy Pearl and Catherine Sheldrick Ross moderated by Joyce Saricks
Saturday, June 25, 1:30 – 3:00 pm; Convention Center, room 391

Be a part of the reader’s advisory event of the year! Come join Nancy Pearl and Catherine Sheldrick Ross in a conversation focused on what we learn from our readers. Pearl will discuss her "Doorway" explanation of appeal and Ross will discuss her forthcoming book, The A, B, C of Pleasure Reading, based on her research with avid readers. Following the presentations, Joyce Saricks will moderate a twenty-minute conversation with Ross and Pearl on their lifetime experience working with readers. There will also be plenty of time for audience questions and conversation. Come learn from these experts how you can better work with readers in your library. If you have a question for Nancy or Catherine you would like Joyce to propose, please post it on Fiction-L.

Reference Publishing: Preservation Trends & Issues
Saturday, June 25, 1:30 – 3:30 pm

As electronic reference products transform to electronic formats, often with continuously updated content instead of one-time publications, new challenges for archiving and preservation arise. Building on recent developments for archiving electronic books and journal content, this program will highlight the issues and challenges of preserving free and licensed e-reference content as well as foster discussion on possible solutions.


  1. Heather Ruland Staines, Sr. Manager eOperations at Springer Science + Business Media,
  2. Ken DiFiore, Associate Director, Outreach & Participation Services
  3. Portico,
  4. Marie McCaffrey, Executive Director,
  5. Jacob Nadal, Preservation Officer, UCLA Library

Slicing and Dicing: Usage Statistics for the Practitioner
Saturday, June 25, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Got statistics? What now? Come hear three different perspectives on analyzing print and electronic statistics to provide meaningful data to stakeholders. Attendees will get a down and dirty look at usage statistics from the trenches of data gathering to the glorious heights of informed decision making. Our speakers will share their insights from the areas of approval plan analysis, consortium data management, and library administration.


  1. Annette Day, NCSU Libraries: on Collection Intelligence in Managing Collections: Using Data to Drive a Collections Program
  2. Rick Burke, SCELC: on implementation of PaperStats (, a usage data analysis tool
  3. John McDonald, Claremont: on analysis of approval plan statistics.

Sponsored by ALCTS, Acquisitions Section, Research & Statistics, and CODES, Collection Development Planning and Assessment

History Section

The History Section Vice-Chair, Janice Schultz, is in the process of appointing members to History Section committees. If you would like to be appointed to a committee, please be sure to fill out the volunteer form on the History Section website. All requests for committee appointment will be considered. There are also some available positions for History Section representation to RUSA committees. If you have any trouble with the volunteer form or have not heard anything by May 15, please contact Janice at

Genealogical Publishing Company Award
The 2011 recipient of the Genealogical Publishing Company Award is Mary K. Mannix. The Maryland Room manager at Frederick County Public Libraries, Mannix has been recognized for her dedication to the History Section of RUSA. She has served as chair of the History Section for two terms and has made invaluable contributions to program and preconference planning.

ABC-CLIO Online History Award
The 2011 ABC-CLIO Online History Award has been awarded to four historians in the Department of History at the University of Sydney (Australia) for work on their research project “Digital Harlem: Everyday Life, 1915-1930.” Shane White, Stephen Garton, Graham White, and Stephen Robertson used primary source materials and innovative digital techniques to present information about everyday life during the Harlem Renaissance.

Messages from MARS, the Newsletter of the RUSA MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section

Missy Clapp, Editor

From the Chair

MARS is busy getting ready for ALA Annual in New Orleans, and we hope you’ll be able to join us for what promises to be an exciting lineup of events. As the Emerging Technologies in Reference Section, MARS focuses our programming on reference innovations in all types of libraries. Here are some highlights of what we’ll be offering in New Orleans.

On Friday, June 24, MARS and the Reference Services Section (RSS) are co-sponsoring a preconference on the stimulating topic of reference/IT collaborations. Speakers will come from both the library and IT sides. Registration is available on the ALA website.

