From the President

Annual Conference 2014 Wrap Up and a Look Ahead

Although some of us may have gone in with concerns or even trepidation about what an ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas might turn out to be like, many of us found the conference content and overall experience to be on par with the best. I’d like to begin this RUSA Update with a review of some of my stand-out experiences at ALA Annual 2014. I’ll then turn to the future, with a look ahead at online learning being offered by RUSA this fall and a review of some activities going on right now that will take us into RUSA’s next strategic planning process.

Before going any further I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Elizabeth Stephan for serving RUSA as the RUSA Update Editor for over 5 years. Elizabeth was responsible for moving this newsletter, RUSA Update, to a completely electronic publishing platform and for positioning RUSA Update to serve as a major online service to RUSA members. With this issue we welcome Carol Schuetz as our new RUSA Update Editor. Carol comes to us after previously serving as the editor and production editor of the Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) Newsletter and most recently as the editor of BRASS Notes.   We appreciate her now sharing her skills with us at RUSA Update. Welcome, Carol!

I also want to thank our over 900 volunteer members who serve as chairs and members on all of our committees at the section and division levels. Every member who prepares agendas, takes minutes, participates in discussions, and responds to emails with ideas is directly responsible for the success of the division. We are all pulled in many directions by a plethora of commitments, but our member volunteers each find a way to make an individual contribution that benefits us and the larger profession. Among our volunteer members I absolutely must recognize are my immediate predecessors, Kathleen Kern and Mary Popp, who have responsibly guided RUSA and contributed innumerable hours in support for the association and our members. I’m especially grateful to our past presidents for their time, dedication, and for always caring about doing the best job possible. Thank you.

Annual Conference 2014 Wrap Up

It is very hot in Las Vegas, that’s true. Once you’re indoors, it can be confusing to navigate through the smoky seas of slot machines on your way to a meeting. That said, those will be the memories that I know I will selectively forget. What I won’t forget are the people, the programs, and the RUSA events. In this issue of RUSA Update you will see reports from many of our division and section committees on their activities. Though I wish I could have attended them all, here I’m only going to focus on those that I was lucky enough to attend.

I’d like to first highlight some of the important social opportunities – those places where people interested in joining the division have the chance to informally connect with established members. The first notable event was Friday afternoon’s RUSA 101. We welcomed over 100 people who wanted to know more about RUSA. Each of our six sections had representatives stationed around the perimeter of the room and were able to make personal connections. I want to especially thank RUSA Membership co-chairs Ann Brown and Alicia Ahlvers, as well as Marianne Braverman and Leighann Wood from the RUSA office for pulling the event together. One highlight for me was getting to meet four reference librarians from Nigeria who came to ALA specifically to attend our RUSA events and programs!

Did you know that the STARS section is now 10 years old? The members planned a great celebration and networking event at the local Bahama Breeze on Friday evening. It was a blast getting to talk with people that I’d served with previously on committees and meet new people. Almost all of the STARS chairs — past, present, and future– were in attendance able to be photographed together.

Saturday offered multiple opportunities for making connections with RUSA colleagues. Bright and early were the RSS Open House and All-Committee meeting, where I was able to meet with my RSS colleagues, including members of the Young Adult Reference Services Committee (“YARS!” – say it like it’s “Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day”). YARS is our first joint committee with YALSA. The members are already doing great work delivering programs and discussions that delve into the methods we use to connect young adults with reference services. On Saturday evening MARS offered their signature social event, the MARS Happy Hour. I really want to commend the organizers of this long and successful series. It was another great opportunity to connect with fellow “MARStians.” BRASS, CODES, and History also held great networking events, but I’m sorry I missed them this time around. There’s always Midwinter and Annual next year! In addition to being a lot of fun, one thing that all of these social events have in common is that they provide our members who attend conference excellent opportunities to talk informally about their work in RUSA, to share personal experiences across library types, and make connections that could lead to the next career advancement.

Among the headline RUSA events was Kathleen Kern’s RUSA President’s Program, Our Values, Ourselves: Examining Our Values and What Others Value About Us. The “Waynes” (Wayne Bivens-Tatum and Wayne Wiegand), Lisa Carlucci Thomas, and Jeanne Goodrich each provided personal reflections on the development of the modern library service structure and influence of past precedents on libraries today.

RUSA again offered great opportunities to meet authors and hear from them directly. Held on Saturday evening, this was the third year for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction and also the third year that Nancy Pearl chaired the selection committee. You can find out more about the 2014 winning titles Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism at I’m now on page 45 of The Bully Pulpit and making steady progress! Though this was Nancy’s last year as chair, the 2015 award committee is in great hands for the coming year. It will be chaired by Brad Hooper of ALA Booklist and has a membership representing both RUSA and Booklist. Then, on Sunday morning, I saw some of the same people from the night before at the Literary Tastes Author Program: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year. Though I ran late from a very early morning meeting I was able to slip into the back of the room to hear two out of three of our authors speak. You can find out more about their books at

On Sunday afternoon we held our annual RUSA Awards Reception, where we were able to honor the achievements of our colleagues who have excelled in the field of reference and user services. See the RUSA Blog at for details about those who were recognized.

The RUSA Board met twice, on Saturday and Monday afternoons. Key accomplishments included the passage of the FY2015 operating budget and reserve fund proposal as recommended by RUSA’s Budget and Finance Committee. The allocations from the reserve fund will allow RUSA to continue its efforts related to member recruitment and retention, which includes funding for a high-profile speaker at the 2015 Annual Conference, growing the Just Ask campaign, and contracting for strategic planning consulting services. Approved expenditures also provide support for History section’s visit to Angel Island on the Friday of Annual Conference 2015 in San Francisco. RUSA members will be able to learn about the island’s role as the Ellis Island of the west. The Board also approved the slate of 2015 RUSA programs for San Francisco as presented by the RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee.

A Look Ahead

Our RUSA Committees are now at work making plans for the 2014-2015 year. I’d like to first recognize the members of the RUSA Professional Development Committee for reviewing proposals and coordinating the process for approving our slate of fall 2014 online courses. You can find these at Over at the RUSA Membership Committee, they will be involved in supporting RUSA’s member recruitment efforts through monthly RUSA 101 orientation webinars and by connecting our sponsored student members with experienced RUSA members who will be available to serve as mentors.

Our current RUSA strategic plan will come to a conclusion in June 2015. Therefore, the upcoming year will offer us a great opportunity to reflect and define how we will move forward providing our members the experience that they desire. A key focus for us will be on the value proposition for our members. Over the long term, what are those experiences that RUSA offers our members that make each person want to continue as a member? Equally important, what are those experiences that encourage new members to join? How can we show that nobody else can provide this same value proposition?

Important member data that will help to inform the strategic planning process is being compiled through the work of the RUSA Review Task Force. I especially want to thank the co-chairs Chris LeBeau and Diane Zabel for their leadership and for preparing a preliminary report for the RUSA Board for the ALA Annual Conference 2014. Their work continues through an online survey. From mid-June through late July the RUSA Review: Summer 2014 Survey of our Members was posted with 406 members completing the survey. The Task Force members are currently reviewing the results.

The next steps for strategic planning are to bring together members of RUSA Board and RUSA Organization and Planning Committee to create a Strategic Planning Coordinating Task Force. The group will work with the RUSA office staff to contract for strategic planning consulting services. In addition to using the data that has already been gathered, we are tentatively planning on using the face-to-face opportunity that ALA Midwinter 2015 in Chicago will offer for a facilitated discussion with the members of the RUSA Board. A targeted online survey of all RUSA members during the process will provide us with additional information about what our members desire from their RUSA experience. This timeline will allow us to complete a new plan before the ALA Annual Conference 2015 in San Francisco.

