President’s Note

In case you haven’t seen the RUSA election results, they are here. Congratulations to the newly elected RUSA Vice-President/President-Elect Liane Taylor and RUSA Directors-At-Large Danise G. Hoover and Stephanie Atkins Sharpe. Thank you to the Nominating Committees and everyone who stepped up to run for elected offices within RUSA and the Sections. RUSA is a member-driven organization and you are what make RUSA work!

RUSA is about a lot more than just in-person conferences, but at this time of year a lot of our focus is on the upcoming ALA Annual Conference. There are a lot of RUSA activities happening in Las Vegas from programing to discussion groups to awards and to opportunities for fun with other RUSA librarians. A lot of that is detailed in the information from the sections below in RUSA News and in the Section Reports  and on the RUSA Annual Events page, so I’ll highlight some of the events at the RUSA level.

RUSA 101: Friday, June 27, 3:00-4:00 PM. The place to start if you want to learn more about RUSA, our sections, or get help figuring out the best things to attend at a packed conference. There will raffle prizes!

RUSA President’s Program: Saturday, June 28, 4:00-5:30 PM. Our Values, Ourselves: Examining Our Values and What Others Value about Us. Are our own values and self-perceptions interfering with providing services that our patron communities both need and want? Are we on the right track or off the rails? Join us this thought-provoking session that will cover the past and the future, public and academic libraries, and feature speakers with a range of perspectives. The co-chairs of the RUSA President’s Program, Liane Taylor and Paul A. Sharpe, along with the hard-working members of the committee, Alicia Finley, Elizabeth A. Kocevar-Weidinger and Sydney Leigh McCoy, have planned a wonderful set of programs for Las Vegas.

Carnegie Award for Fiction and Non-Fiction: Saturday, June 28, 8:00-10:00 PM This is the third year for the Carnegie Award and this is always a fun event with noted authors as speakers and the announcement of the award winners. Tickets are still available.

RUSA Awards and Volunteer Recognition Party: Sunday, June 29, 5:00-6:30 PM. Our premiere networking event, meet new people and connect with old friends as we honor people and organization who have won achievement awards.

Literary Tastes: Sunday, June 29, 8:00-10:00 AM. This is another great author event which used to be ticketed but is free and open to all! This year’s authors are:

  • Daniel J. Brown , author of 2014 RUSA Notable Book The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Penguin)
  • Tessa Dare, author of Any Duchess Will Do (Avon)the top pick for The Reading List’s Romance category in 2014.
  • V. E. Schwab, author of “Vicious” (Tor Books), the top pick for The Reading List’s Fantasy category

RUSA Executive Committee and Board meetings are open if you are interested in the operational aspects of the organization. For that matter all committee meetings are open unless otherwise noted in the program as closed meetings. These are a great way to learn more about RUSA, to get involved, and meet people. Many committee appointments have been made for the next year but some committees are still seeking members. All of these meetings are listed in the ALA Conference Scheduler.

Lastly, thank you for the opportunity to serve as your President for this year. After Annual I will transition to Past-President and hand leadership over to Joe Thompson. If you don’t know Joe, look for him at conference and say “hi.” He’s a great guy and will be an amazing leader for RUSA. I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring!

RUSA President, 2013-14


Join us at ALA Annual for some exciting events. Below are some highlights to look forward to. Use the ALA Conference Scheduler to create a personal schedule and you will be alerted to any last minute location changes.

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
Finalists: Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
The two books selected as recipients of the Medal will will be announced during the Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 29. The ceremony will be from 8:00-10:00 PM at Caesars Palace, in rooms Octavius 05-08. Tickets are available here. Cosponsored by Booklist and RUSA.

Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ)
Have you checked out the new issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) yet? There’s endless value in this issue. You can activate your digital subscription with Metapress, you can do so on the RUSA website under the “Communications” tab, at the top of the page. Questions about RUSQ, contact Andrea Hill, RUSA web manager at
Here’s an overview of the most recent issue.

RUSA’s Annual Signature Programs

  • RUSA 101
    Friday, June 27, 3:00-4:00 PM
    Las Vegas Convention Center, Room S222

Not to Be Missed RUSA Programs

Conference Programs and Forums

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 Jeannette E. Pierce, has been carefully reviewing proposals and we will have several new webinars for RUSA members. They will cover such topics as: genealogy and history resources, online reference resources, reference tracking and data collection, industry research and sharing resources worldwide. Stay tuned for more details!

RUSA Committees

Just Ask Task Force
The Just Ask Task Force will be meeting at Annual to follow up on its meeting at Midwinter. We hope to revisit some of the ideas and plan for some future events and develop some long term planning. To review what was done at Annual, please see the Spring issue of RUSA Update. Guests are welcome to attend.

Meeting Time: Sunday, June 29; 1:00-2:30
Location: Las Vegas Convention Center, room N211

Diana Shonrock and Elizabeth Stephan, Co-chairs

Emerging Leader Update

Spring has been a very busy and productive time for me! I just returned from the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) in Sheffield, England, where I gave a presentation with a colleague, Eamon Tewell. We spoke about a library orientation program we implemented at LIU Brooklyn called The Amazing Library Race, a problem-based learning activity originating from the popular TV show The Amazing Race. LILAC was my first international library conference—it was great to meet and learn from librarians hailing from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds.

