BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award Committee

Ilana Barnes is the recipient of the 2012 BRASS Gale Cengage Learning student travel award. We thought it would be good for everyone to read in Ilana’s own words what this award meant to her:

“I am extremely grateful to Gale Cengage Learning and BRASS for providing me with the opportunity to go to the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. The conference was an enlightening and exciting experience. It benefited me greatly professionally.

“Attending the ALA annual conference gave me many opportunities to network with my new colleagues and reconnect with old ones. While at the conference, I met many librarians who gave loads of useful advice for a librarian just starting out. Sometimes just sitting next to someone on a bench can be a great moment for serendipitous interaction. At one point I took a brief break between sessions on a bench and had a 30 minute conversation with a San Francisco public libraries manager who gave me several new ideas for social media and makerspaces projects. I also ran into librarians from my undergraduate and library education as well as recent alumnae from my library school.

“I also had the chance to network with other business librarians just like me. It was especially good to talk to other new business librarians who were going through similar adjustments to their new jobs. Some of the new business librarians I met even connected after the conference and are planning to have monthly “meetings” to build upon the relationships we started at ALA.

“For a recent graduate like me, transitioning from student to practitioner can be very intimidating and awkward. I am often not always sure where to make connections and with whom. The whole BRASS group treated me like a local celebrity throughout the conference and really went out of their way to include me and introduce me to other members. By the end of the conference, I felt very much like part of the group. I haven’t volunteered for any committees, but I did learn much more about the committee structure that I could ever have gleaned from reading ALA Connect pages. With what I learned at the conference, I feel like the whole process is much more approachable and there are many different ways that I could contribute.

“My favorite part of the conference was the BRASS discussion group. This was also my favorite part of last year’s conference as well. The discussion was very informative about free data resources, but I really love seeing the passion that Business Librarians have for their patrons, their sources and their work.

“My advice to other students is to apply for this award. Not only did it offer me the economic ability to attend the ALA Annual Conference, but the networking and social resources made my time in Anaheim the happiest place on Earth for a new business librarian.”

Carol L. Anderson, Chair, 2011-2012

BRASS Outstanding Service to Minority Business Communities

The Award Committee, Vendor Relations, and Executive Committee have given thoughtful consideration to the status of this unfunded award for an extended period of time. The Award Committee recommended and the Executive Committee voted to disband the award. A broader award, perhaps related to some aspect of diversity, may be considered in the future.

Lee Pike, Chair, 2011-2012

BRASS 2013 Program: Investment Success! Building & Managing Your Retirement Portfolio

Monday, July 1, 2013; 8:30-10:00 AM
Good personal investment education is important for librarians and library staff. We are an occupational group that is rarely able to access top financial advice. In this program, investment professionals will demystify the process and help us understand essential principles and how to apply them to make better decisions to meet our retirement goals. The presentation will include a discussion of the common mistakes investors make, why we make them, and how to avoid them.


  • Charles Rotblut, CFA, Vice President, AAII
    Rotblut is a vice president of the American Association of Individual Investors. He is the editor of the AAII Journal. He authors the weekly AAII Investor Update e-newsletter and his commentary is published on both Seeking Alpha and
  • Christine Benz, Director of Personal Finance, Morningstar, Inc.
    Benz is director of personal finance for Morningstar and author of “30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances,” published by John Wiley and Sons in January 2009. She is also editor of Morningstar Personal Finance, a monthly personal finance newsletter and writes a column on

Peter McKay, Chair, 2012-2013



Barry Trott, Editor

The CODES Board voted to sunset the CODES Materials Reviewing Committee. The committee existed only to review and update the document “Elements for Basic Reviews.” After the discussing the usefulness of this resource, the board felt that there was little evidence that these guidelines were being used in the profession. As most review sources define their own review, the board felt that this detailed document was increasingly irrelevant, and that neither the committee nor the guidelines were necessary to meet the strategic directions of the section. The recommendation was sent to the RUSA Board.

CODES Communications Committee

The CODES Communications Committee drafted a new charge:

a.       To promote the visibility of CODES Communications and its activities and programs by:

i.      Developing and recommending plans and strategies for keeping members informed of the section’s activities and opportunities to the Section’s Executive Committee

ii.      Contacting and providing information about CODES to new members

iii.      Organizing, maintaining and regularly updating the CODES website and Facebook presence

iv.      Promoting internal communication among members, including ALA Connect

v.      Soliciting and coordinating the submission of articles and information related to the section for CODES publications

Outreach Committee: Happy Hour by the Pool and a Very Tweet Conference

This year, attendees of the Annual MARS Happy Hour enjoyed perfect weather (it was southern California, right?), hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and a relaxing poolside ambience at the Annabella Hotel near the Anaheim Convention Center. EBSCO generously sponsored the event, making possible the delicious hors d’oeuvres enjoyed by all. Over eighty people chatted about the work of MARS while catching up with old friends and getting acquainted with new ones. A moment was taken out of the informal event to acknowledge Carolyn Larson, this year’s My Favorite Martian honoree, as well as to thank the MARS leadership who led the Section through another great year. Alas, no one chose to bring a swimsuit and actually jump in, but it was a very nice party by the pool nonetheless.