As usual, we’ll also be hosting the popular MARS Happy Hour. In New Orleans Happy Hour will be held on Saturday, June 25 (please note the change from our usual Friday time) from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Mulate’s Restaurant, 201 Julia St. Complimentary snacks will be served, and MARS members will be on hand to let you know all about the work of our section. Come to learn more about us, or just come to relax with a drink and some yummy local cuisine. As a former New Orleanian, I can promise that the food and venue are not to be missed.

Immediately before the Happy Hour, please join us for the Virtual Reference Discussion Group (VRDG), which will be discussing the use of iPads for virtual reference. The discussion will be held from 4:00 – 5:30 pm on Saturday at the Embassy Suites on Julia St, which is right around the corner from Mulate’s. So come for the VRDG and then join us for the MARS Happy Hour! The MARS Hot Topics Discussion Group will also be held on Saturday from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm and will discuss the use of technology to schedule, standardize and assess reference services.

I’m very excited about the MARS Chair’s Program, which will cover the hot topic of user experience design. Speakers from academic, public, and special libraries will talk about what UX means to them, and how they implement good UX design. Don’t miss a chance to learn more about this topic of growing interest. At the program, to be held Sunday, June 26 from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm, we’ll also honor this year’s recipient of the My Favorite Martian award, Linda Keiter. The MARS/RSS Joint Virtual Reference Committee will also be sponsoring a program with the intriguing title “Behind the Text: Pulling Back the Curtain on Virtual Reference,” on Saturday, June 25 from 8:00 – 10:00 am

Finally, please consider joining us for the All-Committee meeting on Sunday, June 26 from 8:00 – 10:00 am If you’re interested in getting more involved with MARS, this is a great opportunity to sit in on the meetings of all the MARS committees in one room, observe what we do, and check out volunteer opportunities. Visitors are welcome and can move from table to table to talk with different committees. For the exact location of the meeting and all other MARS activities, please consult the final program. Additional details on some events are also available below. We hope to see you!

In other MARS news, our committees have been hard at work on other projects. Watch for this year’s list of Best Free Reference Websites, to be published in the Fall issue of RUSQ. The Education, Training, and Support committee is planning a webinar for May 25 on Screencasting Tips and Tricks based on their successful program at ALA Annual 2010. More details will be available soon. Our Professional Development committee is working on more webinars, and our Local Systems and Services Committee continues to follow developments in the area of discovery systems and will be sponsoring upcoming discussions and a program on this topic.

We welcome participation in all of our programs and initiatives. If you’re interested in getting involved with MARS, just contact me ( or Vice-Chair Dianna McKellar ( for more information.

Anne Houston, MARS Chair 2010-2011

Linda S. Keiter to receive My Favorite Martian Award

Linda S. Keiter, Online Services Librarian, The University of Utah, is the 2011 recipient of the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section Recognition Certificate, also known as the My Favorite Martian Award. The award is given to an individual to recognize excellence in service to MARS.

Linda Keiter has been an active member of MARS for many years, serving on numerous MARS committees including Continuing Education, Hot Topics in Electronic Reference Discussion Group, and the Future of MARS Task Force. Linda has also served as a representative for MARS on RUSA committees. Her colleagues in MARS note, “Linda has been a role model for dynamic leadership in MARS.”

Anne Houston, MARS Chair writes, “Linda, your dedication to the profession and to MARS is recognized and appreciated! We thank you for your excellent service.”

The certificate will be presented at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans during the MARS Chair’s Program, It’s All About Them: Developing Information Services with User Experience Design Sunday, June 26, 2011, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. Keiter also will be honored at the RUSA Awards program.

Strange Bedfellows: IT and Reference Collaborations to Enhance User Experiences.

A joint preconference from the Reference Services Section (RSS) and Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

Friday, June 24, 2011, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, Room 354

Visit RUSA’s preconference page for registration information. The group registration form (PDF) can be downloaded here.

