From the Director

You’re Invited: Nancy Pearl, RUSA and Booklist host Carnegie Medal reception at Annual Conference

“The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction recognize literary excellence, but more, they also celebrate the important role librarians play in opening up the world of imagination, education, and aspiration to new readers and avid book lovers alike.”

–Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation and past president of the New York Public Library

Dear RUSA Members,

I wanted to extend a personal invitation to you to attend the inaugural reception for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference —a prestigious award made possible by a partnership between RUSA and Booklist, and supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

When: Sunday, June 24, 8:00-10:00 PM

Where: Hilton Anaheim, Pacific Ballroom A & B

Announcement and presentation of the medals and cash prizes to this year’s authors of the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers.

Seats are limited, and tickets are just $25 for RUSA members.

Buy your tickets now through the ALA Annual Conference registration site.

Nancy Pearl will serve as our host for the evening, and the authors whose books are finalists for the awards will also be in attendance! There will be time to meet, mingle, and celebrate over dessert and drinks with literary luminaries, adult-book-loving colleagues, and ALA leaders including President Molly Raphael and Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels.

The event is the culmination of months of work and hundreds of hours of fiction and non-fiction reading by your RUSA Notable Books Council colleagues serving on the selection committee, as well as the Booklist members of the selection committee. As a reception attendee, you’ll be participating in a historic moment as the first to hear which two authors win these prestigious awards. Your attendance also honors the work of readers’ advisory librarians everywhere.

I look forward to celebrating the most outstanding fiction and nonfiction of the year with you in Anaheim in June!


Susan Hornung

RUSA Executive Director


P.S. – For general information about the meeting in Anaheim, CA, June 21-26, 2012, visit the conference website:

From the President

Dear RUSA Members:

As the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim quickly approaches, I want to give you an update on some exciting activities that have taken place since Midwinter.

Hopefully you have heard about two new awards sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. RUSA and Booklist are co-sponsoring and administering the awards. The first winners of these new annual literary prizes will be announced at the Awards Ceremony at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim this June.

These new awards are an incredible accomplishment and it is a testament to the hard work of many people in RUSA, particularly many past CODES members, that we were the division selected to administer the grant, together with Booklist. I’d also like to convey a special thanks to our reader’s advisory stars—Joyce Saricks and Neal Wyatt—who made this possible, to Nancy Pearl who is serving as the chair of the awards committee and who will bring national recognition to this award, and to Susan Hornung and the RUSA staff who, together with others in ALA, worked incredibly hard on making this award possible.

The awards will be given to the author of the best book for adult readers in two categories—fiction and nonfiction—each year. Two additional authors will be shortlisted as finalists in each of the categories. Winning authors will receive a $5,000 cash award and finalists will each receive $1,500. The list of finalists will be announced in May. The awards are made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York on the occasion of the foundation’s centennial and in recognition of Andrew Carnegie—one of the greatest benefactors of libraries both in the United States and around the globe—who recognized libraries as indispensable to the progress of society. The fifty titles under consideration for the prize are being drawn from the annual Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA CODES Notable Books lists.

This is the first time that ALA will offer single-book awards for adult trade fiction and nonfiction. All of us at RUSA are incredibly thrilled about these new awards and we hope that you will be able to join us this June to see the first winners. The Carnegie Awards reception will be held Sunday, June 24, 2012, 8:00-10:00 PM at the Hilton Anaheim in room Pacific A. Please note that there is a greatly reduced rate of $25 for RUSA members to attend. Hope to see you there!

RUSA is in also in the process of creating its new three-year strategic plan. Members are invited to continue to send suggestions and input as we finalize the plan in the coming months. The draft of the plan is available here [insert link].

The RUSA Board met virtually on March 30 to discuss and vote on a number of issues. The Just Ask Campaign is now getting started and the RUSA office is working hard with the ASCLA/RUSA Web Conference Task Force, to bet Blackboard Collaborate up and running before the annual conference. Mary Popp, the next RUSA President, is busy planning for the next year and she outlined some of her ideas at this meeting.

I hope to see many of you in Anaheim in just a short while. In addition to the Carnegie Awards reception mentioned above, please also plan on attending:

  1. RUSA 101, Friday, June 22, 3:00-4:00 PM
  2. Literary Tastes, Sunday, June 24, 8:00-10:00 AM (Note: In response to the RUSA member survey, this event is now free to RUSA members!)
  3. RUSA President’s Program/Mars Chair’s Program: Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons, Sunday, June 24, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
  4. RUSA Awards Ceremony, Sunday, June 24, 5:00-6:30 PM

These are just a few of the many RUSA and section events and meetings taking place, so please be sure to check the complete schedule for times and locations. Thanks again to all of the RUSA volunteers who continue to make RUSA such an outstanding organization. And a huge thanks to Susan Hornung, Liz Markel and Andrea Hill for making everything work so smoothly. See you in June!

Gary White
RUSA President

Smart Investing @ Your Library

Two RUSA Smart Investing@Your Library® Projects Win Library Journals’ Movers and Shakers Awards

This year, Library Journal recognizedtwo of RUSA’s Smart investing@your library® grantees as 2012 Movers and Shakers. RUSA is proud of the strides made by Smart investing@your library® grantees that help patrons maneuver in challenging economic times.

“Recipe for Success” Attracts a New Library Demographic
Greenville County Library System’s Trinity Behrends was cited for her campaign to reach a “stubborn market segment,” women 18-64, mostly lower income and heads of household, who rarely use the library. The cleverly branded “Your Recipe for Success” used shoestring tactics, such as flyers at grocery stores, combined with ads on local cable on Food Network, Oxygen, and A&E to promote personal financial education resources available at the library.

The financial literacy program attracted more than 2,300 people to nineteen classes and twelve off-site outreach sessions. Strategic marketing and the right content delivered the goods. Using fresh insight into patron needs, she mounted a creative marketing campaign that brought an underserved population into the library and expanded the library’s reach into the community. Behrends’ insight into this hard-to-reach patron demographic told her that financial information had to be approachable. Aligning with a cooking theme, Your Recipe for Success, cozied up an otherwise difficult topic.

Library-invented $ave $teve Online Game Makes Financial Literacy Fun
Jim Blanton at Chesapeake Public Library (CPL) wanted to add some “thrill” to the topic of financial literacy. While brainstorming ways to innovate service delivery, Blanton hatched the idea of creating an online video game. $ave $teve was born. Developed in partnership with local Norfolk State University’s Creative Gaming and Simulation group, the game requires players to learn about money matters to help a character named $teve avert financial disaster.
$ave $teve can be played at child, teen, and adult levels. Links to unbiased financial information give players the knowledge to help $teve overcome financial pitfalls. Library Journal noted Blanton’s drive to innovate at CPL. “Most recently, Blanton’s ‘Scanversations’ (which enable patrons to interact with as many library staff as possible) introduced library users to QR codes. Staff posted book reviews online and then wore QR codes on their badges that directed patrons to the links.”

Share Trinity’s innovative prosperity education marketing and Jim’s interactive financial literacy program with your colleagues and social media audience, and read profiles of all of the innovative librarians in the 2012 Movers & Shakers.

Smart investing@your library® is a grant-funded program developed collaboratively by ALA, RUSA and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation. The program addresses the growing need for unbiased financial and investor education at the grassroots level. See how your library can take advantage of many of the free financial literacy tools.

RUSA @ALA Annual Conference: Innovative Financial Literacy Programs at Your Library from RUSA and PLA

RUSA members creating innovative programming should plan to attend two essential panels at ALA Annual. Smart investing@your library® grantees are offering a two-panel intensive on their success in developing and promoting innovative financial education opportunities within their libraries. Attendees of both programs will get a crash course in the two crucial elements that are part of any innovative programming: marketing and partnerships.

Add these programs to your Annual Conference schedule using the ALA Connect conference scheduler.

Smart investing@your library®: Everyone Counts!

Sponsored by the Public Library Association (PLA)

Saturday, June 23, 8:00-10:00 AM; Anaheim Convention Center, Room 207B

The role of librarians as trusted navigators leading patrons to the most useful information is increasingly valuable. Smart investing @ your library® is building the capacity of public libraries and librarians to provide reliable, unbiased financial education and resources to those who need help. Librarians are building collections, delivering programs to people of all ages and economic circumstances and creating a national network of replicable service models. Using data to tell the story, reaching out and working with community partners, and integrating market research into program design are successful strategies that are building the foundation for a leadership role in financial education.

Speakers will share how they developed and implemented their marketing plans using both social media and traditional methods that include Facebook, print, radio, and word-of-mouth.