For the first time, Outreach Committee members tweeted before and during the conference, commenting on everything from how to pack smart for a conference to the next relevant program on the agenda. Follow MARS on Twitter: @rusa_mars

Arlie Sims, Chair of MARS Outreach Committee, 2011-2012

MARS Professional Development (PD) Committee

Learn to conduct virtual meetings and present webinars using Blackboard Collaborate! This online platform is new to RUSA and available to all MARS members. The MARS Professional Development Committee will be offering a series of training sessions on Blackboard Collaborate to teach the basics of navigating, and using some of the features such as the whiteboard and sharing screens. Each session will be 90 minutes at 1:00 PM Central Time (2:00 PM Eastern Time and 11:00 AM Pacific Time). Training dates are: August 17, August 31, September 14, September 28, October 12, October 26, November 16, November 30, and December 7th. MARS PD Co-chairs Van Houlson and Nancy Cunningham will be leading the training sessions. Please feel free to contact Van or Nancy with any questions.

Nancy Cunningham, Co-Chair Professional Development Committee, 2011-2013
Van Houlson, Co-Chair Professional Development Committee, 2012-2013

RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee

The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee held its official meeting at ALA Annual in Anaheim on Saturday, June 23, as part of the RSS All-Committee meeting. Twelve people were in attendance. One of the primary goals of the meeting was final planning for the committee’s sponsored program held at Annual on Saturday, June 23, from 1:30-3:30 PM: “Are Virtual Reference Services Worth the Effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us.” The program was successful with approximately 150 people attending.

The committee is partnering with the RSS Marketing Committee on a webinar with Bill Pardue on marketing virtual reference services prior to Annual 2013. A discussion forum on this topic is planned for Annual 2013 itself with some sort of “bridge” activity between the webinar and Annual also being considered.

With the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee now having access to the RUSA Drupal installation, they are moving ahead with posting content. They have renamed the “Tutorial” the “Virtual Reference Companion” and aim to make it applicable to both managers/supervisors of VR service and frontline VR librarians. We are very excited about their progress and what they have planned.

We are also looking at a change in our official mission statement to fold in the charge of the now-disbanded Cooperative Reference Services Committee to: “To identify and study issues relating to virtual reference services, and to evaluate and promote technological and service standards, guidelines, and ‘best practices’ for local and cooperative virtual reference services in all types of libraries.” We will be working with MARS and RSS to accomplish this.

Jason Coleman (Kansas State University Libraries and incoming Secretary of RSS) is moving ahead with the Survey Ad Hoc Group. He has recruited 2 people to help in designing and distributing the survey to determine the current state of virtual reference services.

The committee will be considering a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at either Midwinter and/or Annual.

The committee plans to conduct their official midwinter meeting virtually with a time to be determined.

Ellen Hampton Filgo, Chair, RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee, 2011-2012

Local Systems and Services committee

The MARS Local Systems and Services Committee program “Discovery Systems: The Promise and the Reality” was extremely successful. We had over 100 people in attendance. The speakers shared their experiences with discovery services such as Serial Solutions Summons, Ex-Libris’ Primo and EBSCO’s Discovery Service.

Chanitra Bishop, Chair, Local Systems and Services committee, 2012-2013

Best Free Reference Websites committee

The MARS Best Free Reference Websites for 2012 have been notified and the complete list is now available on the MARS website. Voted for by member librarians from around the United States, the twenty-six web sites were selected from seventy-seven sites nominated this year. These sites have been recognized by MARS this year as an outstanding site for reference information. The complete list of MARS Best of Free Reference Web Sites of 2012 is now available on the MARS site. We would like to congratulate these sites and thank them for providing quality information.

We would also like to thank the committee for the terrific collection of web sites that were nominated and for their participation in selecting the best sites for 2012.

Donna Scanlon ( & Erica Danowitz, MARS Best Free Reference Websites
Co-Chairs, 2011-2013

To subscribe to MARS-L, see

Catalog Use Committee

The Catalog Use Committee hosted a Roundtable Discussion at ALA Annual in Anaheim. The group had planned out five distinct discussion topics for the meeting, with a moderator for each topic.

