From the President

The year’s ALA Midwinter in Dallas was a great time to see old friends and to participate in the many RUSA activities that took place there. Two of the highlights were the annual RUSA Social and the RUSA Book and Media Awards. I’d like to thank Liane Taylor and the RUSA Membership Committee for coordinating the well-attended RUSA Social on Saturday evening. It was a lot of fun to catch up with RUSA members and to meet some new members! And I’d like to convey a special thanks to Sharron Smith and to Neal Wyatt for their great work in organizing this year’s Book and Media Awards reception held Sunday evening, and also express my thanks and appreciation to all of the hardworking award committees and chairs. Please visit for a complete list of winners and for important updates on RUSA’s literary news. A very special thanks goes to Susan Hornung, Liz Markel, and Andrea Hill for all of their work with both of these events and with all of the activities that go into making Midwinter successful. Thank you all!

We also held our second annual Virtual Town Hall meeting this year for members who could not attend in person. The RUSA staff created five chat rooms where users could post questions and comments and to get live feedback from the meeting. Thanks to our volunteers for monitoring the rooms! After the Virtual Town Hall meeting, the RUSA Board Big Think focused on discussing the kind of organization that RUSA should become in the future. Both of these events will inform us as we begin to craft our next strategic plan, which will take place this spring.

The work of two important committees will also greatly assist in our strategic planning, the RUSA Structure Taskforce, chaired by Kate Kosturski, and the RUSA/ASCLA Web Conferencing Task Force, chaired by Liane Taylor. Kate gave an overview of her committee’s recommendations, which will greatly aid RUSA in its future plans. Liane’s Task Force has also completed its work and RUSA will be implementing Blackboard Collaborate in order to allow more members to conduct work virtually. These are both significant accomplishments that will help RUSA grow and prosper. Thank you, Kate and Liane! The RUSA Board also approved the creation of one new committee, the ad-hoc Resource Development Committee, which will be asked to explore and facilitate fund raising and donor relations. The work of this committee will help to identify and seek resources for new RUSA initiatives.

The RUSA Board also approved two new awards. The BRASS Business Expert Press Award for Academic Librarians is a new $1,250.00 cash award given to an academic librarian who is new to the field of business librarianship in order to support attendance to the ALA Annual Conference. The Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award is a new award for up to $2500 to facilitate and further research in history and history librarianship and to encourage membership in the ALA RUSA History Section. Thanks to Chris LeBeau (BRASS Chair) and Janice Shultz (History Section Chair) and members of their sections for bringing these awards to fruition. And a big thanks to Business Expert Press and Gale Cengage for their support of RUSA.

RUSA also continues its role as administrator for the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulator Authority) Investor Education Foundation’s program entitled Smart investing @ your library. This grant program, in place since 2007, funds public library efforts to provide library patrons with access to effective, unbiased financial education resources. To date, sixty-four grants have been awarded, totaling $4,691,952. I had the pleasure of attending a FINRA reception on Friday evening in order to meet many of this year’s grant recipients. For more information about Smart investing @ your library, visit For more information on the FINRA Foundation see A big thank you to FINRA for sponsoring this important program.

Last, but certainly not least, the RUSA Board approved a recommendation for our new editor of Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ). The editor selection committee, chaired by current RUSQ editor Diane Zabel, has been working hard on the selection and interview process during the past year. I am pleased that our new editor is Barry Trott, RUSA Past-President and long-time RUSA member. Thank you Barry for taking on this important role, and thank you Diane for your years of service as editor! Under Barry’s leadership RUSQ will continue its rich tradition as RUSA’s premier publication.

Thanks again to all of the RUSA volunteers who make RUSA the outstanding organization that it is. And a huge thanks to the RUSA staff for making it all work! It was great seeing many of you at Midwinter and I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim!

Gary White
RUSA President, 2011-12

Smart investing@your library®

Margaret Monsour, Project director, Smart investing@ your library®


The Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation is partnering with the American Library Association and RUSA to bring Smart investing@ your library® to communities across the country. This grant program supports public libraries in their efforts to ensure that library customers have access to quality, unbiased resources and programming related to personal finances and investing. The program was established five years ago, and since that time has provided nearly $6 million in grants, as well as educational materials, to public libraries and library networks.

Ongoing support is provided for grantees, who attend an initial training seminar that features social media and social marketing, outcome-based evaluation techniques, and an introduction to the financial education resources created by the FINRA Foundation. Components also include communications guidance, individual coaching and consultation, guidance on building local partnerships, and site visits.

See the press release on the RUSA website for most recent list of grantees.

There are three overall goals of the Smart investing your library®:

●     Build capacity of public libraries and make available reliable, unbiased investor education and protection resources and services through public libraries in the United States.

●     Create and expand community awareness of the investor education resources and services available through public libraries

●     Achieve sustained use of such resources and services by library patrons in various demographic categories.

The New York Times, in a 2010 article, observed, “Most Americans aren’t fluent in the language of money. Yet we’re expected to make big financial decisions as early as our teens — Should I take on thousands of dollars of student debt? Should I buy a car? — even though most of us received no formal instruction on financial matters until it was too late. While no course in personal finance could have prevented many Americans from getting caught up in the housing bubble, it’s clear that most of us need some help, preferably starting when we’re still in school.”[1]

Librarians are taking a leadership role by providing the help with knowledge and expertise to make the connection between people and financial information. Because people of all ages need to know how to make good financial decisions, a wide variety of financial education program models are emerging as public libraries across the country identify audiences who want and need to know how to manage their money.

Partnerships Pay Off

All projects in Smart investing@your library involve partnerships, typically multiple partnerships at any one project site. And usually once the project gets going, new partnership opportunities may appear or an area of activity may develop where a new partner would be beneficial. Program highlights from Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Public Library and Orange County (Florida) Library System illustrate the role that partnerships play and the impact each library’s financial education programs have in their communities.

Milwaukee Public Library’s program entitled Get Smart About Money @MPL focuses on engaging 6,000 11th graders in the public schools. To reach this notoriously difficult audience, project principal, Judy Pinger teamed up with multiple partners to get additional resources and expertise.