As a result of attending the session, attendees will:

  • Learn marketing strategies that attract new audiences
  • Meet financial literacy/library innovators
  • Know how to replicate financial literacy programs

Speakers: Liz Doucett, Curtis Memorial Library (ME); Sandy Dixon, State Library of Iowa (IA); Aubrey Carroll, Florence County Library System (SC); Jamie Ritter, Maine State Library (ME); Dwight McInvaill, Georgetown Public Library (SC)

Moderator: Bobbie Rudnick, Naperville Public Library (IL)

Smart investing@your library®: Program Models That Work

Sponsored by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)

Saturday, June 23, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM; Anaheim Convention Center, Room 201D

Smart investing @ your library® grantees are at the forefront of financial literacy programs that reach all economic and interest levels. Learn how they are creating models that use social media to capture attention, design games that appeal to kids, teens and adults, partner with social service agencies and market innovative school programs to provide unbiased financial education and resources. As more people need and want to learn how to manage their personal finances, these innovative libraries are leading the way.

Speakers: Paolo Melillo, Orange County Public Library (FL); Kurtis Kelly, Estes Valley Library (CO); Nelly Somerman, Schaumburg Township District Library (IL); Jim Blanton, Chesapeake Public Library (VA); Karla Heberlig, York County Public Library (PA)

Moderator: Susan Wolf Neilson, Wake County Libraries

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2012 RUSA Elections!


  • President: Kathleen Kern
  • Director-at-Large: Celia Ross
  • Director-at-Large: Cynthia Levine
  • Division Councilor: Jennifer Boettcher
  • Proposed Bylaws Changes: Adopted

Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)

  • Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Andy Spackman
  • Secretary: Julia A. Martin
  • Member-at-Large: Rebecca “Becky” Smith

Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES)

  • Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Asia Gross
  • Member-at-Large: Carolyn M. Mulac
  • Member-at-Large: Barbara M. Bibel

History Section (HS)

  • Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Michelle Baildon
  • Member-at-Large: Christina M. Thompson

MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS)

  • Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Marilyn N. Ochoa
  • Member-at-Large: Courtney Greene
  • Secretary: Kelley Ann Lawton

Reference Services Section (RSS)

  • Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Ann K. G. Brown
  • Member-at-Large: Jamie Kaye Hollier
  • Secretary: Jason Matthew Coleman

Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (STARS)

  • Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect: Nora Dethloff
  • Member-at-Large: David K. Larsen
  • Secretary: Robin Barnard Moskal

RUSA Awards: 2012 Winners and Reception at Annual Conference
This year’s RUSA Awards Reception will be held from 5:00-6:30 PM. Sunday, June 24, in Sequoia South Ballroom D at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, 1600 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, California. All RUSA members are invited to this annual party that celebrates the career achievements of many reference and user services colleagues, and also honors those who are receiving travel and research grants from the association.

Add this event to your calendar in the Annual Conference Scheduler by logging into ALA Connect, then going to the event page.

This year’s winners are:

  • Natalie D. Beam, STARS/Atlas Systems Mentoring Award

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

Committee: Collette G. Mak (Chair), Naomi I. Chow, Charles William Gee, Mary Hollerich, Karen L. Janke, Micquel Little, Amy Rebecca Paulus

  • Ilana Barnes, BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award

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

Committee: Carol L. Anderson (Chair), Matthew Brower, Todd M. Hines, Mrs. Cynthia H. Slater

  • Anne MacDonald, Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award

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

Committee: Melissa Jeter (Chair), Naomi E. Hafter, Kay K. Ikuta, Mary K. Van Ullen

  • Joel Glogowski, BRASS Business Expert Press Award

This is a $1,250 award that recognizes a librarian new to the field of academic business librarianship in order to support attendance to the ALA Annual Conference. Sponsored by Business Expert Press.

Committee: Celia Ross (Chair), Peter McKay, Paul Brothers

  • Kerry Wu & Heidi E.K. Senior; Louise Mort Feldmann, BRASS Emerald Research Grant Awards

Two grants of $5,000 each awarded to support to conduct research in business librarianship.

Committee: Greg Fleming (Chair), Kimberly Bloedel, Christy Goodnight

  • Carolyn S. Larson, MARS My Favorite Martian Award

Awarded annually in recognition of excellence in service to MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section.

Committee: Shannon D. Jones (Chair), Stephanie J. Graves, Linda S. Keiter, Arlie Sims

  • Lisa R. Horowitz, RSS Service Achievement Award

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

Committee: Lori S. Thornton (Chair), Virginia Ann Cole, Emilie R. Smart, Susan A. Ware.

  • Reference Service Press Award: Nancy D. Zionts, Jan Apter, Julianna Kuchta and Pamela K. Greenhouse “Promoting Consumer Health Literacy: Creation of a Health Information Librarian Fellowship” (RUSQ 49:4 Summer 2009); Marie L. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Patrick A. Confer, Susanna Sabolcsi-Boros, and Hannah Kwon for “Are We Getting Warmer?: Query Clarification in Live Chat Virtual Reference" (RUSQ 50:3 Spring 2010).

Recognizes the most outstanding article published in RUSQ during the preceding two-volume year.

Committee: Robert H. Kieft (Chair), Mark J. Siciliano, Dr. Sara M. Rofofsky Marcus, Rebecca A. Smith

  • Green’s Dictionary of Slang (Chambers), Dartmouth Medal

This medal honors the creation of a reference work or resource of outstanding quality and significance.
Honorable Mention: International Encyclopedia of Political Science (Sage Reference in association with the International Political Science Association)

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Statistical Abstract of the United States (United States Department of Commerce)


Committee: Jack O’Gorman (Chair), Mary Ellen Alexander, Drew F. Alfgren, Christina S. McGowan, Teresa Portilla Omidsalar, Jason A. Reuscher, David A. Tyckoson, Patrick J. Wall, Sarah Barbara Watstein

  • Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole, Sacred Trash: the Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza (Schocken Books), Sophie Brody Medal

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

Honorable Mentions: Simon Sebag Montefiore, Jerusalem: the Biography (Knopf); Art Spiegelman, MetaMaus, (Pantheon Books); Erika Dreifus, Quiet Americans: Stories, (Last Light Studio Books).

Committee: Barbara M. Bibel (Chair), Donald Altschiller, Emily A. Bergman, Kathleen Gallagher, Prof. Elliot H. Gertel, Danise G. Hoover, Lisa N. Johnston, Judy Korn, Deborah L. Luchenbill, Adela Peskorz.

  • Vanessa Irvin Morris, Zora Neale Hurston Award

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

Committee: Cynthia Crosser (Chair), Amy Harmon, Lucy M. Lockley

  • Sarah L. Johnson, Louis Shores Award

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

Committee: Barry Trott (Chair), Elizabeth I. Bauer, Christine E. King

  • San Francisco State University’s Labor Archives and Research Center, John Sessions Award

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

Committee: Jannie R. Cobb (Chair), Paul Brothers, Susan Hurst

  • Jay L. Verkler, Genealogical Publishing Company/History Section Award

Citation and $1,500 cash awarded to a librarian or library in recognition of their professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research.

Committee: William D. Buckner (Chair), Brooke A. Becker, William D. Buckner, Jennifer Daugherty, Helen E. Gbala, Thomas Jay Kemp, Mary K. Mannix

  • Rita W. Moss, Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship

Citation and $3,000 cash awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business librarianship.

Committee: Patricia E. Kenly (Chair), Bobray J. Bordelon, Jr., Irwin D. Faye, Karen J. Chapman

  • Richland County (South Carolina) Public Library Job Center, Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services

Citation and $3,000 monetary award presented to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons’ reference needs.

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

  • Cyril Oberlander, Virginia Boucher Distinguished ILL Librarian Award

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

Committee: Martha Cheatham Yancey (Chair), Barbara B. Coopey, Megan Gaffney, Joanne M. McIntyre, Robin Moskal, Edwin F. Rivenburgh, Cherie’ L. Weible

  • Neal Wyatt, Margaret E. Monroe Award

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

Committee: Shelley Quezada (Chair), Allan Martin Kleiman, Kaite Mediatore Stover

  • Robert Kieft, Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award

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

Committee: Julia M. Gelfand (Chair), Bobray J. Bordelon, Jr., Joanne M. McIntyre, Charles B. Thurston, Eve M. Wider, Diane M. Zabel.

Authors Bring Adventure, Intrigue and Magic to RUSA’s 2012 Literary Tastes Program

RUSA will host three award-winning author—Erin Morgenstern, Candice Millard and Mark Adams—at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference program “Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year,” a conference tradition that features authors from RUSA’s literary adult book awards.

Each year expert readers’ advisory librarians from RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) spend hundreds of hours reading and reviewing books written for adults to identify the most outstanding writing published in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, genre fiction, Jewish literature and audiobook narration. “Literary Tastes” is an opportunity to hear from noteworthy authors whose books are among their annual selections and also celebrate the art and craft of writing with fellow book lovers.

Morgenstern’s book The Night Circus (Doubleday) was a 2012 Reading List top pick for Fantasy. Le Cirque des Rêves is utterly unique, disappearing at dawn in one town only to mysteriously reappear in another. At the heart of the circus are two young magicians, involved in a competition neither completely understands. The dreamlike atmosphere and vivid imagery make this fantasy unforgettable. The book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, and the Associated Press called it “Magical. Enchanting. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing.” Check out the complete 2012 Reading List, and access lists from previous years.