What’s next? If you are able to attend both ALA Midwinter 2015 in Chicago and ALA Annual 2015 in San Francisco, you’ll want to mark your calendar for September 9th when bundled registration for both conferences opens. See Regular registration for the ALA Midwinter Meeting opens on October 1. What does RUSA offer at ALA Midwinter you may ask? Though we don’t offer formal programs, we do provide attendees many opportunities to network and share ideas through the RUSA Social, RUSA Book and Media Awards, and Discussion Forums organized by the RUSA sections.

Best wishes to all of our RUSA members for a fantastic fall!


Joseph Thompson
RUSA President 2014-2015

RUSA News/Announcements

Call for online learning proposals!

Proposals for webinars and online courses are being accepted through September 1! There’s a wide variety of topics. Get the scoop on what we’re looking for, and find links to the submission form here

Online Learning

Let’s get in touch, and get social!

Are you connected? Stay in touch with these RUSA communication tools:

Reference and User Services Quarterly: Accessing the journal

Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), a quarterly benefit of RUSA members, is an all-digital journal available online via Metapress; however, you will need to set up a Metapress account. Complete, detailed instructions for accessing the journal can be found on the RUSA website or visit, then float over the “Communications” button near the top left portion of the page, and scroll down to “RUSQ”. If you run into challenges with journal access, contact for assistance.

Once you’ve accessed the journal, make sure to check out the following content for volume 53, issue 4.

The Reference & User Services Association (RUSA), with the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), presents the following draft guidelines and best practices for feedback. These guidelines and best practices relating to financial literacy education in libraries are the result of a SPARKS! Grant awarded to RUSA by IMLS.

The purpose of these guidelines and best practices is to facilitate the provision of financial literacy education in libraries nationwide. It is intended that these will standardize the content and delivery of financial literacy education programming and services in libraries. This project demonstrates a commitment to ensure that patrons in libraries of all types have access to effective and efficient personal finance reference services and unbiased financial educational programming.

Please send your comments and feedback to the following email:

The deadline for comments is Friday, August 22.

Thank you for your careful consideration of these documents.

Advisory Team:

Ted Beck, National Endowment for Financial Education
Lori Burgess, Fond du Lac Public Library (WI)
Judy Chapa, Financial Services Roundtable
Kristin Eschenfelder, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Robert Ganem, FINRA Investor Education Foundation
Chris Lebeau*, RUSA/BRASS Member
Laura Levine, Jumpstart
Elizabeth Malafi*, RUSA/BRASS Member
Kerwin Pilgrim, Brooklyn Public Library
Adi Redzic, iOme Challenge
Dan Rutherford, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
John Spears, Salt Lake City Public Library (UT)
(* indicates also serving on Working Team)

Working Team:

Kit Keller, Project Director
Chris Lebeau, RUSA/BRASS Member
Elizabeth Malafi, RUSA/BRASS Member
Andy Spackman, BRASS Chair

RUSA Committee Reports

Just Ask Task Force

A pared-down Just Ask group met at ALA Annual to discuss the next steps. After several successful ventures during the last year, it was decided that the group would focus on external Reference advocacy efforts. Using Maryland’s AskUsNow pilot of the ASK Campaign, members of Just Ask will develop a marketing plan and working with RUSA marketing to develop a national ASK Campaign featuring promotional items that librarians and libraries could use to promote reference services. Initial thoughts for the campaign were ASK posters featuring real questions asked by library users. The goal is to have a plan and advocacy toolkit ready to present at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference.

Elizabeth Stephan
Diana Shonrock


Emerging Leader

A little less than a month ago I returned to New York from an amazing trip to Las Vegas for ALA Annual. It was a very enjoyable but also bittersweet experience, as the conference signaled the official end of a wonderful year in the Emerging Leaders (EL) program

My first full day at Annual was spent at an all-day EL event at the Las Vegas Hilton (where Elvis lived!). The agenda consisted of engaging talks by a variety of leaders within ALA, as well was a panel discussion featuring EL alumni. The program concluded with a poster session open to all ALA membership, in which each EL team shared a poster based upon our group projects.

I was part of Team B, a group of five tasked to work with ACRL’s Science & Technology Section (STS) to assist them in developing a virtual research collaboratory. My team was able to narrow a multitude of potential software solutions to three free collaboration tools, which we researched carefully and identified what we believed to be the optimal solution for their needs, a program called Wiggio.

It was very exciting to present a poster at ALA Annual- I’ve been in the profession for nearly five years and this was my first time presenting at Annual. I was pleased at how many people attended the poster session, and met a number of librarians outside the program who were interested in our project. I was able to share some advice and insight for other librarians looking to connect and conduct research across distance. I feel that I gained so much from participation in the EL program, in terms of both leadership skill development and introduction to over fifty other librarians committed to making a difference in the profession and the association.

Katelyn Angell
RUSA Emerging leader

RUSA Spectrum Intern

My Time as the RUSA Spectrum Intern
Hello everyone, my name is Kirk MacLeod and I’m the current RUSA Spectrum Intern. Although I’ve still got just over half a year to go in the position, so far this has been one of the most rewarding in my professional career, a career that has (for me), spanned three libraries, three rounds of education, and ten years of (mostly) continuous part-time education. But before I get into my involvement with RUSA and Spectrum, it’s probably best to give a bit of background information on myself, so here goes.

I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA, which also happens to be the Northernmost city in North America with a population over one million. I was lucky enough to marry the nicest woman I’ve ever met, have two lovely daughters (aged 21 and 17 – who also both work in libraries right now), and spend my free time reading, blogging, gaming, book clubbing, and cycling. I am also Cree Indian (one of the largest tribes in Canada), and have spent the majority of my career to this point working in libraries which support First Nation communities.

As a young man I decided to follow in my mother’s footsteps and get my Library Technician Diploma (which is like an Associate Degree here in Canada), as I had grown up watching her work in libraries and thought it might be a good fit for me as well. My first permanent job in the profession, running a one-person library for two First Nations Non-profit organizations, specializing in addictions and legal counselling in 2000, started as a summer student job and quickly became my professional focus for the next ten years. My library was pretty great; I had regular, dedicated patrons and although I was housed in a basement with no windows, as a one person library I always had work to do. While working I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree through Athabasca University (an excellent distance-learning institution), and for the next seven years, sometimes only doing one or two courses a year, I worked part-time towards getting a degree majoring in Communication Studies, having decided a bachelor’s degree would be good enough for me.

Then I got a first-hand look at the power of libraries. My one-person library got involved with The First Nation Information Connection, an online catalogue shared by a number of Alberta-based First Nation Library post-secondary libraries and was an initiative of University of Alberta Libraries, which dramatically increased my library’s visibility and I got a better understanding of the power of consortiums. Seeing the kind of things Librarians could do, I decided to take my undergraduate goals to the next level and begin working towards grad school. Four months after finishing my undergrad, I began my MLIS work at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta.

