From the President

We are fast approaching the Annual Conference in Chicago. Much work has happened since I last wrote to you and much will happen at the Annual Conference in Chicago in June. I am excited and I hope you will be, too, by all the wonderful things happening in RUSA.

RUSA President’s Program in Chicago: Come and Hear Lee Rainie
I am excited about the President’s Program this year, entitled The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The RUSA President’s Program. Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project will present information from Pew’s extensive research about how people use information and libraries, based on recent research completed by the Project he leads and give us food for thought about the questions we should ask ourselves and our users as we consider this data. Join us on Saturday, June 29 from 4:00-5:30 P.M. at the McCormick Place Convention Center, room S105 a-c.

Equally exciting to me is the follow-up discussion forum the next morning that carries Mr. Rainie’s information and ideas out to attendees. On Sunday, June 30 at 10:30 A.M. in room E351 of the McCormick Place Convention Center, our distinguished panel, moderated by Marie Radford, consisting of Emily Ford, David Lankes, Marie herself, and Joyce Valenza will interact with Mr. Rainie and the participants in the forum to discuss the characteristics of library users and their implications for libraries and the services we provide.

The co-chairs of the RUSA President’s Program, Mary Mintz and Joseph Thompson, along with the hard-working members of the committee, Emily Kornak, Dianna McKellar, Sherri Michaels, and Matt Neer, have planned a wonderful set of programs for Chicago and I am looking forward to them. I hope you will join us for one or both of these important sessions.

Mark Your Calendar for RUSA’s Wonderful Upcoming Programs in Chicago

RUSA’s Signature Programs:

  • RUSA 101
    Friday, June 28, 3:00-4:00 P.M.
    Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Jackson Park 10 A, B, C
  • RUSA President’s Program
    Saturday, June 29, 4:00-5:30 P.M.
    McCormick Place Convention Center, S105 a-c
  • Literary Tastes Author Event
    Sunday, June 30, 8:00-10:00 A.M.
    McCormick Place Convention Center, S103bc
  • RUSA Awards Reception and Volunteer Appreciation Party
    Sunday, June 30, 5:00-6:30 P.M.
    Hyatt-Regency McCormick Place, Prairie Room
  • Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Ceremony and Reception
    Sunday, June 30, 8:00-10:00 P.M.,
    Ticketed event; separate registration required; registration information here.
    Radisson Blu Hotel, Atlantic Room A

Not to Be Missed RUSA Programs:

In addition, RUSA is sponsoring a number of important discussion sessions where you can share ideas with your colleagues.

Use the ALA Conference Scheduler to create a personal schedule and you will be alerted to any last minute location changes.

Free Upcoming Webinars
In an effort to provide greater value for RUSA members, the RUSA Board approved a plan to provide a group of high quality webinars, one sponsored by each RUSA section, free to RUSA members. The Professional Development Committee, led by Jim Rettig, has been carefully reviewing proposals and we will have seven new webinars free to RUSA members over the next eight to nine months. They will cover such topics as: genealogy and history resources, online reference resources, reference tracking and data collection, industry research, sharing resources worldwide, and creating an “elevator speech” to tell non-librarians about reference services. Stay tuned for more details!

Strategic Planning
At the Midwinter meeting, RUSA sponsored its annual Town Hall and Think Tank meetings with a theme of encouraging members to be more involved in RUSA and to support members as they engage in RUSA activities. As a result, the RUSA Board and Executive Committee are looking closely at the RUSA Strategic Plan and making plans to update it at the Annual Conference. Each section and standing committee has had an opportunity to weigh in on new initiatives they feel are high priority and we will add more objectives and tasks to facilitate member interest and engagement.

Leadership Development Plan
One of the pieces of the RUSA Strategic Plan (and a good complement to the plans of current ALA President, Maureen Sullivan) is to develop leadership skills in RUSA member leaders. This year we are trying a pilot project to send RUSA-level officers and chairs, standing committee chairs, and section leaders to the Servant Leadership in Your Library preconference at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago sponsored by our sister division ASCLA. Those who participate will be asked to help to develop a RUSA leadership program to help us support RUSA as the best division within ALA. See the RUSA Blog for more details.

Move to Adobe Connect from Blackboard
Our efforts, using RUSA Reserve funds, over the past year to provide greater support for online webinars and committee meetings using a combination of new conference call lines and Blackboard Collaborate software have been a resounding success. Now that ALA has purchased a subscription to Adobe Connect, RUSA will move to that software beginning in June and training programs are going on right now.

New RUSA Guidelines
The RUSA Board has approved two new sets of RUSA guidelines. They are: Guidelines for Business Information Responses and Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers. These will be posted to the RUSA web site soon. The Reference Services Section (RSS) has also put forward a proposal to update the RUSA Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians.

Congratulations to New RUSA Officers
Our new officers will join Kathleen Kern who will take over the reins of RUSA as its new president at the end of the Chicago conference.

  • President-Elect: Joseph Thompson
  • Secretary: Erin Rushton
  • Director-at-Large: Margaret W. Ellingson and Louise Mort Feldmann

The Last Word(s): Thank YOU!
As I end my term in the RUSA Presidency, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of those with whom I have worked this past year.

Special thanks go to the RUSA Office staff, who were always kind and never laughed at my ideas, including our Executive Director, Susan Hornung, Andrea Hill, Liz Markel, and Leighann Wood. The Executive Committee members gave wonderful advice and also deserve thanks and high praise: Gary White, Past President; Kathleen Kern, Vice-President/President-Elect; Carolyn Larson, Secretary; and Jennifer Boettcher, RUSA Councilor. A big thank you goes out to Gary and Carolyn as they leave the Executive Committee at the end of their terms.

The members of the RUSA Board regularly and generously give of their time and their ideas. Thank you to all of the section chairs—David Atkins (STARS), Debbie Bezanson (MARS), Ann Fiegen (BRASS), Sarah Hammill (RSS), Sara Morris (History), and Mary Parker (CODES)—for their hard work and good advice.

Members-at-Large serve as mentors to standing committees, sections, and all of RUSA. I want to send a big thank you to Wayne Bivens-Tatum and Judy Solberg, retiring Members-at-Large, for all of your hard work. To our continuing Members, Cindy Levine, Celia Ross, Doris Ann Sweet, and Patrick Wall, my thanks and best wishes for the coming years.

Diana Schonrock and Elizabeth Stephan and the Just Ask Team are moving forward to help us tell the story of reference services to the world. Elizabeth (editor of the RUSA Update) and Barry Trott I (editor of RUSQ) continue to provide our members with up-to-date and useful information.

