From the President

Hello RUSA members! I’m very excited to start my year as President of RUSA and to build on all the wonderful work that was accomplished in the past year under the leadership of 2015-16 RUSA President Anne Houston. Thank you to the committees, sections, members and RUSA staff for a successful conference in Orlando, FL. We offered a variety of section sponsored programs, pre-conferences, and socials. The Membership Committee, chaired by Ann Brown, offered RUSA 101 to a full room of library professionals interested in all that RUSA has to offer in the way of engagement, service, and community. The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Fiction and Nonfiction celebration, sponsored by Novelist, was both moving and joyous. Duncan Smith, Co-founder & General Manager of Novelist, has let RUSA know that Novelist will continue to support the Medals by donating $15,000 over a 3 year period for the event which celebrates the best in adult literature. I was unable to attend but I heard that the Literary Tastes Breakfast had an unmatched author’s panel which Leighann Wood, RUSA Senior Program Officer, has written about in this issue of RUSA Update. It was also my great honor to help recognize the recipients of the RUSA Achievement Awards at our annual reception. I appreciate the continued support and sponsorship of the awards reception by Credo Reference and a big thank you to all of RUSA vendor sponsors and supporters. Lastly, there was a full house for the RUSA President’s Program with energetic speaker, Dave Cobb of the Thinkwell Group, who spoke about creating immersive guest experiences in the library through storytelling. There is a great write-up in RUSA News
There were other key accomplishments this past year:

  • Under the leadership of the Organization and Planning (O&P) Committee, chaired by Beth German, RUSA successfully piloted interest groups and three out of the four interest groups will continue as part of RUSA. O&P will make a recommendation to RUSA Board regarding how to integrate interest groups into the RUSA organization on a permanent basis. The interest groups are: Copyright (Faithe Ruiz, First Year Experience (Douglas Hasty, and Shared Collections (Tina Baich The Entrepreneurship IG (Steve Cramer) decided to sunset at the end of the pilot.
  • Anne Houston, RUSA Past President, created the Name Change Task Force, co-chaired by Ed Garcia and Nancy Cunningham, which surveyed RUSA members about their views on the RUSA name and brand. We’re expecting a report from the Task Force by Midwinter 2017.
    The Learning Opportunities and Knowledge Coordination (LOKCS) task force, co-chaired by Mary Popp and Shannon Jones, issued an excellent report on RUSA Learning and Publishing which includes a vision and value statement for RUSA Learning. I will be working closely with the Chairs of Publications & Communications, Professional Development, and Standards & Guidelines to begin implementing the recommendations
  • Under the leadership of Susan Hornung, RUSA Executive Director, the Executive Committee and Membership Committee brainstormed a value proposition statement for RUSA members as we consider a dues increase to stabilize the RUSA budget.
  • RUSA’s ALA Emerging Leaders project led by Catherine Damiani, Digital Services Librarian at East Providence Public Library and RUSA’s Emerging Leader, developed a library publishing services toolkit which will be stewarded by the Publications & Communications Committee
  • Patty Valdovinos, RUSA’s Spectrum Scholar, worked with Kirk McLeod, incoming chair of the Publications & Communications, to create and host the IAMRUSA podcast series which, so far, has featured interviews with Anne Houston and Joe Thompson, now RUSA past-past president.
  • The RUSA Trends Team was formed and will blog about trends in library user services

Turning to the year ahead, in collaboration with the RUSA Executive Committee and Board, I will continue to work on the strategic goals and objectives of RUSA as outlined in our strategic plan with a particular focus on the following:

  • Working with Organization & Planning as the they review the structure of RUSA and the RUSA review process
  • Adopting a more flexible pathway for volunteer member engagement (i.e. streamlining ways to get involved with RUSA)
  • Implementing the recommendations of the LOKCS task force
  • Continuing to develop and deliver timely and engaging conference programming, professional development offerings and a variety of publication channels and venues
  • Consider proposal to make RUSQ open access
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of RUSA Awards events working closely with the Celia Ross, our new Vendor Relations liaison.
  • Offering the successful RUSA 101 and 201 programs and hold more online Town Hall meetings

Please feel free to contact me any time at I welcome your questions and comments.
Alesia McManus
RUSA President 2016-17

RUSA News/Announcements

A recap of the Literary Tastes author panel in Orlando:
While attendance was not as high as past events, the caliber of this year’s author panel went unmatched. Award winning authors spoke candidly on themes of folklore, Polish culture old and new, child behavior, injustice, racism and fear. Literary Tastes is an opportunity to hear from noteworthy authors whose books are among their annual selections and also celebrate the art and craft of writing with fellow book lovers.