In 2012 I applied for an ALA Spectrum Scholarship and was overjoyed when the call came in saying I had been selected, as it would financially cover a significant part of my grad school costs and as it also included a trip to an ALA Annual Conference and the Spectrum Institute held there. In the four days I spent in Chicago at ALA 2013, I was overwhelmed by the welcome I received from other Spectrum scholars and alumni, conference attendees and vendors, and the wonderful folks at ProQuest who sponsored my Spectrum Scholarship along with 9 others funded through proceeds from the ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash.
My Time with RUSA actually began just before the ALA Annual Conference in 2013 (Chicago), where the 2012 cohort of Spectrum Scholars who had joined RUSA were offered the opportunity to apply for the position of the RUSA Spectrum intern from July of 2013 to February of 2015. Although initially hesitant, my wife suggested I apply and two weeks before the Conference I was given the news.

My time as a RUSA Spectrum Intern has largely focused on one area, The IAmRUSA project (sorry for the mild advertising here), an amazing little community on ALA Connect which allows anyone who visits the site to ask that week’s participant pretty much anything they like regarding the profession, reference and user services, career path advice or virtually anything else. To date we’ve had 36 participants, from all across the States (and even a few from up here in Canada), and the interview pages have had more than 35,000 page views. Not only are the interviews really interesting, but participating in them as an interviewee can be a lot of fun as well (if anyone happens to be interested, please contact me via email – or on twitter @bookmonkey00k ). The project has worked as a great way for users to chat with and interview other RUSA members from across the continent, working in various forms or libraries, or for businesses or vendors, and ask them about their time in school, their career paths and their opinions on trends and issues in the field of librarianship.

When I think of the Influence being a RUSA Spectrum Intern has had on me, my first thought immediately goes to the interconnectedness of the profession; being involved in the IAmRUSA Project has shown me so many different opportunities and passions shared by others in the professions, and especially reinvestment in the profession through association work and connecting with others in all sorts of fields, which makes the profession stronger overall. For me the value of those connections is my greatest takeaway from my experiences overall and with RUSA specifically. I have seen first-hand the results that come from mentoring, partnerships and joint ventures in the profession, and can’t wait to start working with others to grow their own networks and professional relationships as I progress through my own career.

Kirk MacLeod
RUSA Spectrum Intern


John C. Gottfried, Editor


Message from the Chair

Hello BRASS members:

Once again we enjoyed a full slate of programming at ALA Annual. Las Vegas may have been hot and inconvenient, but it was productive for BRASS committees, as seen in the reports below, and it was a great location for our social events. I enjoyed visiting with everyone at the Friday Member Reception, the Awards Ceremony, and the Monday Dinner; I found the BRASS Discussion Group as enlightening as always; and the Preconference, Academic Forum, and Publisher’s Forum were all well-attended and helped make the trip to the desert worthwhile. There was also an update from the BRASS/RUSA working group on guidelines for financial literacy education in libraries, and the BRASS Program “Mad Men: The Business of Advertising” was a conference highlight.

BRASS continues to boast the best programming, best vendor support, and best people in all of ALA. Every organization has plenty of what I think of as “back seat volunteers.” BRASS is an organization of “front seat volunteers” and it’s been a happiness for me to work with all of you during my year as Chair. Now, with Todd Hines taking the lead, I look forward to another great year for BRASS!

Andy Spackman
BRASS Chair, 2013-2014

Dear BRASS members:

I just wanted to briefly introduce myself, I’m currently BRASS Chair and my term runs through ALA Annual San Francisco. I also wanted to thank Andy for his service as Chair. BRASS is a strong, active organization because of all the hard work of its volunteers. Additionally, I wanted to remind everyone that there are no required BRASS Committee meetings at 2015 ALA Midwinter in Chicago (committees now meet virtually instead of at Midwinter).

I look forward to working with all of you over the next year.

Todd Hines
BRASS Chair 2013-2014

BRASS Committee Reports

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee
The Business Reference in Academic Libraries committee met on Saturday, June 28th.

The committee had organized the forum for 2014 and solicited feedback from those present.

The committee discussed ways to become more active during years when it does not organize forums. Several ideas were mentioned, including creating a way to share instructional material and surveying members about their reference working environment (information commons, research appointments, etc.). Other members shared future topics of discussion, including better integration into the curriculum, how to use APA to cite sources for business as a possible project, and for the committee to share outreach methods.

Ann Fiegen also brought up the possible involvement of Emerald as a sponsor of a preconference event next year.

Charles Allan, 2012-2014 Chair

BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
Briefcase Articles:

The next Briefcase Article will be “Consumer Research” by Terry Zarsky, anticipated publication in 3rd quarter. Analysis of usage data indicates that responses to recent articles has been good, and the articles are getting good exposure. The committee will also go back and check previous articles for update/rewrite possibilities. There was discussion of seeking articles with a more positive approach.

Recruitment Efforts:

Committee members will check with state organizations and perhaps develop a database of business sections in local organizations. Other strategies were discussed, such as advertising briefcase articles, or cross-promotion with organizations like SLA and PLA.

Looking Toward ALA Annual 2015:

Every other year the BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee does a major program, and 2015 will be the next. The committee is looking into various forms of support (naming rights, crowdfunding, honorariums, and so on) and beginning to consider speakers and organizations that might want to be involved. It is also the time to research scheduling and communication.

The chair will contact members about a virtual committee meeting sometime in August.

Ed Rossman, 2014-2015 Chair

BRASS Program Planning Committee
BRASS Conference Program Planning Committee: BRASS 2014 Program

Mad Men: The Business of Advertising

About 150 attendees were at the program and heard from 2 knowledgeable speakers:

  • Dale Skarl, Search Engine Marketing Manager for MGM Resorts International

Summary notes were posted to ALA Connect at:

Committee members: Andy Spackman (BRASS Chair), Ilana Barnes, Mark Bieraugel, Bobray Bordelon, Greg Fleming, Patrick Griffis, Elizabeth Malafi

We would like to thank S&P Capital IQ for their continued support of BRASS by providing a continental breakfast.

Patricia Kenly, 2013-2014 Chair

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee
The committee met virtually on June 5, 2014 and identified eleven titles that will appear in the Winter RUSQ column of Outstanding Business Resources. Of the eleven titles, four were identified as outstanding, six as notable, and one as an overlooked treasure. The titles will be presented at the Midwinter RUSA Awards meeting.

At the ALA Annual Conference, the committee met and discussed various items including:

  • Susan Hurst will be rotating off as chair and being replaced by Ed Hahn
  • The previous issue with Harvard Business Review (HBR) restricting access to 500 of their most popular articles was discussed, HBR will continue to restrict access but is open to suggestions on this matter, one thing suggested was for better communication with BRASS and HBR so business librarians can prepare and help their faculty plan for their course work.
  • The committee was asked by the BRASS executive committee to consider a proposal to purchase Robert Berkman’s “Best of the Business Web” email alert; The committee recommended that the BRASS Executive Committee not purchase this.

At the ALA Annual Conference the committee presented the Publishers Forum titled “Hitting the Jackpot, Sources for Local and Regional Business Information”. The presenters were from Data Planet, Euromonitor, Proquest, and Alteryx. There were 55 people attending the forum.

Ed Hahn, 2014-2016 Chair

BRASS Discussion Group Committee
The BRASS Discussion Group hosted their annual discussion at the ALA annual conference in Las Vegas on Sunday, June 29, 2014. The conference room was filled to capacity with over 80 people attending the proceedings.

The discussion kicked-off with outgoing President Andy Spackman hosting the annual BRASS membership meeting, which was followed by individual announcements. The discussion this year centered on best practices for managing student and faculty requests for information consultations. A wide variety of practices and strategies were covered for dealing with drop-in advanced referrals.