  • Finding e-Resources: an idea sparked by this article in the September issue of the Journal of Academic Librarianship, “Usability Testing for E-Resource Discovery: How Students Find and Choose E-Resources Using Websites.” (p. 386 Fry, Amy).
  • Catalog Accessibility: Access issues confronted by marginalized user groups such as the elderly, the disabled and children.
  • Open Source Systems: Are they the future or a distraction?
  • New Technology and the Mobile Landscape: How to make sense of new technology, platforms and devices.
  • New Cataloging Standards and Resource Discovery: How will the new Sears subject headings and the RDA (Resource Description and Access) standards impact librarians and library users?

The Roundtable was scheduled for 4:00 PM on Saturday evening, and this may have impacted attendance. In the end, we had a dozen attendees and decided to meet together as one group. The smaller size of the group really helped draw in all of the participants. We had a very lively discussion, touching on each of the topic areas. We were able to devote more time to areas of particular interest to the group. The evaluations from the session were quite positive, with three-quarters rating the “overall experience” as “Very Good” and one quarter rating it as “Excellent.”

A focus for the Catalog Use Committee this coming year will be to look at the impact of Ebooks on the Library Catalog and best practices for displaying information about accessing and downloading on various devices, number of users, check out periods, along with other themes.

Peter Collins, Chair, 2011-2012
Colleen Seale, Chair, 2012-2013

Communication & Teaching at the Point of Need Committee

The Communication & Teaching at the Point of Need Committee is just getting started so there is not much to report at this point. Our charge is “to offer programming, forums for discussions, and professional development opportunities focused on effective communication and teaching strategies, skills and technologies used during virtual or face-to-face reference interactions as well as other patron points-of-need. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the reference interview, ‘teachable moments’ during the reference interaction, and point-of-need videos or tutorials.”

As chair, I am looking forward to a fantastic year of leading the charge for this committee. Great reference skills are a true asset in any job but crucial for librarians.

Christine Sharbrough, Chair, 2012-2013

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored two really exciting Forums at Annual. “Rethinking Your Reference Collection,” moderated by Christy Caldwell, had twenty-three attendees and a very lively discussion about the use and fate of print reference collections. Participants were both academic and public librarians and discussion covered topics from decision-making to dealing with staff resistance.

Our second Forum, “E-Access and Patron Bleed,” moderated by Nicolette Sosulski, covered a common feature of virtual reference services—assisting patrons from anywhere in the world with topics your local collection may not support. Eight public and academic librarians found a lot of common ground in this forum, discussing how their services deal with the expectations of patrons far outside a geographical or topical area.

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee did not meet at ALA Annual 2012. The committee’s meeting for the annual conference was conducted via email in May when the winning forum proposals for the conference were chosen.

Crystal Lentz, Chair, 2012-2013

Education and Professional Development for Reference

Work is progressing on coordinating a joint in-person workshop at ALA Midwinter 2013 with the Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee (EPDRC) and MARS Professional Development Committee. The workshop, “New Tech for Reference: From the Reference Interview to Roving Reference, Challenges, Benefits and Best Practices,” will be held Friday, January 25, 2013 from 1:00-5:00 PM at the University of Washington Odegaard Library, room 220. Topics include: Twitter, Facebook, and social media for reference, iPad/roving reference and using a Knowledge base, like LibAnswers, in reference.

Over the next year the EDPRC will be reviewing syllabi from ALA-accredited LIS programs to review what content is covered in reference courses. This will aid in future directions for the committee.

Kristen Mastel & Joseph Yue, Co-Chairs, 2012-2013

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee

The committee hosted a lively discussion forum at 2012 Annual, “The How, What, and Why of Reference Evaluation and Assessment,” moderated by committee members Ellen Keith and Jason Kruse on Saturday, June 23. We had seating for fifty and at one point, all fifty seats were filled! In our discussion of who was doing assessment and what tools were being used, interesting paths were shared. Assessment in some libraries is formalized to the point of having an assessment librarian or director. Besides tools like READ and LibQual, some libraries are using the Secret Shopper approach; some have created a rubric to assess undergraduate papers where the undergraduate has visited a librarian. Decisions being made with assessment data inform staffing, services, and best use of time. It was a fascinating discussion and we thank all who attended!