Naomi Novik, author of Uprooted, (Del Rey Books), was the 2016 Fantasy category winner of RUSA’s Reading List. Novik said, “Uprooted is, underneath, how people are connected and how people need one another.” She spoke of her Polish roots and how they influenced her story’s mythological aspects.

Jim Shepard spoke of his book, The Book of Aron (Alfred A. Knopf), which was name the 2016 winner of RUSA’s Sophie Brody Medal for excellence in Jewish Literature as well as a finalist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Shepard said “I’m interested in fictions that dismantle.” We read this chilling story from Aron’s perspective, a child in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII, who uses his willful, limited capacities to survive and to understand the world around him.

James Hannaham, author of Delicious Foods, (Little, Brown and Company) was named a 2016 RUSA Notable Book for Fiction, which has since won the 2016 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In a frank discussion about how we perceive and portray context, he says he liked the idea that “the book could move forward with information rather than plot.” Hannaham has many conversations about racism and slavery, but “part of it is that it’s not over.” He left the captivated audience yearning for more.

Lastly, Karin Slaughter, author of Pretty Girls (William Morrow), who was the 2016 Adrenaline category winner of RUSA’s Reading List, spoke of her growing up in the south as the youngest of her sisters. Her stories are influenced by the fear her father instilled in her, “the last time a child left the refrigerator door open, they died,” she said jokingly and “children who read are quieter,”. The room was full of constant laughter as if we had transported to a late night comedy club. Her famous departing words, “I’ll leave you with urine and fear.”

The audience took a wild literary journey through past and present. Authors were there signing books immediately following the presentation where attendees could share their enthusiasm and take the occasional selfie. This annual RUSA event is quickly becoming a conference highlight for readers of all types. We are looking forward to next year!

RUSA’s 2017 Achievement Awards nomination period opens September 1 and runs through December 9, 2016. Nomination and submission instructions can be found on each of the award pages here: Librarians and library staff that work in reference and user services, instruction, readers’ advisory, business reference, historical research and genealogy, interlibrary loan are encouraged to apply!

The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction longlist will be announced in in the fall! The winners will be announced at RUSA’s Book and Media Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta.

Welcome to Jennifer Cross! Jennifer Cross has been hired as the new web services specialist for ASCLA and RUSA. Jennifer has her Master’s in Library Science from Texas Woman’s University, and a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois. Most recently she has been a Programming and Web Design teacher in Caracas, Venezuela. In past positions, she has been a technology teacher, school librarian and web developer. Please direct any web services, RUSQ, and appointment database questions to her at

RUSA Vendor Relations
From achievement awards, travel awards, receptions and more, our sponsors enhance the ALA Annual experience for RUSA members. Thank you, RUSA sponsors, for your continued support!

Atlas Systems
Credo Reference
Emerald Publishing
Gale Cengage
Global Financial Data
Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group)
NoveList (Ebsco)
Penguin Random House
Reference Service Press
Reference USA
S&P Global Market Intelligence
SimplyMap/Geographic Research

Celia Ross
Vendor Relations Liaison


Elizabeth Malafi, Editor

Message from Past BRASS Chair

Thank you all for another spectacular and productive year that has seen the forward movement of BRASS.  Looking back BRASS gained the support of two new sponsors: Mergent Excellence in Business Librarianship Award and the SimplyMap Student Travel Award.  The 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando contained numerous outstanding BRASS events (& meetings) like the well-attended and received Friday Pre conference (Business Data for Librarians) and the Monday morning program (Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitudes: Travel and Hospitality Landscape and Library Resources). The BRASS Education Committee established a web badge with the BRASS logo for the Best of the Best Business web sites.  This activity will bring more well-deserved exposure to BRASS.  These are just a few highlights looking through the rear-view mirror.  Unfortunately, there are many other achievements not mentioned here that have been brought to fruition by our BRASS colleagues.  All of these add to the success of our section. In closing, I want to extend a special thanks to the members of the BRASS Executive Board and for all BRASS members who have worked diligently this past year in continuing to uphold BRASS to its’ level of excellence.