The Library started from a position of strength by collaborating with existing partner the Milwaukee Public Schools and then brought in Make a Difference-Wisconsin (MAD-WI), Money Smart Week, and the library’s own Teen Advisory Board. MAD-WI provides classroom financial education for high school students and uses trained volunteers and a curriculum based on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC’s) Money Smart program. The Teen Advisory Board kept the focus on what matters to teens and they advised Plum Productions, a film production company. The partnerships were strong and focused and the strategy worked because three authentic videos are now part of the high school curriculum.

These videos—To Your Credit, Check it Out and Bank Your Future—are posted on the Smart investing@your library® YouTube channel at

The synergy that developed among the librarians and their partners produced a truly unique teaching tool for teens that is now available to educators across the country. “Although like many other libraries, we are short-staffed, we found a way we can still make a difference,” said project principal Judy Pinger, the library’s business coordinator. ”Strong partnerships with like-minded organizations create the right energy to sustain our program model.”

The videos also have a growing presence on Facebook and Twitter. As further evidence of their value and utility, other educational organizations are interested in the videos. Victory Productions, a K-12 content developer of educational materials, has recently requested permission to use the videos in their online course. Virtual Virginia: Economics and Personal Finance for the Virginia Department of Education, is a course taken by public school students in Virginia to fulfill a new requirement for graduation.

The Orange County Library System’s program, MONEY TIP$ Make it Work: Smart investing@your library® was developed to meet the needs of central Florida’s workers in the leisure and hospitality industry. A slow-down in travel and dwindling occupancy rates created financial challenges for service industry workers and Orlando ranks 10th in the U.S. with an average consumer debt of $25,316. Job loss, cuts in hours, cuts in wages or required furloughs (Employment); housing losses, foreclosures, or plummeting housing values (Real Estate); retirement loss, 401Ks, or personal investments declining in value (Investing), those facing retirement (Retirement) or dealing with looming bankruptcy, school loans coming due, and the surging costs of food or fuel (Budgeting) left no one untouched.

Project principal, Paolo Melillo initiated a partnership with the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (representing nearly 80% of all the hotel rooms in the region.) to develop marketing and attract the attention of the target audience. He also continued an established partnership with Rollins College’s Crummer Graduate School of Business (CGSB), a well-known business school in the area, nationally ranked by Bloomberg Business Week and Forbes.

Any effective partnership entails a values exchange, in which each partner offers something of value to the other. Together, the existing partners created a program that delivered exceptional value to members of their community. In the process they gained new partners and increased their visibility with a new audience. Here’s how they did it. Professors from the university revised workshop content from a previous FINRA grant and tailored it to the needs of local hospitality workers. They also drew from FINRA modules to revamp the content and programs for hotel staff were offered at hotels and also at branch library locations. Simultaneous children’s story time programs were offered in the library locations to alleviate the possible barrier of child care and allow working parents to attend programs. Powerpoints used to present the workshops were repurposed as booklets to take home and videos were made from the Powerpoints and uploaded to the library’s dedicated web page. Online learning was always available.

The library’s partners helped with promotion with a news feature on the city’s Channel 13, which was facilitated through a media firm working for Rollins Crummer School of Business. The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association was also instrumental in helping promote Money Tip$. One of the Library’s branch administrators attended a meeting with CFHLA and through this Association the library garnered the interest of at least six hotels to host the program series.

In addition to print ads, online ads and bus ads, the library also pioneered the use of cinema commercials to reach their target audience. and A new partner, Walt Disney Resorts, stepped up to help and professionally produced two library commercials to promote the series in local cinemas.

And to top it off, the library’s publication Top Ten Tips to Save Money at Your Library is so popular that hotel staff are asking for more. “The Human Resources Department at the Caribe Royale asked for packets to share with staff,” said Melillo. “And attendees wanted extras to give to their friends and co-workers.”


Each round of grant recipients expands the reach, enhances the scope of resources, and helps to refine the Smart investing@your library® program. As recipients have frequently noted, the program allows for project development specific to each community. This customization results in the development of a rich array of target audiences, goals, marketing techniques, and evaluation practices to learn from and build upon.

Another round of grant invitations will be sent in April and the deadline to apply is June 6, 2012. Contact for more information.

●     Visit to learn more about the initiative and to explore resources and program ideas for use in your own library.

●     BRASS is sponsoring a panel discussion Smart investing @ your library®: Program Models That Work, 10:30 am-noon on June 23, 2012 at the ALA Conference in Anaheim.

●     For more details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit


[1] Bernard, T. S. (2010, April 9). Working financial literacy in with the three R’s. Retrieved from the New York Times website:

Emerging Leader Report

On Friday, January 20, the 2012 class of Emerging Leaders met for a daylong session of leadership training, project planning, and an introduction to ALA. Though this was a lot to pack into one day, it was energizing to have so many creative and thoughtful librarians in one room!

I will be working with a team of fabulous librarians to create a blog for RUSA. At the Emerging Leaders workshop we had time to plan for the blog. Blog posts will focus on different aspects of and issues surrounding reference librarianship and other areas of interest to RUSA members. Since Midwinter, the team has been meeting virtually to set up the site, policy, and schedule. There will be more details about the blog to come! If you’d like me to email you when the blog is up and running, email ehamstra AT umich DOT edu.

Aside from the Emerging Leaders workshop, I was able to attend many other committee meetings, programs, and events at Midwinter. Sitting in on the RUSA Board Meeting gave me added insight into the structure of RUSA and ALA. I had a great time at the RUSA Book and Media Awards (kudos to the Statistical Abstract of the United States for winning the Dartmouth Medal, Lifetime Achievement Award).

I want to thank you all for welcoming me to committee meetings, and for giving me the opportunity to be the RUSA Emerging Leader!

Emily Hamstra
Learning Librarian
Shapiro Undergraduate Library
University of Michigan

RUSA Standards and Guidelines (S&G) Committee

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

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

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

Several new guidelines are under development:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Message from the BRASS Chair


Carol E. Schuetz, Editor
Hello BRASS members!

2012 promises to be a very good year for BRASS. First, the programs and forums for Annual in Anaheim look very exciting. We are bringing back the Mastering Business Acumen (MBA) in a Day Preconference. Program and forum topics include using social media to promote business librarians and resources, finding private company information, and our Monday program which picks up on the Disneyland theme, “Adventures in Dataland,” features a morning of information about data sources, including the new U.S. Census. Our thanks to Van Houlson and Christy Goodnight for volunteering, again, to capture the program for BRASS members.