I’m presently hard at work with the other four members of my Emerging Leaders (EL) team on our poster project, which we’ll present at ALA Annual—the next conference on my horizon! We’re developing a virtual meeting space for ACRL’s Science & Technology Section (STS) and are exploring numerous proprietary and open source options. It’s exciting to reflect on how I’m part of the creation of this section’s virtual collaboratory; the hope is that it will be used to foster research connections among science and technology librarians. If you’re planning on attending ALA Annual in June please do feel free to stop by our booth at the poster session and learn more about our project’s past, present, and future!

Katelyn Angell
RUSA Emerging Leader, 2014


Carol L. Schuetz, Editor

Message from the BRASS Chair

Hello BRASS!

As shown in the committee reports below, everyone is gearing up for the ALA Annual Conference. There’s fresh snow on the mountains here in Utah, so spending ALA in Las Vegas is sounding pretty good to me right now.

Here’s a list of some of the BRASS events to look forward to:

Also at Annual we’ll officially recognize this year’s recipients of the BRASS awards and grants at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception:

  • Celia Ross, Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship
  • Ilana Barnes and Tao Zhang, BRASS Emerald Research Grant
  • Desirae Zingarelli-Sweet, Business Expert Press Award for Academic Business Librarians
  • Katharine Macy, Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award

Keep an eye out on BRASS-L for the full BRASS program/event guide. I hope to see you all in Las Vegas!

Andy Spackman
BRASS Chair, 2013-2014

BRASS Committee Reports

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee
The Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee is getting ready to present the BRASS Academic Libraries Forum at the 2014 ALA Annual Convention. Our speakers will be Ilana Stonebraker, Mary Dugan, Tom Ottaviano, and Jason Sokoloff. The general theme of the forum is scalability of instruction and business students. Different methods and results of scalability will be discussed. Jason Sokoloff’s presentation deals more with assessing one shot instruction. A previously scheduled speaker, Lisa O’Connor, had to withdraw due to a family health emergency. The committee thanks Tom Ottaviano for agreeing to present at such short notice!

The committee encourages everyone interested in this issue to attend. The Academic Libraries Forum will take place at Las Vegas Convention Center, room N111, Sat 1:00-2:30 PM.

Charles Allan, Chair 2012-2013

BRASS Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
Last Virtual Meeting was Friday April 4, 2014 via ALA connect.

We have added a new Briefcase article, No. 30, 2nd Quarter 2014, “Best Practices of Adult Financial Literacy in a Large Public Library System” by Melissa Jeter, Adult Services Librarian, Heatherdowns Branch; Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. Information on this article has been forwarded to Genifer Snipes and various listservs.

We appreciate BRASS Web Editor Annette Buckley setting up Google Analytics software to show the number of views the Briefcase receives as a whole, and the views which individual articles are receiving! We also appreciate Genifer Snipes’ assistance with social media.

Next Briefcase topic will be Consumer Research Tools.

Our 2015 ALA Program will be on naming rights as revenue generators for libraries.

Ed Rossman, Chair 2013-2014

BRASS Program Planning Committee
BRASS 2014 Program: Mad Men: The Business of Advertising
When: Monday, June 30, 2014 8:00-10:00 AM
Location: Las Vegas Convention Center, room S230

Many companies spend millions on advertising their brands and products, yet data can be hard to find. Specialized sources, available at many large libraries, focus on these statistics. The information they contain can be used by business students, researchers, or the general public. In addition media planning, a component of a company’s marketing plan, will be covered. Entrepreneurs need information on placing ads (and on how much it costs); reference librarians assisting these users will find the content of the program very useful.

The session kicks off with breakfast, 8:00-8:30 AM, sponsored by S&P Capital IQ.


  • Wendy Diamond, Business and Economics Librarian, California State University, Chico. Ms. Diamond has been a featured speaker at two prior BRASS annual programs (2001 and 2008) on marketing. She is the co-author of: Marketing Information: A Strategic Guide for Business and Finance Libraries (2004).
  • Dale Skarl, Search Engine Marketing Manager for MGM Resorts International

Patricia Kenly, Chair 2013-2014

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee
The committee is preparing to review the nominations for Outstanding Business Reference Sources. We currently have twenty-seven titles for consideration. Review and voting will be done virtually, prior to ALA.

The Business Reference Source Committee (BRSC) will be meeting in person from 4:30-5:30 PM in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N220 on Saturday, June 28. This is an open meeting and visitors are welcome to attend. Ed Hahn will be the incoming Committee chair, starting July 1, so wish him congratulations or condolences, as you see fit.

The BRSC is once again sponsoring the Publishers Forum at ALA. This year it will be held in the Las Vegas Hotel, Ballroom F on Sunday June 29th from 1:00-2:30 pm. The forum is titled “Hitting the Jackpot – Sources for Local and Regional Business Information” and the discussion will focus on the various types of local business information that are available through a variety of sources.