All the committee members, both of RUSA standing committees and RUSA sections, served everyone in RUSA very well. Know that you are appreciated!

To all of the members of RUSA who share your ideas and your joys and frustrations with us, a big “thank you”! for your support.

To Kathleen Kern and the new Executive Committee as well as the new members of the RUSA Board—I wish you all a happy and productive coming year.

Mary Pagliero Popp
RUSA President 2012-2013


Special Leadership Development Opportunity for RUSA Members
Participate in the “Servant Leadership at Your Library” preconference at a significantly discounted rate! Act quickly to take advantage of this special offering. More information is at the RUSA blog.

Authors Announced for RUSA Literary Tastes Author Event
We have a stellar author lineup this year! Add the event to your conference schedule, and bring your book-loving friends. More Literary Tastes event information here.

This year’s authors:

  • Peter Heller, author of 2013 RUSA Notable Book The Dog Stars (Knopf).
  • Jonathan Tropper, author of 2013 RUSA Notable Book One Last Thing Before I Go (Dutton).
  • Matti Friedman, author of The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible (Algonquin), which won the 2013 Sophie Brody Medal for achievement in Jewish literature.
  • Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of Gotham (Putnam), the top pick for The Reading List’s Mystery category in 2013.

Time to Celebrate!
Mark your conference schedule for the RUSA Awards Reception and Volunteer Appreciation Party, which will be held from 5:00-6:30 P.M. on Sunday, June 30 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Prairie Room. It’s always a fun event, and a great opportunity to celebrate the most outstanding people and accomplishments in our field.

Who is Joe Thompson?
Learn more about RUSA’s new Vice President/President-Elect with this fun Q&A over at the RUSA blog.

Read It: Reference & User Services Quarterly
Have you checked out the new issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) yet? Here’s an overview. There’s lots of good stuff in this issue. If you haven’t activated your digital subscription yet via Metapress, look at the RUSA website under the Communications tab at the top of the page. Questions about RUSQ? Contact Andrea Hill, RUSA web manager at

Finalists: Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
Are you on #teamjunot, or #teamerdrich? Review the finalists for this year’s medals, and join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ala_carnegie. Don’t forget to buy your event tickets!

RUSA Committees

RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee
As of this writing, the proposal form for 2014 Midwinter Institutes and 2014 Preconferences and Programs was about to close on May 15. The committee is preparing to review the proposals in advance of its next meeting on Friday, May 24. Recommendations will then be sent on to RUSA Board so that it can approve the slate of programs and budgets when it meets in Chicago during this year’s Annual Conference.

Many thanks go to this year’s CPCC members, who have worked through so many of the questions that followed the release of last year’s ALA Conference Changes Roadmap. It has been a great team effort!

ALA Annual 2013 in Chicago is almost here! See RUSA President Mary Popp’s report for a review of the fifteen fantastic programs organized by RUSA sections and committees, as well as the Business Reference 101 preconference from BRASS on Friday, June 28.

Joe Thompson, Chair

RUSA President’s Program Planning Committee
The committee is putting together the final pieces of this year’s RUSA President’s Program—one of the major events at this year’s ALA Annual Conference. We hope to see you at the program on Saturday, as well as the Sunday morning discussion! See below for details.

Saturday, June 29, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The RUSA President’s Program

Just how well do you know the people who use your library? Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and co-author of Networked: The New Social Operating System, shares the latest data about how our clientele are interacting with information technology. Learn about patron preferences and behaviors during this program. Then, join Rainie and library leaders on Sunday, 10:30-11:30 A.M. to discuss how the data will influence your library’s future. #rusapres13

Sunday, June 30, 10:30-11:30 A.M.

The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The Discussion Continues

The discussion continues following the previous day’s RUSA President’s Program! Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, returns to participate in a discussion with library leaders featuring Emily Ford, David Lankes, Marie Radford, and Joyce Valenza. We will discuss how the Pew data will influence your library’s future. #rusapres13

Joe Thompson and Mary Mintz, co-chairs

RUSA Just Ask
RUSA’s Just Ask Committee has been working on several projects, including an upcoming webinar on how to manage change. Several of our members, Julie Strange and Cathay Crosby, have been working on a pilot Ask Campaign. Strange, Statewide Coordinator or Maryland’s JustAskNow!, and Crosby, Operations Assistant of JustAskNow!, used the tenth anniversary of the service as a starting point. Their Ask Campaign, loosely based on the READ campaign, will feature library patrons holding a sign with a question asked through JustAskNow!. These will be turned into materials used to promote reference service. Crosby posted about their experience in ALA Connect along with some more background info on the JustAskNow! website.

Elizabeth Stephan and Diana Schonrock, co-chairs

Emerging Leader Report

Being a member of the 2013 ALA Emerging Leader Class has been a great experience. I truly appreciate this sponsorship. My group is currently preparing to present our poster session in June at the ALA Annual Conference. So far, we have been researching information about the ways adult learners learn and other issues surrounding adult education. We created a survey about adult learning and sent them out to LIRT members to complete. That information is being used to help create our four tutorials about adult learning.

Our poster session is scheduled for Friday, June 28, 2013 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. It will be held in the McCormick Place Convention Center, Room S405. We are looking forward to more leadership training and presenting our research in Chicago.

Alicia Finley
MLIS Graduate 2013
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Message from the Chair


Carol Schuetz, Editor


Hello BRASS members!

BRASS celebrates 25 years as a section at ALA annual in Chicago 2013. All committees have been hard at work to bring you a full program schedule beginning on Friday morning June 28 and continuing through Monday night’s 25th BRASS Anniversary reception and dinner July 1 and the Tuesday morning’s Executive Board meeting. Twitter will be right there with you this year, follow along at BRASS’ very own hashtag #bizref. All members are invited to committee meetings of BRASS where many initiatives that improve business librarianship are happening; read more in these notes about those activities. Not a volunteer yet? There are many ways to participate in BRASS virtually and in person. BRASS welcomes you, contact incoming 2013-2014 Chair Andy Spackman.

Congratulations to our BRASS award winners. Plan to attend the RUSA Awards Ceremony to honor the accomplishments of our colleagues.

  • BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence In Business Librarianship: Michael R. Oppenheim
  • BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award: Kelly LaVoice
  • BRASS Business Expert Press Award: Annette Buckley
  • Emerald Research Award: Jennifer Boettcher
  • Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award: Salvatore DiVincenzo

Congratulations also to our newly elected BRASS officers: Todd Hines, incoming Chair-elect and Elizabeth Malafi, incoming Member at Large.