Millard’s Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President (Doubleday) is a 2012 Notable Books Non-fiction pick and New York Times best-seller and Notable Book of the Year that recounts James Garfield’s rise from poverty to the American presidency and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy. The Washington Times praised “Destiny of the Republic”, saying “It takes a gifted writer to prompt a reader to spend a lot of time with a book in which James Garfield is the main character….In addition to providing insights about our 20th commander-in-chief, [the book] is an engaging, elegantly written and insightful look at the political and scientific developments of late-19th century America. Build your “toberead” list with all 25 fiction, non-fiction and poetry titles on this year’s Notable Books List.

Adams’s travel narrative, Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time (Penguin), was also included on the 2012 Notable Books List. In this humorous travelogue, the author sprinkles historical anecdote with investigative reporting as he retraces the steps of early explorers into ancient Peru. The New York Times Book Review called Turn Right “Ebullient…an engaging and sometimes hilarious book,” and National Geographic Traveler said, “If you haven’t been to Machu Picchu and environs, this book will inspire you to drop everything and go. And if you’ve already been, ‘Turn Right at Machu Picchu’ will transport you straight back to those soul-soaring heights.”

“Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year” will take place from 8:00-10:00 AM, Sunday, June 24, in Room 204B of the Anaheim Convention Center. RSVPs are not required, but those planning to attend are strongly encouraged to add the program to their conference schedules using the 2012 ALA Annual Conference Scheduler in ALA Connect. Librarians who share RUSA’s enthusiasm for adult books should also plan to attend the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Awards Ceremony—a ticketed reception co-sponsored by Booklist and emceed by Nancy Pearl. The reception is scheduled for 8:00-10:00 PM that same Sunday evening, and tickets are just $25 for RUSA members. More event information is at the RUSA website.

RUSA Preconference Empowers Generalists, New Business Librarians Faced with Business Reference Questions

RUSA’s upcoming preconference, “Mastering Business Acumen (MBA) in a Day: Business Concepts for Library Reference,” will provide librarians who may be intimidated by business reference questions with a foundational understanding of business concepts, and prepare them to answer these types of questions with confidence.

Register Now at

This preconference, which will be held from 8:30 AM.-4:00 PM, Friday, June 22 in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., is presented by the Education Committee of RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)—the home for business reference within ALA. New business librarians, generalists with new business librarianship responsibilities and anybody interested in business reference and instruction from public, academic and special libraries will benefit from attending.

This workshop will provide librarians with a broad conceptual understanding of business topics in four major business disciplines: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and Management. Outstanding librarians with subject matter expertise will provide informative and empowering presentations that will prepare you to handle business reference inquiries with confidence:

  • Accounting – Todd M. Hines (MSLS, MBA, CPA), Princeton University Library Accounting doesn’t have to be complicated. Learn the basics such as the accounting methods and financial statements of the major types of organizations including for-profit companies, non-profits and government.
  • Finance – Chris LeBeau (MLS, MBA), University of Missouri Kansas City

Do the words ‘finance question’ make you break out in a sweat? After this presentation you’ll have a working knowledge of financial concepts, including industry ratios, investment vehicles, structured finance, and capital markets.

  • Management – Elisabeth Leonard (MLS, MBA), Sage Publications

Learn how management concepts apply across all types of organizations, and become familiar with the major management theories, the key players in the field today and yesterday, and the types of management information students and patrons want to know.

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

Marketing is more than just advertising. It begins with market research and insights into the customer’s needs and wants. Learn the classic 4 P’s of marketing—Product, Price, Place, and Promotion—and gain insight into the importance of branding, product development, market segmentation and targeting, as well as the impact of the Internet and mobile communications.

The preconference will be in held Room 206A in the Anaheim Convention Center.

Conference registration information is available here at the ALA Annual Conference website, Conference registration is not required in order to register for this preconference.

Advance registration rates (May 14-June 14) are: RUSA member, $219; ALA member, $239; ALA Retired and Student Members, $189; Non-members, $259.

RUSA Webinars: We Await Your Ideas and Proposal Submissions!

Do you have an idea for a webinar you’d like to present as a part of RUSA’s online learning offerings in upcoming months?

We’re seeking proposals for a variety of topics (see a list of ideas below), and hope to receive your submissions before the ALA Annual Conference in June so that our professional development committee can review them in Anaheim.

RUSA webinars are an opportunity for librarians to infuse their year with professional development they can conveniently—and affordably—pursue from the comfort of their home or office. Webinars will take place throughout the year and will cover topics relevant to a broad range of librarians, library staff and library supporters.

Successful proposals will:

  • Show plans for presentations that are 60-75 minutes in length.
  • Show how the presentation addresses a topic either of interest to RUSA members, or represents an area of RUSA’s expertise that benefits other types of librarians. This may include but is not limited to topics such as reference basics; reference for specialized audiences; research, trends and hot topics in readers advisory; information literacy; community partnerships; outreach; partnerships between different types of libraries; government data and related resources; library spaces and assessing future needs; copyright in the digital age; collection development; special collections; tips and tutorials for relevant tech tools; standards and guidelines; genealogy; advocating for reference; resource development; fundraising; marketing; job searching and related resources; book reviewing; and interlibrary loan.


Proposals may be submitted using the online proposal form.
Presenters for accepted proposals will receive compensation for their time and will also receive training for the webinar software. Questions about RUSA or the webinars can be directed to Liz Markel, RUSA marketing and programs manager or Susan Hornung, RUSA executive director at and, respectively.

How to access Reference & User Services Quarterly online
Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) made the transition to an all-digital, online-only format in Fall 2011, starting with Volume 51, Issue 1. The access information published here is also available on the RUSA website, but we’re republishing it here for easy access! Remember, your RUSQ subscription is a membership benefit—if you’re having difficulty with your membership, contact ALA’s Membership and Customer Service team at or 1-800-545-2433, option 5 for assistance.

An e-subscription to RUSQ is a benefit of RUSA membership. Individual and organizational members of the Reference and User Services Association can now access the journal online at You will need to register an account with Metapress in order to enable access.

Are you a non-member organization interested in a subscription to RUSQ? Contact or 1-800-545-2433, option 5.

If you have recently joined RUSA, it will take about six weeks for your member subscription to be activated by Metapress. Contact if you experience any problems.


For Individual Members:
If you have already registered on a MetaPress site, you can use the same MetaPress account to login and view RUSQ.

If you do not have an account registered with MetaPress, follow these steps to create an account and access RUSQ:

  • Visit
  • Click on “Register Individual”
  • Provide your name and email address along with a username and password—the username and password will be different from those you use to login at ALA’s website.
  • During registration, you will see a “Consume Token” section. Within this box, you will need to enter your RUSA access code. Your RUSA code is the letters RUSA followed immediately by your 7 digit ALA member number—no spaces, no dashes. If you don’t know your ALA member number, contact ALA Membership & Customer Service at or (800) 545-2433, option 5. If your ALA member number is less than 7 digits, please include leading zeros, ex. RUSA0012345.
  • After entering the code, click “Register”
  • Once registered, you should see that you are “Recognized as: RUSA member (453-79-372)” on the left side of the screen. If you are not, please contact; make sure to include your ALA member number, your newly registered account information, and let them know you are trying to access RUSQ.

Once you are recognized as RUSA member, you will have full access to all issues of RUSQ! Click on “Current Issue” or “Archive Issue” to browse the content.

For Organizational Members and Organizational Subscribers:
The website for the online version is at If you are already registered for IP authentication from MetaPress, you should see your institution name on the left side of the page. Click on “Archive Issues” to see a list of issues. You should see full green squares next to all issues. If you do not see these squares, please contact  Please let them know you are an RUSA member, and make sure to include your institution’s name and institution’s ALA member ID

If your institution does not have a Metapress account, you’ll need to register your institution with MetaPress. You can do this by contacting support@metapress.comand including the following information in your message:

  • Institution Name
  • ALA Member ID and Paid Thru Date
  • Institution Address
  • City, State/Province and Postal Code
  • Country
  • Phone Number
  • IP Address Or Range
  • Name of Administrator for this account

Need more membership information? Contact ALA Membership and Customer Service at (800) 545-2433, option 5, or

Once your institution is registered with MetaPress as RUSA member, you may click on “Current Issue” or “Archive Issue” to browse the content. You should have full access to all issues.

Emerging Leader Report

Since Midwinter, my Emerging Leaders group has been working to create a blog for the members of RUSA. We spent time deciding where we wanted to host the blog, and designing the blog. We spent more time than we should have coming up with the name! The blog, Chasing Reference (, is now up and running. We post on the blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Chasing Reference is a blog where librarians can share ideas about what is happening in their libraries, where people can go to find out more about RUSA, or where people who aren’t librarians can go to find out more about what librarians do.  If you are interested in writing a post for Chasing Reference, send an email to We’d love to feature guest posts on the blog.

My Emerging Leaders group will be presenting at the Emerging Leaders poster session at Annual, on Friday, June 22, from 3:00-4:00 PM in the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 303AB. I hope to see you there!