Representatives from Euromonitor (featuring their new Passport Cities product); Demographics Now (US Census data); Data Planet (United States statistical datasets); and ProQuest ABI Inform (Dateline product focusing on local and regional business journals) will be the speakers. Each has agreed to demonstrate their products specifically concerning the types of data they have for Las Vegas and Nevada in general. The last half-hour of the Forum will be a Q&A session from the audience, so come prepared with questions and issues that you have with finding local information.

Susan Hurst, Chair 2012-2013

BRASS Discussion Group Committee
The BRASS Discussion Group will host an open forum at ALA’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas on Sunday, June 29 from 8:30-10:00 AM in Caesars Palace, Octavius 05-06. We will be sending out a survey in the first week of June to determine what topics we will put on the agenda for discussion.

Friday, June 6 at 2:00 PM EST we have tentatively scheduled an online discussion. We are compiling feedback to see if people wish to take part in the discussion prior to the annual meeting. Do you have a topic idea? Please take a moment to fill out this survey

Please be on the lookout for additional information about the online discussion and the Annual conference on topics on BRASS-L. We look forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas!

Jason Dewland, Chair 2012-2013

BRASS Education Committee
The BRASS Education committee is happy to report that so far thirty-three people have registered for the 2014 RUSA BRASS preconference “How Business Librarians Support Entrepreneurs.” Our dynamic speakers will cover market sizing for a technology start-up, licensing business e-resources, and best practices in engaging entrepreneurs in public and academic libraries.

Next year we are going to try something new. Instead of a full day, we have proposed a half day preconference, “Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright.”The topic is still tentative, and we’ll be thrilled to hear any ideas or suggestions of interest to our members.

We are exploring new LibGuide functionality to enhance BRASS Business Guides, generously provided to us by Springshare. Peter McKay is spearheading this effort. In the meanwhile, committee members are busy working on updating and consolidating existing guides. We are still on target to complete the transition to topical guides by June 20th, 2014.

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

BRASS Membership Committee
The BRASS Membership Reception will be Friday June 27 from 6:00-8:00 PM, location TBA on BRASS-L and Facebook. Come network with colleagues while enjoying food and beverages. Plan your flights so you can join us on the Vegas Strip for a fun time!

Membership committee meeting at ALA Annual will be June 29, 3:00-4:00 PM. at Las Vegas Convention Center, room N217.

Kelly Janousek, Chair 2012-2013

BRASS Vendor Relations Committee
Vendor Relations spent the past two months talking to several vendors who expressed interest in getting more involved with BRASS. Ultimately for different reasons, they have withdrawn their interest at this time. We will continue to explore new opportunities. Vendor Relations is also working on a preconference half-day workshop with another vendor for the 2015 conference in San Francisco. More information will be forthcoming when the details are more fleshed out.

Vendor Relations has also been coordinating with Membership for the Member’s Reception in Las Vegas on June 27, and with the Program Committee to see that our sponsorship from S&P Capital IQ runs smoothly.

Chris LeBeau, Chair 2013-2015

BRASS Publications and Communications Committee
The Publications and Communications Committee is working on the BRASS at ALA Annual Events and Program guide. We met in March to discuss various activities of the committee, including the BRASS website, our social media presence, and topics of discussion for our in-person annual meeting in June. We are looking forward to getting together at ALA Annual in Las Vegas. We’ll be meeting on Saturday, June 26 from 4:30-5:30 PM in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N202.

Chad Boeninger, Chair 2013-2015

BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Excellence in Business Librarianship Award Committee
Award-winning author and Associate Librarian, Celia Ross, of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business was selected for her dedication and commitment to the field of business librarianship and its practitioners.

Mark Andersen, Chair 2013-2014

BRASS Gale Cenage Learning Student Travel Award Committee
Katharine Macy, MLIS candidate at the University of Washington was selected because of her extensive background and education in business.

Matthew Brower, Chair 2013-2014

BRASS Business Expert Press Award Committee
Desirae Zingarelli-Sweet, at the Carrier Library of James Madison University was selected for her outstanding efforts in collaboration with business faculty; students and community partners; library instruction; and business reference research at the university.

Kaiping Zhang, Chair 2013-2014

BRASS Emerald Research Award Committee
Ilana Barnes, Business Information Specialist and Tao Zhang, Digital User Experience Specialist of Purdue University Libraries are the project heads of “Assessment of Business Undergraduate Student Engagement and Behavior in a Crowd-Sourced Library Help System: Best Practices and Emerging Technology Opportunities.”

Elizabeth Stephan, Chair 2013-2014

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee
No award was presented this year.

Karen Chapman, Chair 2013-2014


Barry Trott, Editor

Message from the Chair
Like many other sections, CODES is gearing up for ALA Annual. We are looking forward to successful programs. This year’s Literary Tastes event will be held on Sunday, June 29 from 8:00-10:00 AM at the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N258 and will feature Daniel J. Brown, Tessa Dare, and V.E. Schwab. Vice Chair Deb Abston is a busy filling committee appointment openings. Anyone interested in serving on a CODES committee should visit the CODES Committee Roster page to learn more about individual committees. CODES board members met last month to discuss possible program submissions for the 2015 Annual conference. We had two wonderful programs and hope that we can see both of them in San Francisco.