Paul Brothers
BRASS Past Chair

Message from Current BRASS Chair

Hi BRASS Members! I just wanted to say hello.  I will be serving as BRASS Chair over the next year with my term ending after ALA Annual in Chicago.  It’s an honor to serve as Chair and I look forward to working with everyone.  A big thanks to Paul for his service as Chair and to all the folks who served on Exec, Board, and committees this past year and a huge thank you to those who volunteered to serve on committees this year. You all make BRASS the wonderful organization that it is.

Please make sure to follow BRASS-l to stay current on BRASS activities during the year.  As you are making your travel plans this next year, just a reminder that BRASS does not have any required meetings at Midwinter.  We have an all-committee meeting on Sunday morning during the conference from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. for those who are attending.  Of course, at Annual, we have a full slate of meetings and events.  Stay-tuned for more information on those in the spring.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about BRASS!

Louise Feldmann
BRASS Chair 2016-2017

Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee
The Lightning Talks Forum, entitled “Innovation and Risk Taking in Business Academic Librarianship,” was held at the Annual Conference in Orlando.  The program was well received and well attended—we counted 95 in the audience.  The forum featured seven presentations by academic librarians on topics and experiences related to academic business library instruction, consultations, and information needs assessment.  Evaluation forms showed that 96% of responding attendees felt BRASS should hold more “Lightning Talks” forums and 100% felt that the information provided at this session was interesting and/or relevant.  Committee members worked hard on arrangements throughout the year, however, special acknowledgements go out to Ilana Barnes Stonebaker who coordinated much of the planning.

The committee is sponsored a Virtual Forum on the same topic open to all BRASS members on Friday, August 12 at 2 p.m. EST.  Amanda Howell coordinated arrangements and moderated the question and answer session while Jared Hoppenfeld introduced the speakers and moderated as well.  Another Virtual Forum will be scheduled for October.

Karen Chapman and Janet Franks are the new co-editors of Academic BRASS.  They will be sending out a request for submissions in the near future.  Special thanks to Charles Allen who served as editor of BRASS and Van Houlson who just stepped down as chair of our committee.  We appreciate their collegiality, hard work, and commitment to service.

Susan Norrisey and Jared Hoppenfeld, 2016 – 2017 Co-Chairs

Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
We had a great meeting at Annual and welcomed 5 guest attendees who are interested in joining the committee… which brought up the issue of both participation as well as the size of our committee which is rather small. We discussed this and some ideas that came up regarding how the committee is marketed and maybe we need to look into improving that to garner more interest. One idea was to set up a dedicated Facebook page; we are also looking into the idea of creating an online forum or knowledge base, separate from the listservs, that provide public librarians with access to information about what we do as well as a means of marketing BRASS to nonmembers.

We also discussed potential forum topics for our committees program next year. Based on the fact that many of our guests were there because they wanted to pick our brains on how we are providing services to local small businesses and entrepreneurs, we think a program on creating services and building resources for the local business community would be a great topic.

Sal DiVincenzo, 2015 – 2017 Chair

Membership Committee
The ReferenceUSA BRASS Member Reception at Cuba Libre Restaurant in Orlando was a success, with 75 attendees.   A big thank you to ReferenceUSA for their continuing sponsorship of this very popular kick-off to the conference.

The Membership Committee is scouting locations for next year’s reception in Chicago.  Send your recommendations to Cynthia Slater and Greg Tong.

At the Membership committee meeting Sunday, June 26 we discussed outreach and retention. We’re looking for your ideas!   Send them to Cynthia and we’ll include them in our next committee meeting.

Cynthia Slater, 2015 – 2017 Chair

Nominating Committee
The BRASS Nominating Committee is in the process of recruiting candidates for the next election to run for BRASS Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect and BRASS Member at Large.

Todd Hines, 2016 – 2017 Chair

Program Planning Committee
Our face-to-face meeting at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando was very productive.  We had a lively discussion and brainstorming session to better shape our program proposal, with a valuable feedback from Katrina Stierholz, Director of Library and Research Information Services at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Our program proposal “Demystifying the Federal Reserve” was approved by RUSA and planning and preparation for the 2017 BRASS program is in full swing. We hope to see you in Chicago!