This preconference will present strategies for creating successful collaborations between Reference and IT departments. The session will open with a keynote from Char Booth that addresses the innovative technology-driven potential of meeting user needs when reference departments work in collaboration with IT. Following the keynote, a series of topics will be presented by four teams of Reference and IT staff who have worked together on successful collaborative projects. The line-up includes:

  1. Dan Suchy, User Services Technology Analyst & Matthew Critchlow, Web Technical Manager, University of California, San Diego: Mobile apps
  2. Joanne Kossuth, Technology Strategy Team Member at Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing: Technology Strategy Team Member at Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing: Sharing resources between institutions
  3. Tom Maier, Senior Director Special Projects & Catherine Murray-Rust, Dean of Libraries, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta: Strategic Planning, Implementation, and Facilities Development across multiple departments within and beyond libraries
  4. William Denton, Web Librarian & Adam Taves, Reference and Instruction Librarian, York University, Toronto: Divisiveness, communication failure, and boundary wars as tragicomedy. A staged reading.

The afternoon will include breakout sessions where attendees can work with the speakers to brainstorm on applying the strategies presented to real-world projects that they are currently involved in or would like to see realized.

This is a solutions-driven session that explores methods for effective collaboration and successfully leveraging the skill sets of multiple departments. This is a session about how to make a technology-driven reference project a success!

We hope to see you in New Orleans!

Carolyn Sheffield and Donna Scanlon, Co-Chairs

Happy Hour

Saturday, June 25,2011; 5:00 – 7:00 pm; Location: Mulate’s Restaurant (Across from the Convention Center), 201 Julia St.

MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section invites you to mingle, chow and imbibe at the Annual MARS Happy Hour Social There will be complimentary snacks and a cash bar.

Interested in the work of MARS? Friend of a MARS member? Enjoyed a MARS program? Member of MARS? Please come and invite others!

The Annual MARS Happy Hour is your opportunity to enjoy good company, meet other MARS members, and learn about the work of the Section.

This MARS Happy Hour is generously sponsored by Serials Solutions.

Arlie Sims, Chair

MARS Webinars

This winter, the Education, Training and Support Committee (ETS) was officially approved by RUSA to deliver a webinar that is similar to our 2010 annual program: Screencasting Tips and Tricks. Our hard work at Midwinter paid off! MARS will be the first to deliver a RUSA sponsored webinar presentation. ETS is trailblazing the path for other committees to consider webinars for delivering professional development to ALA members. The webinar is coming up soon, on May 25 and is tentatively called "An Introduction to Screencasting Tutorials." One of our goals for Annual is to create guidelines and procedures for other committees to follow in order to create their own webinars and possibly fulfill a new role for MARS as your webinar facilitators. We have learned a lot about the steps for getting an idea approved and what RUSA expects for course development. By Annual, we will have even more experience delivering a webinar and using the GoToMeeting software and technical support from RUSA.
Van Houlson, Chair

MARS Chair’s Program – It’s All About Them: Developing Information Services with User Experience Design

Sunday, June 26, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, room 269

Please plan to join us in New Orleans for an exciting MARS Chair’s program. We’ll be announcing the winner of this year’s My Favorite Martian Award, followed by a thought-provoking panel on user experience design.

Applying User Experience (UX) Design to your library’s public services involves understanding your patrons’ needs and preferences. In this session, expert panelists, including Cody Hansen (University of Minnesota) and Jenny Benevento (Sears Holding Corporation), will define UX design and explain why it’s important, discuss how it can help improve patrons’ overall experience of library resources and services, and describe how it can be implemented in library and information service settings. With practical tips and examples, you’ll be well-equipped to consider UX issues in your own library.

Courtney Greene, Chair

Hot Topics – How are We Measuring up? Using New Technology to Schedule, Standardize, and Assess Reference Services

Saturday, June 25 from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; Doubletree Hotel, Madewood A

Please join us for the Hot Topics Discussion Forum (MARS): How are We Measuring up? Using New Technology to Schedule, Standardize, and Assess Reference Services. Speakers will demonstrate a variety of inventive, original, and efficient ways to study and accommodate changes in user preferences, locations, and modes of communication when seeking reference and research services. Presentations are in panel format, but are relatively informal and are intended to jumpstart discussion among the attendees.

Matt Torrence, Chair

To subscribe to MARS-L, see

Message from the Chair

Cindy Levine, Editor

Spring greetings, all Reference Services Section members!