Asia Gross
CODES chair

CODES Committee Reports

CODES Hot Topics Discussion Group Meeting
The CODES Hot Topics Discussion Group will meet at Annual Conference on Saturday, June 28 from 10:30-11:30 AM at the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N219. The discussion topic will be “A Sentimental Education: Training Collection Development Librarians.” Rapid changes in how libraries select, collect, and maintain resources obviously affect how collection development librarians are trained. Increasing emphasis on electronic resources, consortial agreements, and patron-driven acquisitions coupled with budgetary restrictions and growing user expectations are challenges we all face. While there have been ongoing concerns that graduate coursework in this area has not been especially effective, it is equally obvious that collection development responsibilities and activities vary widely from library to library. The bottom line: on-the-job training must provide the depth and breadth that graduate programs cannot. How are libraries addressing this important issue? Are selectors getting the training they need to succeed? What does successful training involve? What needs to change? Please join us for a lively discussion on this complex topic. This is open to all registered conference attendees and we hope you can join us.

Louis Shores Award Committee
The Louis Shores Award Committee announced Francine Graf, now-retired managing editor at Choice, as the 2014 recipient of the Louis Shores Award. There have been multiple press releases about the award, including a release in the ACRL Insider. Graf will be presented with the Louis Shores award at the RUSA Achievement Awards and Volunteer Reception at ALA Annual.

CODES Collection Development Planning, Education, and Assessment Committee
The CODES Collection Development Planning and Assessment Committee and the CODES Collection Development Education Committee have been merged to create the CODES Collection Development Planning, Education, and Assessment Committee. The new committee’s charge can be found here. The committee met at Midwinter in Philadelphia and discussed plans for a program for Annual 2015 in San Francisco called “Whacking the Weeds in the Library: Deaccessioning Print and Digital Materials in the 21st Century and Beyond.” The program was submitted by CODES as one of two program proposals for Annual 2015.

The Committee will be meeting at Annual on Sunday, June 29 from 1:00-2:30 PM in Caesars Palace, room Livorno.

Sophie Brody Medal Committee
The Sophie Brody Medal Committee will meet at Annual on Friday June 27 from 1:00-3:00 PM at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Conference Room 04 (this is a closed meeting) to discuss the submissions that we have received so far. We will also present the medal to this year’s winner, Yossi Klein Halevi. Unfortunately, Mr. Halevi will not be at the conference, so someone will accept the award on his behalf.


Laura Hibbler, Editor

Genealogy Preconference
RUSA will again host a free Genealogy Preconference at Las Vegas on June 27. This all-day event will be held in the Milano V Room at Caesars Palace Hotel. Thanks to our generous sponsor, ProQuest, our noon luncheon will also be free. Doors open at 8:30 AM and our first panel “Getting More Than You Pay For: Free Access to Genealogical Resources,” kicks off at 9:15 AM. This was so popular at Philadelphia Midwinter, that it is back by acclamation, this time featuring Kim Harrison and Amy Crow from , Michael Hall from, and Curt Witcher from the Allen County Public Library. At 11:00 AM we’ll hear from Katherine Rankin from the University of Nevada, on “Using Maps in Genealogy.” Following lunch, William Forsyth from ProQuest will present new innovations. At 1:30 PM, D. Joshua Taylor from will moderate a current affairs roundtable discussion on popular genealogical topics. At 2:30 PM special guest speaker Nicole Miller from University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. will present “Making the Financial Case for Genealogical Librarianship: Fast and Affordable Methods for Training Genealogy Staff.” Join us for an engaging look at a mainstay of library patrons’ interests. Sign up through SurveyMonkey here.

History Librarians’ Discussion Group
The History Librarians’ Discussion Group will be holding a joint discussion session with the ACRL Digital Humanities Group on at Annual Saturday, June 28, from 1:00-2:30 PM. The session will provide additional examples about the roles of humanities liaison librarians in Digital Humanities projects. More information will be shared online soon.

MARS: Update from the Emerging Technologies in Reference Section

Cathy Larson, Editor
Join the discussion at

Message From the Chair
Annual Conference time is almost here, and I hope to see many of you in Las Vegas! The Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) has two programs and three discussion forums planned as well as several committee meetings, so mark your calendars and we hope to see you often. 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.

Friday, start out with RUSA 101: Network, Get Oriented, Get Involved. This is a fun orientation and get-together. It will be on Friday, June 27, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 P.M. at Las Vegas Convention Center, room S222.

Saturday morning, June 28, from 8:30-10:00 AM, the All Committee Meeting will be in Bally’s, Skyview 4. 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.

Next up on Saturday, our Management of Electronic Resources Committee is sponsoring “Libraries in the Course Management System: Best Practices and New Directions,” held in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N263C from 10:30-11:30 A.M. for what is sure to be a lively conversation.

Saturday afternoon from 1:00-2:30 PM will be the MARS Chair’s Program at the Las Vegas Convention Center N263C. We will begin by honoring Anne Houston, this year’s recipient of the MARS Achievement Recognition Award (My Favorite Martian). Then we have two great speakers lined up, Angela Zoss, Data Visualization Coordinator, Duke University and Josh Boyer, Head, User Experience, North Carolina State University. They will present their perspectives and experiences with data visualization in a session called “New Directions for Data Visualization in Library Public Services.”