Natasha Arguello, 2016 – 2017 Chair

Publications and Communications Committee

  • Elizabeth Malafi is our new BRASS Notes editor.
  • Downloads for the BRASS ALA Schedule of events remained strong, so the committee will continue to publish it next year.
  • The committee continues to have extensive conversations around the topic of better promoting BRASS members, their resources, and their accomplishments
  • Genifer Snipes compiled the #bizref posts from ALA Annual into Storify –  Thanks to all who were active on social media during the BRASS events at ALA annual.  We continue to work to increase our social media participation
  • Annette Buckley has done extensive work on the BRASS website in order to get the site to a point where it is much easier to maintain

Chad Boeninger, 2015 – 2017 Chair

Vendor Relations Committee Report
BRASS is fortunate to have sponsors that support the section activities and awards.  Longtime friends of BRASS include, S&P Global Market Intelligence, Emerald, InfoGroup/ReferenceUSA, Morningstar, Global Financial Data, and Springshare. BRASS was happy to welcome Mergent, the new sponsor of the Excellence in Business Librarianship, and SimplyMap, now sponsor of the Student Travel Award at ALA 2016.   

The Vendor Relations Committee works with sponsors to support BRASS awards and activities.  Thank you to outgoing member Lydia Lafaro, 2014-2016.  Continuing committee member is Rebecca Smith, 2015-2017. New members are Jason Dewland, 2016-2018 and Leticia Camacho, 2016-2018.

BRASS Awards Link

Ann Fiegen, 2015 – 2017 Chair

Award Committees

Emerald Research Award Committee
I am updating the documentation for the committee. In September, a timeline will be sent out to committee regarding review applications and deciding the winner. We will use emails to exchange ideas, and use ALA Connect to comment on applications.

Chubing Tripepi, 2016 – 2017 Chair

Morningstar Librarian Support Award Committee
The nomination form has been updated for the Morningstar Librarian Support award! I’m preparing nomination campaign materials to review with the committee in September. We might use ALA Connect rather than scheduling a virtual meeting.

Ed Rossman, 2016 – 2017 Chair

SimplyMap Student Travel Award
The BRASS SimplyMap Student Travel Award will begin soliciting nominations soon.  The deadline for submission is January 29, 2017.  Congratulations again to the 2016 recipient Katherine Glasoe and to SimplyMap for their support.

Bobray Bordelon. 2016 – 2017 Chair


Barry Trott, Editor

CODES was well represented in Orlando at the ALA Annual Conference.  The program “Harnessing Research and Data to Advance Readers’ Advisory Services, ” the annual “Literary Tastes” breakfast, and of course the annual Achievement Awards Ceremony and Reception all highlighted CODES and other RUSA activities.

Summer and fall are a busy time of year for CODES book and media awards committees!  CODES members are hard at work reading, listening and evaluating books, reference works, and other resources across all genres and formats in anticipation of the RUSA Book and Media Awards ceremony next January 2017 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.  Membership in the book and media awards committees run February through January.  CODES leadership will be making appointments to these committees in late fall and winter.  Are you interested in serving on one of the book and media awards committees?  Check out the list of CODES committees at, click on a committee name to read about its charge, and volunteer via the RUSA Online Volunteer Form at

CODES has several other committees in addition to the book and media awards.  Appointments to these committees are made in the early spring.  It’s not too late to be thinking about joining!  Again, take a look at the list of committees at and volunteer at

If you have questions about the purpose, composition, or work of any committee, contact Dan Mack, CODES Chair, at

Emerging Technologies Section (ETS)

Geoffrey Morse, Editor

We at the Emerging Technologies Section send our thanks to all our hard-working committee members, committee chairs, and those in elected positions who produced a great slate of programming for 2015-2016.

We’re looking forward to the coming year! Questions or suggestions? Interested in being involved? Contact our Chair, Courtney McDonald (, Vice-Chair, Beth Boatright ( or Past Chair, Donna Scanlon (

Those who wish to be considered for a committee appointment can feel free to fill out the RUSA online volunteer form anytime; the appointment process for 2017-2018 will kick off in spring, but you can toss your hat in the ring anytime.


This year we recognized Beth Boatright with the 2016 ETS Achievement Recognition Award.  This award is given annually to recognize excellence in service to ETS.  Beth has been an active member of ETS for some time, she is a RUSA Emerging Leader, and this year she was on our panel for the program Emerging Technologies Librarians: Changing Roles for Changing Times.  Congratulations Beth!