The Publications and Communications Committee will be posting a detailed conference schedule including all committee meetings but in the meantime, here are the BRASS conference highlights in brief. Be sure to also watch BRASS-L, the BRASS Facebook andBRASS website, #bizref on Twitter and the RUSA Blog for information about section activities. Room locations are found on the ALA 13 scheduler.

Programs (watch for more updates on BRASS-L)


Ann Fiegen
BRASS Chair 2012-2013

BRASS Committee Reports

BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee
BRASS will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a reception and dinner at ALA Annual in Chicago on Monday evening, July 1; from 6:00-10:00 P.M. atFulton’s on the River BRASS members are invited to this free event. Please RSVP by May 23 by sending an email to Many thanks to our Grand Sponsor, Gale Cengage Learning, and to our other vendor sponsors: S&P Capital IQ, ReportLinker, Morningstar, Annual Reviews, EBSCO, Mintel, PrivCO, SimplyMap, Mergent, and Emerald. The 25th Anniversary event will be preceded by a “Meet the Analysts” reception which will be hosted by Mintel in their new offices just across the river from Fulton’s. More details on that event will be forthcoming. Please visit our event website

Louise Feldmann, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee
Core Competencies for Business Students Task Force

The Business Reference in Academic Libraries committee is continuing its work with Special Library Association’s (SLA) College and University Business Libraries (CUBL) group on the Core Competencies Task Force. This task force is charged with creating research proficiency standards for business students. The first phase of the project was brainstorming what librarians think are good research skills for students. Currently, the committee is evaluating the literature and discussing what professors, employers, and student experiences report as good core competencies. A big thank you to CUBL’s Carissa Marie Phillips for starting this phase of the project. The group is planning on meeting at ALA Annual in Chicago.

BRASS/ RUSA EMERALD AACSB Workshop for Academic Business Librarians

You may have also noticed a call put out to the BRASS-L and BUSLIB-L listservs about the upcoming Emerald sponsored workshop on business accreditation at ALA annual: How can the library continue to support the business school through the accreditation process? BRASS is fortunate to have as keynote speaker Dr. Dan LeClair, VP and Chief Operating Officer of AACSB International speak to us about changes in AACSB accreditation. The workshop will also address your experiences with AACSB business school accreditation standards and your library’s involvement and their creation. Please take a moment to fill out the survey and share your experiences with us. Remember that you are a valuable source of professional information and your input is greatly needed and appreciated! The link to the free registration page is above.

Charles Allan, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee Forum on June 29 from 2:00-3:00P.M.—“Business Librarian’s Reference Shelf”—a panel discussion featuring authors of valuable and practical books for the business librarian.

Check out our new Public Libraries Briefcase – Harness the Power of Branding by Eric Petersen from H&R Block Business & Career Center at the Kansas City Public Library.

Elizabeth Malafi, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Program Planning Committee

Investment Success! Building & Managing Your Retirement Portfolio

Monday, July 1, 2013, 8:30-10:00 A.M.

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


Charles Rotblut, CFA, Vice President, American Association of Individual Investors
Rotblut is a vice president of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). He is the editor of the AAII Journal. He authors the weekly AAII Investor Update e-newsletter and his commentary is published on both Seeking Alpha and He has analyzed both publicly traded and privately held companies. Charles’ experience includes working for Zacks Investment Research, an investment research firm; INVESTools, an investment education company; Curian Capital, a money management firm; and McClure, Schumacher & Associates, a business valuation firm. Charles is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He is a holder of the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Jeremy Glaser, Morningstar Markets editor
Glaser is markets editor for and responsible for directing all stock market coverage for Morningstar’s website for individual investors. Prior to assuming his current role in 2009, he was a senior equity analyst for Morningstar, covering the leisure, hospitality, and gaming sectors. He joined Morningstar in 2006. Glaser holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago.

Peter McKay, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee
The Business Reference Sources Committee Publishers’ Forum Sub-Committee headed up by Penny Scott has been hard at work finalizing details for the program.

The Publishers’ Forum will be held from 1:00-2:30 P.M. on Sunday, June 30 and is currently schedule in N227a of the McCormick Place Convention Center. The program is titled “Finding Business Information in a Googlized World: The Future of Business Research and Discovery Layers”. “What is the impact of discovery services on business information? How are discovery services affecting business publishers, particularly on the specialized business databases side? Most of the discovery platforms tend to be focused on articles, not pulling out data that business researchers seek. Representatives from Proquest, OCLC, Ebsco, and Ex Libris will speak and, more importantly, answer questions about their services and how they are working to incorporate these more specialized data sources”.

Ed Hahn has also been riding herd on the Reference Sources Nominating Sub-Committee and getting additional sources nominated for consideration by the committee as a whole. Currently we have twenty-nine titles nominated, but we would still like to have more as we get ready to make our final determinations. Please contact Ed ( or myself ( if you have Business Reference sources you would like the committee to consider.

This year as our meeting time at ALA has been cut to one hour (4:30-5:30 P.M., Saturday, June 29); the Committee will be trying something new. We will hold a virtual meeting in May to discuss the nominated titles and make some preliminary decisions. This will hopefully free up some time at ALA to allow us to discuss other topics, including choosing next year’s nominating coordinator and making final preparations for the Forum as well as finalizing the winning titles and selecting who will write the reviews for each of them for the RUSQ column.

Susan Hurst, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Discussion Group Committee
The BRASS Discussion Group will host an open forum at ALA’s Annual Conference in Chicago on Sunday, June 30, 2013 from 8:30-10:00 A.M. Two main points of discussion:

  1. Working with the tech transfer process and the librarian’s different roles in University, Public, and Private Sector. What we can learn from each other.
  2. Doing Market Research for online businesses. What are the best resources for researching the online environment? As always, there will be time for the lively open forum. A short all-BRASS membership meeting will precede the discussion topics.

Jason Dewland hosted the first Discussion Group online webinar on April 5,Commercialization Research on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CRIE). CRIE is the first patent database that will allow researchers to data mine all US patents with the ability to download up to 500,000 records per query. The webinar was well attended with about twenty-four people from around the country. Please be on the lookout for our first online BRASS Discussion Group announcement.

Have a topic idea? Please post suggestions to the BRASS Suggestion Wall. Past discussions have focused on working with businesses and entrepreneurs, free business related web resources, publishing, and other topics related to business librarianship. We look forward to hearing your suggestions.

Jason Dewland, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Education Committee
The BRASS Education Committee will be presenting the 2013 preconferenceBusiness Reference 101: Core Competencies for Business Librarianship on June 28 from 8:30 A.M.-4:00 P.M. at the ALA Annual conference in Chicago. It will address the most common business reference issues and core resources, evaluation of your business collection, and licensing electronic business products. The registration is in full swing, and we are expecting another successful event! You don’t need to be registered for the ALA Annual Conference to attend this workshop. Register here.