Celia Ross (Chair, Vendor Relations) has been actively working on a new BRASS award that we are trying to fast-track through ALA in order to begin this year. Our thanks to Celia. Stay tuned for details about that.

If you haven’t seen the title selections yet, be sure to read the “Outstanding Business Reference Sources,” selected by the BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee and published in RUSQ, winter 2011. Also, at the RUSA Awards celebration at Midwinter, BRASS announced its choices for “Best of the Best Business Websites” which were globalEDGE, Statistical Abstract of the United States and FRED (St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank).

Our BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee has been hard at work on our celebration in Chicago in the summer of 2013. You won’t want to miss this. There will soon be a BRASS Web site so you can follow the events as they are planned. For now see the RUSA Blog. Thank you, Louise!

Please consider volunteering for a committee or renewing your interest in serving on a committee by filing out the RUSA Volunteer Form. Be sure to change the drop down menu to BRASS rather than RUSA, not that we discourage you from serving RUSA, too! If you know any business librarians from public libraries who are not BRASS members, tell them about BRASS, and encourage them to join.

Read more details on all of this below. Hope to see many of you in Anaheim, June 21 – 26, 2012!

Chris LeBeau
BRASS Chair 2011-2012

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee

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

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

Lydia LaFaro, 2009-2012 Chair

BRASS Program Planning Committee

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

We are pleased to invite the following speakers:

●     Bobray Bordelon – Princeton University, Librarian

●     Jerry Wong – US Census, Information Specialist

●     Angela Lee – ESRI, Education Programs

●     Joe Nation – RAND Corporation State Statistics, Director

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

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

Anthony Lin, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee

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

Nathan Rupp, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Education Committee

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

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

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

Date: Friday, June 22, 2012

Time: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

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


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

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

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

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

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

Ticket Prices

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


Leticia Camacho, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Vendor Relations Committee

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

Celia Ross, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee

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

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

Melissa Jeter, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee

Plans are underway for the BRASS 25th Anniversary Party to be held on Monday, July 1st at ALA Annual 2013 in Chicago. Keep your calendars open for this fabulous event. Stay tuned for details to come over the next year.

Louise Feldmann, 2011-2012 Chair

Reference Publishing Discussion Forum


Vicki Bloom, Editor

About fifty librarians, publishers, and vendors attended the Reference Publishing Discussion Forum: “Life after the Statistical Abstract,” sponsored by RUSA/CODES Reference Publishing Advisory Committee.Moderated by Alesia McManus, owner of the “Save the US Statistical Abstract” Facebook page, Alesia McManus, along with Dan Coyle from ProQuest and Bruce Samuelson from Bernan Publishing spoke about what the proposed demise of the Statistical Abstract means for reference librarians and library users. Here are some highlights:

Dan Coyle from ProQuest remarked that all of the public domain content (90%) of the content is received at ProQuest. They ingest the data and use it in a variety of publications, including Statistical Insight. Coyle said that there is a possibility that Proquest will continue publishing Statistical Abstract with deeper indexing of the tables. Bruce Samuelson from Bernan Publishing stated that his company does publish the Statistical Abstract; in fact, it is the second largest title that they sold for years. Moving forward, Bernan is looking to publish it themselves but only in print. Librarians agree that Statistical Abstract has three great virtues—comprehensive data in one location, footnotes for further information, and low price. Plus it includes data collected from private sources. Whatever the end result, librarians don’t want a product that is too complicated.

Also discussed were open access and/or grant funding, the Statistics Canada model, and the advocacy role of ALA. While it hasn’t been updated in ages, perhaps librarians should visit the FedStats website and request newer information as an indication of interest. Perhaps those interested could use CapWiz, a legislative action center within ALA as an outlet. Alesia McManus plans to continue maintaining her Facebook page and is hoping to establish an ALA Connect group devoted to this issue.

Bill McHugh, Chair

Collection Development Education Committee

The Collection Development Education Committee recently posted a toolkit of resources to the RUSA web pages at: The committee is open to recommendations to add to the toolkit. Please contact one of the co-chairs if have suggestions for additional collection development resources.

After some discussion, the CODES Executive Committee decided that the Reference Book Review Checklist falls under education and therefore will now be revised by the Collection Development Education Committee.

Lesley Brown, Co-chair

Upcoming at ALA Annual in Anaheim

Two RUSA CODES Committees Unite! Collection Development Planning and Assessment Committee & Collection Development Education Committee

Big news for the Collection Development Planning and Assessment and the Collection Development Education Committees! Based on member interest, enrollment and overlapping committee charges, these two committees have been merged and will meet as a combined group at the annual meeting in Anaheim. The new combined committee will be meeting during the current Planning and Assessment slot scheduled for Sundays from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. That meeting will be a chance for all members to review the current charges, draft a new combined charge and consider name changes.

In addition, the Collection Development Planning and Assessment Committee have an exciting program planned for Anaheim that is co-sponsored by the ALCTS Collection Development & Electronic Resources Interest Group. The program features four highly experienced panelists and is scheduled for Saturday morning from 8:00-10:00 A.M.; moderated by Heather McCormack from Library Journal, it should be a lively and informative discussion to kick-start your Saturday!

●     Title: The E-book Elephant in the Room: How to figure out what’s relevant and working for your patrons to help you make effective decisions for your e-collection of the future.

●     Description: Patron demand for e-books is growing; as our e-collections grow, as publishers create more interesting e-content that may have value-added content over printed works, and as we struggle to effectively balance our materials budgets across physical and e-content, how do we make good decisions about what these collections should contain?

●     Day/Time: Saturday, June 23rd from 8:00-10:00 A.M.

Hear from four highly experienced panelists:

●     Alene Moroni, Manager, Selection and Order, King County Library

●     Anne Silvers Lee, Chief, Materials Management Division, Free Library of Philadelphia

●     Linda DiBiase, Collection Development Librarian, University of Washington

●     Sue Polanka, Head of Reference & Instruction, Wright State University

Message from the Chair


The History Section, with the sponsorship of ProQuest, offered a free genealogy preconference at the Midwinter in Dallas, Texas. Speakers included Lloyd Bockstruck, retired librarian from the Dallas Public Library, Aaron Holt of the National Archives, Sue Kaufman of the Clayton Library in Houston, Texas, Ari Wilkins of the Dallas Public Library, and Bill Forsyth of ProQuest. Plans are underway for another free preconference at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. We hope many will plan to attend this June 22, 2012, event.