Ellen Keith, Chair, 2011-2013

Health and Medical Reference Committee

The first meeting of the Health and Medical Reference Committee was held at the all RSS meeting at ALA annual. The committee discussed new health and medical reference guidelines, the program that the committee will hold at ALA annual in Chicago in 2013, possible webinars that could be sponsored, and ways to communicate health reference issues with the broader librarian community. Karen Vargas brought several documents that would be helpful in the creation of the guidelines and an online page will be set up where people can post additional resources as a first step for the guidelines. Panelists were proposed for the 2013 program on serving the health information needs of a diverse community. The committee agreed that they would like to work on a quarterly series of RUSA webinars, beginning with one on basic resources for medical reference.

Karen Vargas, Chair 2012-2014

Job and Career Reference Committee

The inaugural meeting of the Job and Career Reference Committee was held July 2012 and the following members attended: Kate Oberg (co-chair), Jennifer Hootman, Gergana Kostova, Samantha Soucy, and Arlene Weismantel. The charge of the committee is: to offer programming, forums for discussions, and professional development opportunities focused on providing services and outreach related to patrons’ jobs and career needs, including library resources and reference assistance; guides, tutorials, and web content; programming, promotion, and instruction; and effective community partnerships.

Kate Oberg, Chair 2012-2013

Library Service to an Aging Population

he RSS Library Services to an Aging Population Committee sponsored a program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim: “How Libraries Are Meeting the Evolving Needs of Baby Boomers and Older Adults.” Over 100 people attended the program, which included presentations by Susan Hildreth (IMLS), Jane Salisbury (Multnomah County Public Library), Tony Sarmiento (Senior Services America), and Suzanne Flint (California State Library). The program included a lively question and answer period, in which various viewpoints on serving these populations were expressed. If you would like slideshows from the program, you can view them online at

Jeff Kempe, Chair, 2011-2013

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking

The Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee is planning a discussion during ALA 2013 Midwinter with a speaker from a public library to present their children’s program. The session would include a demonstration of their story hour, in addition to a discussion of the marketing of similar programs and why community health organizations seemed to be more popular to promote services such as story hours to the Spanish community. The presentation will be in English and Spanish.

Other activities for this year may include a review of the Guide to Services to the Spanish and another review article potential on case studies of Spanish speaking library use.

Stephen Marvin, Chair 2012-2013

Management of Reference Committee

The Management of Reference Committee met twice in Anaheim at ALA Annual. At the first meeting William Weare, Chair, reported that the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers revisions now needed approval from the Standards and Guidelines Committee and then final approval from the RSS Board. We discussed the Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians. At the most recent Midwinter meeting, the discussion session did find value in the Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians, but the Committee isn’t sure whether they were referring to the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers. Because of other problems the Committee sees with them we agreed that the original document should be sunsetted and this Committee should focus on updating the professional competencies for managing reference services and departments. William brought this plan to the RSS Board who approved it.

Sally Dockter, Chair 2012-2013

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference

Our committee sponsored a workshop at ALA Annual, “Let’s Work Together: Integrating Social Media, Online Marketing and Outreach” with David Lee King, Marshall Breeding and Jennifer Robinson. Liane Taylor assisted with on-site organizing and reported that the workshop went well.

As mentioned in our prior update, for ALA Annual 2013 in Chicago, we are pleased to collaborate with two other committees to co-sponsor with the RSS Virtual Reference (VR) Committee Chair Don Boozer and MARS co-chair Ellen Filgo a proposed workshop: ” Slam the Boards: A Model for Marketing Through Action.” This would be presented by Bill Pardue and may include an expansion of the concept of “guerilla marketing techniques for VR” (as Don put so well). We may shift this workshop to be a webinar prior to June’s conference, with a discussion forum at the conference. We’ll know soon which way we’re taking this.

Marketing and PR are essential for the promotion of all library services. During our most recent RSS meeting (Friday, July 20), our committee began to look at two elements for our upcoming initiatives to work on with partner committees:

1. School sustainability (working with YARS)
2. Marketing in academic libraries (working with Research & Statistics)

We’re excited for an active new year!

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2013

Organization and Planning Committee

The RSS Organization & Planning Committee will be working closely with the RUSA Executive Committee over the next year to continue to improve the effectiveness of the section. We will also be following up on feedback we’ve received over the next year, updating the handbook, reviewing the bylaws, and creating several surveys.

Liane Taylor, Chair 2012-2013

Research and Statistics Committee

The Research and Statistics Committee hosted the 18th Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 25. This year’s presenters were Lili Luo presenting “Best Practices of Text Reference Service: A Synergistic View,” Susan Gardner Archambault and Kenneth Simon presenting “Apples and Oranges: Lessons from a Usability Study of Two Library FAQ Web Sites,” and Alison Graber, Alison Hicks, Caroline Sinkinson, and Stephanie Alexander presenting “Research Assistance Interactions: Exploration of Users’ Motivation and Perceptions.” The committee also combed the literature to select exceptional articles detailing research in reference for the Reference Research Review: 2011.