Emily Hamstra
Learning Librarian
Shapiro Undergraduate Library
University of Michigan

Message from the BRASS Chair


Carol E. Schuetz, Editor

Hello BRASS members!

Only another month and half before Annual in Anaheim! Committees have been working diligently on creating lots of good programming for you. First, I want to congratulate our BRASS awardees and the award committees for their good work in selecting worthy winners.

  1. BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence In Business Librarianship: Rita Moss
  2. BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award: Ilana Barnes
  3. BRASS Business Expert Press Award: Joel Glogowski
  4. Emerald Research Award (2): Qi Wu & Heidi Senior; Louise Feldman
  5. Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award: Anne MacDonald

We owe a big thank you to Celia Ross (Vendor Relations Committee) for working with Business Expert Press to fund a new three year award! And a special thanks to Adam Chesler, Library Relations Director, Business Expert Press.
The Education Committee and the Business Reference Services Discussion Group invite your suggestions for future webinars and online discussions. To add your idea, visit the Help us with ideas as we begin to offer more online learning opportunities.

The Publications and Communications Committee will be posting a detailed conference schedule, but in the meantime, here are the BRASS conference highlights in brief. Be sure to also watch BRASS-L and the RUSA Blog for information about our activities. Preliminary Program

  1. Friday June 22: 8:30 AM-4:00 PM Preconference: Mastering Business Acumen: (MBA) in a Day: Business Concepts for Library Reference (Education Committee)
  2. Friday Evening June 22: BRASS Members Reception, Place TBA, sponsor: InfoGroup (Membership Committee)
  3. Saturday June 23: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM: Smart investing@your library: Program Models That Work
  4. Saturday June 23: 1:30-3:30 PM Forum: Using Social Media to Promote Business Librarians and Resources (Business Reference in Academic Libraries)
  5. Sunday June 24: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM Discussion: How Free Web Resources Can Complement Fee Based Online Resources. (Business Reference Services Discussion Group)
  6. Sunday June 24: 1:30-3:30 PM Publishers’ Open Forum: PrivCo, Mergent, Bureau Van Dijk (Business Reference Sources Committee)
  7. Monday June 25: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM BRASS Breakfast, sponsor: S&P Capital IQ Program: Adventures in Dataland: Business Data Sources (Program Planning Committee)
  8. Monday June 25: 6:00 pm BRASS Dinner: La Casa Garcia Restaurant, 531 W. Chapman Ave. Anaheim Restaurant Location:


Chris LeBeau
BRASS Chair 2011-2012

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee

The committee is presenting the BRASS Forum at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, June 23, at 1:30 PM in the Palm West Room of the Sheraton Park Hotel. The forum will address Using Social Media to Promote Business Librarians and Resources. Learn how to increase your contact with patrons by using social media to harvest the “Long Tail” of questions—those detailed or niche questions that together total more than general instruction. Businesses have used the theory of the long tail to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction by catering to specific preferences. Social media allows you to address these needs through its flexibility and accessibility. Make sure you are using social media with the long tail in mind.

The panelists for the forum are:

  1. April Kessler, Business Librarian, University of Texas
  2. Chad F. Boeninger, Head of Reference and Business Librarian, Ohio University
  3. John Gottfried, Coordinator of Reference Services and Business Librarian, Western Kentucky University

Come join us for an interesting look at leveraging social media to enhance your business reference service.

Lydia LaFaro, 2009-2012 Chair

BRASS Program Planning Committee

Save the date for the BRASS Program at ALA Anaheim 2012, “Adventures in Dataland: Business Data Sources!” on Monday, June 25, from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM at the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 204C.

We are pleased to present the following fantastic speakers:

  1. Bobray Bordelon: Princeton University, Economics, Finance and Data Librarian
  2. Jerry Wong: US Census, Information Specialist
  3. Angela Lee: ESRI, Education Programs
  4. Joe Nation: RAND Corporation State Statistics, Director

A continental breakfast will be provided by our sponsor S&P Capital IQ.

Anthony Lin, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee

The 2012 Publishers’ Open Forum scheduled for ALA Annual, “How Private Is Private: Is It Really Possible to Find Information on Private Companies?,” will be on Sunday June 24, 1:30-3:30 PM in Room 207B in the Anaheim Convention Center. We will have speakers from three vendors at this event: PrivCo, Mergent, and Bureau Van Dijk.

The BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee has finished nominating titles for the 2012 best business reference sources column and is in the process of narrowing down the nominated titles to a final list for consideration at ALA Annual.

Nathan Rupp, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Education Committee

Business Reference: Does it intimidate you? Does the mere suggestion of a question about finance make you break out into a cold sweat? Are marketing and management complete mysteries? When faced with an accounting question, do you flee from the reference desk?
Fear No More!

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has an upcoming preconference, “Mastering Business Acumen (MBA) in a Day: Business Concepts for Library Reference”, that will arm you with basic knowledge of business topics, and will prepare you to answer business reference questions with clarity and confidence!

This workshop, which will be held from 8:30 AM-4:00 PM, Friday, June 22 in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif., is presented by the Education Committee of RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS). The preconference will be in held Room 206A in the Anaheim Convention Center.

Who Should Attend: New business librarians; generalists with new business librarianship responsibilities; and anybody interested in business reference and instruction from public, academic and special libraries.

Register now at (event code RUS1).

We have some excellent speakers on hand for this event who happen to be not only librarians, but subject matter experts:

  1. Accounting – Todd M. Hines (MSLS, MBA, CPA), Princeton University Library
  2. Finance – Chris LeBeau (MLS, MBA), University of Missouri Kansas City
  3. Management – Elisabeth Leonard (MLS, MBA), Sage Publications
  4. Marketing – Andy Spackman (MBA, MLS), Brigham Young University

Conference registration information is available here at the ALA Annual Conference website, Conference registration is not required in order to register for this preconference. RUSA will also offer a multitude of programs, discussion groups, and the RUSA Achievement Awards Reception in Anaheim—learn more at the RUSA website.

Advance registration rates (May 14-June 14) are: RUSA member, $219; ALA member, $239; ALA Retired and Student Members, $189; Non-members, $259.

Leticia Camacho, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Discussion Group

The BRASS Discussion group will meet Sunday, June 24 from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM in Room 303C in the Anaheim Convention Center. The title of the forum is “How free web resources can complement fee based online resources.” In our day-to-day jobs, we often rely on using subscription based online resources to help our patrons. However, what about other resources which are free to use? Join us as we discuss the value of well known and not so well known free reference sources.

Edward Hahn, 2011-2012 chair

BRASS Publications and Communications Committee

The BRASS Publications and Communications Committee is currently conducting its quarterly review and update of BRASS web pages. We want them to be spiffy and timely for the upcoming ALA conference! If you identify any web information that requires update or correction, please let us know.

The BRASS Master Schedule that our committee put together for last year’s Annual Conference proved extremely popular, so we’re developing one again for Anaheim. Watch for it in advance of conference via the BRASS-L listserv. We’ll also post it on the main BRASS webpage. It’s your ultimate guide to all things BRASSY at ALA Annual.

Carol Smith, 2010-2012 chair

BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee

Plans continue for BRASS’ Silver Anniversary Party to be held at ALA Annual in Chicago 2013 on the evening of Monday, July 1st. Keep your calendars open for this fabulous event. Please check our event website at for updates and details. Many thanks to our Grand Sponsor, Gale Cengage Learning and their new Business Insights: Global product (

Stay tuned for more details to come over the next few months.

Louise Feldmann, 2011-2012 Chair

BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award

Congratulations to Ilana Barnes, this year’s recipient of BRASS Gale Cengage Student Travel Award. Barnes is enrolled in the Master’s program at the University of Michigan School of Information, and is pursuing a specialization in both library and information services and preservation of information. She is currently serving as president of the University of Michigan’s ALA student chapter. Barnes earned a B.A. in history, with honors, from the University of Washington. In addition to her current coursework and position at the Kresge Business Administration Library, she is also a reference assistant-spatial and numeric data services at the University’s Clark Library.
Ilana Barnes’ enthusiasm and dedication to business librarianship is shown through her personal statement submitted to the awards jury: “Business reference is my greatest passion as a librarian. I love navigating the ins and outs of 10-k filings, the thrill of finding a student the exact market research report, and hearing about all the incredibly creative and innovative work students do. The best thing about business libraries (and why I am interested in them as a career) is that they are strongly application-based. The people studying in business school are not typical academics. They are interested in applying what they are learning in class to the greater business community at large. Things that are taught in business schools have real applications on our economic lives. If business school curricula have the ability to change the way that the business community is led and managed, then business libraries have the ability to change how the business community finds, analyzes and uses information. I feel like Business Librarians have an impact on the lives of real people every day.” Ms. Barnes is president of the University of Michigan’s ALA student chapter and is the BRASS representative to the ALA RUSA “Just Ask!” marketing initiative. Her extensive business librarian skills are praised in her letters of support.