The History Section program at the ALA Annual Conference will be entitled, “Mining Gold From the 1940 Census. The opening of the 1940 census for public view on April 2, 2012, will be unlike any other. This census is being offered in digital content only. Joel Weintrub of the National Archives and Records Administration will speak about the impact of this census which documents the Greatest Generation on the brink of war. A panel discussion will follow by representatives of vendors who will host the 1940 census images. They will discuss what their individual companies are doing to index the census records.

The History Librarians Discussion Group, monitored by Heather Tompkins, had twenty-eight in attendance at the Midwinter meeting. There was a mix of public, academic, and special librarians, as well as two students and some vendors. The discussion focused around the issues and challenges of providing access to the kinds of sources people use when researching public history topics. They also explored some of the challenges of teaching the complexities of public history. The discussion ended with some thoughts about the definitions of public history and some thoughts about the perceptions of public history as a discipline.

The Local History Committee has revised Guidelines for Establishing Local History Collections. The RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee has reviewed the document and when the recommended changes are made it will proceed again to the committee before it is brought before the RUSA Executive Board at the Annual Conference.

A new History Section award will be announced at the RUSA Awards Program at the 2012 Annual Conference.

Sara Morris, History Section Vice-Chair is making appointments now for those who would like to be involved in committee work for the History Section. Please fill out the volunteer form on the RUSA website if you would like to volunteer.

Janice Schultz
History Section Chair

Genealogy Committee

The Genealogy Committee and GODORT will sponsor the RUSA History Section’s program at Anaheim this summer: “Mining Gold from the 1940 Census.”

Images of the 1940 U.S. Population Census were released in April, 2012 following a 72 year embargo for privacy concerns. These images are of great interest to genealogists and other social historians. This program will be presented on Sunday, June 24 at 1:30 P.M. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Joel Weintraub who collaborates with Steve Morse on the many1-Step indexes. His presentation will be followed by a panel who represent organizations which began to provide access to images of the 1940 US Census on April 2, 2012:

●     Kerry Bartels, US Archives

●     Bill Forsyth, Proquest ( Library edition and Heritage Quest)

●     Michael Hall, FamilySearch

●     Amy Johnson Crow,

Dave Dowell, Chair

Message From the Chair

Message from MARS

Newsletter of the RUSA-MARS Emerging Technologies in Reference Section

Melissa J. Clapp, Editor


MARS had a very productive Midwinter Meeting. This was the first Midwinter Meeting at which MARS largely participated virtually. Committees, other than the Executive Committee, had the option of meeting in-person or meeting virtually prior to Midwinter and sending in a report that would be discussed during the Executive Committee meetings, which were held in-person. This seemed to work well for committees. Two committees opted to meet in-person during Midwinter, while other committees chose to meet virtually. Of course, committees that presented discussion forums did send committee representatives to conduct the forums.

In total, three MARS discussion forums were held during Midwinter. Hot Topics presented a wonderful discussion forum entitled “Reaching out to Patrons in Virtual Ways: Old School Successes and New Initiatives.” The Virtual Reference Discussion Group held an engaging discussion forum entitled “UX + VR FTW,” which explored user experience as it pertains to virtual reference. Local Systems and Services presented a stimulating discussion forum entitled “The Learning Commons and the Academic Library: Using Emerging Technologies and New Partnerships to Build Student Success.”

In addition to the MARS gatherings, RUSA held its Annual Membership Social. The RUSA Social was very well attended. It provided a wonderful opportunity to chat with RUSA friends as well as meet and welcome new RUSA members. The Midwinter Meeting proved to be very informative, and MARS is looking forward to an equally engaging Annual Conference.

Warm Regards,

Dianna McKellar
MARS Chair, 2011-2012

MARS Chair’s Program Planning Committee

The MARS Chair’s Program Planning Committee has been steadfastly working towards organizing a program that will be presented at the Annual ALA Conference. The program, which has been selected to serve as the 2012 RUSA President’s Program, is entitled “Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons.” This program will explore the importance of libraries supporting mobile technologies for the dissemination and acquisition of information. Joan Lippincott, Associate Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, will speak about why libraries should embrace communicating with patrons through mobile devices. Kristin Antelman, Associate Director for the Digital Library at North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries, will speak about mobile initiatives at NCSU including WolfWalk, a photographic guide to the history of NCSU optimized for mobile devices. David Lee King, Digital Branch & Services Manager at the Topeka Public Library, will discuss the library app and social media used to communicate with patrons at the Topeka Public Library.

Dianna McKellar, MARS Chair

RUSA MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Planning Committee

Conference report for 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting, Dallas, TX

Discussion topic: “UX + VR FTW”

Courtney Greene, Head of Digital User Experience at Indiana University Libraries-Bloomington, opened the Virtual Reference Discussion Forum by describing general principles of designing for user experience and examining how those might apply to virtual reference. She emphasized the need to go beyond supposition and assumptions by gathering information from patrons through a variety of means including usability testing, focus groups, and web analytics. Greene also illustrated how her library used UX principles to create multiple IM widget access points for users and corresponding queues for library operators. Her presentation slides are available on Slideshare at Following Courtney’s presentation, there was a lengthy question and answer session that involved sharing of ideas and best practices.

A total of fifty-two people attended the session. Twenty-three of the attendees completed an evaluation form. The feedback was extremely positive, with many respondents expressing appreciation for Courtney’s enthusiasm and expertise. They expressed a strong desire to continue learning more about UX and its implications for VR.

Virtual Reference Discussion Group Planning Committee

The Virtual Reference Discussion Group Planning Committee is currently discussing topic ideas for its Discussion Forum at ALA Annual. After the committee finalizes a topic and identifies a kick-off speaker, it will begin work on the following two projects:

●     Update the committee’s public page on the ALA website. The page will include lists of past members as well as lists of past topics for the Discussion Fora at MidWinter and Annual. When possible, the list of topics will include links to notes and presentation materials.

●     Establish and promote a public page on ALA connect for soliciting suggestions for future topics for Discussion Fora.