Lynda Duke, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)

The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee held its official meeting at ALA Annual in Anaheim on Saturday, June 23, as part of the RSS All-Committee meeting. Twelve people were in attendance. One of the primary goals of the meeting was final planning for the committee’s sponsored program held on Saturday, June 23, at 1:30-3:30pm: “Are Virtual Reference Services Worth the Effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us”. The program was successful with approximately 150 people attending.

The committee is partnering with the RSS Marketing Committee on a webinar with Bill Pardue on marketing virtual reference services prior to Annual 2013. A discussion forum on this topic is planned for Annual 2013 itself with some sort of “bridge” activity between the webinar and Annual also being considered.

With the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee now having access to the RUSA Drupal installation, they are moving ahead with posting content. They have renamed the “Tutorial” the “Virtual Reference Companion” and aim to make it applicable to both managers/supervisors of VR service and frontline VR librarians. We are very excited about their progress and what they have planned.

We are also looking at a change in our official mission statement to fold in the charge of the now-disbanded Cooperative Reference Services Committee to “To identify and study issues relating to virtual reference services, and to evaluate and promote technological and service standards, guidelines, and ‘best practices’ for local and cooperative virtual reference services in all types of libraries.” We will be working with MARS and RSS to accomplish this.
Jason Coleman (Kansas State University Libraries and incoming Secretary of RSS) is moving ahead with the Survey Ad Hoc Group. He has recruited 2 people to help in designing and distributing the survey to determine the current state of virtual reference services.

The committee will be considering a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at either Midwinter and/or Annual. The committee plans to conduct their official midwinter meeting virtually with a time to be determined.

Don Boozer, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference (VR) Tutorial Subcommittee

After receiving training from Louise Gruenberg and with her assistance as well as that of Sean Bires and Andrea Hill, the VR Tutorial Subcommittee has begun populating the new resource in Drupal. The Planning Module now includes what used to be the Policies Module and is complete. The Training Module is currently in progress. The Resources section is a work in progress and we will add to this, as well as Tips & Best Practices and Activities, as we work on the modules. We will be reorganizing the Resources by topic, instead of alphabetically. We are awaiting permissions from ALA so we can populate the Welcome page.

The subcommittee continues to meet monthly and works in subgroups between meetings. We will be brainstorming about the Interview Skills Module next and a subgroup will take ideas from that meeting and implement into Drupal content. We plan to continue to work this way until the resource is complete, hopefully by next year’s annual conference.

We decided that “Virtual Reference Tutorial” does not fit the resource anymore and have renamed it the “Virtual Reference Companion: A Guide for VR Coordinators and Librarians”, or VRC for short.

The subcommittee would like your help in making this resource be as useful as possible. We will be sending out a survey in the near future to request tips & best practices, activities, and resources in regards to virtual reference that we may be able to use for the VRC. We will greatly appreciate your input.

Jared Hoppenfeld, Chair 2012-2013
Jennifer Lau-Bond, Chair 2011-2013

Young Adult Reference Services

The newly minted Young Adult Reference Services (YARS) committee held a lively and informative discussion forum at 2012 Annual. The varied group of attendees points to the importance of reference services to this demographic. Fifteen participants talked about teen/young adult reference-related topics that ranged from assisting with research to marketing reference services to tweens, teens and undergrads (and the difficulties therein).

Plans are to continue offering discussion forums at conference and online while building name recognition and growing the committee’s membership from within YALSA and RSS.

Barbara Roos, YALSA
Emilie Smart, RSS
Co-Chairs, 2012-2013

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (, editor.

STARS Legislation and Licensing Committee

Georgia State Copyright Case
The final court opinion the Cambridge University Press. Press; Oxford University Press; Sage Publications v. Georgia St. University case was given on May 11, 2012. It largely upheld most of the uses of Georgia State, and considering the context of Judge Evan’s ruling according to ARL’s issue brief prepared by Brandon C. Butler, the opinion creates a “very comfortable safe harbor for fair use of books on e-reserve. Educause has a wide range of information about the case for anyone who wants a more in-depth analysis.

The Center for Copyright Information Alert System
The committee reported on 6/28/2012 regarding the partnership between content producers and ISPs who came to their own agreement on how to monitor, regulate, and penalize certain internet behavior. Touted as part of a “progressive educational system to help subscribers understand the significance of protecting copyright” (see, it is also part of a behavioral intervention and mitigation system that raises important questions about internet rights, anti-trust practices and due process. Considering how unaware those on STARS have been to this implementation of a new “Copyright Alert System,” it is important to get the word out and start a conversation about one of the largest raw exercises of concerted private power on internet behavior we’ve yet seen.