Capping off Saturday, from 3:00-4:00 PM in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room S228 will be “Discovering Open Access Articles: Maximum Access, Maximum Visibility!,” co-sponsored with ALCTS and ACRL.

On Sunday, June 29, join us for our Planning Committee meeting from 8:30-10:00 AM at the Las Vegas Hotel in the Boardroom. If you are interested in observing the work and possibly volunteering for a committee for the coming year, please join us.

Sunday from 10:30-11:30 A.M. in the Paris Chablis room will be the Virtual Reference Discussion Group of Houston Libraries. Sunday from 1:00-2:30 P.M., at the Convention Center, Exhibit Hall, Meeting Room C, the Hot Topics Discussion Group will host a forum.

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 Caesars Palace, Florentine II-IV.

On Monday, June 30, if you’re still in town, plan to stop by our MARS Executive Committee Meeting from 8:30-10:00 A.M. at the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N202. 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 (this meeting will be in N102) to coordinate activities of our two sections.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to volunteer, please go to, or contact Stephanie Graves, 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. It’s been an affirming experience to be Chair this year and have the opportunity to work with such an outstanding group of Librarians.


Sam Stormont
Chair, Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) 2013-2014

MARS Committee Reports

RUSA MARS Hot Topics in Electronic Reference Discussion Group
What: RUSA MARS Hot Topics Discussion Forum – Libraries & Makerspaces: What’s the connection?
When: Sunday, June 29, 1:00-2:30 PM
Where: Convention Center Exhibit Hall, Meeting Room C

Have you heard about makerspaces but still have questions about how they fit into the work of libraries? Are you interested in makerspaces, but unsure how to get started? Well this discussion forum is for you! Come learn what you need to take your library to the next level.

Join RUSA MARS Hot Topics as they welcome two speakers to discuss the link between makerspaces and libraries and how you can get started with a makerspace in your library.

The session will start with a discussion by Rudy Leon (the University of Nevada, Reno) on the connection between makerspace and libraries and how your current space may already have elements of a makerspace. Rosemary Arneson (University of Mary Washington, Fredricksburg, Virginia) will discuss how a storage space in the library was converted to create ThinkLab. She will share how the space has been incorporated into courses such as Makerbots and Mashups and also discuss the technologies currently in the space.

This ninety-minute session will include a discussion and Q&A, so be sure to bring your questions! By the end of the program, you’ll feel confident understanding the role of makerspaces in libraries and take away some ideas on how to start your own.

More about our speakers:

  • Rudy Leon joined the University of Nevada Knowledge Center in March of 2012. Her liaison areas are Communication Studies, Political Science, and Gender, Race & Identity. She is also the coordinator of Burning Inquiry (a celebration of researchers at UNR investigating aspects of the Burning Man Festival), and the advisor to the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center Undergraduate Student Committee.
  • Rosemary Arneson is the University Librarian at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. She launched the UMW ThinkLab makerspace in September 2012, and she works closely with the Freshman Seminar, Makerbots and Mashups, that meets in the space. She continues to develop her own maker skills, particularly in the area of e-textiles and wearable technologies.

Chanitra Bishop, Chair 2013-2014

RUSA MARS Best Free Reference Websites
The RUSA MARS Best Free Reference Websites committee conducts virtual communication among members. Although on year-round lookout for outstanding sites, our busy times take place in February, March, and April as the committee participants focus on posting, evaluating, and voting on the many websites each member has chosen as favorites. After closely examining and evaluating the forty-eight websites initially submitted, the committee members voted for those we considered to be the best. The list for 2014 contains fourteen websites that have received this distinction.

Janice Wilson, Chair 2013-2014

RSS Review

RSS logo
Amy Rustic, Editor

Message from the Chair
I’m hoping that spring has finally sprung here in the Mid-Atlantic. This is the first time in ten years that I’ve seen the tulips last until May.

Our Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, Qiana Johnson (, has been hard at work appointing people to committees. Thanks Qiana! We may have a few openings left, so if you’re interested, drop her a line!

I would like to thank you all for voting in the ALA Elections. Congratulations to our incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect Crystal Lentz, Cathay Keough, our new Member-at-Large, and Tom Reinsfelder RSS’ Secretary. We look forward to your leadership in the coming years.

If you’re heading to Annual, make sure to come by the RSS Open House on Saturday, June 28, starting at 8:30 AM in the Flamingo Las Vegas (Laughlin II). We’ll once again be having our trivia contest and breakfast hosted by EBSCO. Our raffle consists of three $75 bookstore gift certificates and an RUSA/RSS Membership. The Open House is more than just fun and games though; it’s a chance to find out about all the different committees within RSS and the work we do.

We’ll be posting our sessions on Facebook and via RSS-L shortly.

See you in Vegas!

Ann Brown
RSS Chair, 2013-2014

RSS Committee Reports

Discovery Services Committee (Formerly Catalog Use Committee)
Please join us in Las Vegas for a Discussion Forum on Discovery Services: “What’s Working, What’s Not and What’s Next?”