Programs at ALA

ETS sponsored a number or programs in Orlando including:

Emerging Technologies Librarians: Changing Roles for Changing Times [Conference attendees, log in for session materials]
About 60 people attended this session where Beth Boatright (Emerging Technologies Librarian and Business Librarian, Indiana University- Purdue University, Fort Wayne),  Tara Radniecki (Engineering Librarian at University of Nevada, Reno, and author of the IFLA Study on Emerging Technology librarian roles)  and Jane Martin (Library Director, Winterhaven Public Library and their SEEDLab with a focus on  Science, Education, Exploration and Design) discussed how they stay abreast of the latest trends and new technologies.  The three speakers and ETS member Matt Terrence arranged interactive questionnaires that allowed active audience participation in the session.

Promoting Subject Specialists and Enhancing Visibility of Library Reference [Conference attendees, log in for session materials]
Over 90 people attended this session where librarians from several institutions discussed their library liaison programs and how they have enhanced visibility of their subject librarians as well as provide liaison and reference services to their constituencies. Additionally the presenters discussed how they are assessing these efforts.

Socially Acceptable: Communicating with Users Through Social Media Networks
The Hot Topics discussion group went back to their roots in this session.  Rather than having presenters, the attendees broke into groups and discussed the possible uses of various social media outlets (e.g., Yik Yak/Twitter, MeetUP) and how they might be used to communicate with our users/patrons.  After brief discussions each group reported back to the larger group.

Fact or Fiction: What Virtual Reference Training Works and What Holds Promise
Six discussion leaders provided an overview of virtual reference training that is conducted at their respective institutions. Information included who is trained, how training is conducted, and difficulties or successes that have been observed. Participants were also given the opportunity to share their own experiences and ask questions of speakers and fellow attendees.

The Library as Publisher: Emerging Service for Storytellers and Scholars [Conference attendees, log in for session materials]
On Saturday, two library innovators and RUSA’s team of Emerging Leaders shared about the projects, technologies, and resources for helping support patron publishing. The session was based on research done by the 2015 RUSA Emerging Leader team, available at

  • Jonah Magar discussed Michigan State University’s Espresso Book Machine, which allows for on-demand book printing. They offer design and other assistance, and the service is popular with authors and students. A grant covered the cost of the machine, the university pays for the staff, and materials costs are passed along to the patrons.
  • Sarah Lydon described the Rochester Public Library’s outreach to immigrant populations through a collaboration with StoryCorps. Equipped with recording equipment and interview prompts, Sarah gave visitors the opportunity to interview friends and relatives, recording and sharing their stories.  The program was extremely popular and led to a recurring series in the local newspaper. A portion of one touching interview can be heard in the audio of this session.

Audio and slides from the session are available in the ALA Scheduler – look for the “Assets” button. If you’d be interested in joining an interest group about library publishing services, please be in touch! If there is enough interest, we will try to get something started.

Happy Hour

Twenty one people attended the RSS/ETS happy hour in Orlando. All who attended enjoyed good conversation and the opportunity to meet other members of RSS and ETS.


Laura Hibbler, Editor

The History Section held a number of successful events at ALA Annual in Orlando. The Genealogy Pre Conference, sponsored by ProQuest, is always a popular event and registration was full by April. This year’s All Committee Meeting and Open House included a Connection Breakfast with the goals of connecting new history librarians with each other and with experienced history librarians. The History Section also held a program, Partnering for the Common Good: Libraries, and Genealogical Societies. Two Discussion groups, the Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group and the History Librarians Discussion Group, also met at ALA.
Sixteen History Section members met for dinner at Café 34 Istanbul. The group included several librarians who are new to the Section.


RSS-logoDenise Wetzel, Editor                                      

Message from the Chair

Hello all,

I’m so happy to begin my term as RSS Chair!  Crystal Lentz deserves a big thank you for her leadership of the section during 2015-2016.

RSS had a very busy Annual Conference. The RSS Open House and All-Committee Meeting was well attended. We were happy to welcome some new members to RSS, and some visitors who are considering joining our section. The section also participated in RUSA 101, held on Friday at the beginning of Annual, in order to meet with potential members. The Joint ETS/ RSS Happy Hour was a great way to catch up with our ETS colleagues. Committees held meetings, programs, and discussion forums during Annual.  To learn more about all of the work our committees did during Annual, please check out the committee reports.