Welcome Shannon O’Grady (Colorado Library Consortium) as incoming chair and offer thanks to Robin Moskal as she assumes the responsibility of Secretary for RUSA STARS, and Joseph Sharpe as he rotates off to contribute to Assessment related functions.

Joe Sharpe, Chair

STARS Rethinking Resource Sharing Policies Committee

The RUSA STARS Rethinking Resource Sharing Policies Committee met at ALA Annual in Anaheim to discuss current projects and initiatives. The most pressing was a revision of the Rethinking Resource Sharing STAR Checklist, which serves as a compilation of best practices in resource sharing that libraries can use to gauge how they are providing such services to their local communities and to their library partners. The committee completed revisions on two-thirds of the Checklist and are busy scheduling times to finish reviewing it. Emerging best practices in resource sharing are under consideration as the committee weighs how to expand the Checklist beyond its 60+ items.

Evan Simpson, Chair

STARS Cooperative Collection Development Committee

This committee did not meet at Annual in Anaheim, but we are looking forward to our program at ALA Annual 2013 in Chicago, which has been approved. The topic is on mergers of acquisitions and ILL departments; title and speakers are still to be finalized. The program will be on Saturday, June 29  from 1:00-2:30 PM.

Sydney Thompson, Chair

STARS Cooperative and Remote Circulation Task Force

Our committee hosted a very successful program at ALA Annual titled, “Sharing Our Collections: Looking to the Future.” The program featured a “floating collections” project undertaken by a public library consortium, a shared eBook collection in an academic library consortium, and a vendor introduction to how next generation, cloud-based integrated library systems (ILS) will support collection sharing. This program is scheduled to be offered again, this fall, as a webcast.

The committee has taken July to indulge in a collective sigh of relief. We anticipate regrouping in August to begin forming our plans for the next year.

Peter Collins, Chair

STARS Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee

The Committee’s major project for the year was finalizing the “Guidelines for Interlibrary Loan Operations Management,” which has been under development since 2006. The guideline was approved at the ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting in Dallas by the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee. The new guideline is available on the RUSA website.

Current guidelines that the committee maintains are the following:

Code Timeline Notes
Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States Explanatory Supplement Review in 2016 as part of the Interlibrary Loan Code
Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States Review in 2016 Approved by S&G Midwinter 2009; approved by RUSA Board 2009 (according to RUSQ)
Guidelines for Interlibrary Loan Operations Management Review in 2019 Approved by S&G Midwinter 2012; approved by RUSA Board 2012
Resource-Sharing Response to Natural Disasters Review in 2017 Approved by STARS Annual Midwinter 2009; approved by RUSA Board Annual 2010

Each guideline is reviewed every seven years and the committee had no other guidelines or standards to maintain this year.

Jen Bartlett, Chair

STARS Research & Statistics Committee

The RSS sponsored program for 2013 annual has been approved by RUSA. The title is “Does Your Data Deliver for Decision Making? New Directions for Resource Sharing Assessment.” We have three speakers confirmed.

Congratulations to Charla Lancaster and Susan Buzzell, who will be joining us as the incoming co-chairs.

RSS plans to continue work on compiling a resource sharing glossary project and updating ShareILL.

Amy Boucher, Chair

STARS Section Review Task Force Committee

The Section Review Task Force Committee came together at the ALA Annual meeting to discuss our progress and review what needs to happen for the remainder of the year. This committee is charged with preparing a section review for the RUSA board by March 2013. We have been meeting monthly via conference call over the past year. We have gathered preliminary information from the STARS committee chairs as well as historical information on programming and membership.

Sherri Michaels, Chair

STARS Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Committee

ALA programming changes that will take effect at the Annual Conference in Chicago 2013 have limited the number of program slots and designated that all conference programs will be held at the Conference Center. Our committee was asked to consider having our RUSA STARS ILL Program proposal: “How Will the Current Climate/Trends in Libraries Influence/Impact the Future of Resource Sharing?” moved from a program to a presentation at the RUSA STARS ILL Discussion Group. The committee agreed with this proposal.

This program will focus on trends and reasons for changes in ILL requests and how these may affect resource sharing as a whole. The committee will use data from a survey of the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), conducted in spring 2012. Members of the GWLA plan to complete another follow-up study in the spring of 2013. The committee discussed and identified potential speakers for this upcoming program, as well as its format and options for engaging participants and marketing strategies.

Jeanne Voyles, Chair

STARS Education and Training Committee

STARS welcomed Natalie Beam, Head of Access Services at University of Hawaii at Hilo and recipient of the 2012 STARS-Atlas Systems Mentoring Award, to the all-committee meeting.