Barnes will be honored at the RUSA Awards Reception, scheduled for 5 – 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 24 as a part of RUSA’s events at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The exact location of this event will be announced in late spring. For more information, visit RUSA’s website or the Annual Conference website.

Carol Anderson, 2011-2012 chair

BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship

Rita W. Moss is the 2012 recipient of the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship. Moss is the Business/Economics Librarian and Head, Social Sciences Team, at the University of North Carolina. She is the author of the second edition of Strauss’s Handbook of Business Information. A third edition was published in February 2012. She is active in professional associations, and she also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina’s School of Information and Library Science. One of her colleagues summed it up best—“she leads by example”.

Congratulations, Rita!

Patricia Kenly, 2011-2012 chair

What’s happening at Annual?


Vicki Bloom, Editor

Authors Not Eggs
Sunday, June 24 8:00-10:00 AM Anaheim Convention Center Room 204B
This year the Literary Taste/Notable Book Breakfast becomes a program! There are no tickets to buy and no eggs to eat but there is plenty of literary wonderfulness. Come listen to three outstanding authors from this year’s Notable Book list and Reading List: Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, Candice Millard, author of Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President, and Mark Adams, author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time. Meet the authors and other book lovers and get free or greatly discounted signed copies of these wonderful reads.

Submitted by Neil Wyatt

The Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Forum
Saturday, June 23 10:30-12:00 PM Anaheim Convention Center Rooms 304 A&B
Dedicated to exploring the cutting edge of Research Advisory (RA) practice and thinking collectively about its future, the RA Forum is a platform for discussions centered on contemporary RA issues. This year the forum will present three approaches to the topic “Browsing for Pleasure in the Digital Age.” Panelists will address the intersection of the catalog and the reader, how electronic reading changes reading preferences, and reader-driven and reader-led RA services through social media such as Goodreads. Come join the discussion!

Submitted by Neil Wyatt

Reference Publishing Advisory Committee Program
Monday, June 25, from 1:30-3:30 PM, in the Anaheim Convention Center
The Reference Publishing Advisory Committee will be co-sponsoring a program in Anaheim with the Reference Books Bulletin Board. The program, entitled "Why Can’t an E-book be More Like the Print?" will feature librarians and publishers discussing e-book policies and practices in libraries. Sue Polanka, owner of the "No Shelf Required" blog, will be among the speakers.

RUSA Awards reception
Sunday, June 24, 5:00-6:30pm: Disney Grand Californian Hotel, Sequia South Ballroom D
Among the other prize winners who will be honored, the Zora Neale Hurston Award will be presented to Vanessa Morris. This award, which is sponsored by Harper Perennial, honors librarians who have demonstrated leadership in promoting African American Literature through projects and programs. Morris was selected for her book, The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Street Literature, published by the American Library Association in 2012. Come congratulate Vanessa Morris as well as Louis Shores Award winner, Sarah L. Johnson, Professor of Library Services at Eastern Illinois University and author of the blog Reading the Past.

Submitted by Cynthia Crosser, Past Chair and Vicki Bloom, RUSA Update CODES editor.

Exec Council: Consolidation of Committees
At Midwinter, it was announced that the CODES review was completed and approved. Following RUSA’s goal to consolidate committee duties and eliminate overlap when possible, the Executive Council members talked about merging the Collection Development Education and the Collection Development Planning & Assessment Committees. At Annual the two groups will report at Annual with recommendations for a new name and a new charge. The Materials Reviewing Committee will be sunset as well, since the "Elements for Basic Reviews.." is no longer useful. Given that improving communication remains an issue and priority, the Communications Committee will have a new charge.

Submitted by Vicki Bloom, RUSA Update CODES editor

CODES/STARS Cooperative Collection Development committee

Planning for Annual 2013
A program is being developed for ALA Annual 2013 which will explore the opportunities and challenges that arise from merging interlibrary loan and acquisitions departments, as well as the administrative aspects of such a partnership. Through examining successful and unsuccessful cases, attendees will gain an understanding of how to move forward with a merger at their own institution.

Submitted by Rebecca Malinowski, Co-Chair

History Section

Laura O’Neill Hibbler, Editor

History Section members are encouraged to join the History Section listserv, history-l, a source of HS activities, HS committee opportunities, and information for history and genealogy librarians. To subscribe and to view the archive of past questions, please go to

The History Section has selected Jay L. Verkler as the recipient of this year’s Genealogical Publishing Company Award. Verkler is past president and CEO of The award recognizes “professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research.” Please read the full story at American Libraries or the RUSA Blog.

The following history-related programs will take place at the Annual Conference in Anaheim. Check the conference program guide to be sure of the dates and times and to find the locations.

RUSA History Section: FREE Genealogy Workshop: Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: Catching the Genealogy Wave
Friday, June 22, 2012, 11:30 AM-6:00 PM, Anaheim Public Library

  1. Wendy Elliott-Scheinberg (Professor of History at California State University, Fullerton) discussing “Local History in the Academic World”
  2. Kerry Bartels (Archives Specialist, The National Archives at Riverside) speaking on California Resources.
  3. Dennis Meldrum (Manager, Book Scanning Operations, FamilySearch) presenting on the FamilySearch digital program.
  4. Other speakers still to be announced.

To register for this day please go to
Please feel free to contact Mary Mannix at or Kim Harrison at if you have any questions.
This day is being made possible by the generous sponsorship of ProQuest.

Committee Updates

RUSA History Section; Government Documents Round Table
Mining Gold from the 1940 U.S. Census Sunday
Sunday, June 24, 1:30-3:30 PM, Anaheim Convention Center, Room 204B

Census records are invaluable for many kinds of research–especially family history. The seventy-two-year privacy embargo expired in April, 2012 for the 1940 U.S. Census. Librarians and researchers are eager to know what these records contain and what indexes and other finding aids will help mine this vast treasure trove of information.

Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT)
Community Voices: Preserving the History and Culture of Our Communities
Saturday, June 23, 10:3012:00 PM, Anaheim Convention Center, Room 201A

Step Back into the Future – New Technology Brings History to Your Smartphone: Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science developed “GeoStoryteller” for the Goethe-Institut’s project German Traces. Geodata is used to guide you via a mobile website along NYC’s German Traces recapturing the early days of immigration in New York City. Podcasts, slideshows and augmented reality make this a rich and entertaining learning experience.

Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations
Historical Fiction @ your library
Saturday, June 23, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Anaheim Convention Center, Room 202A

Historical fiction is popular in libraries of all types. Come listen to best-selling authors Jeri Westerson, Regina O’Melveny, James Carlos Blake, and Beatriz Williams talk about their latest books. A book signing follows with most books given away free. Barbara Hoffert, editor of Library Journal’s Prepub Alert, will moderate the panel.

Library History Round Table: Edward G. Holley Memorial Lecture: Thinking Globally about Carnegie Libraries
Saturday, June 23, 4:00-5:30 PM, Anaheim Convention Center, Room 206A

In the early years of the twentieth century, Andrew Carnegie financed the construction of public library buildings throughout the English-speaking world. His efforts were one prong of a campaign to forge what he called a “Race Alliance” among people of British ancestry in North America, Great Britain, Australasia, and throughout the Pacific. In this year’s Holley lecture, architectural historian Abigail Van Slyck looks closely at the Carnegie libraries in New Zealand with this global context in mind, asking how libraries—their physical spaces as well as their collections—helped sustain an imagined community called the Anglo-Saxon race.

Abigail A. Van Slyck is an architectural historian with expertise in library architecture. In addition to a number of articles on ladies’ reading rooms, delivery desks as feminized work spaces, and othertopics, she is the author of Free to All: Carnegie Libraries and American Culture, 1890-1920 (Chicago, 1995; translated into Japanese in 2005).

LHRT Library History Round Table: Invited Speakers Program
Panel Title: Public Libraries and Civil Rights: African Americans and American Library History
Sunday, June 24, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Hilton Anaheim, Laguna B

  1. Karen Cook, "Breaking the Chains: Freedom Libraries in the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project"
  2. Cheryl Knott, "Questions of Access: The Institutionalization of Racial Segregation in Public Libraries in the First Half of the Twentieth Century"
  3. Steven Harris, "Preserving the Union: ALA and Its Southern Chapters during the Civil Rights Movement"
  4. Respondent: Renate Chancellor

Library History Round Table: Research Forum
Intellectual Freedom and Libraries in America and Abroad : Historical Perspectives
Sunday, June 24, 1:30-3:30 PM, Hilton Anaheim, Laguna B

ALA-PPO-PCPAC Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee
Making Sense of the Civil War: Reading and Discussion Program Opportunities
Saturday, June 23, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Anaheim Convention Center, Room 202B

In collaboration with ALA and thirty-seven state humanities councils, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has supported development of a discussion program for libraries that probes the meanings of the American Civil War during its sesquicentennial. Following the popular “Let’s Talk About It” model, the program engages participants in discussion of related texts selected by Civil War historian Edward Ayers. Attend this session for instruction on hosting the series, including an overview of the discussion model and state-level funding opportunities.