Jason Coleman, Chair

Outreach Committee

The MARS Happy Hour at ALA Annual will be held on Saturday, June 23, 5:00-7:00 pm. This is our chance to relax, network and welcome new and potential members and others interested in the work of MARS. Location and other details to be announced soon!

Arlie Sims, Chair

RUSA MARS’ Products & Services committee: Statistics and Analytics: Ways to Record Library Interactions

How do we know if our library community is using the programs or services that our library offers? How do we know if our time is well spent in staffing these services? What products are put there that can help us record and use all of this information to help improve or develop new resources or services to engage our library patrons? RUSA MARS’ Products & Services Committee has put together reviews of different options for libraries to track all sorts of stats. Find them on the MARS blog:

If there are questions about a specific product/service, please contact the reviewer directly. If there are suggestions for other products to review, please contact the Chair of the Products & Services committee, Ngoc-Yen Tran at nttran[at]

Ngoc-Yen Tran, Chair

Professional Development Committee

The new MARS Professional Development Committee is off and running! The newly formed committee, consisting of both the Education, Support and Training (ETS) and Professional Development (PD) Committee members, has been meeting virtually on a monthly basis since last fall. The purpose in joining the two committees is to eliminate duplicative efforts, strengthen the potential for more activity, and launch new initiatives for MARS members. In addition, the work of the joint preconference planning committee (MARS/RSS) now belongs to a subcommittee of MARS PD. The chair of this new subcommittee is Stephanie Alexander. The focus of the committee’s work so far has been the deployment of webinars. Two webinars, “Introduction to Screencasting for Online Tutorials and Reference,” were organized and sponsored by MARS PD and presented in August and December 2011. Both webinars had approximately sixty attendees and received very positive feedback. In the upcoming months, the committee will again launch a repeat of “Introduction to Screencasting” and develop a robust FAQ list to help all MARS members present and deploy professional development webinars with the support and assistance of the committee. Look forward to new and exciting professional development and training webinars from MARS PD!

Nancy A. Cunningham, Chair

MARS/RSS Virtual Reference Services Committee

The MARS/RSS Virtual Reference Services Committee held its virtual midwinter meeting on Friday, December 16, 2011. Minutes of the meeting are available at and a recording at

The Committee is hosting a program at ALA Annual 2012 entitled “Are virtual reference services worth the effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us.” Panelists are confirmed and a high profile moderator has given tentative confirmation to serve as moderator. Stay tuned to ALA Connect for more details.

The committee will be discussing ideas for the 2013 ALA Annual via email and other means. The focus currently under consideration is to do something with gadgets or technology since the last several Annual programs have focused on other “soft” aspects of virtual reference service.

In keeping with its goals, the Committee has created the “RUSA MARS/RSS VR Committee Survey Ad Hoc Group.” Jason Coleman, an active member of the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee as well as Undergraduate & Community Services Librarian at Kansas State University, has volunteered to lead the new group. They are charged with conducting an online survey to assess the distribution and logistics of virtual reference services in libraries. Jason has asked individuals interested in working on the project to contact him at as soon as possible.

The Committee members are also exploring ways to update existing virtual reference content in online venues like Wikipedia, LISWiki, LibSuccess, etc. Options under consideration include sponsoring a Wikipedia “Edit-a-thon” at Annual Conference, creating a Twitter hashtag, inaugurating a Google Group, etc.

Donald Boozer, Chair

Spring Election 2012

The slate of candidates up for election for MARS offices this Spring are:

For Vice Chair/Chair Elect (Vote for One):

Marilyn N. Ochoa

Samuel R. Stormont

For Member-at-Large (Three year Term: Vote for One):

Bryna R. Coonin

Courtney Greene

For Secretary (Two Year Term: Vote for One)

Colleen Seale

Kelley Ann Lawton

We are also pleased to have two former MARS Chairs running for RUSA office. Anne Houston is running for RUSA Division Councilor and Kathleen Kern, for President of RUSA. Full information on the nominees for RUSA and its Sections is available in ALA Connect.

Voting will run from mid-March to mid-April. Be looking for announcements soon with the specific dates, and please vote!

MARS Nominating Committee 2011-2012

Carolyn Larson, Chair
Mary Mintz
Linda Keiter
Kimberley Vassiliadis

Message from the Chair

RSS logoRSS Review, Winter 2012

Greetings RSS Members!


ALA Midwinter 2012 was a great success. From the delicious food and good times at the RSS Pancake Breakfast and the RUSA Social, to the lively and informative discussion forums, we attendees really enjoyed ourselves! For those who could not attend, we will be gathering the notes and slides from the discussions and will make them available soon.

In other news, RUSA has purchased licenses to Blackboard Collaborate, the virtual meeting and webinar software. I am working with others across RUSA to develop a scheduling system and guidelines. We hope that in the next few months, we’ll be able to support robust virtual participation across RUSA. RSS will be able to use this software for committee meetings, discussion forums, and webinars.

Also, under the fearless and inspiring leadership of Organization & Planning Chair, Joe Thompson, RSS has several new committees in development! Beginning in July 2012, we will have committees focused on frontline communication strategies and teaching at the point-of-need, health information/medical reference, job and career reference, and young adult reference.

Speaking of committees, it’s appointments season! Our fantastic and energetic Vice-Chair, Sarah Hammill, is starting to contact chairs and make new committee appointments, including appointments to our new committees. If you’re interested in serving on a committee or serving as a RSS representative to a RUSA-level committee, be sure to join RSS-L to stay tuned to appointment-related news. See for instructions on how to join RSS-L.

Lastly, we’re in the final stages of scheduling our discussions, meetings, and programs for ALA Annual in Anaheim (June 21-26). I would like to thank Kate Silton, our organized and talented RSS Scheduler, for her amazing and hard work during this scheduling season. Kate, we couldn’t have done this without you! Thank you!

I wish you all the very best in 2012, and hope to see many of you at the RSS Open House on Saturday, June 23, at 8:00 A.M., in Anaheim!

Best to you,
Liane Taylor
RSS Chair, 2011-2012

Catalog Use Committee

The Catalog Use Committee has been working out the details of our meeting for ALA Annual. The committee is planning a roundtable discussion covering key catalog issues. The meeting is titled “Rethinking the OPAC: Changing User, Changing Needs.” Specifically, we want to facilitate an engaging discussion of emerging resource discovery and management issues. We will host five small-group discussions with time for sharing the highlights from each discussion with the whole audience during the second half of the meeting. We will be releasing more details as Annual approaches. Hope to see many of you there.