Our proposal to the BRASS Executive Committee to tweak the webinar submission and approval process was approved. The goal of the proposal is to increase visibility of BRASS initiated webinars. We are glad to report that RUSA will be adding section affiliation to the webinar submissions and publicity. The second proposal to offer discounts at the section level was unfortunately not possible.

Jennifer Boettcher will be offering a free webinar on industry research as part of the RUSA’s “one-free-webinar-per-year” initiative. As part of this program, she will cover updates on using the Census information for industry research. Stay tuned for more details!

Natasha Arguello, 2012-2013 Chair
University of Texas at San Antonio

BRASS Membership Committee
Don’t you LIKE us? Please become a “friend” of BRASS Facebook page. See pictures and events. Committee chairs this is your opportunity to publicize your events and previews of your speakers. You can LIKE US via

Kelly Janousek, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Vendor Relations Committee
The BRASS Vendor Relations Committee has continued to assist the BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee by reaching out to new vendors and working with longtime partners to help secure funding for the event. We are looking forward to celebrating in style! Committee members include Paul Brothers and Lydia LaFaro.

Celia Ross, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Publications and Communications Committee
In anticipation of the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, the BRASS Publications and Communications Committee is working on updating the BRASS web pages. We are trying to clean up links and content to ensure that we can deliver all the information needed for BRASS members to have a great and productive time at Annual, including events related to our BRASS 25th Anniversary celebration. At this time we are also working on producing a BRASS events schedule—this popular resource shows all the BRASS-related events at the Conference so everyone can find and enjoy all that BRASS has to offer. We will post it to the BRASS listserv and to the BRASS web page.

Finally, one more bit of great news: We are delighted to welcome Annette Buckley to the BRASS Publications and Communications Committee as our new Webmaster. Buckley has already done some great work on the BRASS website, and we look forward the many innovations she has planned for the future!

John Gottfried, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Section Review Committee
This is the year for the review/evaluation of the committees that comprise the BRASS section of RUSA. If you are a committee chair, you should soon be contacted by a BRASS member asking permission to be included on the agenda of your committee’s meeting at the ALA annual conference in June. More information to follow soon. Thank you in advance.

Paul Brother, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee
The committee for the Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award is proud to announce this year’s recipient; Salvatore DiVincenzo, business librarian at Middle Country Public Library in Long Island, New York. The award, sponsored by Morningstar, offers $1,000 in travel funds for ALA’s Annual Conference to a business librarian from a public library.

Melissa Jeter, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Excellence in Business Librarianship Award Committee
Michael R. Oppenheim is the 2013 recipient of the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship. Oppenheim is the Collections & Reference Services Librarian at the Rosenfeld Management Library, UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. He is the co-author of: Marketing Information: A Strategic Guide for Business and Finance Libraries, and co-editor of the recent The Basic Business Library: Core Resources and Services (5th ed., 2011). He has also made countless contributions as a leader in professional associations. One of his colleagues summed it up best, “he is the business librarian’s librarian”.

Congratulations, Michael!

Patricia Kenly, 2011-2013 Chair

BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award Committee
Kelly LaVoice, graduate student of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University, and current business librarian intern at the University of Pennsylvania’s Lippincott Business Library, is being awarded the 2013 BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award. The award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning and the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA, offers $1,000 and a one year membership to BRASS to an outstanding MLIS student to fund travel to the ALA Annual Conference.

Todd M. Hines, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Business Expert Press Award Committee
The BRASS Business Expert Press Award for Academic Librarians Committee is proud to announce this year’s recipient of the travel award to attend the annual conference in Chicago. Please congratulate Annette Buckley, Business Research Librarian at UC Irvine. By the way, some of you may know Annette as the upcoming volunteer BRASS Webmaster—A BIG THANK you from your BRASS colleagues!!!

Paul Brothers, 2012-2013 Chair

BRASS Emerald Research Award Committee
The Emerald Research Grant ($5000) was awarded to the following person:

Jennifer Boettcher, Business and Economics Reference Librarian at Georgetown University Library. Her winning proposal, “Zombie List: for information sources that should not die,” outlined the process of developing an online finding aid of business-related sources that have been discontinued or changed formats and list alternate ways to get the same or similar information. Boettcher’s research interests are in government sources and industry research.

Christy Goodnight, 2012-2013 Chair

CODES Section


Barry Trott, Editor


The Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Committee’s latest CODES Conversation had over 400 participants. Co-Chair Neal Wyatt notes, “We all got multiple personal notes of thanks for offering it and detailing how useful it was.”

From Bill McHugh, “I just wanted to let everyone know that the proposal from the Reference Publishing Advisory Committee for one of the free RUSA Webinar slots has been approved. The proposed Webinar will be based on our discussion forum in Seattle, ‘Are Users Finding Our Online Reference Resources?’ The four speakers at that forum have agreed to take part in the Webinar. The committee will be working on the planning for this event in the coming weeks and in Chicago; we’re anticipating that it won’t happen until after annual, but it will need to happen before December 31 in order to receive this funding. The RSS Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee has also been working with us on this project.”

Don’t forget to attend the Literary Tastes event at Annual, Sunday, June 30, from 8:00-10:00 A.M., to listen to some of the year’s best authors discuss their works and the craft of writing while enjoying the company of other book lovers. All Annual Conference registrants are invited to participate in this conference program.

Now’s the time to complete the RUSA Volunteer Form, especially if you are interested in serving on one of the many CODES awards committee which are appointed in the fall.

CODES is offering several programs at Annual and we welcome everyone to attend CODES committee meetings to learn about CODES and see which committees in which you might be interested joining. Check the conference scheduler for program times and details.

Message from the Chair


Laura Hibbler, Editor


You will notice some changes in the History Section’s activities in Chicago. For the first time in many years the Section will have an All Committee Meeting on Saturday, June 29 at 8:30 A.M. In addition to a time for all committees to work, there will be a brief open meeting to provide updates on some exciting changes in the Section. On Sunday the section will have two programs! At 8:30 A.M. Library Engagement in National History Day Activities, will highlight how librarians at a variety of different institutions support this activity. Later on Sunday, June 30 at 1:30 P.M. Digital History: New Methodologies Facilitated by New Technologies, will explore the efforts of librarians and instructors to use technology to teach history. And as always, on Friday, June 28, we will have the Genealogy Pre-Conference and on Saturday, we hope you will participate in the Genealogy and Local History Discussion group.