There are a few projects RSS hopes to work on this year including a revision of both our RSS Handbook and the RSS Bylaws.  Additionally, RSS hopes to revise our webpages to reflect the work of our committees and the section.  We will also be working to institute changes that came from our Section Review, completed this past spring.

RSS is still hoping to fill just a few remaining spots on committees; we are seeking members for both the Discovery Services Committee and the Young Adult Reference Services Committee.  Please contact me if you would like to volunteer for either of those committees.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I’m looking forward to a great year for RSS!

Amy Rustic,
RSS Chair, 2016-2017

RSS Honor Roll

It’s that time of year! We want to recognize you and your contributions to RSS!

The RSS Honor Roll gives recognition to active RSS members who have served the section in three different capacities since its inception.

If you have been a member of three or more committees or discussion groups since RSS was established in 2004 and have not previously been added to the honor roll, please send your name and a list of the three ways you have served RSS to Ellen Keith at

Not only will you become a member of this esteemed group, you will also be recognized at ALA Annual in Orlando!

Join the RSS Honor Roll today!


Education & Professional Development for Reference Committee
Our panel event, Educating for the Future of Reference,  for Annual 2016 in Orlando built upon earlier discussion forums around the topic of how well (or not) the professional degree prepares us for the current “reference” environment. The program explored whether “reference education” in library schools currently helps provide librarians with relevant skills and materials for the current “reference” marketplace as seen from the perspective of library administrators/librarians who hire and train, and also from the perspective of library educators.

Panelists included Jason Coleman (Kansas State University), Wendi Bost (Orange County Public Library System), Dr. Linda Lillard (Library Science Department at Clarion University), and Dr. Eileen Abels (Dean of the Simmons School of Library and Information Science).

Panelists were asked to address the following questions:

1) Should a reference/information services class be a required element of an LIS program?  Why or why not? Here the consensus was generally, “yes” (although not resoundingly so). The content of such a class should focus more on the communication and instructional skills needed to effectively work with library users. Being “in tune” with what users need and want is important. Technology skills are also critical.

2) In your opinion, does “reference education” in library schools currently help provide librarians with relevant skills and materials for the current “reference” marketplace? What is working/what is not? Again, the consensus is that “finding facts” is a rarity in the current reference environment. Reference/public services do add value to the array of services a library offers by directing users to quality information where that is desired. Often “just enough” is O.K. with users, though – “satisficing.”

3) What are the most important skills students need to learn in order to provide high-quality reference assistance?  Are there differences in this answer based on whether you are in a public or academic environment? Needed: communication skills, technical skills, understanding of how databases are constructed, and how search engines and services are constructed and operate.

4) Thinking of the different “reference” models and formats that are employed in different types of libraries, can there be a set of competencies broad and flexible enough that it would be valuable across multiple situations? If so, how does this affect reference education? Much of this is covered in the answers above.

5) How do library/information schools determine whether changes are needed in curriculum/coursework? Through attendance at conferences and information from graduates. It was conceded that detecting the changes are not easily accomplished.

6) If practitioners detect that adjustments are needed/desired, how would library school professors/deans advise us to most effectively get this information to library schools who wish to keep coursework relevant? (See #5)

Audience participation followed the panelist talks. About 40 people attended the session and written evaluations were largely positive.

Bryna Coonin, Chair 2016-2017

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee (ERUS)
ERUS received hundreds of responses to our survey, “How are reference data collected and used in 2016?” Thank you!  You’re amazing!!!  We will be analyzing results for the foreseeable future.

Rebecca Graff, Chair 2016-2017

Health and Medical Reference Committee
Since the last report, the Committee primarily worked on collaborating with ACRL’s Health and Science Interest Group to create the content for a Discussion Forum at ALA. On June 25, 2016 in Orlando, the two committees presented: Implementing Health and Medical Reference Guidelines: Training librarians, Paraprofessionals and Part Time Staff.