If you’ll be in New Orleans for the ALA Annual Conference, please make sure that these RSS events are on your schedule:

  1. Friday, June 24, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm, preconference (registration required): Effective Library Service to Older Adults Seeking Employment and Volunteer Opportunities. Morial Convention Center, Room 275
  2. Friday, June 24, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, preconference (registration required): Strange Bedfellows: IT and Reference Collaborations to Enhance User Experiences.Morial Convention Center, Room 354
  3. Saturday, June 25, 8:00 – 10:00 am, RSS Open House and All Committee Meeting. New Orleans Marriott , Balconies L-N
  4. Saturday, June 25, 1:30 – 3:30 pm: The RUSA President’s Program: Marketing Reference on a Dime. Morial Convention Center, Rooms 383-385
  5. Sunday, June 26, 1:30 – 3:30 pm: Reference Research Forum. Morial Convention Center, Room 277
  6. Sunday, June 26, 4:00 – 5:30 pm: Using Today’s Numbers to Plan Tomorrow’s Services: Effective User Services Assessment. Morial Convention Center, Room 334
  7. Monday, June 27 from 8:00 – 10:00 am: Behind the Text: Pulling Back the Curtain on Virtual Reference (RSS/MARS). Morial Convention Center, Room 285

The RUSA election results are in and have been posted on the RUSA Blog. In RSS, we will be looking forward to welcoming to the RSS Executive Committee Sarah Hammill, RSS Vice Chair/Chair Elect (2011-2012) and Emilie Smart, RSS Member-at-Large (2011-2014). The revision of the RSS Bylaws that appeared on the ballot was also approved. Until we get them posted on the RSS ebsite, you can find the 2011 amended bylaws on ALA Connect. If you’re interested in being a candidate for a future RSS election, or have someone to recommend, Judy Solberg ( is the incoming chair of the RSS Nominations committe, and II’m sure would welcome your ideas! Many thanks go to everyone who ran for RSS office in the 2011 election.

In the months since Midwinter, the RSS Executive Committee has approved a thorough revision of our RSS Handbook. Thanks go especially to Barb Mann, RSS Organization and Planning Committee, and Liane Taylor for their work revising the Handbook.

To address the need to better archive our section’s documentation and its history, Cindy Levine and Liane Taylor have created a “Plan for Information Gathering, Maintenance, Organization, Access & Preservation”that has been subsequently approved by RSS Executive Committee. Cindy has also volunteered for the newly created role of RSS Archivist.

Even though we haven’t finished yet with the Annual Conference 2011 in New Orleans, two programs have been approved by RSS Executive Committee for next year’s Annual Conference 2012 in Anaheim. These proposals were submitted by the RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee and the RSS Library Services to an Aging Population Committee and will go on to the RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee for formal approval by the division. The next in the popular and long running Reference Research Forum series is also planned for 2012.

Furthering our longstanding partnership with MARS, we are in the early stages of planning a new series of Midwinter Workshops, with the first projected to take place in Seattle during Midwinter 2013. We anticipate that our RSS Education and Professional Development for Reference committee will be working with its companion MARS committee on this initiative, as well as working on developing new online training opportunities to be made available throughout the year. As this will be my last message as chair of RSS, I want to thank all of those members who have helped to make this a very productive year for the section. It’s been a pleasure to work with each of you and I hope that our paths will cross again. In the next issue you can expect to see Liane Taylor writing in this place as the RSS Chair for 2011-2012.

Joe Thompson, 2010–2011 Chair

RSS Open House

Saturday, June 25, 2011, 8:00 – 10:00 am; New Orleans Marriott, Balconies L-N

Are you looking for ways to become more involved in RSS? Are you interested in meeting and networking with other reference and information providers? Do you like free coffee and pastries?