APALA – Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)
So You Think You Can Write: Librarians Gather & Preserve Our Community History
Sunday, June 24, 2012, 1:30-3:30 PM, Anaheim Convention Center 208B

A workshop / roundtable panel of local ethnic community-focused books published under Arcadia Publishing by the authors who are also librarians, archivists, and historians. They will be exposing and sharing their challenges as well as their joys in researching families, organizations, and individuals in order to document and preserve the collective memories of their local communities. Their goal is to promote and encourage more community history books to be written, especially from diverse communities. Speakers: Elnora Kelly Tayag, "Filipinos in Ventura County"; Lessa Pelayo-Lozada "Hawaiians in Los Angeles"; Florante Peter Ibanez, "Filipinos in Carson and the South Bay"; and Jenny Cho, "Chinatown in Los Angeles" and "Chinatown and China City in Los Angeles- Postcard History."

From the Chair

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

Missy Clapp, Editor

The Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) is looking forward to an exciting Annual Conference in Anaheim! Please join us during our hosted events which will focus on engaging technologies of current interest in reference. We will host three programs, two discussion forums, and the MARS Happy Hour. A brief overview of these gatherings is provided below.

We are honored that the MARS Chair’s Program has been selected to also serve as the RUSA President’s Program this year. The program is entitled “Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons.” The event will highlight the importance of libraries supporting mobile technologies for the dissemination and acquisition of information. Examples of practical applications being used in libraries will be discussed by our speakers. The program will be held on Sunday, June 24, from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM at the Anaheim Convention Center in room 204B. At the start of the program, we will honor Carolyn Larson, this year’s recipient of the My Favorite Martian Award, for her hard work and dedication to MARS over the years.

The MARS/RSS Virtual Reference Services Committee will present a program entitled “Are Virtual Reference Services Worth the Effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us.” Examples of ways to assess the effectiveness of virtual reference services will be discussed. Join us for this enlightening discussion, which will be held on Saturday, June 23 from 1:30-3:30 PM at the Anaheim Convention Center in room 201D.

The MARS Local Systems and Services Committee will present a program entitled “Discovery Systems: The Promise and the Reality.” The effectiveness of discovery systems such as WorldCat Local and others will be explored. The program will be held on Sunday, June 24 from 4:00-5:30 PM at the Anaheim Convention Center in Room 304AB. In addition to these programs, both the Hot Topics in Electronic Reference Discussion Group and the Virtual Reference Discussion Group will host engaging discussion forums.

The MARS Happy Hour is always a wonderful way to enjoy refreshments while meeting newcomers interested in MARS and old friends who have been part of MARS for years! This event will be held at the Anabella Hotel, poolside in the Magnolia Room on Saturday, June 23 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

As is tradition, the MARS All-Committee meeting will be held on Sunday morning from 8:00-10:0 AM, and we would love to invite those who are interested in learning more about the Emerging Technologies in Reference Section. You’ll have the opportunity to hear about the activities of our committees and the wonderful volunteer opportunities that match your interests. All visitors are welcome to join us. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel in the Pacific A Room.

Other MARS activities include the creation of this year’s list of the Best Free Reference Websites, which will be published in the Fall issue of RUSQ. The Professional Development Committee has produced a number of webinars and has a subcommittee working with RSS in the production of a workshop that will be held at the start of the 2013 Midwinter Meeting. In addition, the Products and Services Committee has continued its work to produce product reviews that are beneficial to reference librarians.

We welcome your interest in MARS. If you would like to learn more about MARS and how you can become involved, please contact me ( for more information.

Dianna McKellar
MARS Chair, 2011-2012

Carolyn Larson to receive My Favorite Martian Award

Carolyn Larson, Head of the Business Reference Section, in the Science, Technology & Business Division, Library of Congress, is the 2012 recipient of the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section Recognition Certificate, also known as the “My Favorite Martian” Award. The award is given to an individual to recognize excellence in service to MARS.

An active member of MARS, Carolyn, in addition to serving on several MARS committees, has served as MARS Chair, Vice-Chair, and Past Chair. During her term as MARS Chair, Carolyn expertly led the section through transition that included an unanticipated leadership change, and a significant name and mission change for the section. Carolyn was really a stabilizing force during this period. Dianna McKellar, MARS Chair, writes, “Carolyn, your dedication to the profession and to MARS is recognized and appreciated! We thank you for your excellent service.”

The certificate will be presented at the 2012 RUSA President’s Program/MARS Chair’s Program, “Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons,” on Sunday, June 24, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, during the 2012 ALA Annual Conference held in Anaheim, California; acknowledgment also to be made at the RUSA Awards Ceremony & Reception, Sunday, June 24, 2012, 5:00-6:30 PM during the 2012 ALA Annual Conference. Larson also will be honored at the RUSA Awards program.

Shannon Jones

MARS Chair’s Program

The MARS Conference Program Planning Committee has produced a program on the use of mobile devices in libraries as communication tools between librarians and library patrons. The program, which will serve as both the RUSA President’s Program and the MARS Chair’s Program, is entitled “Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons.”

Mobile devices are increasingly being used to provide libraries with the opportunity to disperse information at the exact point of need. This program will explore the importance of libraries supporting mobile technologies for the dissemination and acquisition of information. Examples of such projects currently being implemented in libraries will be discussed by our panel of speakers. 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 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 social media used to communicate with patrons at the Topeka Public Library.

The session will be held on Sunday, June 24 from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM at the Anaheim Convention Center in room 204B. Hope to see you there!

Matt Torrence, Chair, Chair’s Program Committee

Happy Hour 2012

Join the RUSA MARS Emerging Technologies in Reference Section for our annual Happy Hour! The MARS social event of the year, the Happy Hour is ideal for anyone interested in meeting "Martians" and learning about the work of MARS in a relaxed, festive environment. Newcomers and old friends alike: all are welcome. Eat, drink, and mingle just steps from the Convention Center.

MARS Happy Hour
Saturday, June 23, 2012
5:00 PM- 7:00 PM

Magnolia Room & Quiet Pool at the Anabella Hotel
1030 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92802
(adjacent to the Convention Center)

Complimentary appetizers and cash bar.

The 2012 MARS Happy Hour is generously sponsored by EBSCO Publishing.

Arlie Sims, Chair, Outreach

Professional Development Committee

An exciting new system, Blackboard Collaborate, has been put into place by RUSA for RUSA members to deliver online meetings, training sessions, and webinars. Recently, the MARS Professional Development (PD) committee has been charged with assisting in the process of identifying and developing relevant training materials for this new system. Blackboard Collaborate will replace GoToMeeting. Already, MARS PD committee members have attended one training session to become familiar with the system and there are plans to identify appropriate and helpful online tutorials as well as develop a set of best practices for using this new tool in our virtual meetings and webinar presentations.

The other major committee effort is the transformation of the joint RSS/MARS Preconference into a new workshop format which will be free to all registrants at the 2013 Midwinter Conference in Seattle. A location has been selected and content ideas are being considered based on the general theme, "New Technology for Reference from the Reference Interview to Roving Reference." Some specific content ideas include using Twitter and Facebook for the reference interview, portable devices like the iPad for roving reference, and reflections on how well "web 2.0" is delivering on promises for improving reference services. For further information, please contact Stephanie Alexander ( who is leading this subcommittee.

MARS PD continued to support professional development opportunities by sponsoring the RUSA webinar on "Introduction to Screencasting for Online Tutorials and Reference" on Dec. 16 and March 13. Our role has involved both moderating and co-presenting this webinar.

MARS PD welcomes and encourages MARS members in the submission of ideas for webinars. A form with guidelines is currently being developed. Until then, please send any webinar ideas to Nancy Cunningham (, Chair of MARS Professional Development.

Nancy Cunningham, Chair

Virtual Reference Discussion Forum at ALA Annual

4:00-5:30 PM, Saturday, June 23, 2012; Anaheim Convention Center, Room 201B

Discussion topic: "A Glimpse into the Near Future: What’s Next for Virtual Reference"

Passionate about virtual reference? Virtual Reference is now an integral part of library services—and it is constantly changing with new and emerging technologies. Come to VRDG with your dilemmas, victories, stalemates, puzzles, and experiments. Find out what is working, what’s not working and what we are all waiting on—novice or expert, all are welcome. Become part of the conversation online at ALA Connect and in-person at ALA Annual.

Committee News for VRDG
Meetings: Given the difficulty of finding times for synchronous online meetings that the majority of the committee’s members can attend, the committee has switched to e-mail for conducting its business.

Planning for ALA Annual 2012: In early February, the committee brainstormed topic ideas for the Virtual Reference Discussion Forum at ALA Annual 2012. The suggestions included what’s next for virtual reference, apps for virtual reference, and augmented reality for virtual reference. The committee selected augmented reality for virtual reference, received MARS’ Executive Committee approval for the topic, recruited Nate Hill to serve as kick-off speaker, and submitted a customized description for inclusion in ALA’s online conference schedule. Unfortunately, Nate subsequently had a conflict requiring him to cancel his trip to ALA Annual. The committee decided to switch its topic to what’s next for virtual reference and received MARS’ Executive Committee approval to do so. The committee is currently deciding on whom to invite to serve as a kick-off speaker for the forum. Once we have identified a speaker, we will develop a promotional strategy and begin advertising the forum.