Peter Collins, Chair 2011-2012

Cooperative Reference Service Committee

In cooperation with the RSS Cooperative Reference Services Committee, member Arlene Weismantel and her colleague Christine Tobias, Michigan State University, have created a video providing an overview of cooperative reference. In this seven-minute video, Arlene and Christine explore the benefits of participating in a cooperative, as well as some of the challenges. Our intended audiences are new librarians interested in learning about cooperative reference, library school students, and libraries considering joining a reference cooperative.

The video will be linked from numerous RUSA RSS pages, but you can watch it now:

Nancy Huling, Chair 2011-2012

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored two very well-attended forums at Midwinter. The Sunday forum, “For Whom the Catalog Serves,” saw a lively discussion and presenters, Anne Larrivee and Ava Iuliano, kept things going with their questions and observations about discovery systems and next-gen catalogs.

Attendees at the Monday forum, “Managing the Different Types of Reference,” represented a rich variety of library types and reference configuration/situations. Discussion in this forum was also quite lively as attendees talked about virtual reference management issues and solutions. Bonnie Fong, the presenter, did a great job leading the discussion.

The Committee will put out a Call for Proposals for ALA Annual 2012 this Spring.

Emilie Smart, Chair 2011-2012

Education and Professional Development for Reference

The Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee (EPDRC) is working with the MARS Professional Development Committee to create an in-person workshop for ALA Midwinter 2013 for library staff, along with investigating topics for online training to be made available through ALA. The group also publicly archived the Reference New Employee Orientation Bibliography on ALA Connect:

In addition, the group is gathering websites and online resources related to reference training through social bookmarking, available at: Additions to the list are welcomed by e-mailing one of the committee members.

Kristen Mastel, Chair 2011-2012

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee

The Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee is planning a discussion forum for Annual 2012: “The How, What, and Why of Reference Evaluation and Assessment”

As the number of reference statistics decline, librarians look to measure the value of reference interactions more qualitatively. The Wisconsin-Ohio Reference Evaluation Program (WOREP, retired at the end of 2011), the READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment Data), and LibQual are among the tools that have been used. This discussion forum will address the how, why, and what of evaluation and assessment of reference. Participants will discuss how evaluation and assessment are being done and funded; we’ll talk about the why—what’s behind both librarians’ and administrators’ reasons for collecting this information; and finally the what—what is being collected, what is the workload, and what decisions are being made with this data.

Discussion conveners are members of the Evaluation of Reference and User Services committee. Join us for a lively conversation on evaluation and assessment of reference.

Look for us to further publicize when we get a date and a location!

Ellen Keith, Chair 2011-2012

Library Service to an Aging Population

At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, the Library Services to an Aging Population hosted a free-flowing discussion about programs and services to Baby Boomers. Topics ranging from ebooks, computer classes, financial literacy, urban farming, veterans’ issues, history, and employment programs were examined in the context of the needs and wants of the Baby Boom generation. The discussion at Midwinter was also profiled in Cognotes.

The committee is also sponsoring a program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim: “How Libraries Are Meeting the Evolving Needs of Baby Boomers and Older Adults.” Panelists will include: Susan Hildreth (IMLS); Jane Salisbury (Multnomah County Public Library); Tony Sarmiento (Senior Services America); and Suzanne Flint (California State Library).

Jeff Kempe, Chair 2011-2012

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking

The Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee held its 2012 Midwinter virtual meeting on January 19. Upcoming activities include a discussion forum at the 2012 Annual Conference titled “¿Que pasa? What’s Happening in U.S. Library Services for Spanish Speakers?” and a revision of the Guidelines for Library Services to Spanish-Speaking Library Users. Last December the committee published the results of a nation-wide survey on library services for Spanish speaking patrons in the Fall/Winter issue of the REFORMA National Newsletter.

Gabriel J. Duque, Chair 2011-2012

Management of Reference Committee

The Management of Reference Committee held a Discussion Forum on Management of Reference on Saturday, January 21, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. Two topics were discussed: 1) the draft revision of the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers, and 2) the upcoming revision of Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians. About 20 people attended the discussion.

William Weare, Chair 2010-2012

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference

The RSS Marketing and PR Committee was honored with co-sponsoring a discussion on Young Adults and Reference Service at ALA Midwinter in Dallas, Texas, on Sunday, January 22, 2012 from 4:00-5:30 p.m.. Dr. Marie Radford helped lead the discussion. Thanks to Joe Thompson for initiating this exciting opportunity.

Also during Midwinter, the committee met virtually on January 18 to revisit our group’s focus on marketing and public relations and what we can provide, as well as to reconnect as a committee. We will soon conduct a survey of our committee’s members to:

1. Define marketing and public relations for your library.

2. Ask “What kinds of marketing materials does your library use?” (print and online, web, social media)

3. Ask “What is your favorite library website, resource or product that you would recommend (for marketing our libraries)?”

The committee is working on two ALA Annual events. We will continue co-sponsoring with YALSA as was done at Midwinter. We will also provide a workshop called “Let’s Work Together: Integrating Social Media, Online Marketing, and Outreach” with panelists/presenters David Lee King, Marshall Breeding, and Jennifer Robinson. It is scheduled to be on Monday, June 25, 8:30-10:00 A.M.

The Marketing and PR Committee will meet virtually during ALA Annual (date/time TBD).

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2012


Organization and Planning (O&P) Committee

O&P members organized one face-to-face event in Dallas during ALA Midwinter 2012. Approximately twenty people turned out for RSS’s second annual Midwinter Pancake Breakfast, which served as a fun opportunity for new and veteran members to gather informally. Also while in Dallas, Sarah Hammill and Joe Thompson represented RSS at the RUSA Budget and Finance meeting. Thompson attended the RUSA Board meetings as a visitor.