Come to the RSS Open House, where you can enjoy refreshments provided by Emerald and learn more about the work being accomplished in RSS. RSS Officers and members will be available to answer your questions and suggest possible committees of interest, and you can visit committee tables where members will be available to talk about current projects. You are welcome to stay from 9:00 -10:00 am to sit at a committee table while they conduct their meeting.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Liane Taylor, Chair

Preconference Program – Strange Bedfellows: IT and Reference Collaborations to Enhance User Experiences

Friday June 24, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, Room 354

The RSS-MARS Pre-Conference Planning Committee is pleased to announce the speaker line-up for Strange Bedfellows:

  1. Char Booth, E-Learning Librarian, University of California, Berkeley: Keynote on the innovative technology-driven potential of meeting user needs when reference departments work in collaboration with IT.
  2. Dan Suchy, User Services Technology Analyst and Matthew Critchlow, Web Technical Manager, University of California, San Diego: Mobile apps
  3. Joanne Kossuth, Technology Strategy Team Member at Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing: Technology Strategy Team Member at Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing: Sharing resources between institutions
  4. Tom Maier, Senior Director Special Projects and Catherine Murray-Rust, Dean of Libraries, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta: Strategic Planning, Implementation, and Facilities Development across multiple departments within and beyond libraries
  5. William Denton, Web Librarian and Adam Taves, Reference and Instruction Librarian, York University, Toronto: Divisiveness, communication failure, and boundary wars as tragicomedy. A staged reading.

The afternoon will include breakout sessions where attendees can work with the speakers to brainstorm on applying the strategies presented to real-world projects that they are currently involved in or would like to see realized.

Don’t forget that Advanced Registration ends soon! Be sure to sign up at the reduced rate and don’t forget about the discounts available for multiple registrations.

To learn more, visit RUSA’s Preconference page.

The group registration form (PDF) can be downloaded here.

Strange Bedfellows is a joint offering from the Reference Services Section (RSS) and Machine Assisted Reference Services Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

Carolyn Sheffield and Donna Scanlon, Co-Chairs

Catalog Use

Discussion Forum: Diving into the Deep End
Saturday, June 25, 4:00 – 5:30 pm; Loews New Orleans, LaFourche room

The Catalog Use Committee is hosting a discussion forum at ALA Annual 2011: Diving into the Deep End. What are the consequences for users of the new discovery tools and their reliance upon relevancy-ranked results coming from large results sets? We are soliciting "reports from the field" from a number of types of practitioners: Someone doing library instruction; a frontline reference librarian; a user experience expert who can tell us how well users are catching on to these new tools. Essentially, we are looking at the question: "How do you teach these tools to new users and older users? What challenges have you found?"

Steve Ostrem, Chair

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

Mark your calendar for two discussions you don’t want to miss!

Data Reference: Tell Us How You Really Feel
Sunday, June 26, from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, Room 242

While reference transactions involving numeric data and statistics are not entirely new to libraries, they are increasingly frequent as many disciplines become more data-driven. Libraries are hearing from patrons at all levels who articulate a need to find, access, and use data in their research. While some libraries have begun to provide specialized services in response to this "data deluge," the role of the general reference librarian or subject specialist remains to be clarified in many cases. Accordingly, data reference will be the main focus of this discussion, designed to bring generalists and specialists together to talk about strategies for better serving our data-seeking patrons. All reference librarians with an interest in data are welcome to contribute. The goal is not to reach a consensus on best practices but to facilitate an open forum for discussing this important and often anxiety-inducing topic.

Discussion Conveners: Alexa Pearce & Samantha Guss, New York University

Come Together, Right Now: The Merging of Public Cervices and Changing Service Models in Academic Libraries
Monday, June 27, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, Room 241

The on-going trend of merging service points into ‘one-stop’ reference or public service points has been a common answer to the pressures of shrinking budgets. As a result, many specialized services, such as government documents assistance, writing services, and tutoring, have been merged to a single location. The purpose of this discussion topic is to explore the merging of public services in practice and theory as well as to provide a forum for the evaluation and critique of a unified and effective service point. The Information Commons set-up is the current and popular iteration of service point models for providing reference and research services. As the ‘one-stop shopping’ approach requires us to blend previously separate or specialized services, it is both relevant and revealing to discuss issues and challenges of blending services for our patrons. Issues such as quality and training as well as staffing are in the spotlight for discussion.