Sunday, June 29th, 3:00-4:00 PM, Las Vegas Convention Center, room N110

The first 15-20 minutes of this one-hour forum will begin with lightning round presentations followed by a Q&A. During the second half, presenters will rotate to start discussions about the themes of their presentations with each table.

Colleen Seale, Chair 2013-2014

Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need Committee
The Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need committee will have a virtual Annual meeting; the date and time will be announced on ALA Connect when decided. The committee has been working on a survey that will allow us to gather information to aid in planning programs, discussion forums, and professional development opportunities. Content and design of the survey have been finalized and we will begin gathering responses by mid-May. We plan to gather responses and complete an analysis with recommendations for next year by the end of June.

Julie Housknecht and Holly Wilson, Co-chairs 2013-2014

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee
The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee is pleased to announce that they will be hosting these discussion forums at Annual:

“Extreme Customer Service: Reference at Its Finest!”

Sunday, June 29, 1:00-2:30 PM, Las Vegas Convention Center, room N117

What can truly set reference apart from Google and other online information providers? What can breed patron loyalty and ensure return visits? Service! A library’s customer service can have a staggering impact on customer satisfaction and retention. Join with colleagues to share real world examples of extreme customer service—wonderful as well as woeful—and to learn practical tips for improving your service and making your reference service invaluable. Facilitator: Jeanne Holba Puacz, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

“Readying Reference: Training for Public Service Reference Providers”

Monday, June 30, 8:30-10:00 AM, Las Vegas Convention Center, room N120

The importance of interactions with users of a library’s reference services (online and in person) cannot be overstated. If the user has a good experience, they will be back when they have another question. A bad experience, and that’s the end of it. Library literature supports the idea that training of reference providers and setting standards of service is a crucial component in the process of bringing new staffers up to speed and making sure they are upholding the library’s service mission. Gather with other front-line reference providers and managers to discuss what reference training currently looks like and brainstorm new ideas for innovative training in the future. Facilitators: Geoff Johnson, University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas at Austin and Joe Dobbs, University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas at Austin.

Crystal Lentz, Chair 2013-2014

Education and Professional Development for Reference
We have completed the first phase of our research into the state of reference education in the United States and Canada. We have determined whether or not a basic reference course is required for students at ALA-accredited library schools and if more specialized reference courses are offered. As we move into Phase Two of this project (in which we will analyze our findings and seek more information on the general reference course and overall curriculum from ALA-accredited institutions), we hope to gather as much information as we can before the Annual Conference.

As we move toward the third phase of the project, we want to hear from fellow reference professionals about what you would like to learn about the state of reference education and what you feel is important to investigate.

If you care about the state of reference education, or want to know more about it, please come to the RSS Education & Professional Development for Reference Committee discussion forum at Annual 2014: “State of Reference Education: What We Have Learned And What Would You Like To Find Out?” on Monday, June 30 from 10:30-11:30 AM, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N263C

At this discussion forum, we will share the preliminary summary of findings on general reference education from ALA accredited programs. We would love to hear from practitioners what is important in current and future reference education.

Check the conference schedule for any last minute room change.

Organized by the Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee, Reference Services Section (RSS), Reference and User Services Division (RUSA). Stay tuned for future plans on this project and ways to participate.

Joseph Yue, Chair 2013-2014

Evaluation of Reference and User Services
At the end of January 2014, Evaluation of Reference and User Services (ERUS) sent out a survey looking at reference service models and evaluation of service. At the close of the survey, we received a very large number of responses. Analysis of the results, as well as decisions on the best way to disseminate the findings will begin in this month. The committee is considering a discussion forum for Midwinter 2015 on the same topic, with the hope that the survey results can be incorporated or used to inform the discussion.

The ERUS committee meeting will be held during the RSS Open House and All-Committee Meeting on Saturday June 2 from 8:30-10:00am in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N113

There will be no other events for ERUS.

Jason Kruse, Chair 2013-2014

Health and Medical Reference Committee
The Health and Medical Reference Committee met at ALA Midwinter Meeting. Due to the intensiveness of the work on the Health and Medical Reference Guidelines, work in all other areas has been put on hold. The committee met with the liaison from the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee about the progress with the Guidelines. A draft is expected to be given to the Standards and Guidelines Committee by the 2014 ALA Annual Conference for initial review.

Karen Vargas, Chair 2012-2014

Job and Career Reference Committee
“Community Needs, Reference, & Assessment in Job & Career Reference”

Saturday, June 28, 2014, 1:00-2:30 PM
Las Vegas Hotel, Conference Room 09

Large and small libraries hold a variety of programs for job seekers—regular classes, one-shot sessions, traditional reference services, reference appointments and others. How do libraries and information providers determine the needs of the community and which services and programs to offer? How do they assess outcomes? Come join the RSS Job & Career Reference Committee for a discussion of various strategies for best serving communities large and small.

The RSS Job & Career Reference Committee is also about to launch a needs assessment for librarians interested in career reference resources and information. This will be advertised via various means and we invite all interested in this subject area to participate.