If you cannot make it to Chicago, please keep up with posts to History-L concerning ways to be involved in the History Section without attending conferences.

Sara E. Morris

History Section Chair, 2012-2013

Message from the Chair

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

Join the discussion at

Cathy Larson, Editor


Annual Conference time is just around the corner, and I hope to see many of you in Chicago! The Emerging Technologies in Reference Group (MARS) has two programs and four discussion forums planned as well as several committee meetings, so mark your calendars and we hope to see you often. Also RUSA has a program in two parts as well as an orientation, so there are lots of ways to get involved, learn more, and network with your colleagues. If you haven’t tried out the ALA Scheduler, ( I recommend it. ALA will keep this service up-to-date to reflect last minute room changes, and they monitor the site and may add seats to events where they see high advance demand. The good news is that most of our events are either in the Convention Center, or across the way in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place which should cut down on many long trips back and forth on the buses.

Friday, start out with RUSA 101: Network, Get Oriented, Get Involved. This is a fun orientation and get-together. Friday, June 28, 2013 from 3:00-4:00 P.M. at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Jackson Park 10ABC.

Saturday morning, June 29, from 8:30-10:00 A.M., the Planning Committee will be meeting in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Boardroom 5 to work on Section Review and to continue updating the section Handbook. If you are interested in observing the work and possibly volunteering for the coming year or two, please join us. At the same time, the RSS All Committee meeting, including joint RSS/MARS Virtual Reference and Virtual Reference Tutorial Committee will be held at the McCormick Place Convention Center N226.

Next up, our Management of Electronic Resources Committee is sponsoring a discussion forum, Counting the Counts: the State of Public Services Statistics and Reporting. We’re all faced with the increasing need to make thoughtful data-driven decisions and to demonstrate our value to our communities and our parent institutions. Please join us from 10:30-11:30 A.M. in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Burnham 23AB, for what is sure to be a critical conversation. The Committee will be following up the conversation after Annual with a webinar on reference statistical tools, so keep an eye on your email for further details.

Saturday afternoon from 1:00-2:30 P.M. our newest committee, User Experience Design will host a discussion forum, How Wide the Divide—Why We are Still Asking, followed by our Virtual Reference Discussion Group forum on Saturday, from 3:00-4:00 P.M. at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Room N135.

Capping off Saturday, from 4:00-5:30 P.M. in the Convention Center, room S105a-c will be the RUSA President’s Program: The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron, featuring Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. If you like what you hear, you’ll want to participate in part II, which will take place Sunday morning from 10:30-11:30 A.M. in the McCormick Place Convention Center room E351, where Rainie will again join us to facilitate a more interactive conversation.

On Sunday, June 30, join us for our all committee meeting from 8:30-10:00 A.M. at the McCormick Place Convention Center, room N426a. If you’re on a committee already, this is your primary meeting time. If you’re a member who can volunteer to help with the work of the section, this is a chance to stop by, talk with the committee chairs and members in one location, and find a committee that fits your interests.

Sunday from 1:00-2:30 P.M. will be the MARS Chair’s Program also at the McCormick Place Convention Center, room S403. We will start out honoring Nancy Cunningham, this year’s recipient of the MARS Achievement Recognition Award. Then we have four great speakers lined up: David Bietila, Web Program Director from the University of Chicago, Lesley Moyo, Director of Research & Instruction and Tracy Gilmore, Technical Services Librarian, both from Virginia Tech, and Elizabeth German, Web Services Coordinator from the University of Houston Libraries. They will address the topic: Usability, the User Experience & Interface Design: The Role of Reference.

Sunday from 3:00-4:00 P.M., at the McCormick Place Convention Center, room S404bc, the Local Systems and Services Committee will host a program entitled, Leveraging Open Source Software to Create Library Websites. Nicole Engard will provide an overview on open source software and talk about WordPress, Brendan Quinn will speak about Drupal, and Julie Hardesty will discuss Omeka.

Also on Sunday, from 4:30-5:30 P.M., in McCormick Place Convention Center, room N127, our Hot Topics Discussion Group will host a discussion forum, Big Data at the Desk: Data Visualization and Research for the Rest of Us.

And the last event of Sunday evening will be the RUSA Awards Reception and Volunteer Appreciation Party from 5:00-6:30 P.M. at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Prairie Room.

On Monday, July 1, if you’re still in town, plan to stop by our MARS Executive Committee Meeting from 8:30-11:30 A.M. at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel, Room Burnham 23A-C. The meeting is where MARS Committee and Discussion Forum chairs, as well as MARS representatives to RUSA level committees share their activities of the last six months and their upcoming plans. We are meeting jointly with the RSS Executive Committee for the last hour to coordinate activities of our two sections.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to volunteer, please go to, or contact Sam Stormont, Vice Chair, Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) at

For those of you who have already volunteered, thanks for all your contributions to MARS and MARS members this year. You are making a difference. Thanks for making this a great year to be Chair.

Debbie Bezanson
Chair, Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) 2012-2013

MARS Committee Reports

User Experience Design Committee
After an exciting and productive inaugural program at Midwinter, we are hosting our first official event in Chicago. Guest speakers LeiLani Freund and Michele Crump, both of University of Florida, will present the fascinating data published in their new book, Meeting the Needs of Student Users in Academic Libraries: Reaching Across the Great Divide. Their presentation is called, How Wide the Divide—Why We Are Still Asking? In 2011/12, the presenters examined the perceptions and preferences of users and library staff in the information commons (IC) environment. Two survey instruments, one for library users and one for library staff, measured responses to same or similar questions asked of IC users and staff at five academic university libraries throughout the United States. With the analysis of the Crump/Freund surveys, the presenters discuss the perceptions of library staff and library users to confirm the existence of a divide and determine if assessing the user experience will offer strategies to narrow the divide. Will asking the users about their library needs bring about a real understanding of library services? Can academic libraries put the users and their needs at the center of service development and if they do, will this revitalize the library as more than “place”? The presenters will involve the audience through discussion of assessment practices and implementations. Their examples ask the user to participate in the library community, a community defining every user as a distant learner and incorporating mobile technology to access resources at point of need.

The presentation will take place at 1:00-2:30 PM on Saturday, June 29 in the McCormick Place Convention Center, room N135.

Melissa Clapp
Chair, User Experience Design Committee, 2012-2013

Message from the Chair

RSS Review

Amy Rustic, Editor

Hello RSSers!!

It’s hard to believe that the ALA Annual conference is in a little more than a month away. By the time you read this, you probably have already purchased your plane ticket and booked your hotel so now it’s time to plan your conference schedule!