The Education and Training committee will hold its 6th annual “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About ILL” pre-conference workshop on January 25, 2013 in Seattle. The University of Washington has generously donated space in Odegaard Library; OCLC and Atlas Systems are providing additional support.

Our video series exploring careers in ILL has received positive feedback and over 1,000 total views on YouTube. We will continue to add content and welcome participation. Please contact Lars Leon ( if you are interested in filming a one-to-two minute video.

Finally, the Education and Training Committee will partner with ShareILL administrators to update the ShareILL wiki. We hope that other STARS committees can contribute their own expertise and make this resource as accurate, current, and useful as possible. Please contact Committee Chair Jen Jacobs ( if you are interested in helping with this project.

Jen Jacobs, Incoming Chair

STARS International Interlibrary Loan Committee

The International ILL Committee is in the final stages of completing a report on the survey of international libraries conducted in 2011. We hope to have it to the Executive Committee for approval in a month or two. The Committee plans to write an article with further analysis of the survey. The Committee will also assist the Education and Training Committee in updating ShareILL by creating a page regarding international ILL.

Congratulations to the new chair of the International ILL Committee, Tom Bruno.

Tina Baich, Chair

STARS Membership Committee

The RUSA STARS Membership Committee completed revisions for their initiative-in-progress, titled “RUSA STARS’ 5 Things Every New Resource Sharing Librarian Should Know,” and are in the process of submitting it for final review to the Executive Committee. Membership is also moving forward with a program that will highlight a RUSA STARS member before each ALA conference. “Star Gazing” is a program being designed to share more information about STARS members at a time where new librarians/members might enjoy learning more about a friendly face they may run into at the conferences.

Congratulations to the new chair of the Members Committee, Micquel Little.

Micquel Little, Incoming Chair

STARS Vendor Relations Committee

The Vendor Relations Committee sponsored a presentation at the ILL Discussion Group meeting at ALA this year. The description of the presentation was:

“The Changing Landscape of e-delivery: Hear how libraries are using Atlas Systems Odyssey, BSCAN from Image Access , Relais Express from Relais International, and OCLC’s Article Exchange for electronic delivery in their interlibrary loan offices. You’ll learn about the key features of each product to determine whether they fit your e-delivery needs.”

Each presenter described their ILL environment, including the number of articles sent and received via this system; why they chose the system they are using, features, ease of use, technical requirements, and any pertinent limitations.

The Vendor Relations Committee members also decided to put forward a presentation that we hope to include in the Midwinter  ILL Discussion Group meeting. The topic would be an update on the review of the ISO ILL standard. We are waiting for confirmation that that will be included on the agenda for the meeting.

Becky Ringwelski, Chair

STARS Organization Committee

The Organization Committee discussed whether the committee should be dissolved or combined with another group. A possible merger would be considered with the Membership Committee, as our committee functions have been combined in other RUSA sections. The Committee also discussed a need to update the STARS handbook, regardless of a merger or dissolution decision. These decisions will be postponed until after the Section Review is completed.

Sarah McHone-Chase, Chair

RUSA Standards and Guidelines (S&G) Committee

Guidelines for Interlibrary Loan Operations Management, from the STARS Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee is now an official RUSA guideline! These guidelines make recommendations regarding the qualifications needed for managers of interlibrary loan and document delivery services and give other guidance concerning ILL staffing. RUSA Board members approved the document at Midwinter. The guidelines will be posted to the RUSA website and published in the Reference and User Services Quarterly. Many thanks to the dedicated members of STARS who worked on this project.

At Midwinter, members of the RSS Management of Reference Committee (MOR) led a discussion relating to two guidelines currently under review with the committee’s guidance. These are Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Providers (2004) andProfessional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians (2003). MOR members report that the draft revision of “Behavioral Guidelines” is nearly done. Revision of “Competencies” is proving a harder task.

A History Section task force has quickly gotten through the first stages of reviewingGuidelines for Establishing Local History Collections (2006). This project looks like a fast-track effort.

Several new guidelines are under development:

●     The History Section’s Instruction and Research Services Committee is nearly done with guidelines for providing research and information resources to undergraduate students of history. These should be ready by the 2012 Annual Conference.

●     Steve Alleman is taking the lead on organizing a revision of Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements (1996 from ALCTS)

●     A brand new BRASS effort, in cooperation with SLA and ACRL, is focusing on core competencies for business students.

●     Members of the Access to Information Committee have just started on a statement on access.