Kate Oberg, Chair 2013-2014

Library Service to an Aging Population
Library Services to an Aging Population met March 24. The committee is working to update its Guidelines for Serving Midlife and Older Adults, which will be discussed at length on Saturday, June 28 at 3:00 PM.

The group is also finalizing details for its ALA program, “Creative Aging at Your Library,” scheduled for Sunday, June 29 from 10:30-11:30 AM in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N243. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

Abigail Elder, Chair 2013-2014

Management of Reference
The RSS Management of Reference Committee sponsored its first e-forum, where a total of 220 librarians registered to discuss new models of reference on May 6 and 7. Over the course of the two days, we had about forty librarians actively participate and engage in discussing how reference has changed and what institutions are doing to stay current. This is the introduction from our first day:

Reference services have evolved over the years, and current best practices inform the broadening of library services by building relationships with campus units and cross-training staff to create a synergistic combination that redefines the research experience of our faculty, staff and students by meeting them where they are. This concept expands the boundaries of the traditional library and calls for a reconfiguration of spaces, resources, and services focused on supporting the learning needs of our community.

In this e-forum we’d like to spend some time discussing each of the following subjects: new staffing models (including technologies), new methods of delivery (including technologies) and your success stories and tips to take away. Responses revolved around training, staffing models and statistics to help make decisions and determine how to best repackage existing services as desks are merged, librarians step away from the desk and new technologies assist us in new delivery methods.

Cinthya Ippoliti, Chair 2013-2014

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services
The Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services Committee will be hosting a discussion forum, “The Soft Sell: Sales Skills for Librarians,” at Annual on Sunday, June 29 at 10:30-11:30 AM in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N220. Our discussion forum will be facilitated by Nathaniel King (Director of Library Services at Nevada State College) and Jaqueline Solis (Coordinator of Liaison Services for Subject Librarians at the University of North Carolina). They will be lead a conversation about the SALES technique for promoting library services that provides a method for having conversations with community members and stakeholders about the value of library services. Specifically, the technique emphasizes understanding problems faced by patrons or potential patrons and demonstrating how the library can help solve those problems. They will do a brief presentation on the technique and then lead a discussion so that attendees can think about how they would apply the technique to their own libraries.

Jessica Hagman, Chair 2013-2014

Research and Statistics Committee
The Research and Statistics Committee of the Reference Services Section of RUSA will be presenting 20th Reference Research Forum at ALA on June 29th from 10:30-11:30 am. The Research and Statistics Committee employed a double-blind method to choose three groups of speakers on a variety of topics.

Our first speakers from OCLC will be focused on the data deluge and librarians’ experiences with data services in “Building Relationships for the Effective Development and Delivery of Research Data Services,” presented by Ixchel Faniel, Lynn Connaway, and Kendra Parson. This presentation is based on an analysis of interview data collected from thirty-six librarians. A major objective of the study is to explore librarians’ early experiences in developing and delivering research data services in order to consider how their experiences and the services can be improved. By opening an early dialogue about the opportunities and challenges associated with library-provided research data services, we aim to consider practical, effective approaches to the development and delivery of such services within the academic community.

Our second set of speakers from SUNY College at Old Westbury will be focused on student tech usage and trends. In “College Student Tech Usage: A Recent Survey of Trends”, Curt Friehs and Jason Kaloudis will present findings of a survey of undergraduates to gain a better understanding of motivating factors behind tech adaptations. The perspective of the Millennial college student provides insights into the desires and needs of the younger generation.

Our final group of speakers from the University of Missouri will focus on Libraries and the Affordable Care Act. Jenny Bossaller and Guinevere Lawson will be sharing the results of discussions with librarians across the United States regarding their involvement with the Affordable Care Act. This exploratory study will provide context for libraries’ actions or inactions that are a result of the law’s uneven implementation, differing community needs, and the attitudes of the community and librarians. The Research and Statistics Committee is also hard at work in gathering and vetting annotations for the Annual Reference Reviews as well and will be sharing the results of their research before the ALA Annual.

Ava M. Iuliano Brillat, Chair 2013-2014

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee
The Virtual Reference (VR) Tutorial Subcommittee continues to work on the Virtual Reference Companion (VRC) with the goal of completion by ALA Annual 2014. The group meets monthly (including our recent Virtual Midwinter Meeting on January 31) and works in subgroups between meetings.

To date, the Subcommittee has completed seven modules of the VRC and recently decided to remove the Information Literacy module since much of the relevant information can be found in the Skills module. We are in the finishing stages of the eighth and final module, Staffing/Partners, with completion expected in late May.

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

After four years of hard work, the Subcommittee is looking forward to presenting the VRC at the MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Group meeting to be held at Annual, Sunday, June 29 at 10:30-11:30 AM at Paris Las Vegas in the Chablis Room. One section of the VRC contains Tips & Best Practices and we will actively seek input and feedback from audience members at this event. In addition, we encourage RSS members to contact Jared Hoppenfeld at or Christine Tobias at to share tips and best practices in virtual reference.