Chair of HMRC, Laura Haines, presented a brief PowerPoint presentation curriculum, entitled Quick Start Guide to Providing Excellent Health Reference, to a group of 25 attendees. This Quick Start guide was created using RUSA’s Health and Medical Reference Guidelines, and is intended to be used by those training others how to provide high quality health and medical reference service. The curriculum gives examples of best practices and suggested reference behaviors, and references the specific RUSA Health and Medical Guidelines for each behavior. All attendees who wished to have a copy of the Quick Start Guide to adapt to their own training needs in their own libraries left their email addresses. Shortly after the meeting, the Chair emailed this PowerPoint to all interested attendees.

After the presentation of the Quick Start Guide and a brief discussion, attendees were divided into four tables and given a reference scenario and discussion prompts. Each group used the Health and Medical Reference Guidelines (provided) and the Quick Start Guide to discuss the best practices for that particular scenario. After a lengthy and engaged discussion, the individual tables presented their reference scenarios and highlights from their discussion to the larger group. Themes and common topics were identified.

The response to the Quick Start Guide, RUSA’s Health and Medical Reference Guidelines, and the reference scenarios was overwhelmingly positive. Many attendees praised the succinct nature of the Guidelines and appreciated the Quick Start Guide’s “translation” of the Guidelines into practices and behaviors. Many remarked that they had been unaware of the Health and Medical Reference Guidelines existence, and encouraged the HMRC and ACRL’s HSIG to do further promotion of the Guidelines. No doubt, future endeavors of the HMRC will focus on this promotion.

Laura Haines, Outgoing HMRC Chair
Ann Glusker, HMRC Chair, 2016-2017

Library Services to an Aging Population Committee
The Library Services to an Aging Population Committee met at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 25th, from 8:30-10:00 a.m. The group discussed the completion of guidelines, a program proposal for ALA 2017, the reframing of aging, and participation in future workshops, conferences, etc.

The committee has been asked to assist with revamping the “Keys to Engaging Older Adults@ your library.”

Update: 2017 ALA Annual program proposal was approved. Conference attendees may look forward to the following program:

Aging – A new frontier: Implications and Opportunities for Libraries and Librarians:  Growing old – it’s not what it used to be. The panel will explore the new frontier of aging with an emphasis on how libraries and librarians can better understand, as well as embrace, the myriad of opportunities that come along with serving mature adults. From hosting benefits access programs to jump starting business endeavors, participants will explore how to surf the “age wave” and all that it offers.

Fatima Perkins, Chair 2016-2017

Research and Statistics Committee
This year, the Research & Statistics Committee hosted the 22nd Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 26th from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.  The event was attended by close to 100 people.  Three research teams, selected through a double-blind review process, presented their findings.  Laura Hibbler from Brandeis University presented findings from a study that involved interviewing first-year students at three different points while they were working on a research paper.  Tarin Tobin Cataldo from the University of Florida presented findings from a three-year, IMLS-funded research project exploring how students from students from 4th grade to graduate school determined the credibility of digital resources.  Finally, Amanda L. Folk from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg discussed patron motivations for asking questions to librarians based on Dweck’s theories of intelligence.  The committee also reviewed and posted an annotated bibliography of articles relating to reference research for the 2015 Reference Research Review available at:

Cynthia Levine, Co-chair 2016-2017
David Ward, Co-chair 2016-2017

Virtual Reference Committee
The Virtual Reference Services Committee and the Virtual Reference Discussion Forum Group held a joint Discussion Forum during ALA Annual. Fact or Fiction: What Virtual Reference Training Works and What Holds Promise was considered successful, as there was a lively discussion among the attendees.

The committee submitted our revised and updated guidelines, “Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services,” to the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee. They are currently being reviewed and our committee will be receiving feedback from the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee in the coming months.

And finally, the RSS and ETS Boards approved the dissolution of duplicate committees. Specifically, the Virtual Reference Discussion Group and the Virtual Reference Services Committee were merged into one joint ETS/RSS group, whose charge is “to identify and study issues relating to virtual reference services, and to evaluate and promote technological and service standards, guidelines, and best practices” for these services in all types of libraries.

Hillary Kraus, Co-chair 2016-2017
Karen Reiman-Sendi, Co-chair 2016-2017


Kerry Keegan, Editor

Letter from the Chair

Hi, everyone!