The second part of the discussion focused on the ACRL’s new n literacy standards and their impact on business instruction. Ann Fiegen encouraged participants to reach out to the committee writing the standards to ensure that business librarians have a say in the final product.

As of July 1, 2014 Emily Treptow from Michigan State University is the new BRASS Discussion Chair, we look forward to her leadership over the next year.

Jason Dewland, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Education Committee
At our annual meeting in Las Vegas we had an opportunity to say good-bye and a big thank you for valuable contributions to Louise Feldman, Jared Hoppenfeld, and Rhonda Kleiman, whose terms ended this year. We were also excited to welcome Kelly LaVoice from Cornell University, Desirae Sweet from James Madison University, and Ashley Faulkner from Texas A&M.

The largest event of the year for the BRASS Education Committee is the annual preconference. The 2014 RUSA BRASS preconference “How Business Librarians Support Entrepreneurs” was very successful. Helen Kula from the University of Toronto, together with Chris Kim and Hyun-Duck Chung from the University of Toronto / MaRS Discovery District delivered a dynamic interactive workshop on market research. Posie Aagaard from the University of Texas at San Antonio offered practical approaches to licensing e-resources for entrepreneurial uses. Her presentation was complemented by a vendor’s perspective from Matt Dunie, CEO of Data-Planet. Jared Hoppenfeld from Texas A&M and Elizabeth Malafi from Middle County Public Library discussed best practices for engaging with entrepreneurs in public and academic libraries.

46 people registered and 45 attended, representing 14 public and 29 academic libraries, as well as one state library and the Library of Congress Science, Technology and Business Division. Five participants and three presenters hailed from Canada, and we also had a librarian from Trinidad and Tobago, making this event truly international. We received very positive feedback from the participants who appreciated the timely topic and opportunities for networking. Andy Spackman, the past BRASS Chair, dropped by to present us with a RUSA voucher for one free registration for the next year’s preconference. The lucky winner was Michelle Kowalsky from Rowan University.

Now we are getting busy planning the next year’s preconference Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright which will focus on commercializing IP, patent searching, IP licensing to third parties, and other issues of interest to entrepreneurs. If you have any good speakers on these topics in mind, let us know!

We will be migrating BRASS Business Guides LibGuides v.2.0 platform, with Peter McKay from the University of Florida in charge of this effort. The new Business Reference Essentials guide with tips for new business librarians is now featured on the BRASS website Comments and suggestions are welcome!

Natasha Arguello, 2012-2015 Chair

BRASS Membership Committee
Thanks to all who attended the BRASS Membership Reception sponsored by InfoGroup—the event was great.

The membership committee reminds members you are not automatically added to the BRASS Facebook page or brass-l. You must “like” or subscribe through ALA connect. It’s a great way to stay connected with BRASS events! See the website for more information:

BRASS met new business librarians at the RUSA 101—if you are a fairly new business librarian looking for tips and ideas, we have a networking group for you. The New Business Librarians Discussion Group. Contact Greta Wood ( to participate.

Kelly Janousek, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Vendor Relations Committee
Vendor relations remain strong; our vendors continue to be very supportive. Current vendor support comes from InfoGroup, S&P Capital IQ, Springshare, Gale, Morningstar, Emerald and Business Expert Press. InfoGroup hosted a wonderful member reception in Las Vegas for us. Our award sponsors are greatly appreciated by the membership. Emerald has expressed interest in sponsoring another preconference workshop in San Francisco. BRASS is working to

develop a program for that. The Vendor Relations committee is also working on a partnership with new vendor, details hopefully to follow.

Chris LeBeau, 2013-2015 Chair

BRASS Publications and Communications Committee

  • The committee encourages BRASS members to promote their tutorials, Libguides, and cool finds on Twitter using the hashtag #bizref throughout the year.
  • The committee is exploring new projects and activities
  • Congrats to Carol for being selected as the RUSA Update editor! John Gottfried will be our new BRASS Notes editor
  • Thanks to all members and chairs who provided input on the official ALA BRASS events schedule

Chad Boeninger, 2013-2015 Chair

BRASS Emerald Research Award Committee
Ilana Stonebraker accepted the BRASS Emerald Research Award on behalf of herself and Tao Zheng. Committee Chair, Elizabeth Stephan, and Emerald representative Eileen Breen were on hand to help present the grant. BRASS would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to Emerald for their continued support of research related to research librarianship!

Elizabeth Stephan, 2013-2014 chair

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee
Unfortunately, the Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award was not given this year. The committee has worked on updating the criteria for the award and preparing for our fall nomination campaign. Please be thinking about what deserving public librarian you will nominate this fall — perhaps yourself! The award, sponsored by Morningstar, offers $1,250 in travel funds for ALA’s annual conference to a public librarian who provides business reference services.

Karen Chapman, 2013-2014 Chair


Barry Trott, editor


Notable Books Council
The announcements of the 2014 winners for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction & Nonfiction in Las Vegas was a lively event. This year the Notable Books Council was asked to put their super-human readers’ advisory skills to use and compile a list of read alikes for the finalists and reading group discussion guides for the winners, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch for fiction and Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.

Here’s what Katharine Phenix, chair of the Notable Books Council had to say about the process:

What’s it like for a group of 12 librarians, spread out from Washington to Florida, North Carolina to New Mexico to work together on a project with a 2-week deadline? First we had to agree on which Internet cloud to work on….Then conversation became lively, one suggestion led to another, one author to another, and our mini-book club and bibliographer brains got to work. Which micro-history is most like On Paper? Salt? Coffee? Oysters?” and “Is this too academic?” and “Looking for more literature of disaster and redemption…” are a few of our gambits.

Did you love the Carnegie finalists? RUSA’s Notable Books Council recommends these other fantastic reads!

Interested in hosting a reading group for the Carnegie winners? Take a look at the discussion guides the Notable Books Council has created.
The Goldfinch
The Bully Pulpit


Laura Hibbler, Editor


Congratulations to William Forsyth and Yvonne Carignan!

  • William Forsyth, director of product management for ProQuest, was awarded the Genealogical Publishing Company Award in recognition of professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research. Please contact Helen Gbala for details about this award.
  • Yvonne Carignan, of George Mason University, was awarded with the RUSA History Section/Gale Cengage Learning History Research and Innovation Award. This award is granted to an MLS degreed librarian from an ALA accredited school to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship. To learn more about the Gale Cengage Learning History Research and Innovation Award, please visit the History Section website: or contact Sara Morris,

The ALA RUSA History Section hosted a trip to the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas on Friday, June 27th, during the ALA Annual Conference. Thirty-seven people attended and, thanks to RUSA’s generous support, the attendees received a guided tour and were able to take a chartered bus.

The Historical Materials Committee met during at the Annual Conference to discuss responsibilities for the coming year and procedures for creating the annual Best Historical Materials article. On Sunday, June 29th, the committee co-sponsored a program entitled, “The Nevada Test Site Project: Bringing Primary Resources to Researchers.” Nicholas Wyant, immediate past chair of the committee, served as moderator. The program focused on the creation and curation of the project, which consists of 335 hours of transcripted and digitized material regarding the “nuclear proving ground” in Nevada. Check out the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project:

The History Librarians Discussion Group held a panel discussion, “The Role/s of Humanities Librarians in Digital Humanities”, on June 28th at the ALA Annual Conference. Panelists Thomas Padilla (Digital Humanities, Linguistics, & Philosophy Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries) and Harriett Green (English & Digital Humanities Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) each spoke about their experiences working with digital humanities and then answered questions from attendees. The panelists’ presentation slides have been posted online at the History Section’s website:

And stay tuned for the publication of Padilla’s book, co-authored with Trevor Getz:

Getz, Trevor, and Thomas Padilla. Subjecting History: Building a Relationship Between History and its Alternatives. Athens: Ohio University Press, Forthcoming Fall 2015.