Jared Hoppenfeld, Chair 2012-2014
Christine Tobias, Chair 2013-2014

Young Adult Reference Services Committee
Young Adult Reference Services Committee (YARS) YARS is in the news! Based on our Midwinter discussion forum, the best-practices article “How Understanding Teen Brain Development Can Help Improve YA Reference Services” has been published in the Spring 2014 issue of Young Adult Library Services, the official publication of YALSA.

YARS is also preparing for Las Vegas, where we will host a discussion forum on Homework Help in libraries – a controversial topic on which some libraries are divided. We will gather information on best practices in order to make a recommendation as to what level libraries should expect to offer in-house homework help to their students. The discussion “Of *Course* it’s Due Tomorrow: What is the Appropriate Level of Homework Assistance in Libraries,” will be held Sunday, June 29, 2014 from 10:30-11:30 AM, in the Las Vegas Hotel, Ballroom G.

YARS will be meeting in-person at Annual during the RSS All-Committee Meeting.

Allyson Evans, Chair 2013-2014

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.


Kerry Keegan, Editor

Message from the Chair
Hello STARS Members and Friends,

STARS is turning 10! This year marks 10 years of networking, education, and research in support of resource sharing and access services professionals. Much thanks is due to everyone whose involvement has made STARS so successful for the past decade. To honor everyone who has made STARS what it is today, we’ll be hosting a 10th Anniversary Party at ALA Annual in Las Vegas! Please join us Friday June 27, 7:00-9 PM, at Bahama Breeze Island Grille, 375 Hughes Center Drive, Las Vegas.

STARS is also sponsoring two informative programs at ALA Annual. Code4ILL:How to Grow Your Own Innovation for Resource Sharing is on Saturday, June 28, from 1:00-2:30 PM in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room S228. Finding Dead People: Genealogy and Local History Resources for the ILL Practitioner is on Saturday, June 28, from 3:00-4:00 PM, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N232.

You can check out our other upcoming events on the STARS Events page on Facebook.

If you can’t make it to Vegas there are still lots of opportunities to become involved in STARS. Many of our committees offer virtual participation, and we’re always looking for active virtual members. For more information on our committees and volunteer opportunities, check out STARS’ committees page.Feel free to contact me at for more info or answers.

This is my last update column as STARS Chair. It’s been an eventful, fun, and—above all—educational year as chair. I’ll take this opportunity to say a loud “Thank You!” to the wonderful members of STARS who have done such great work in the past year (and, indeed, the past 10 years). STARS really is a fantastic organization filled with hard working people, and I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten to play this role. Thanks to all of you!

Nora Dethloff
STARS Chair, 2013-14

STARS Committee Reports

CODES/STARS Cooperative Collection Development Committee
The CODES/STARS Cooperative Collection Development Committee is still working on updating the ILL Code documents. We’ll announce when updates are completed in a future STARS section newsletter.

Ryan Litsey, Chair

Boucher Award Committee
David K. Larsen has been named the Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award winner for 2014. Larsen is Head, Access Services and Assessment at the University of Chicago Library. He is being recognized for his expertise in interlibrary loan technology, his innovative approach to library services, his influential work with individual libraries, consortia, and vendors to make ongoing improvements, and his service and leadership at all levels of professional library organizations dedicated to resource sharing.

Please join me in congratulating David!

Megan Gaffney, Chair

STARS Atlas Systems Mentoring Award Committee
Please join me in congratulating Jake Kubrin, the winner of the 2014 STARS Atlas Systems Mentoring Award. Along with other award recipients, Kubrin will be honored at the RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony and Reception from 5:00-6:30 PM on Sunday, June 29 during the ALA Annual. Jacob Kubrin is the resource sharing and fulfillment specialist at Cushing Library at Holy Names University. In a newly created position at the Cushing Library, Kubrin demonstrated a great need for professional development, networking and education to serve the ever increasing patron needs of the library. The award, sponsored byAtlas Systems, Inc. recognizes an individual new to the field of interlibrary loan and contributes $1,250 to attend the ALA Annual Conference.

You can find the official press release here. You can also find RUSA activities during ALA online.

Amy Paulus, Chair
Naomi Chow
Paul Drake
Jennifer Jacobs
Shirley Thomas

STARS Education and Training Committee
The STARS Education and Training Committee (E&T) is organizing the program “Finding Dead People: Genealogy and Local History Resources for the ILL Practitioner,” presented by Amber Case and Cherie Weible, on Saturday, June 28 from 3:00-4:00PM in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N232. E&T continues to coordinate the updating of the ShareILL wiki. It is also organizing the free annual ALA Midwinter workshop “Everything you wanted to know about ILL” for Chicago 2015.

Karen Okamoto, Chair

STARS Membership Committee
The RUSA STARS Membership Committee has been working with a 10th Anniversary Celebration Committee to organize an extra special social at ALA 2014 in Las Vegas. Thanks to vendors such as OCLC, Innovative, and DLSG, the committee has been able to plan a special 10th Anniversary Celebration for June 27th from 7:00-10:00 PM at Bahama Breeze. There will be food, live music, cake, and of course, friends!

The Membership Committee is also pleased to announce Lars Leon as our newest STARGazer. Leon will be at ALA and is always a friendly face to look for if you’re a first time attendee of the conference or an experienced ALA navigator.

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

Micquel Little, Chair