RSS O&P continues to meet in coordination with RSS Executive Committee. Since we didn’t meet in-person in Dallas, we held our official “Midwinter 2012” meeting online on January 26 via a web conference. Of significance, RSS has approved the creation of four new committees that we expect to provide vital support for frontline reference librarians, especially in public and academic libraries. Note that the specific name and charge for each committee is still being formalized:

●     Young Adult Reference Services Committee (in partnership with YALSA)

●     Frontline Reference Training and Communication Committee

●     Health and Medical Reference Committee

●     Job and Career Reference Committee

If you are interested in becoming a member of any of these committees please contact Sarah Hammill, RSS incoming chair, at Hammill will be appointing members to these and all standing RSS committees over the months of February to April with terms to officially begin as of July 1, 2012. The O&P members will meet again via web conference on Monday, February 27 to finalize decisions made during the January meeting.

Making plans for Annual? O&P will hold its once-a-year in-person meeting on Saturday, June 23 during the 8:00-10:00 A.M. RSS Open House/All Committee Meeting at ALA Annual 2012 in Anaheim.

Joe Thompson, Chair 2011-2012

Recognition Committee

Join the RSS Honor Roll!

When you hear Honor Roll do you have flash backs to high school? Maybe you have happy memories of the honor roll or maybe you think could of, would of, should of…

Regardless of your experience in high school, you may be eligible for the RSS Honor Roll. The RSS has an Honor Roll that 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 Susan Ware at

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

If you want to find out which honored colleagues you will be joining, go to the RSSHonorRollpage for the list of RSS Honor Roll Members.

Susan Ware
Lori Thornton, Chair 2010-2012

Research and Statistics Committee

After receiving a number of proposals, the Research and Statistics Committee met to choose the presentations for the 18th Annual Reference Research Forum. The committee had a lively discussion regarding the choice and now looks forward to an exciting Forum. Selected presentations will be notified in the next week.

Qiana Johnson, Chair 2010-2012

Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)

The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee held its virtual Midwinter meeting on Friday, December 16, 2011. Minutes and a recording of the meeting are available in ALA Connect.

The Committee is hosting a program at ALA Annual 2012 entitled “Are virtual reference services worth the effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us.” Panelists are confirmed and a high profile person has given tentative confirmation to serve as moderator. Stay tuned to ALA Connect for more details.

The committee will be discussing ideas for the 2013 ALA Annual via email and other means. The focus currently under consideration is to do something with gadgets or technology since the last several Annual programs have focused on other “soft” aspects of virtual reference service.

In keeping with its goals, the Committee has created the “RUSA MARS/RSS VR Committee Survey Ad Hoc Group”. Jason Coleman, an active member of the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee as well as Undergraduate & Community Services Librarian at Kansas State University, has volunteered to lead the new group. They are charged with conducting an online survey to assess the distribution and logistics of virtual reference services in libraries. Jason has asked individuals interested in working on the project to contact him at as soon as possible.

The Committee members are also exploring ways to update existing virtual reference content in online venues like Wikipedia, LISWiki, LibSuccess, etc. Options under consideration include sponsoring a Wikipedia “Edit-a-thon” at Annual Conference, creating a Twitter hashtag, inaugurating a Google Group, etc.

Don Boozer, Chair 2011-2012

Virtual Reference (VR) Tutorial Subcommittee

The planned activities of the VR Tutorial Subcommittee include revision of the VR tutorial modules using Drupal and performing user testing. As of December 2011, module revisions are in process. These include the Policies and Training modules. The team meets monthly and shares reports periodically with the Virtual Reference committee, and with RSS and MARS.

The Subcommittee would like your input!

We need you, your library and colleagues input …

●     Share current tips, best practices, best/worst cases on VR use in your library;

●     We need top tips from libraries who were/are new to VR as well as the experienced libraries;

●     We welcome your best practices – from planning, policies to training and marketing;

●     We would love to hear about your worst cases as well as best successes – all are valuable ‘lessons learned’;

●     Share a colleague to be a module reviewer or tester, please;

●     The VR team is already asking that the splash page is removed from the Tutorial site.

Please contact the subcommittee co-chairs with your suggestions, tips and testing input at Valli Hoski ( or Jennifer Lau-Bond (

Valli Hoski, Chair 2010-2011

Web Advisory Board Committee

The Web Advisory Board Committee had the 2012 mid-winter virtual meeting on January 30. The migration to Drupal has happened last year. Members have started to take trainings on using Drupal as the new web content management tool. For our RSS website, we will continue working closely with all the other committees in order to keep the content as current as possible and make it more accessible.

Shu Qian, RSS Webmaster

Interested in getting involved with RSS?

If yes, then keep your eye on the RSS-L listserv!

(See to subscribe to the list.)

I will be sending an email to the list as I start to make committee appointments. Many of our committees do their work entirely online so if you can’t attend ALA, you can still get involved!

To learn more about our committees, go to the RSS website and scroll down to “Our Committees.” We have four new committees so there is something for everyone interested in front-line reference services!

Sarah J. Hammill, RSS Chair Elect



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

Message from the Chair


Katharine Calhoun, Editor


First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for a wonderful Midwinter Conference in Dallas. STARS held several well attended meetings and active discussion groups, and it is always great to catch up with STARS members.

Perhaps our biggest announcement from Midwinter is our updated STARS Bylaws which were passed during our All Committee meeting. The revised Bylaws can be viewed on the STARS RUSA page.

Finally, it is never too early to announce programs for ALA Annual in Anaheim. Again, STARS has a great slate of programs and we hope to see you there:

●     International ILL: A Global Perspective on Resource Sharing: Saturday, June 23, 1:30-3:30 P.M.

●     Sharing Our Collections: Looking to the Future: Sunday, June 24, 10:30 A.M.-12:00 P.M.

●     Implementing the “STAR” Checklist for High Performance Library Resource-Sharing: Sunday, June 24, 1:30-3:30 P.M.

As usual, we will also be holding all of our regular meetings and discussion groups. More information will be released in March.

Heather Weltin, STARS Chair

Education and Training Committee

The Education and Training Committee held its 5th annual “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL” workshop in Dallas. Approximately 85 people attended and the workshop was once again well-received. We are grateful to our sponsors, OCLC, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS), and the Dallas Public Library for their support for this workshop. The committee is currently discussing holding the workshop again in Seattle to coincide with ALA Midwinter 2013.