The Genealogy pre-conference at the ALA Annual Conference included a panel, “Getting More Than You Pay For,” about the free resources available on Ancestry, Fold3,,, and Ancestry’s various social media outlets. The panelists Kim Harrison and Amy Johnson Crow ( have made their presentation slides available on slideshare:

MARS: Update from the Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS)

Cathy Larson, Editor

Message from the Chair

MARS: Emerging Technology in Reference Section is looking forward to an exciting year of programming and service. The Section recently submitted our section review to RUSA and it was favorably received. The Executive Committee and Planning Committees will be reviewing recommendations over the coming year and working on changes to further the mission of MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section.

Congrats are well deserved for our newly elected members.

Vice-Chair/Chair –Elect – Donna Scanlon

Secretary (two-year term) – Chanitra Bishop

Member-At-Large (three-year term) – Matt Torrence

Our members hosted a suite of excellent programs and discussion groups during ALA Annual 2014 in Las Vegas, NV.

Management of Electronic Resources Committee sponsored “Libraries in the Course Management System: Best Practices and New Directions,” to a standing room only crowd in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Panelists shared their experiences with integrating library resources in various systems and the audience participated in a lively discussion.

The MARS Chair’s Program began by honoring Anne Houston, this year’s recipient of the MARS Achievement Recognition Award (My Favorite Martian). After the presentation, 150 participants gathered to hear, Angela Zoss, Data Visualization Coordinator, Duke University and Josh Boyer, Head, User Experience, North Carolina State University present their perspectives and experiences with data visualization in a session entitled “New Directions for Data Visualization in Library Public Services.”

At the Virtual Reference Discussion Group, a group of dedicated folks demonstrated the Virtual Reference Companion, a resource for those implementing or managing virtual reference services. Be sure to check out this wonderfully helpful resource at

The Hot Topics Discussion Group met on Sunday to discuss makerspaces in libraries. Participants heard from several librarians engaged in makerspaces activities and even played with some 3D objects.

The MARS Happy Hour at Firefly provided an opportunity for members, new and old, to enjoy each others’ company and learn about MARS in a relaxed, friendly environment.

The last event of Sunday evening was the RUSA Awards Reception and Volunteer Appreciation Party at Caesars Palace. Our very own Anne Houston was presented with the MARS Achievement Recognition Award (My Favorite Martian). Thank you to Anne for all her hard work and dedication to MARS over the years.

We welcome your participation in MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference.   If you would like to know more about MARS or are interested volunteering for a committee, please contact Stephanie Graves (


Stephanie Graves
MARS Chair, 2014-2015


Amy Rustic, Editor   



Message from the Chair

Greetings RSS Members!

I am thrilled to start my year as Chair of RSS. It was great to see so many new and returning faces at the RSS Open House and All-Committee meeting. Our third trivia contest stoked the competitive fires of the group. Thanks to Sarah Hammill and Marjorie Lear for pulling questions and prizes together. Thanks also go to Ann Brown who so ably led the section as Chair last year.

RSS has been my home within ALA and RUSA for many years in large part due to the work of its committees and the people involved. RSS organizes informative and lively discussion forums and programs, many of which are described below. It also contributes to the profession through its creation and maintenance of guidelines. I know this year will be just as productive.

Be sure to stay in the loop with RSS activities and programs through the RSS listerv (; the RSS Facebook page ( ); and the RSS ALA Connect page ( Also, all RSS committees have a page on ALA Connect where they highlight their activities and programs. Be sure to take a look and see if there is something you’d like to become involved in.

Finally, congratulations our newly elected leaders: Crystal Lentz, Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, Cathay Keough, Member-at-Large, and Tom Reinsfelder, Secretary. I look forward to working with all of you in the next year!

If you have any questions about RSS, don’t hesitate to ask!

Qiana Johnson
RSS Chair, 2014-2015

RSS Committee Reports

Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need Committee
Our initial plans are to carry on work started last year with the distribution of a survey to gather information to aid in planning programs, discussion forums, and professional development opportunities. Once survey results have been gathered and analyzed, the committee will brainstorm activities to implement over the coming year.

Colleen Seale, Chair 2014-2015

Discovery Services Committee (Formerly Catalog Use Committee)
The RSS Discovery Services Committee welcomed over 120 attendees and 4 great speakers during this year’s ALA Annual Conference RSS Discovery Services Forum, held on Sunday, June 29th, from 3-4 pm.

Forum speakers included Mireille Djenno, Gwen Gregory, and Ling Wang of University of Illinois at Chicago Library presenting “What We Discovered About Discovery: Comparing Two Discovery Systems at One Academic Library,” Emily Keller of University of Washington Libraries presenting “Dumbing down or drilling down? Librarians’ perspectives on discovery tools,” Van Houlson of University of Minnesota presenting “Alma in the Morning: The Impact of a Next Generation Discovery System on Patrons and Staff at a Research Library,” and Rosalind Tedford of Wake Forest University presenting “Future of Discovery: Analytics, Meet Instruction.” The first half of the forum included lightning round style presentations from each of the speakers and the second half allowed participants to discuss important topics that revolved around the forum’s theme of Discussing Discovery Services: What’s working, What’s not, and What’s Next?. Feedback from the evaluation forms rated the forum from ‘very good’ to ‘excellent.’ To review the PPT slide presentations from the forum visit the RSS Discovery Services Committee’s ALA Connect page (

After the forum some attendees suggested possible ideas for future forum topics such as how to use discovery systems within the threshold concept instructional themes, discussing the grey literature, or collaborating with LITA to think about what reference librarians can learn from systems. More brainstorming ideas are sure to will follow over this upcoming year.

In addition to planning this year’s forum, the committee has also been actively maintaining a bibliography of materials concentrating on catalog and other discovery services. To view the bibliography visit:

RSSpic1 RSSpic2






Anne Larrivee, Chair, 2014-2015

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee
The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee hosted two popular discussion forums at Annual:

“Extreme Customer Service: Reference at Its Finest!” was facilitated by Jeanne Holba Puacz, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. A scenario was provided to kick off the discussion and it flowed freely from there. Over 60 participants asked questions and discussed ways to create a customer service culture. Training strategies were discussed as were suggestions for dealing with grumpy patrons (and even for dealing with grumpy staffers!). Non-traditional concepts in customer service, such as traffic flow and signage were also considered. Among the tips that were shared were – don’t read at the desk, acknowledge patrons with open faces and attitudes; lead by example; smile while on the phone; and show interest in all questions.

“Readying Reference: Training for Public Service Reference Providers” was facilitated by Geoff Johnson and Joe Dobbs from the University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas at Austin. After sharing information about the training program at their library, Geoff and Joe had the approximately 35 attendees divide into small groups to discuss training at everyone’s libraries. Discussion questions were provided to help guide the discussions. The discussion began with focusing on what training looks like – who is responsible for training, who gets trained and are there refreshers or ongoing training. The discussion then touched on service standards and developing competencies. After the small group discussions the large group reconvened and people shared what they had discussed.