Membership update: Officers for July 2012-June 2013 will be: Chair, Henry Bankhead; Vice-Chair, Julie Piacentine; Secretary, Jessica Sender. Returning members will be: Robert Metrick and Amanda Powers.

Jason Coleman, Chair, Virtual Reference Discussion Planning Committee

To subscribe to MARS-L, see

Message from the Chair

RSS Review

Amy Rustic, Editor

RSS logo

Greetings RSS Members!

I can hardly believe it’s almost time for ALA Annual 2012 in Anaheim. We have many great events planned, including programs, discussions, and the RSS Open House. Read below for more information and stay tuned to our Facebook ( or RSS-L (to join: to see a complete schedule of events with room numbers.

Speaking of Annual, we are excited to announce that EBSCO will be sponsoring the RSS Open House this year, which means we’ll have a great selection of morning goodies to munch on while we mingle and meet. We invite everyone to stop by the Open House on Saturday, June 23, from 8:00-9:00 AM at the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 203B, to say hello, meet new people, and catch up with old friends. It’s a great way to kick off your Annual Conference.

In other news, I am very excited to announce that the 2012 RSS Service Achievement Award is being awarded to Lisa Horowitz, Assessment Librarian at MIT Libraries. Horowitz served as RSS Chair during 2007-2008, but her contributions extend beyond her term as section chair. See below for a detailed list of all that she has contributed to RSS throughout the years and be sure to attend the RUSA Awards Reception on Sunday, June 24, from 5:00-6:30 PM at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel Sequia South Ballroom D. On a personal note, I consider Lisa a mentor and an inspiration, not to mention one of the primary reasons I continued to stay active in RSS. I know I’m not the only who can say that. Thank you, Lisa, for being such a great leader, mentor, and colleague.

As this is my final write-up as RSS Chair, I want to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for all of the hard work you did this year. We accomplished so much—new guidelines, new committees, programs, discussions, videos, website cleanup—it’s amazing how much we’ve been able to do! I especially want to thank Joe Thompson, RSS Past-Chair and Chair of the Organization & Planning Committee, for all of his support and leadership. I am a better person for having worked with him these past several years. And I know that we will all be in great hands under the exceptional leadership of Sarah Hammill, who will be taking over as RSS Chair in July. Her good humor, collegiality, and vision will ensure that RSS members continue to provide valuable resources and opportunities for all of us concerned with frontline reference.

Liane Taylor

RSS Chair, 2011-2012

RSS Service Achievement Award

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Lisa R. Horowitz, Assessment Librarian, Administrative Services & User Experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries, is the 2012 winner of the Reference and User Services Association’s Reference Services Section (RSS) Service Achievement Award.

Horowitz was selected for her sustained contributions to RSS since its founding. She provided excellent section leadership and played a major role in developing the mission and vision of the section. As Chair-Elect (2006-07) and later as Chair (2007-08) of the section, her leadership was evident in conducting meetings, guiding the sections committees and discussion groups as well as fostering a strong relationship with both the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section of RUSA, as well as the division at large.

In addition to her strong leadership record, Horowitz has participated in some of the significant work of the section: she was part of the group that worked on the new Definition of Reference —one of the core statements in the profession of reference librarianship—from 2002 up through the definitions approval in 2008. She also played a key role in the Management of Reference Committee when the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers were revised, and helped solidify a fundamental component of reference service today. She has also made substantial contributions to the five-year section review, which has helped RSS continue to grow and evolve.

Horowitz will receive her citation at the RUSA Awards Reception, scheduled for 5:00-6:30 PM Sunday, June 24 Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel Sequia South Ballroom D, as a part of RUSA’s events at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The exact location of this event will be announced in late spring. For more information, visit RUSA’s website or the Annual Conference website.

Liane Taylor, RSS Chair; RSS Recognition Committee

Catalog Use Committee

The Catalog Use Committee will be hosting a Round Table Discussion at Annual. The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 23 from 4:00-5:30 PM at the Anaheim Convention Center Room 205B. The group has identified five discussion topics which will be facilitated by members of the group and other specialists in the area.

The meeting will be split into two parts: small group discussion and group sharing. The small group discussion will delve deeply into each topic and directly engage all participants at the table. The group sharing will be a time when each table reports out to all participants on the key points of their discussion.

Round Table Discussion Topics:

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

Peter Collins, Chair 2011-2012

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

The RUSA/RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee is soliciting topic proposals for discussion at ALA’s 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 22-26. The purpose of the discussion forum is to provide a venue for reference practitioners to discuss reference related topics of current importance and to exchange ideas.

The Call for Proposals is posted on the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee home page:

All are welcome to submit.

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. EPDRC gathered 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. In addition, the group is investigating options for collaboration on a webinar around the Statistical Abstracts and what’s next.
Kristen Mastel, Chair 2011-2012

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee

Join the Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee at Annual for a discussion of assessment on Saturday, June 24, from 4:00-5:30 PM, in the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 203B . Our discussion topic is “The How, What, and Why of Reference Evaluation and Assessment.” Its description is as follows: 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), 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; why—what’s behind both librarians’ and administrators’ reasons for collecting this information; and the what—what is being collected, the workload, and the decisions being made with this data.

Ellen Keith, Chair 2011-2012

Library Service to an Aging Population

The RSS Library Services to an Aging Population Committee is sponsoring a program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, “How Libraries Are Meeting the Evolving Needs of Baby Boomers and Older Adults.” The program will take place on Sunday, June 24, 2012, from 4:00-5:30 PM at the Anaheim Convention Center 201A. Panelists include: Susan Hildreth (IMLS), Jane Salisbury (Multnomah County Public Library), Tony Sarmiento (Senior Services America), and Suzanne Flint (California State Library). Baby Boomers and Older Americans today comprise the most diverse community of aging adults in history. Come explore how libraries can best respond to the needs of Boomers and older adults through programs, collections, and services, including responses to the current economic downturn.

Are you interested in learning more about the work of the committee? Join us on Saturday, June 23 during the 8:00-10:00 AM RSS Open House/All Committee Meeting in the Anaheim Convention Center 201A.

Jeff Kempe, Chair 2011-2012

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking

The Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee will hold an in-person meeting during the RSS All Committee meeting at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday June 23 from 8:00-10:00 AM. We will also hold an informal discussion forum titled “¿Que pasa? What’s happening in U.S. library services for Spanish speakers?” Presenters and attendees will participate in a discussion of challenges and successes in serving Spanish speakers. The discussion forum will be held on Sunday June 24 from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM at the Hyatt Regency Orange County Salon VI.

Committee members are currently working on a poster presentation to be presented at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color 2012 in September and a possible chapter publication, both on a recent survey conducted by the committee.

Gabriel J. Duque, Chair 2011-2012

Management of Reference Committee

The Management of Reference Committee held an open discussion during its regular meeting time at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. We addressed two issues:

(1) We asked for feedback regarding the draft revision of the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers. Comments during the discussion were favorable. Most recently, a notice was posted to the RUSA-listserv as well as the RSS-listserv soliciting comment on the draft revision.

(2) We also asked for feedback regarding the use of Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians, which is due to be revised. There was support for creating two documents in lieu of revising this one. 

The Committee will meet both on Saturday, June 23, 2012 from 8:00-10:00 AM (Anaheim Convention center, Room 203B Table 7) and Sunday June 24, 2012 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM (Hilton Anaheim, Mezzanine Room 03) to continue discussions of the Guidelines and the Competencies. 

William Weare, Chair 2010-2012

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference

The RSS Marketing and PR Committee is providing 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 AM at the Anaheim Convention Center 210D. We expect between 150-200 participants. Our committee will also meet virtually during ALA Annual (date/time TBD).

In the works: We are gathering information about marketing campaigns on the local, state, regional and national levels as we consider ways to shape our committee in order to be more utilized.

For ALA Annual 2013 in Chicago, we are pleased to collaborate with two other committee to co-sponsor with the RSS Virtual Reference Committee Chair Don Boozer and MARS co-chair Ellen Filgo on a proposed workshop: " Slam the Boards: A Model for Marketing through Action." This would be presented by Bill Pardue and may include an expansion of the concept of "guerilla marketing techniques for VR" (as Don put so well).

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2012

Organization and Planning Committee

The RSS Organization and Planning (O&P) Committee met via web conference with RSS Executive Committee on February 27, 2012. O&P is working with RSS Executive Committee to finalize the purpose statements for our section’s four new committees:

  1. Communication & Teaching at the Point of Need
  2. Health and Medical Reference Committee
  3. Job and Career Reference Committee
  4. Young Adult Reference Services Committee (in partnership with YALSA)

Members are being appointed to all of these committees by our RSS incoming chair Sarah Hammill. Please send her a note at if you’d like to join! Membership terms on RSS committees officially begin as of July 1st 2012.

