From the Director

Greetings RUSA Members,

Thanksgiving is next week and this is the perfect time to take the opportunity to thank you all for the wonderful work and support you have given RUSA this last year. From our awards and book lists like Notable Books and The Reading List to our popular events like the Book and Media Awards Reception at Midwinter in San Diego and the Literary Tastes Breakfast at Annual Conference in New Orleans, we were successful in large part due to RUSA volunteers and members.

This coming year, we hope to have just as many wonderful events, products, and programming for you starting with the Book and Media Awards reception which will be held Sunday, January 22, 2012, from 5:00-6:30 pm at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. Don’t miss it if you plan to be in Dallas – and make sure to bring your friends (it’s not necessary to be a RUSA member). It’s a great place to network and have a little fun—all are very welcome!

We love to hear from members and once again at the Midwinter conference we’ll offer the opportunity for our members to participate virtually as well as in person in the RUSA Town Hall meeting at RUSA Board, Session I, Saturday, January 21, 2012, 1:30-3:30 pm, Dallas Convention Center. Instructions, time and date will be forthcoming on the RUSA website, blog and listserv (rusa-l), so check back frequently and also watch for a message from us in your email before Midwinter.

Thanks again for making RUSA a wonderful place to be a member! I hope to see those of you who can make it at the Midwinter meeting in Dallas.

Best Wishes,

Susan Hornung
Executive Director, RUSA

From the President

Hello RUSA Members!

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are rapidly approaching and Midwinter is just a few months away! I’ve spent the first few months as RUSA President continuing our work in the Division and starting to plan for some new initiatives in the coming year. The RUSA Executive Committee recently met in Chicago for its annual Fall Leadership Meeting, so I want to share the highlights of that meeting and to fill you in on some future plans.

First, there is good news about both the budget and RUSA membership. RUSA ended fiscal year 2011 with a budget surplus of just over $40,000, largely due to lower expenses and additional revenue from several sources. RUSA will be transferring this income to our reserve in order to ensure that the division is able to embark on future initiatives and to meet its goals in the coming years. In 2011, we had our first increase in overall personal memberships since 2006. While the increase was very small, this does provide some hope that our membership numbers will stabilize and possibly grow in the coming years. I want to extend my thanks to Susan Hornung and the RUSA staff and to the many volunteers in RUSA who worked very hard on these accomplishments.

RUSA is also actively exploring ways that we can make the association more responsive and useful to members. Two groups have been working very hard the past few months on these efforts. The RUSA Structure Taskforce, chaired by Kate Kosturski , has been charged with broadly examining RUSA’s structure and procedures. The issues they are tackling include:

  1. Exploring ways to move from in-person to more virtual meetings
  2. Attracting non-librarians to RUSA
  3. Creating information on Connect to support RUSA members
  4. Expanding joint programs with other ALA Divisions and Roundtables

I want to extend my sincere thanks to Kate and the members of this committee for their important work.

Liane Taylor, chair of the RUSA Membership Committee, has been leading another group looking at Web conferencing software and exploring options that will allow RUSA members to conduct more work virtually. I want to thank Liane and her committee for all of their efforts on this project, which will greatly enhance the ability of RUSA members to work together more efficiently.

This fall, we have the pleasure of welcoming two new people to RUSA. First, Emily Kornak, Adult Services Librarian at Barrington Public Library in Barrington, Illinois, is RUSA’s new Spectrum Scholar intern for 2012-13. She will be working closely with Mary Popp, RUSA’s Vice-President/President-Elect. Second, Emily Hamstra, Undergraduate Learning Librarian at the University of Michigan, is the member of ALA’s 2012 class of Emerging Leaders who is sponsored by RUSA. Congratulations to Emily and Emily and we look forward to working with you both!

RUSA is also in the process of putting together a new “Just Ask” team that will work on a campaign with the broad goal of highlighting and celebrating the important work of reference and user services librarians. During the coming year, RUSA will also be embarking on the creation of a new three-year strategic plan for RUSA. In order to gather ideas for the future of RUSA, we will once again be holding a virtual Town Hall meeting during Midwinter. Please plan on participating if possible—more information on how to participate will be coming out shortly before the conference.