Crystal Lentz, Chair 2013-2014

Education and Professional Development for Reference
On Monday, June 30, the committee sponsored a discussion forum at ALA Annual titled “The State of Reference Education: What We Have Learned and What Would You like to Find Out?” The 15 attendees participated in a lively discussion centered around four questions:

  • With Google, do we still need reference librarians?
  • Do working librarians find that new hires have the requisite reference skills?
  • What changes, if any, have you observed in reference work in recent years?
  • Based on your own view of the future of reference, what reference education should library schools provide?

Bryna Coonin, Rayette Sterling, and Jason Coleman created a summary of the discussion (attached to the comments at As the summary indicates, there was a consensus that the skills and expertise of reference librarians are still needed. While WebScale discovery simplifies some aspects of research, it also creates a significant need for information about what the services lack. Some noted that library schools should continue to provide subject-specific reference knowledge, but should augment that with customer service skills and hands-on experience through internships and practicums.

The committee will use the insights gained from this discussion to inform its decisions about next steps to take in its ongoing investigation into the state of reference education. One likely next step is dissemination of the results from the committee’s preliminary examination of the slate of reference courses library schools are currently offering and what topics those courses are addressing. Another likely next step is discussions with members of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) and further discussion forums with practicing reference librarians.

Jason Coleman, Chair 2014-2014

Evaluation of Reference and User Services
A group made up of members of ERUS and Virtual Reference Services Committee distributed a survey in August/September 2013 with the goal to assess the state of the profession in the provision of virtual reference services. The analysis stage was completed and initial results were reported to ERUS at our ALA Annual meeting. Results will be shared more broadly, and recommendations for regular surveys on this topic will be explored. ERUS also conducted a survey looking at reference service models and evaluation of service. At the close of the survey, we received a very large number of responses. Initial analysis of the results has begun and the goal is to disseminate the findings broadly. The committee will submit a proposal for a discussion forum at Midwinter 2015 on this topic, with the hope that the survey results can be incorporated or used to inform the discussion.

Jason Kruse, Chair, 2013-2014

Health and Medical Reference Committee
The Health and Medical Reference Committee has been hard at work completing the new Health and Medical Reference Guidelines to replace the Guidelines for Medical, Legal, and Business Responses (2001) currently on the RUSA website. Outgoing Chair Karen Vargas met with the Standards and Guidelines Committee on Sunday June 29 during the ALA Annual Meeting. The Health and Medical Reference Guidelines have to be approved by the Standards and Guidelines Committee, then they go out for public review, and finally to the RUSA Board. When the board approves them, they are good for 7 years. During the meeting on June 29, the Standards and Guidelines Committee had positive feedback about this draft of the new guidelines. Since they work entirely online, it is possible the process of adopting these new guidelines will be completed by Midwinter 2015.

The Health and Medical Reference Committee welcomes new member Ann Gluske, BST Librarian from The Seattle Public Library, as well as new Chair Laura Haines, Health Sciences Librarian from the Dana Medical Library at the University of Vermont. Welcome!

The Committee looks forward to completing a few different projects this coming year: the completion of the Guidelines; creating a web site for the committee; and getting medref-L, a listserv focused on health and medical reference topics, up and running.

Laura Louise Haines, Chair, 2014-2015

Job and Career Reference Committee
Most recently, at Annual, The RSS Job & Career Reference Committee held a discussion forum entitled “Community Needs, Reference, & Assessment in Job & Career Reference.” Its description stated “Large and small libraries hold a variety of programs for job seekers – regular classes, one-shot sessions, traditional reference services, reference appointments and others. How do libraries and information providers determine needs of the community and which services & programs to offer? How do they assess outcomes?” The discussion was pretty informal and intimate—it seems that while some libraries have in-house-designed systems for monitoring success rates and outcomes at the job seeker level, many of us are still struggle with assessing how much we help each job seeker and where we fall short. As a result, we are hoping to create a conference program, possibly inviting professionals from Queens Library which seems to succeed at assessment, for a future conference.

Another possible topic we would like to investigate is possible collaboration on a program on assisting and facilitating youth entrepreneurship. As many jobs traditionally held by this age group are being taken by adults, leaving youth to develop service businesses on their own, channeling the knowledge of entrepreneurship librarians with a program designed for teens and using the expertise in this patron group of YALSA or YARS seems worthy of exploration.

Our new chair is Nicolette Warisse Sosulski, though Kate Oberg is still going to be fully involved in the committee.

Nicolette Warisse Sosulski, Chair 2014-2015

Library Service to an Aging Population
Library Services to an Aging Population Committee held two meetings at ALA-Annual in Las Vegas and worked through the current draft of the Guidelines for Library Services with Midlife and Older Adults: Best Practices with the goal of finishing the draft by the end of 2014. The committee also decided to discontinue the recommended websites that was created years ago, and to fold particularly excellent websites into the OLOS Keys to Engaging Older Adults @ Your Library.

Committee members organized and presented the program “Creative Aging @ Your Library,” highlighting successful arts programs at public libraries. Approximately 150 people attended, and several signed up to learn more about the committee and its projects.

Abigail Elder, Chair 2013-2014
Angela Fortin, Chair 2014-2015

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services
The Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services Committee coordinated a discussion forum entitled, “The Soft Sell: Sales Skills for Librarian.” Nathaniel King, Director of Library Services, Nevada State College and Jacqueline Solis, Coordinator of Liaison Services for Subject Librarians, University of North Carolina presented on the SALES technique as it applies to library services. After the presentation, the 44 attendees were walked through a case study utilizing the technique, and broke into small groups to workshop additional examples.

Elizabeth DeCoster, Chair 2014-2015

Research and Statistics Committee
This year, the Research & Statistics Committee hosted the 20th Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 29th at the Las Vegas Convention Center. After a double-blind review process, the committee selected 3 research teams to present their results. Ixchel Faniel, Lynn Connaway, and Kendra Parson from OCLC presented “Building Relationships for the Effective Development and Delivery of Research Data Services,” which related the results of in-depth interviews conducted with librarians on the topic of data management. Curt Friehs presented the survey results on the use of technology by college students gathered by himself and his research partner, Jason Kaloudis, in “College Student Tech Usage: A Recent Survey of Trends.” And finally, Jenny Bossaller and Guinevere Lawson presented their survey results of libraries and their involvement with the Affordable Care Act, revealing interesting trends in “Libraries and the Affordable Care Act”. Each presentation garnered a number of interesting questions. The committee also reviewed and posted an annotated bibliography of articles relating to reference research for the Reference Research Review: 2013.

Ava M. Iuliano Brillat, Chair 2013-2014

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee
The VR Tutorial Subcommittee has almost completed work on the Virtual Reference Companion (VRC). Content has been created for the eighth and final module, Staffing/Partners, but the subcommittee still needs to finalize a few details before it can be made available. The committee will meet in August 2014 to complete the VRC.

Although we did not meet our goal of completion by ALA Annual 2014, some members of the subcommittee presented the VRC at the MARS VR Discussion Group meeting on Sunday, June 30, in Las Vegas, NV. The presentation included information about the history of the subcommittee, the process of creating the VRC, and the content and organization of the VRC. Meeting participants offered input and feedback to help populate the Tips & Best Practices section of the VRC, which is now available. We encourage RSS members to submit suggestions for additional content by leaving a comment on ALA Connect ( ) or by sending an email to Christine Tobias ( ) or Laura Friesen ( ).