Good news for those who regretted the demise of Guidelines for Medical, Legal and Business Responses at General Reference Desks (2001) and Guidelines for Information Services (2000). BRASS and RSS leaders are working to address the guidelines gap created by the sunset of the “Medical” guideline. Members of the Access to Information Committee hope to bring back “Information Services.”

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

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee

The committee has completed the spring 2011 and fall 2011 issues of the online newsletter, Academic Brass. Now that the conversion of the ALA website to a new web management system has been completed, these issues are being posted on the BRASS website. We are also continuing to collect article submissions for the spring 2012 and fall 2012 issues. Anyone interested in submitting an article should send a proposal to the newsletter editors, Lydia LaFaro ( and Nathan Rupp ( Articles should address current issues, practices, or resources in academic business libraries. See the Newsletter Description and Guidelines for additional information.

In addition, the committee is finalizing panelists for the BRASS Forum—” Using Social Media to Promote Business Librarians and Resources”—at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim on June 23rd at 1:30 PM. Check the next issue of BRASS Notes for the final details on this event.

Lydia LaFaro, 2009-2012 Chair

BRASS Program Planning Committee

The 2012 BRASS Program Planning Committee decided to add a little spice to our program title with the hopes of attracting more attendees to our event. The program title has been changed to “Adventures in Dataland: Business Data Sources.” We are also pleased to report that Christy Goodnight from Utah Valley University and Van Houlson from the University of Minnesota Libraries have both kindly volunteered to record our program and capture the PowerPoint screenshots.

We are pleased to invite the following speakers:

●     Bobray Bordelon – Princeton University, Librarian

●     Jerry Wong – US Census, Information Specialist

●     Angela Lee – ESRI, Education Programs

●     Joe Nation – RAND Corporation State Statistics, Director

Over the next few months, our committee will be working on marketing ideas, coordinating our RUSQ article, and working on logistics on the day of our program. Please stay tuned for more updates.

Program planning members: Anthony Lin (BRASS Program Planning Committee Chair), Chris LeBeau (BRASS Chair), Paul Brothers, Laura B. Carscaddon, Jason Dewland, Allison Leaming, Julia Martin, Peter McKay, Michael Oppenheim, and Mark Siciliano

Anthony Lin, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee

The Business Reference Sources Committee (BRSC) is continuing to nominate titles for its best business reference sources of the year column which appears in RUSQ – and beginning to winnow down the initial list that we’ve put together so far this year. We’ve also begun to plan for the BRSC Publisher’s Forum for ALA Annual, the title of which will be “How Private is Private: Is it Really Possible to Find Information on Private Companies?”

Nathan Rupp, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Education Committee

The RUSA BRASS Education Committee is excited to present a new full-day preconference for the ALA 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim: “Mastering Business Acumen (MBA) in a Day: Business Concepts for Library Reference.” The last time we were in Anaheim, sixty librarians attended the Business Reference 101 preconference that focuses on business reference, business resources, and collection development. This new preconference will complement the Business 101 preconference and will provide librarians with a broad conceptual understanding of business support and business reference.

Please help us advertise our program by forwarding this information to your friends and colleagues.

Program: Mastering Business Acumen (MBA) in a Day: Business Concepts for Library Reference

Date: Friday, June 22, 2012

Time: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Where: ALA Annual Conference, Anaheim (workshop location to be determined)


Accounting – Todd M. Hines (MSLS, MBA, MAcc, CPA), Princeton University Library;

Finance – Chris LeBeau (MLS, MBA), University of Missouri Kansas City;

Management – Elisabeth Leonard (MLS, MBA), Sage, Market Research Analyst;

Marketing – Andy Spackman (MBA, MLS), Brigham Young University;

For more information, and links to ALA Registration pages, go to, Event Code: RUS1

Ticket Prices

  Early Bird Advance Onsite
ALA Member $199 $239 $239
Division Member $179 $219 $219
Round Table Member N/A N/A N/A
Retired Member $149 $189 $189
Student Member $149 $189 $189
Non-Member $219 $259 $259


Leticia Camacho, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Vendor Relations Committee

The BRASS Vendor Relations Committee has been working on getting a new sponsored award up and running. Currently, we are awaiting final approval from ALA and we look forward to hopefully announcing this new award (and to soliciting nominees) soon! In other news, we have been assisting the BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee by reaching out to new vendors and working with longtime partners to help secure funding for the celebration event planned for 2013 in Chicago.

Celia Ross, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award committee has made a selection for this year. In order to be eligible for the award, nominees must be a current member of the American Library Association, have a career interest in business reference librarianship, and be willing to participate in BRASS.

We have chosen a recipient and are looking forward to the official presentation and announcement this June at the ALA Annual.

Melissa Jeter, 2011-2012 Chair