Finally, I want to thank Diane Zabel, editor of Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), and the editorial board members, column editors, and contributors who all work very hard to consistently publish this outstanding journal. As you know, RUSQ is now entirely digital, a change made this past year to broaden access, make the content available in a more timely manner, and to reduce expenses. As a reminder, you can access RUSQonline. I want to offer my sincere thanks to Diane and the other volunteers, who all put in a tremendous amount of work and their own time to produce RUSQ.

As you can see, RUSA is moving forward on a number of different initiatives—all aimed at making RUSA a more responsive organization for its members. I encourage you to actively participate in the work of RUSA if you are not already doing so. As always, please contact me directly with your ideas or thoughts on how we can make RUSA better. If you are interested in volunteering, you can get more information on RUSA committees at the RUSA website. Also, check out the descriptions of division-level committees under “About RUSA” and committees in each section by clicking on the link to the section web site. To volunteer, simply fill out a volunteer form.

Finally, I want to extend a huge thanks to Susan Hornung and the RUSA staff for their outstanding support and to all of the volunteers of RUSA who continually astound me with their dedication and service.

I wish you Happy Holidays and look forward to seeing you in Dallas!

Gary White

RUSA President

RUSA Membership Social

Liven up your 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting experience at the RUSA Membership Social—an opportunity to eat, drink, network, and learn more about RUSA.

All are invited to this event, which will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2012, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Adolphus Hotel in Century Ballroom A.

Complimentary appetizers and a cash bar will be available, and RSVPs are not required. The event is generously sponsored by Thomson Reuters.

The social is one of many RUSA activities at the Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, and is open to all current RUSA members, friends of RUSA, and those meeting attendees interested in learning more about the association and networking with peers.

Questions? Contact Liane Taylor, Chair, RUSA Membership Committee (

Spring schedule taking shape for RUSA online courses and webinars

RUSA’s online learning opportunities are open to any interested participant. Topics are relevant to a variety of library professionals and library types including public, academic, and special libraries. Most courses are asynchronous—participants log into the course at and complete weekly coursework at their own pace.

More information about RUSA’s online learning opportunities is available at the RUSA website. Questions about registration for both groups and individuals should be sent to the ALA registration team at

Here’s an overview of our current online learning offerings:

    • Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping: Through podcasts and hands-on assignments, participants in this webinar will explore uses for geographic information systems (GIS) technology within organizations and also its social uses beyond simple cartography. The course also covers the how-to of online mapping tools such as Google Earth, ArcExplorer, Scribble Maps and Google Maps. The course content is especially relevant for public or reference librarians who want to organize information in a visual or geographic way to benefit the work of the library, to make information available to the community, or any number of needs.
    • Health Information 101: During this six week course, participants will demystify and decode medical terminology then learn the basics of evidence-based biomedical literature searching. They’ll also learn how to systematically evaluate a health website then look at some the best of best sites for medical, pharmaceutical and drug information. The course also addresses health literacy issues and how to create partnerships with hospital and academic medical librarians through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Registration will open on Monday, August 22, 2012.
    • Readers’ Advisory 101: Through practice sessions, participants will learn from instructor and RA expert Joyce Saricks how to use RA tools, craft annotations, read in genres, articulate appeal and experiment with methods to offer RA services. Readers’ Advisory 101 is tailored for those at all types of libraries—support staff, library technicians, newly hired reference librarians, and those librarians who want to brush up on their skills. The topics covered are introductory in nature. This course has scheduled weekly meeting times.
    • Genealogy 101: This course is designed for reference staff with little to no experience in genealogy. Using a case study to frame the coursework, participants will learn about tools and techniques they can use to confidently assist patrons with family history research. A review of archival material, print reference tools and online sources is included in the curriculum.
    • The Reference Interview: This comprehensive course covers such reference interview topics as cultivating an approachable reference environment, successful questioning and listening techniques and appropriate follow-up methods. Staff of all levels at all types of libraries will find this content, presented in a multi-media format, helpful in their day-to-day engagement with library patrons.
    • Beyond Compliance: This unique course is designed to address the virtual and media-related obstacles disabled patrons encounter while accessing library services. Virtual and media-related obstacles are defined as inherent features in an informational medium that prevent equitable access to information. This four-week course will include weekly assigned readings and short assignments, weekly optional chats, and discussion prompts. Students will take away practical advice on creating equitable access to library services and instruction.
    • Introduction to Screencasting for Online Tutorials and Reference: This 90-minute webinar will introduce the screencasting tools and best practices for creating online videos for training, instruction, or reference. Learn about the most popular software used and some key pedagogical factors that help create effective streaming tutorials. Screencasting is a powerful tool for virtual reference and informal communications.