In addition to being accessible from , the Hot Links section of the RSS Virtual Reference Committee page, and the Professional Tools section of the RUSA Resources page, the VRC is now linked in the Web Resources section of the ALA Library Fact Sheet 19: Virtual Reference: A Selected Annotated Bibliography (

Laura Friesen, Chair 2014-2015
Christine Tobias, Chair 2014-2015

Young Adult Reference Services Committee
YARS hosted the ALA Annual discussion forum, “Of *Course* It’s Due Tomorrow: What is the Appropriate Level of Homework Assistance in Libraries?” held on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 10:30am. Among the topics discussed were the following:

  • What are the obstacles to offering HW in libraries?
  • How do we offer in-house HW without the use of library resources (funding, staffing)?
  • How should we evaluate alternative tutoring services?
  • What would be the most help to you to provide HW help in your library?
  • Should ALA officially encourage libraries to provide in-house HW?

As a result of the ideas that emerged from the discussion, YARS will compile a resource of best practices, contacts, and templates for libraries that wish to offer in-house homework help or tutoring services to their student community. Details on the location of that resource will be decided shortly. The committee met at the All-RSS meeting at the Conference where we discussed ideas for next year’s conference program. A subgroup will work to plan that program, which will focus on issues surrounding library participation in Common Core standards, and will continue its search for panel speakers.

Allyson Evans Malik, Chair 2013-2015


Kerry Keegan, Editor


Message from the Chair

Hello All,

STARS had a very eventful ALA Annual in Las Vegas. In addition to terrific programming and discussion groups, the section celebrated its 10th Anniversary. It was a wonderful party and a great opportunity for our members to connect. Nearly every STARS Chair – past, present, and future – was in attendance, and it was a great visual representation of our history. My sincere thanks to the planning committee that put together the event! My additional thanks to Past Chair Nora Dethloff for her leadership throughout 2013-2014.

Photo: Past, present and future chairs of STARS at the 10th Anniversary Party – Tom Bruno, Tina Baich, Nora Dethloff, David Atkins, Heather Weltin, Sherri Michaels, Denise Forro, Margaret Ellingson, Tanner Wray, Mary Hollerich. Photo taken by Joe Thompson, RUSA President.
Photo: Past, present and future chairs of STARS at the 10th Anniversary Party – Tom Bruno, Tina Baich, Nora Dethloff, David Atkins, Heather Weltin, Sherri Michaels, Denise Forro, Margaret Ellingson, Tanner Wray, Mary Hollerich. Photo taken by Joe Thompson, RUSA President.


There is much more to come for STARS this year as we work to provide professional development opportunities and helpful resources to our members and the resource sharing community at large. Here are just a few of our plans for the coming year.

  • The Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee will be working diligently on the revision of the ILL Code for the United States. We’ll be looking for feedback from the resource sharing community at some point in the process, and I encourage you to participate.
  • The Education & Training Committee will once again be providing the FREE “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL” workshop at ALA Midwinter. Watch the e-mail discussion lists for details.
  • The ILL Committee is planning an ALA Annual 2015 program titled “Acquisitions, Collection Development, Electronic Resources, and Interlibrary Loan, Oh My!: Connecting Users to What They Want!” I think this is a timely program as the lines between collection development and resource sharing continue to blur.
  • The Research & Assessment Committee is planning an ALA Annual 2015 pre-conference focused on ILL data, a topic that is always a big hit with our resource sharing colleagues!

Though I’ve been placed at the helm of STARS, I obviously can’t do all this alone. Luckily for me, our section has the most engaged and dedicated members I’ve ever encountered in a professional organization. I’m excited to begin my year as STARS Chair and look forward to working with each of you as we move STARS forward!

Many thanks and best regards,

Tina Baich
STARS Chair 2014-2015

STARS Committee Reports

STARS Membership Committee
The 10th Anniversary Celebration at ALA Annual was a huge success! Thank you to everyone!

We will be collaborating with other committees to develop a RUSA STARs timeline archive inclusive of photos, events, webinars, etc.

Current projects also consist of improving recruitment and retention initiatives of our STARS members, as well as reaching out to other committees for information and updates. All are always welcome to join committee meetings, which are held virtually on the first Monday of every month. Contact Micquel Little, Chair of RUSA STARS Membership, at, for more details.

Micquel Little, Chair

ILL Discussion Group
The ILL Discussion Group hosted two panel presentations (Philadelphia Convention Center 204 A – Saturday, 1/25/14 – 10:30am-11:30am) at the 2014 Mid-Winter ALA Meetings, Philadelphia.

Over 70 people came to the presentation and exchanged lively discussions following the presentation. These included:

  • ILL Unchained!: Freeing Your Media Collection

Megan Gaffney, Coordinator, Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery Services, University of Delaware Library,

Meghann Matwichuk, Coordinator, Film & Video Collection Department, University of Delaware Library,

  • A Case for Integration of Interlibrary Loan and Reference

Hong Ta-Moore (Library of Congress)

Kathleen S. Mannino (The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY)

We also met on Saturday (6/28, 10-30am-11:30am) at LVCC N258 for 2014 ALA Annual Conference, Las Vegas. Close to 90 people actively shared their experiences in various topics related to the ILL activities in their institutions.

Finally, please join us in welcoming Hong Ta-Moore, reference/ILL Librarian at the Library of Congress, who has been appointed as Vice Chair/Chair Elect for ILL Discussion Group.

Jaeyeon Sung, Chair

STARS Legislation & Licensing Committee
The committee recently met at the ALA annual meeting. Our main topic of discussion was the charge for this committee and whether it needs to be revamped. Participation in this STARS committee has recently been low and current members decided to take a fresh look at our role. We discussed possibilities for revamping the work of the committee, mergers with other committees, and the use of surveys to ensure our continued relevance. Members decided that an outreach survey would be most helpful, so please keep an eye out for its distribution this fall and share your opinions on how this committee might best serve STARS.

In the meantime, please consider joining us, as a member or by submitting thoughts and ideas on the role of this committee and/or possible projects. I’d love to hear them! Please contact the new Chair, Sherri Michaels, at

Sherri Michaels, Chair

STARS Education and Training Committee Annual Report, 2013-2014
The STARS Education and Training Committee held its seventh annual “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL” workshop at Drexel University in Philadelphia on January 24th, 2014. The workshop featured speakers Megan Gaffney, Karen Janke, Cindy Kristof, and Collette Mak and attracted 56 attendees. Feedback from participants was positive. Planning is now underway for the eighth annual workshop to be held at the University of Chicago in January 2015, following the same format.

On October 16, 2013, the committee organized a free RUSA webinar entitled “Finding Dead People: Genealogy and Local History Resources for the ILL Practitioner.” Amber Case, University of Washington, and Cherie Weible, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented and shared their slides and handout on the Education and Training Committee’s web page. Registration quickly filled up with 90 registrants and a waiting list. Fifty-six people ultimately logged in, though we suspect there were more viewers.

The committee also partnered with the RUSA History Section to produce a similar program at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. The program was a success with over 150 attendees in a room with a capacity of 125. Completed surveys for the program have been submitted to RUSA for analysis.