My name is Heidi Nance and I’m delighted to be your STARS Chair for 2016-17. I am currently the Head of Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services at the University of Washington Libraries in Seattle, WA. Prior to that, I worked in Interlibrary Loan at Seattle Pacific University and in the Marketing/Image Library at Callison Architecture. I’ve been involved in resource sharing for more than eleven years now, and am daily awed and inspired by the dedication and creativity of the ILL community. There is something truly unique about our niche of the library world. Internally, Resource Sharing operations touch nearly all parts of the library – access services, cataloging, acquisitions, preservation, systems, and financial services. Externally, we depend on the generosity and spirit of cooperation among our networked web of libraries around the globe. This deep interdependence means that we must daily hone our skills of diplomacy, creativity, innovation, leadership, and service. I was drawn to STARS because our membership works tirelessly to create best practices, guidelines, training opportunities, and forums for open discussion among members. We share far more than just library materials!

The 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando was full of exciting STARS-related programming. We had a lively presenter panel for “Resource Sharing in Tomorrowland,” (standing room only!), and a thought-provoking “Not Your Average Consortia” presentation. Our ILL Discussion Group and Hot Topics Discussion Groups continued to be well-attended and sparked spirited discussions about loan periods, the newly-revised ALA Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States (, and more. Our special thanks to the STARS Outreach and Promotion Committee who organized the STARS Social on Friday night. And last, but very far from least, I send my gratitude to Tom Bruno for his work this past year as STARS Chair and to Tina Baich for her ongoing service as Past-Chair.

Programming for Midwinter and Annual 2017 is not yet confirmed, but we have a number of great offerings in the works. At Midwinter, the Education and Training Committee  will reprise their ever-popular ILL 101 workshop (aka “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL”) presented by Kristen Palmiere, Megan Gaffney, Karen Janke, Cindy Kristof, and the award-winning Collette Mak. At Annual, we’ll have “I am not a lawyer: providing copyright services in libraries” also presented by Collette Mak and Cindy Kristof. I’m told there might even be a brand-new “Vendor Bingo” event/game!

In addition to our conference-related events, we’re working on a number of projects for this coming year. Watch for a newly-revised “Guidelines for Resource Sharing to Natural and Man-Made Disaster,” ILL-friendly model licensing terms, a possible STARS Twitter account, and more!

As I look back at the past year, and forward into the next, I remain humbled and inspired by the incredibly dedicated STARS members. Amid all your plentiful daily work at your home institutions, you remain committed to donating your time and effort to the wider ILL and library community. It’s an honor to work with you this year and I’m excited to see what it will bring!

Thank you, fellow STARS!

Heidi Nance
STARS Chair 2016-2017

Atlas Systems Mentoring Award Committee
The Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (STARS) of ALA recognized Kimberly Steiner during ALA 2016. Kimberly Steiner is the Interlibrary Loan Technician from Messiah College and is pictured with John Brunswick from Atlas Systems.


Amy Paulus, Chair

Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee
The Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee has been busy preparing and presenting new materials for the ALA community. Updates include:

  • Edits for the “ALA Library Fact Sheet 8 on Interlibrary Loans” have been submitted to RUSA.
  • The “Guidelines and Procedures for Telefacsimile and Electronic Delivery of Interlibrary Loan Requests and Materials” has seen its sunset and has been removed from the RUSA guidelines web page.
  • “Top Ten Changes to the ILL Code and Supplement” was presented at the ILL Discussion Group in Orlando. Its complementary handout has been shared on major ILL listservs.
  • A free webinar on the newly revised ILL Code had 1,092 registrants from 632 library locations logged in across all 50 states! Join the ever-increasing number of viewers from the YouTube recording, which is available at
  • Preparations are being made for the review and & revision, as needed, of the Guidelines for Resource-Sharing Response to Natural and Manmade Disasters (2010).

      Margaret Ellingson, Chair

Vendor Relations Committee
The Vendor Relations Committee reported on some of these activities before ALA Annual, but is still happy to include updates on its latest accomplishments. These include:

  • The preparation of “Vendor Bingo” for Midwinter Atlanta, which aims to encourage members to visit participating vendors/sponsors.
  • A scanner survey was sent out for completion between July 12 and July 29, 2016. Information gathered is being using to prepare a best practices ShareILL page.
  • The ShareILL pages are being reviewed, with the goal of working with the Licensing and Legislation Committee on developing a template for borrowing e-books.
  • Plans are being developed for the possible co-hosting of an article delivery forum with the ILL Discussion Group and pertinent vendors.

      Robin Moskal, Chair