A group of RSS volunteers have also completed an update of the RSS home page content at We are now working with our RSS Webmaster Shu Qian to figure out a way to have animated graphic images appear at the top of the RSS page.

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 am RSS Open House/All Committee Meeting at Anaheim Convention Center 210D during the ALA Annual 2012 in Anaheim. Visitors are always welcome.

In the last few issues of RSS Review we’ve highlighted our new committees. Each has been created to address current issues facing the reference profession. As we take the section in new directions we also want to make sure that we recognize the achievements of those committees that have been retired over this past year:

  1. RSS/MARS Preconference Planning Committee
  2. RSS Services to Adults Committee
  3. RSS User Education and Information Literacy Committee


Of special note, we want to express our gratitude to the members of the Cooperative Reference Service Committee, both past and present. This committee is currently chaired by past RUSA President Nancy Huling. The members of the committee have recognized that their charge is now being addressed by others in RSS, so they have recommended that their own committee be retired. This is very bittersweet for me personally, as this committee was my gateway into RSS and my first committee membership in the section. During the RSS Open House & All Committee Meeting (Anaheim Convention Center 210D) from 8:00-10:00 AM on June 23 at ALA Annual, we will bid farewell to the Cooperative Reference Services Committee. Meanwhile, Sarah Hammill is finding new homes in RSS for the remaining members and the responsibility for maintaining the Guidelines for Cooperative Reference Services is being reassigned.

Many thanks to everyone who has served RSS as a member of these committees!

Joe Thompson, Chair 2011-2012

Research and Statistics Committee

The Research and Statistics Committee is looking forward to hosting the 18th Annual Reference Research Forum. This year’s presenters will be Lili Luo presenting “Best Practices of Text Reference Service: A Synergistic View”; Susan Gardner Archambault and Kenneth Simon presenting “Apples and Oranges: Lessons from a Usability Study of Two Library FAQ Web Sites”; and Alison Graber, Alison Hicks, Caroline Sinkinson, and Stephanie Alexander presenting “Research Assistance Interactions: Exploration of Users’ Motivation and Perceptions.” The Forum will be held Sunday, June 1:30-3:30 PM at the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 204A. The committee will release the 2011 Reference Research Review, a bibliography highlighting selected works in the reference literature published during 2011.

Qiana Johnson, Chair 2010-2012

Virtual Reference (VR) Services (MARS/RSS)

“Are Virtual Reference Services Worth the Effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us” will be hosted by the Virtual Reference Service Committee on Saturday, June 23, 1:30-3:30 PM in the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 201D. The moderator for this event will be Dr. Joseph Janes and speakers will from New York University, University of North Carolina, Mississippi State University, and Maryland’s virtual reference service AskUsNow! The official description reads: Are virtual reference services worth the effort? The answer to that question is a definitive “yes,” but how do we know? A panel of experts discusses ways to look at return-on-investment and evaluation of virtual reference (VR) services and various methods used to assess their effectiveness. Real-life examples of ways this has already been done will be presented as well. Panelists represent a cross-section of different libraries and each will share their unique perspectives.

The VR Tutorial Subcommittee continues to move ahead with its project and is waiting for the RUSA implementation of the new website.

Jason Coleman (Undergraduate & Community Services Librarian, Kansas State Libraries) sent out another recruitment email asking for participants in the VR Survey Ad Hoc Group. Coleman will be coordinating the ad hoc group to develop, distribute, and analyse the survey results with hopes of presenting their findings at an ALA venue or in a paper. In Coleman’s words, “Information gleaned from such a survey could greatly inform the work of our committee and other committees related to VR.” If this sounds like an interesting opportunity, feel free to contact him at .

The VR Services Committee is discussing the idea of hosting an informal Wikipedia “edit-a-thon” for ALA 2012. Stay tuned for more information on ALA Connect!

The VR Services Committee is co-sponsoring a program for ALA Annual 2013 with the Marketing Committee: “Slam the Boards: A Model for Marketing through Action,” with the primary speaker being Bill Pardue (Reference Librarian and Virtual Services Librarian for Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Illinois, and founder of Slam the Boards).

Don Boozer, Chair 2011-2012

Interested in getting involved with RSS?

Hi Everyone!

As you know, it is RSS committee appointment time; many of you have volunteered for committees, filled out the forms and are just waiting for the work to start! Thank you! RSS is a fluid and robust organization because of your commitment to keeping it relevant to Frontline Reference needs.

If you emailed me and haven’t heard from me, please let me know. I may have missed the email or it got lost in my email shuffle. Or if you forgot to respond to my call for volunteers, it is not too late! Many of our committees are full but I am still looking for volunteers for a host of RSS activities.

On a different note, RSS wants to showcase the publications of its members. If you are a member of RSS and have had an article or book published, let us know! Go to and fill in the form with a complete citation preferably in APA format. We would like this to be a resource list for fellow RSS members. Share what you have done with your colleagues.

Finally, the New Chair Orientation will take place online after ALA Annual. Stay tuned to RSS-L for more information.

If you have any questions, please email me at .

I look forward to meeting many of you in June!
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

STARS has been busy these past couple of months planning exciting programs for ALA Annual ( and finishing our STARS Videos ( I hope you all take a moment to attend one of our programs or learn more about resource sharing by watching our videos!

Heather Weltin, STARS Chair

Cooperative Collection Development Committee

The RUSA STARS/RUSA CODES Cooperative Collection Development Committee plans to hold a discussion group at Annual 2012 during our regularly scheduled committee meeting to discuss "Distributed Collections." The meeting will be Sunday June 24 from 1:30-3:30 PM in the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 211A.

We have also submitted to RUSA our STARS-approved program proposal for Annual 2013. Our topic is Mergers of ILL/Acquisitions Departments (title still to be finalized).

Sydney Thompson, Chair

Education and Training Committee

The Education and Training Committee recently debuted a series of two-minute videos entitled "Exploring Library Careers in Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing." This series is intended to encourage library school students and others in the field to learn more about resource sharing and the diverse skills it requires. The three videos currently available for viewing are:

  1. Micquel Little, Access Services Librarian, St. John Fisher College, talks about and appreciates her previous experience in her circulation role:
  2. Collette Mak, Manager of Resources Access and Delivery, University of Notre Dame, touches on data and how the role of an interlibrary loan librarian is truly a project management role:
  3. Heather Weltin, Facilitator for Cooperative Sharing & Storage at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, talks about gaining hands-on library management and budgeting experience in ILL:

The committee welcomes feedback on these videos, suggestions for future topics that could be covered in this format, and ILL librarians who are interested in participating in this project. Comments can be sent to Committee Chair Megan Gaffney (, and Lars Leon (

Megan Gaffney, Chair

Vendor Relations Committee

The Vendor Relations Committee members determined at the meeting at Midwinter that the focus of the group’s work over the coming year will be e-delivery given the changes in the environment with the use of some products diminishing e.g. Ariel, and new products being offered such as OCLC’S Article Exchange. Toward that end, we have been organizing a presentation on e-delivery for the ILL Discussion Group meeting at ALA Annual in Anaheim. We are connecting with the representatives of the various e-delivery systems and inviting them to participate in the meeting of the Vendor Relations Committee at ALA Annual. We are also soliciting names from them of individuals who use their product and can speak to its features and fit for their library. We will ask these individuals to explain their usage and what they think are the advantages and disadvantages of the product. We will include speakers who use OCLC’s Article Exchange, Odyssey, Relais Express, and DLSG’s B-SCAN ILL. We also plan to have a written document to distribute that explains the various options.

Becky Ringwelski, Chair

Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group

The Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group for 2012 ALA Annual features two informative programs. The section’s Vendor Relations Committee will present “The Changing Landscape of E-delivery.” Hear how libraries are using Atlas Systems Odyssey, BSCAN from Image Access, Relais Express from Relais International, and OCLC’s Article Exchange for electronic delivery in their interlibrary loan offices. You’ll learn about the key features of each product to determine whether they fit your e-delivery needs.

Our second program features Lars Leon reporting on the Interlibrary Loan Cost Study project. Both librarians and vendors have continued to refer to the ARL ILL Cost Study data from ten years ago. This work, led by Mary Jackson while at ARL, has really helped the community, but we need to take an updated look. Nancy Kress, North Carolina State University (formerly UNLV), and Lars Leon, University of Kansas, recently completed a modest study on FY11 costs across a range of resource sharing services. This updated information helps to inform the increasing number of buy-versus-borrow decisions, decisions on the best options to borrow, and more. Lars will present highlights from the study and then lead a discussion on how this information can help individual libraries and the community. An article based on the cost study will be available by May. Information on how to find this will be sent out on various listservs.

The Group will also elect the next Chair-Elect for 2012-13.

The Group meets Saturday June 23 from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM at the Hilton Anaheim, Santa Monica.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for future meeting topics, please contact the Group chair David Atkins (

David P. Atkins, Chair