RSS has a number of exciting events scheduled at the conference including the Second Annual Trivia Contest!

Be sure to mark your calendar with the RSS Open House on Saturday, June 29 at 8:30 A.M. in the McCormick Place Convention Center, N226. The Open House includes:

  • A Trivia Contest
  • Opportunities to meet new people and reconnect with old friends!
  • Many thanks to EBSCO for the Refreshments!

In addition to the RSS Open House, there are lots of opportunities to discuss hot topics including Arizona Library Services to the Spanish Speaking, Serving the Health Information Needs of Communities, New Reference Services, and more. Through RSS Committees you can also find out the latest in reference research and learn all about Slam the Boards. Read below for more information and see the RUSA for RSS event page for descriptions!

If you can’t make it to ALA, don’t despair! RSS has plans for free webinars, including, “Tried and True and Even Something New: Best Old and New Medical and Health Information Resources.” Stay tuned to RSS-L for more information.

In addition to all of the great happenings from RSS Committees, I would like to say congratulations to the many leaders in our section! This issue of the RSS Review features Cindy Levine as the Member of the Quarter. Read below to learn more about Cindy.

Additionally, the RSS Recognition Committee has selected Larayne Dallas as the RSS Service Achievement Award Winner for 2013. The committee used a number of adjectives to describe Larayne including modest, dedicated, kind, good-humored, and a quiet and effective leader. Be sure to attend the RUSA Awards Reception where we will honor and celebrate Larayne’s quiet but hard-working dedication to the section. Mark your calendars with Sunday June 30th from 5:00-6:30 P.M. at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Prairie Room.

RSS Members are doing lots of great things including quietly leading and serving on committees, publishing pertinent research related to reference and more. To read about what the RSS community is publishing be sure to check out

Finally I would like to take a minute to thank you everyone for making RSS the best section in RUSA. As the RSS Chair, I enjoyed working with each and every one of you. I would like to say a special thank you to Jason Coleman who did a great job of always making me sound eloquent in the minutes. Thank you to all of the chairs for your dedication and enthusiasm in leading your committees. Many thanks to Liane Taylor for making my job a lot easier by organizing timelines, deadlines, and expectations during her term. Finally, a huge welcome to Ann Brown, who will take over as chair in July. I think you will find Ann’s leadership style to be relaxed yet purposeful. I look forward to working with her and continuing the great successes of RSS!

I look forward to continuing the successes of RSS!




RSS Member of the Quarter: Cynthia Levine
Humanities Reference Librarian, Research and Information Services, NCSU Libraries


Describe yourself in 3 words.
Striving for balance.

What do you like to do for fun?
Yoga, cooking, reading, and going to restaurants with friends in ALA conference cities.

Describe RSS in 3 words.
Supportive, smart, friendly.

What do you value most about RSS and/or RUSA?
I’m grateful to both RSS and RUSA for providing a kind of parallel professional life that complements and supports my primary role as a reference librarian at North Carolina State University. It’s been great to be part of these overlapping communities, and to build relationships with librarians across the country. Another benefit has been the ability to experiment with, and practice different kinds of roles, such as leadership and event planning, in a supportive environment. All in all, it’s been a great opportunity to develop skills to bring home, and to share ideas with great friends from other libraries.

Where do you see reference services going in the next 3-5 years?
My hope is that those of us in reference and public services can focus on clarifying and articulating our core values, and use those values as the foundation for moving forward. This should allow us to do what we do best – help people find new ways to connect to the information they need in order to grow, to learn, and to create.

In your own words…
I like to believe that reference librarians can maintain a kind of independence that allows us to be real advocates for our users who seek information – that whenever possible we can help our users overcome barriers – and that in this quest, we can skillfully be on their side.

What makes RSS Great?
“RSS is constantly innovating and adjusting to stay current with the needs of front-line librarians and staff. This includes creating new committees as well as sunsetting old ones and being at the forefront of using conferencing software to share information with its members through webinars and online meetings. Successful libraries live and breathe user-centered design and services. RSS is great because it models this commitment and challenges us all to put users first.”

Jason Coleman, Kansas State University

“When I first started with RSS, I was appointed to a committee. From then on, I made great friends, learned a lot from librarians in all sorts of libraries, and found professional development opportunities not readily available in other parts of ALA. “

Ann Brown, George Washington University

“I appreciate the opportunities for learning from each other as well as to share what I can, and I feel that RSS offers guidance about being involved professionally in the best possible ways. The organization has improved over the last couple of years, too, thanks to the efforts of some great leaders. I love being able to collaborate with academic and public librarians, gaining perspectives I may not otherwise hear.”

Cathay Crosby, Ask a Librarian Delaware Statewide Coordinator

Have a story to share? Let us know what makes RSS Great!

RSS Committee Reports

Catalog Use Committee
The Catalog Use Committee will meet during the RSS All Committee meeting on Saturday, June 29 from 8:30-10:00 A.M in McCormick Place Convention Center, room N226. Our meeting agenda will include discussion of a new committee name and updated charge and plans for a discussion forum for Midwinter 2014. The Committee has compiled a bibliography of books and articles on value-added features of both the present and future library catalog available on ALA Connect.

Colleen Seale, Chair

Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need Committee
The committee met virtually on February 13, 2013. This was a time to check in with the committee and to strategize how to move forward. The committee agreed that broadening the scope of the goals beyond technology concerns would be beneficial. As a result of the meeting, the goals were revised and we have begun work on an additional survey that we intend to send out early this summer.

The revised goals are as follows:

  • to explore issues around teaching at the point of need and identify areas where additional support may be needed (we will begin with surveying the community)
  • based on that exploration, build a portfolio of best practices for engaging at the point of need and resources to assist with meeting challenges that arose in the survey data

Holly Wilson, Chair 2013-2014

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee
The RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee will be holding two discussion forums on reference-related topics at Annual.

Keeping it Real in a Virtual World: Managing and Promoting Your Online Reference Collection
Facilitators: Sara Memmott, Eastern Michigan University Library, and April Levy, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Columbia College Chicago Library

Sunday, June 30, 1:00-2:30 P.M., Hyatt Regency Chicago, Columbus KL

As reference sources continue to migrate from print to online, librarians face challenges in managing and promoting these new online reference collections.  Increased cost, restrictive subscription models, less visibility, and increasing use of mobile devices and apps are just a few of the issues being encountered in all types of libraries.  Gather with colleagues to discuss how we can “keep it real” and acquire, manage, and promote online reference collections that provide real, valuable information for our community members.