Discussion Conveners: Ava Iuliano and Lori Driver, Florida International University

Sarah Hammill, Chair

Evaluation of Reference and User Services

Using Today’s Numbers to Plan Tomorrow’s Services: Effective User Services AssessmentSunday June 26, at 4:00 – 5:30 pm; Morial Convention Center, Room 334

The Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee of the Reference Services Section of RUSA will offer the program: Using Today’s Numbers to Plan Tomorrow’s Services: Effective User Services Assessment.

Assessment is one of the hottest topics in libraries nowadays as library managers look to “do more” with fewer resources. This program will focus on effective assessment methods and tools for user services. Presentations will explore how library managers determine what data are important to collect, and how results are interpreted and used for meaningful decision-making. The presenters are:

  1. James Fish, Director of the Baltimore County Public Library: Value of Empirical Information
  2. Jennifer Rutner, Assessment and Planning Librarian at the Columbia University Libraries: Informing Info Commons at Columbia
  3. Zsuzsa Koltay, Director of Assessment and Communication at Cornell University Library: Re-envisioning and Fine-tuning a Library System

Kornelia Vassileva Tancheva, Chair

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking

The Services to Spanish Speaking Populations committee will release a survey on May 5, 2011 to gather information from library staff serving Spanish speakers. The link to this survey will be distributed via professional listservs and on the committee’s website. Responses from this survey will guide the work of the committee in the coming year. The committee is also in the process of revising “Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Multilingual Collections and Services” (2007) and “Guidelines for Library Services to Spanish-Speaking Library Users” (2007).

Marjorie Schreiber Lear, Chair

Management of Reference

The Management of Reference Committee is continuing its work revising the “Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers.” Currently, the committee is reviewing a final draft; we hope to send the draft to the section chair, the RUSA Exec Director, and the chair of Standards and Guidelines by the end of the month. I hope to arrange that this be on the agenda for the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee at Annual. Following Annual, we will, if recommended to do so by the Standards and Guidelines Committee, make the draft available for feedback from the membership.

William Weare, Chair

Marketing & Public Relations Committee – Marketing Reference on a Dime

Saturday June 25th from 1:30 – 3:30 pm; Morial Convention Center, Rooms 383-385

The Marketing & Public Relations Committee will be hosting an exciting program at ALA Annual in New Orleans: Marketing Reference on a Dime. We are honored that the program has also been picked as this year’s RUSA President’s Program.

The program Marketing Reference on a Dime will consist of several short presentations on successful, low-cost and free reference marketing initiatives. We have assembled a stellar panel including: Manya Shorr (Sacramento Public Library, Library Journal Mover & Shaker 2010), Amy Mather (Omaha Public Library, Library Journal Mover & Shaker 2010), Kathy Dempsey (Libraries are Essential Consultants, M Word Blog), Nancy Dowd (New Jersey State Library, M Word Blog) & Selene Colburn (University of Vermont).

We hope everyone who attends will leave with at least one marketing idea they can implement at their library!

Ed Garcia, Chair

Research and Statistics

The Research and Statistics committee is sponsoring the 17th Annual Reference Research Forum. Through a blind peer-review process, the committee selected three research projects—Ana Dubnjakovic’s “Recent Reference Transactions Statistics in Academic Libraries in the United States: Are Electronic Resources Responsible for the Decline?”; Amanda Clay Powers’s “Mining Virtual Reference Data for an Iterative Assessment Cycle”; and Amy VanScoy’s “Practitioner Beliefs of Reference Librarians in Academic Research Libraries.” The Forum will be held Sunday, June 26 from 1:30-3:30 pm at the Morial Convention Center in room 277. Join us to hear about exciting research in the area of reference and user services.

Qiana Johnson, Chair

RSS Service Achievement Award

Susan A. Ware, Reference and Instruction Librarian at Penn State University, has been chosen as the recipient of the first RSS Service Achievement Award which will be presented to her at the annual ALA conference this June in New Orleans.