The Education and Training Committee continued to update the ShareILL wiki ( and was grateful to receive assistance from many other STARS committees. Work on this project is ongoing. In early 2014 outgoing STARS chair, Nora Dethloff, submitted an Emerging Leaders proposal to find someone who can help us update ShareILL. As of July 2014, we have heard that the project was accepted by RUSA. We are now waiting for ALA’s approval. If the proposal is accepted, our Emerging Leader will likely begin work in October 2014.

Karen Okamoto, Outgoing Chair

Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee
The Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee had three virtual meetings in early 2014 to begin the process of reviewing and revising the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States and its accompanying Explanatory Supplement. Ryan Litsey (Texas Tech) completed his term as Chair of the committee in June, and Brian Miller (Ohio State) became Chair in July. Work on the ILL Code is scheduled to recommence in August 2014 with completion due by 2016.

Brian Miller, Chair

ALA RUSA STARS Research and Assessment Committee Annual Report 2013-2014
The 2013-2014 year was the inception of the Research and Assessment Committee (previously named the Research and Statistics Committee). Because of this, the committee has worked diligently to streamline procedures and work with all RUSA STARS committees on survey construction, distribution, and assessment of results to help guide future RUSA STARS programming and discussions.

This year, Bethany Sewell and David Ketchum have been elected as co-chairs of the committee.

  • After a success program at ALA annual in 2013, the committee was asked to submitted a pre-conference proposal for ALA annual 2015 “ ILL Data Storm.”
  • We plan to continue to evaluate the surveys of all RUSA STARS programs, discussion groups, and Hot Topics.

Six programs and discussions were surveyed, beginning with ALA Annual in 2013. Not all discussions were implemented in this process in this first year due to the new alignment and work that would eventually steer the process for RUSA STARS. Survey responses for RUSA STARS programming and discussions sessions indicate that participants are very satisfied with the direction of these meetings.

Suggestions (condensed from all programs and discussions) for future webinars or programs are (* indicate more than six requests for this topic specifically):

  • More opportunities for sharing ideas, solutions, and problems with colleagues
  • Challenges for genealogy librarians and how to solve them
  • Land records
  • Locating digital content
  • Advanced business reference
  • Article Exchange
  • Comparison of ILLiad, OCLC or other management systems (e.g., Rapid)
  • *Copyright (e.g., fair use, CCC)
  • E-books
  • IFM
  • ILL basics (e.g., how to do ILL, best practices, stickers and adhesive labels, fill and unfilled defined, usages of multiple addresses, Article Change and ILLiad)
  • ILLiad (software tips)
  •  *Data analysis
  •  *Ins and outs of creating resource sharing/consortia agreements
  • International ILL
  • License language and negotiation
  • OCLC (software tips)
  • Students worker management and workflow
  •  Licenses and I
  • How to interpret internet sources
  • Open discussions
  • Management issues and organizational models
  • Advancement
  • Alternatives to CONTU-compliance
  • Automation methods
  • Storage
  • Trends in increases and decreases in ILL requests
  • Best practices and the future of IL
  • Lengths of loan periods
  • Progressive or cutting-edge topics. ILL-Reference merge (or not_ and Lending AV aren’t very inspirational – we’ve been having these conversations for years.

Programs and Discussion Sections Surveyed
RUSA/CODES and STARS Joint Program – Enhancing Services through Integration of Interlibrary Loan and Acquisitions – Annual 2013

Does Your Data Deliver for Decision Making? New Directions for Resource Sharing Assessment – Annual 2013

Finding Dead People – Webinar – 10/16/13

Everything you wanted to know about ILL – Midwinter – 1/25/14

Hot Topics Discussion Group – Midwinter – 1/25/14

Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group – Midwinter – 1/25/14


Bethany B. Sewell, Chair

RUSA STARS Rethinking Resource Sharing Policies Committee
The committee has continued to work on rewriting the RSSI Stars Checklist to bring it up to date and to minimize bias towards academic libraries in the USA. We are aiming towards 100 questions, arranged under the seven principles of the Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative Manifesto. We hope to finish the new edition by the fall of 2014 and be approved by STARS and the RRSI Steering Committee. Our current membership list includes at least one new member, Elizabeth Lane, who joined us at 2014 Annual.

Sue Kaler, chair 2014-15

RUSA-STARS Interlibrary Loan Committee Meeting Minutes
June 28, 2014 Las Vegas, NV

Committee members attended: Co-Chairs Carol Kochan and Lan Yang, Ken Peterson, Mary Radnor, Jeanne Voyles, Sarah McHane-Chase

Visitors: Amber Glass, Weldon Higgins, Ricky Wallace, Jenny Lee, Lavoda Smith, and Elizabeth Lane

Midwinter Meeting Minutes. Mary Radnor made a motion to approve the minutes, Ken Peterson seconded the motion and all were in favor.

2015 Annual Proposed Program – So far, we are not sure if our program proposal has been accepted. We should know shortly after the meeting. The first choice for RUSA-STARS board will be a ½ day pre conference program proposed by the RUSA STARS Research & Assessment Committee, the proposed program title is: “ILL Data Storm: Practical Assessment”. So we have a good chance of having our proposal being accepted.

  • Program Planning for 2015: The Committee decided to go ahead and plan the program.

Program title: Acquisitions, Collection Development, Electronic Resources and Interlibrary Loan, Oh My! Connecting Users to what they want! The ALCTS Committee is willing to Co-Sponsor. They may wish to suggest an additional Speaker.

  • STARS ILL committee proposes a lightning round session covering the following topics: 1) How demand driven acquisition of physical and electronic books affect interlibrary loan 2) What Occam’s Reader can do to allow interlibrary loan of electronic books 3) Outline the changes made by one Interlibrary Loan department to adapt to the current ILL environment 4) How patron ILL requests influence collection development
  • Current Speakers: Teresa Hazen, Associate Librarian (Delivery, Description and Acquisition’s Team), University of Arizona Libraries; Ryan Litsey, Occam’s Reader Project Manager, Assistant Librarian, Document Delivery, Texas Tech University; Library Linda Dols, Library Information Analyst (Delivery, Description and Acquisition’s Team); University of Arizona Libraries Jennifer Duncan, Head of Collections, Utah State University Library
  • We plan to have the speakers meet in advance via adobe connect to coordinate speaking and make sure the lightning rounds fit together.
  • We should have year’s worth of data for Occam’s reader.

We think this program will appeal to Resource Sharing, Collection Development and Electronic Resource Librarians and staff. Librarians and staff from academic, public and special libraries.

We need to make sure we are providing up to date information for the program and that we are balancing the Program between providing cutting edge information and practical ideas that people can bring back to home library and implement.

We plan to send out a survey to ALA Members of ALCTS, Stars and other relevant committees to learn what is working well in their libraries and what challenges they are encountering. Linda Dols can help with Survey.

Other discussions:

  • We spoke about how ILL is changing. Overall, the numbers of requests are declining (probably due to increased electronic journal packages). Current requests are more complex and libraries are seeing an increase in International Requests. How can libraries share data sets?
  • Special Libraries. Elizabeth Lane, from The Frick Collection, sought the committee’s input on how to get items from Special Libraries. In many cases, they can digitize to fill requests. Perhaps in the future 3-D printers could be an option to share art. The committee thought that having a program on requesting/lendingSpecial Items might be a good future presentation topic.
  • Best Practices for Lending, one committee member suggested that a 12-week loan be standards for all ILL departments. This is tricky. Most public libraries have much shorter loan periods.

Carol Kochan, co-chair
Lan Yang, co-chair