We also are pleased to share the first three videos in our series “Exploring Library Careers in Interlibrary Loan & Resource Sharing.” Please check out the videos on YouTube:

●     Exploring Library Careers in Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing: Project Management

●     Exploring Library Careers in Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing: Budget and Management

●     Exploring Library Careers in Interlibrary Loan & Resource Sharing: Building on Previous Experience

Feedback on these videos is welcome; you can contact either Lars Leon ( or Megan Gaffney ( Please feel free to distribute them to anyone who might be interested in a career in ILL/resource sharing!

Our Committee continues to discuss more ways we might provide education and training to the resource sharing community. Stay tuned for more updates on that effort, and feel free to contact any Committee member if you have good training ideas.

Megan Gaffney, Chair

International ILL Committee

The International Interlibrary Loan Committee is currently working on a report of its 2011 survey of international ILL practices. This report will be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval and be posted on the STARS website. The Committee hopes to write one or two articles further analyzing the survey results in terms of U.S. and non-U.S. responses. The Committee is also planning a program for the 2012 ALA Annual Conference titled “International ILL: A Global Perspective on Resource Sharing.”

Tina Baich, Chair

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee turned in a fantastic slate of candidates for the next election. Polls will open at 9:00 A.M. CDT on March 19, 2012 for the American Library Association’s annual election, so don’t forget to vote!

Denise Forro, Chair

Vendor Relations Committee

At Midwinter in Dallas, the Vendor Relations Committee members were joined by Katie Birch, Portfolio Director, Delivery Services at OCLC; Clare MacKeigan, COO of Relais International; and John Reese, COO of Backstage Library Works. One of the goals of the committee this year was to invite vendors to participate, and we were pleased to have them involved in the discussion. The group reviewed the activities over the past year and talked about the focus for this year. It was determined that we would choose one area to concentrate on over the next six months. E-delivery was chosen for the area of interest and we are going to be exploring different approaches to this topic. We will work with the chairs of the Hot Topics and ILL Discussion Groups to see if there might be time during one of their meetings to have a presentation on e-delivery options. Our thought was to ask individuals who are using a particular product to explain their usage and what they think are advantages/disadvantages of the product. We hope to include speakers who use OCLC’s Article Exchange, Odyssey, Ariel, Relais and Relais Express, and DLSG’s B-SCAN ILL. We also plan to have a written document to distribute that explains the various options. We decided to extend invitations to other vendors as we are focusing on a topic that is pertinent to their products and will issue invitations to e-delivery vendors to attend the annual meeting of this committee in Anaheim.


Becky Ringwelski, Chair

Hot Topics Discussion Group

Approximately twenty-five attendees met for an hour of open discussion. Here are some brief highlights:

  • Dropping Ariel / What alternatives are you using?

○     OCLC Article Exchange

○     Email PDF

○     Rapid X

○     Local File Drop Servers

  • Distance Education/Providing Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan (Library Services)

○     Several libraries send books from their own collection to distance ed students, including reference items (almost anything that a “local” student can borrow on campus is sent for distance ed students—some exceptions for AV materials)

○     Some work on building relationships with public/local libraries near the distance education user (outreach, send materials, offer support)

○     Acquisitions Manager will be released January 31

  • Copyright Clearance Center’s Getting It Now Service

○     A couple of libraries reported on using the new CCC service:

■Specifically for “Rush” requests (due to fast turnaround time)

■For the “6th” title request after CONTU 5 has already been done via traditional ILL

■To supplement major journal bundle cancellations as a way to provide users with fast turnaround time yet fairly cost effective service

○     It is more expensive than traditional ILL, but may provide advantages depending upon the individual library’s situation

■Can streamline staff time/efforts

●     One place to go to rather than multiple publisher sites

●     One invoice payment/single contract to access multiple publishers (up to 11 publishers currently)

●     The upcoming March ILLiad Conference will include a talk on this topic by Heather Weltin

○     A couple of libraries reported working on entering data into their Knowledge Base accounts

■Time consuming to set up (slow, tedious), but anticipate great benefit once up and running (with less time on ongoing maintenance)

●     Suggestion to see if a library can create and then import a spreadsheet with information (versus individual title by title or package by package input)

●     PubGet feature works well for identifying holdings and titles, but not licensing information

●     Suggestion to use SFX/Serials Solution Addon in ILLiad to find out if ILL is allowable (title by title search)

  • Where does ILL fit into Public Services (Scholar Commons)

○     Scholar commons for university users (undergraduate; faculty; graduate) – how to fit ILL/DD into public arena to take advantage of synergy of opportunity?

■Staff on public desk (combined service desk such as “Ask Here” desk); staff concentrates on public outreach with automated/processing behind the scenes (back office)

■Integrate delivering service to where user is (physical location or virtual service); effort of digitizing team process (document center staff, acquisitions, cataloging/metadata staff) to make items deliverable, discoverable, available

■Chat reference

●     Some have reference staff refer questions/issues forward

■Dedicated email address that is checked frequently, quick response to queries/issues

  • Lending/ILL for E-Books? Future of Sharing E-books?

○     Briefly touched upon how to share e-books

○     Very limited, cumbersome ability currently (chapters only, captured by individual PDF, copied to cds), dependent upon license agreement

○     Some consortia turning to consortial purchasing agreements (CARLI / Illinois in discussion with five e-book vendors)—broaden to group access


Naomi Chow, 2012 Chair

Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group

David Atkins convened the meeting and introduced the two topics and speakers.

Bethany Sewell, University of Denver, presented “100% Document Delivery: What to do when your collections are all off-site?” She discussed how the University of Denver’s Penrose Library provides ILL and Document Delivery services from their materials which are stored ten miles away in the Hampden Center Annex. Bethany described many practical issues like delivering items to patrons and accepting requests from other libraries and special borrowers.

Tina Baich, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, discussed “Opening Interlibrary Loan to Open Access: Locating and Managing Borrowing Requests for Open Access Materials.” Even though open access materials are freely available on the internet, library users still request them through interlibrary loan. In 2009, IUPUI University Library began tracking borrowing requests for open access materials. As the number of requests filled with open access documents continues to grow, IUPUI University Library is able to provide a service to users and cost savings for the Library by utilizing this material. Tina discussed the data regarding IUPUI University Library open access borrowing requests and demonstrated some of the most commonly used online resources for locating this type of material.

Copies of the presentations have been posted to the ALA Connect.


David P. Atkins, Chair