Technology Competencies for Reference Librarians
Facilitator: Tina Chan, State University of New York at Oswego

Monday, July 1, 8:30-10:00 A.M., Hilton Chicago, Buckingham Room

Patrons expect reference librarians to know the latest technology.  From basic computer skills and computer troubleshooting, to using the online catalog and databases, to navigating and troubleshooting mobile devices, questions run the gamut and require utilizing a variety of skills and knowledge. What technology competencies does your library expect librarians to have?  What competencies should librarians have to help them better assist patrons?  How do you keep skills up-to-date?  Meet with colleagues to discuss these and other questions related to the ever changing technology landscape in libraries and its impact on providing quality reference services to customers.

Crystal Lentz, Chair 2012-2013

Education and Professional Development for Reference
The Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee will meet at Annual during the All RSS Committee meetings on Saturday, June 29 from 8:30-10:00 A.M. at McCormick Place Convention Center, room N226. The Committee hopes to offer a free workshop opportunity at an upcoming ALA conference, watch for future information.

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

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee
ERUS has joined forces with the Virtual Reference Services (VRS) Committee and created an ad hoc committee to survey the current state of virtual reference. VRS chairs Don Boozer and Alisa Gonzalez and I are very excited about this and sat in on an excellent virtual meeting the ad hoc committee had. Anyone who is interested in hearing an update in person should find the ERUS and VRS tables at the RSS Open House at Annual.

Ellen Keith, Chair, 2011-2013

Health and Medical Reference Committee
The committee will host a program during the ALA Annual Conference, Different Strokes: Serving the Health Information Needs of a Diverse Community. The program will take place Sunday, June 30, 2013 from 1:00pm to 2:30 P.M. in the McCormick Place Convention Center, room S102a. The committee’s suggestion for a free RSS webinar on health and medical resources has been accepted, and the presenters are planning the date and time for the webinar. Details will be announced shortly. A subgroup to rewrite guidelines for medical reference has met several times to discuss guidelines planning. The committee continued to discuss the creation of an ALA Connect Community for health and medical reference discussions. The committee has established a listserv where librarians can discuss issues regarding medical reference. The email address is The link to subscribe is

Karen Vargas, Chair 2012-2014

Job and Career Reference Committee
The Job & Career Reference Committee is setting up a wiki for use by librarians to include career resources. This wiki is intended for different types of institutions (public, academic, & career colleges). For more information or to get involved with our online wiki efforts, contact the committee chair Kate Oberg (

Kate Oberg, Chair 2012-2013

Library Service to an Aging Population
Library Services to an Aging Population met in April to review its charter, and the Guidelines on Library and Information Services to Older Adults. We expect to approve new charter language at the June meeting. The committee is sponsoring a program at ALA Annual in Chicago: Boomers to Seniors: Library Models for Serving and Engaging Older Adults on Monday, July 1 from 8:30-10:00 A.M. at the McCormick Place Convention Center, room S106b.

Abigail Elder, Chair 2012-2013

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking
Arizona Libraries: Spanish Services and Community Outreach will take place at ALA Annual in Chicago, Sunday June 30, 3:00-4:00 P.M. at the McCormick Place Convention Center, room N227a.

As a border state, Arizona has historically had a large Spanish-speaking/Latino community. With the recent increase in immigration from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, library services and outreach to these communities is needed more than ever. Come learn how Yuma County Library District and Pima County Public Library have used their resources, staff skills, and community-building to provide relevant services and programming to these ever-growing communities. We will share examples of successful programming and provide strategies for making connections to your own Spanish Speaking communities. Presented by Paulina Aguirre-Clinch, Marissa Alcorta, Paula Maez, Emily Scherr, and Cecilia Tovar.

Stephen Marvin, Chair 2012-2013

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference
Our committee is pleased to be co-sponsoring a three part program, Slam the Boards: a Model for Marketing through Action with MARS/VR (Don Boozer and Alisa Gonzalez). The third part of the program will be held at ALA Annual on June 29.

Let’s Discuss How it Works for You/Your Library (on June 29). Attend the follow-up discussion forum based on the previous webinars held on May 21 and June 10. Share your “Slam” experiences and learn from your colleagues! Saturday, June 29, from 3:00-4:00 P.M. Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, room Clark 22A-C

The webinars and discussion forum have been co-sponsored by the RSS Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services Committee and the RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee.

If you have any questions, please contact webinar organizers Don Boozer ( , Alisa Gonzalez ( or Cathay Crosby (

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2013

Recognition Committee
The Recognition Committee received a number of nominations for the RSS Service Achievement Award and selected Larayne J. Dallas (engineering librarian at the University of Texas at Austin) as the 2013 winner!

Larayne will be honored at the RUSA Achievement Awards Reception and Volunteer Appreciation Party, which will be held from 5:00-6:30 P.M. Sunday, June 30 at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Prairie Room. All conference attendees are invited to participate in this celebration, which will include hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, so please consider attending.

Larayne has had a long career in RSS. She is widely regarded as one of the most hard-working RSS members having served on, or chaired, numerous committees over the past ten years. She’s also an active and generous mentor for members and new chairs. Her involvement in RSS includes:

  • Served four years (2005-2009) as a member of the RSS Organization Committee.
  • Chair (2006-2007) of the RSS Management of Reference Committee, while continuing as a member (2003 -2007)
  • 2002-2004 first chair of the ALA/RUSA Hot Topics in Front Line Reference Discussion Group
  • Chair and RSS member of the RUSA RSS 2010 Nominating Committee
  • 2003-2004 member of the MOUSS Nominating Committee
  • RSS Honor Roll (2009)

These are a few words and phrases that immediately come to mind when Larayne’s name comes up:

  • Modest
  • Dedicated
  • Kind
  • Good-humored
  • A quiet and effective leader

Virginia Cole, Chair 2012-2013

Research and Statistics Committee
In January, the RSS Research and Statistics Committee selected three presenters for the 19th Annual Reference Research Forum. The program is scheduled for Saturday, June 29th from 1:00-2:30 A.M. at McCormick Place Convention Center, room S404bc and will include the following:

  • Research Guides Usability Study, by Angela Pashia, Instructional Services Outreach Librarian, University of West Georgia
  • Two Birds, One Stone: Using a Mixed Methods Approach to Measure Service Process and Identify Usability Pain Points in Virtual Reference, by Christine Tobias, User Experience and Reference Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries
  • Query Clarification in Chat Reference: A Visual Transcript Analysis, by Alexa Pearce, Librarian for Journalism, Media, Culture & Communication, New York University Libraries

In addition, the committee is currently selecting articles to annotate for the annual Reference Research Review.