Ware was nominated for a single, significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section and toward attaining the goals of RSS. After several years of work with the Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee on the RUSA assigned project of developing guidelines for assessment of reference services and writing a new definition of reference, Ware volunteered to take charge of the project. She regularly attended committee and board meetings, contributing information and thoughts based upon the research she had done for the project. Ware followed this seven year project through new RSS chairs, new committee chairs and members, as well as through the change from MOUSS to RSS. Her dedication to the project resulted in the Measuring and Assessing Reference Services and Resources: A Guide and led to the final unveiling of the “New Definition of Reference” at a RUSA Board meeting in January 2008. For her tremendous and outstanding work with this project, the award committee unanimously agreed that Susan is the perfect choice for the first RSS Service Achievement Award.

Lori Thornton, Chair

Virtual Reference Services Committee Update (RSS/MARS) – Behind the Text: Pulling Back the Curtain on Virtual Reference

Monday, June 27, from 8:00 – 10:00 am; Morial Convention Center, Room 285

The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee will be hosting an exciting program at ALA Annual in New Orleans: Behind the Text: Pulling Back the Curtain on Virtual Reference. Although hardware and software play a pivotal role in virtual reference (VR) services, it is the human interaction, as with all reference transactions, that is most important. This panel, moderated by Peter Bromberg will put to rest some of the misconceptions about VR, present ideas on teaching with VR, and examine elements that contribute to positive experiences for librarians and patrons. The panelists are Lisa A. Ellis (Associate Professor and Information Services Librarian, Baruch College, New York), Kris Johnson (AskColorado/AskAcademic Coordinator, Colorado State Library), and Jennifer Robinson (Librarian, Virtual & Instruction Services, The Seattle Public Library). Audience participation is encouraged, and there will be time for your questions during the program. Prepare to have your ideas about what VR is and what it can do expanded.

Also of note is that the official meeting of the RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee will take place during the RSS All-Committee Meeting and Open House on Saturday, June 25, from 8:00 – 10:00 am, in the New Orleans Marriott (Balconies L – N). If you are interested in the work of the committee, you welcome to stop by our table.

Daniel Boozer, Co-Chair

Message from the Chair

Katharine Calhoun, Editor

Hello everyone!  As I close out the year as chair of STARS, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who have become involved to make this section a wonderful one!  As a section, we have been committed to providing timely, relevant professional development and continuing education opportunities for our members.  We are also committed to providing a network of colleagues, and you have proven over and over how reliable and helpful that network can be.  So, thank you for all of your efforts to make this section a vibrant professional community!  I have been honored to work with such a fantastic group of people.

For those of you who have not yet fully taken advantage of the opportunities to get involved in STARS, I would like you to reconsider.  As with any organization, it only becomes vibrant and meaningful for those that fully participate.  Won’t you consider becoming more fully engaged and offer a fresh perspective?  I have to say that STARS is one of the friendliest groups I’ve been involved in, so you’ll get the opportunity to meet lots of folks and your input will be welcomed!  We have more than 700 STARS members, but only 5% serve on committees.  Won’t you become one of the few, the proud, the STARS involved?

I know that in these tight budget times, travel may be difficult.  That being said, STARS has many opportunities to get involved that do not require travel to ALA.  We have two award committees that do all of their work virtually.  You could suggest ideas for programming on STARS-L as we are always looking for ideas.  You could lead a discussion forum on STARS-L as well just by posting a thought-provoking question.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the thoughtful responses.

For those members who do attend ALA but have not yet volunteered for a committee, please consider attending our all-committee meeting on Saturday, June 25th, at the Loews Hotel Feliciana Room from 8:00 – 10:00 am.  Almost all of our committees meet at this time in the same room, so you can sit in on any committee to find out more about it and then rotate to another.  Our committees work on some great projects to advance our understanding of resource sharing, and there are plenty of ways to become involved. We also understand that you may not be able to attend every ALA meeting.

I was hesitant to become involved in STARS at my current level, but it really has been one of my most rewarding professional experiences.  The time commitment as Chair has not been overwhelming as I feared, and I find myself invigorated by working on issues that are meaningful and by providing relevant programming for our members.   I hope you’ll join me in trying to make STARS all that it can be by filling out the RUSA Online Volunteer Form.

Sherri Michaels, Chair