Lynda Duke, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)
The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services (VRS) Committee has been busy and has several exciting initiatives planned for the upcoming ALA Annual Conference!

The VRS Committee and the RSS Evaluation of Reference & User Services (ERUS) Committee have begun co-sponsoring an ad hoc team to ascertain the current state of virtual reference. The team consists of six individuals from a variety of backgrounds: public, academic, ipl2, and one librarian who also staffs OCLC’s QuestionPoint. They have had their initial meeting and will begin creating a survey instrument and considering the logistics of administering it. The ad hoc team will be giving a status report on their project at our joint VRS-ERUS committee meeting at Annual during the RSS Open House & All-Committee Meeting on Saturday, June 29, 8:30-10:00 A.M. in McCormick Place Convention Center, room N226. All those interested in the work of the team are welcomed to attend!

Along with the RSS Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services Committee, the VRS Committee is also co-sponsoring Slam the Boards! A Model for Marketing through Action: A Reference Services Discussion Forum on Saturday, June 29, from 3:00-4:00 P.M. in Clark 22A-C at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Anyone is welcome to attend the forum, especially those who also attended the webinar on the same topic in May. This lively discussion will focus on sharing ideas on active marketing and promotion of your institution’s reference services (both in-person and virtual).

The VRS Committee is also, for the first time, sponsoring an informal Wikipedia Edit-a-thon during Annual. Final details are still being planned, so stay tuned to the committee’s ALA Connect site as that info becomes available. For those who have never edited or contributed content to a Wikipedia article before, this is an opportunity to experiment. We’re planning on providing a quick-n-dirty introduction to being a Wikipedian as well as the opportunity to add your own content. The focus will be on “hyper-local” resources, but you’re welcome to edit any article that strikes your fancy. For those interested in dropping by the Edit-a-thon itself, we’ll be holding it in the Networking Uncommons area at McCormick Place. We’ll be posting our schedule there as well. We’re also still looking for anyone who would be interested in serving as a Wikipedia Mentor for our Edit-a-thon to help people get accustomed to the role of editor. The committee is excited about this informal, pilot project and, if successful, looking for ways to make it a regular part of the annual conference.

Don Boozer, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee
The Subcommittee has been hard at work on the tutorial, renamed the “Virtual Reference Companion: A Guide for VR Coordinators and Librarians,” or “VRC” for short.

We had two new members join us in the Fall: Christine Tobias and Neal Pomea. They replaced Jason Coleman, who had to resign. Jennifer Lau-Bond and Valli Hoski will also be leaving the subcommittee after ALA Annual. Jared Hoppenfeld will continue on as Co-Chair and be joined by new Co-Chair Christine Tobias.

The group has fully set up the VRC in Drupal and has moved on to major content creation and updating. In order to expedite the work, we divided into two subgroups. Each subgroup meets separately and works on one module at a time, incorporating the decisions of the larger group. Then, we hold an all-group virtual meeting approximately once a month to update everyone on progress and plan the next steps. Currently, we have finished the Planning and Technologies modules, and the Skills module is nearing completion. Next, we will be tackling the Marketing module and one other module to be determined.

We will be holding an all-group virtual meeting for ALA Annual. Subcommittee members attending ALA Annual in person will also meet during the RSS Open House & All Committee Meeting on Saturday, June 29 at 8:30 A.M. at mcCormick Place Convention Center, room N226. We will have further details about the VRC and what we have done for all those interested.

Jared Hoppenfeld, Co-Chair 2012-2013

Jennifer Lau-Bond, Co-Chair 2011-2013

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

Message from the Chair


Kerry Keegan, Editor

STARS members have been busy in the past few months and volunteering up a storm! We would like to congratulate Chair-Elect Christina “Tina” Baich and Member-at-Large Megan Gaffney for representing resource sharing in this year’s RUSA Section Election. Also making waves is Margaret Ellison, who will now be acting as Director-at-Large for the RUSA Board.

Our new initiatives are still underway and the STARS team is focusing on compiling the data collected at ALA Midwinter in an effort to improve the quality and relevancy of our many offerings, including those upcoming at ALA Annual in Chicago.

If you would like to become involved in our dynamic section or have questions out what STARS can do for you and your library, please drop me an email ( or give me a call (865-974-6866). There is always room for more STARS.

David P. Atkins


STARS Committee Reports

STARS Committee Members Needed!
If you are already a STARS committee volunteer, thanks for your service. Because of your contributions, our section accomplishes much.

If you are not yet a member of any of our committees, please join. STARS offers terrific opportunities for service and your professional growth. We also offer opportunities to represent our section in RUSA-level committees and working groups.

Check out your opportunities to be a STAR at the STARS Committee and Task Force Changes page. You can volunteer via RUSA’s website or you can contact Nora Dethloff at

Committee Reports

STARS Membership Committee
STARS Membership Committee has been busy organizing the ALA STARS Social at The Berghoff Restaurant, Friday, June 28, from 5:00-7:00 P.M. We’re also planning on publishing the next STARGazer before ALA Annual, so please join us in recognizing Tina Baich!

ALA Agenda items consist of organizing membership initiatives to highlight STARS committees and encourage participation from STARS members not yet involved!

Micquel Little, Chair

STARS Cooperative Collection Development Committee
The CODES/STARS Cooperative Collection Development Committee program, Enhancing Services through Integration of Interlibrary Loan and Acquisitions, will be held on Saturday, June 29, from 1:00-2:30 P.M. at McCormick Convention Center, room S103d.

This panel 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 the reasons why ILL/Acquisitions mergers may be beneficial, and hearing from peers engaged in the process, attendees will gain an understanding of how to weigh the merits of such an arrangement and determine if it is appropriate for their institution, as well as hear insights on how to move forward. This session is appropriate for all library types.

Sydney Thompson, Co-chair

STARS Education and Training Committee
The Education and Training Committee is currently working on a number of projects. These include preparing a free RUSA STARS webinar on obtaining genealogical resources through interlibrary loan and updating the ShareILL site, with a completion goal of pre-ALA Annual. We are also in the midst of securing a location for our free ILL workshop for ALA Midwinter 2014.

Karen Okamoto, Chair

Boucher Award Committee
Collette G. Mak has been named the Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award winner for 2013. Collette is Head, Resource Access and Delivery at the Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame. She is recognized for her exceptional, sustained contributions to resource sharing and for her ongoing dedication to education and training for interlibrary loan practitioners. Please join me in congratulating Collette!

Questions and nominations can be directed to Megan Gaffney, 2012-2013 Boucher Award Committee Chair, at

Megan Gaffney, Chair