RUSA seeks proposals for 2012 webinars

RUSA seeks proposals for webinar presentations for its 2012 series of professional development webinars that will be held throughout the year, from January 2012 through August 2012.


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


Successful proposals will:

●     Show plans for presentations that are 60-75 minutes in length.

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


Proposals may be submitted online.


The deadline for proposals is December 31, 2011. Presenters for accepted proposals will receive compensation for their time and will also receive training for the webinar software. Questions about RUSA or the webinars can be directed to Liz Markel, RUSA marketing and programs manager or Susan Hornung, RUSA executive director at and, respectively.

Nomination period open until December 15 for RUSA achievement awards and travel grants

Nominations are now being accepted for RUSA’s many achievement awards and conference travel grants. The deadline for all nominations is December. 15, 2011, with the exception of the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, which has a deadline of January 31, 2012.

Awards for Individuals and Groups for Professional Achievement

  1. The BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business librarianship. Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning; $3,000 prize and a citation.
  2. The Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services is given to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons’ reference needs. Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning; $3,000 prize and a citation.
  3. The History Section Genealogical Publishing Company Award is presented to a librarian, library or publisher who is a RUSA member, and recognizes professional achievement in historical reference and research librarianship. Sponsored by Genealogical Publishing Company; $1,500 prize and a citation.
  4. The Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award honors an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship. Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning; $5,000 prize and a citation.
  5. The John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Supported by the Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO; the winner receives a plaque.
  6. The Louis Shores Award recognizes an individual reviewer, group, editor, review medium or organization for excellence in book reviewing and other media for libraries. The winner receives a citation.
  7. The Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award recognizes a librarian who has made significant contributions to library adult services. The winner receives a citation.
  8. The Reference Service Press Award recognizes the most outstanding article published in RUSQ during the preceding two-volume year. Sponsored by Reference Service Press; $2,500 prize and a plaque.
  9. The Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award is given to an individual for his or her outstanding professional achievement, leadership, and contributions to interlibrary loan and document delivery. Sponsored by OCLC; $2,000 prize and a citation.
  10. The Zora Neale Hurston Award honors an individual ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. Sponsored by HarperCollins; the winner receives $1,250 supporting travel to the ALA Annual Conference, a plaque, tickets to the Literary Tastes Breakfast, tickets to the ALTAFF Author Tea and a set of Hurston’s books in print with HarperCollins at the time of the award.
  11. The RSS Service Achievement Award is presented annually to a Reference Services Section (RSS) member in recognition of exceptional contributions to the section. See the RSS Review for more information.
  12. The MARS “My Favorite Martian” Award is presented annually in recognition of excellence in service to the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section. Contact the award committee chair for more information.

Travel Grants to ALA Annual Conference

  1. The BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award presents $1,000 to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master’s degree program to fund travel the ALA Annual Conference. See BRASS Notes for more information. This nomination deadline is January 31, 2012.
  2. The Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award, sponsored by Morningstar, Inc., offers $1,000 to support the attendance at Annual Conference of a public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and who requires financial assistance to attend the conference. See
  3. The STARS/Atlas Systems Mentoring Award offers $1,250 to fund Annual Conference travel expenses for a library practitioner who is new to the field of interlibrary loan/document delivery or electronic reserves, and who has daily, hands-on involvement in the areas of borrowing, lending, document delivery, electronic reserves, material delivery or resource sharing.

RUSA also offers the BRASS Emerald Research GrantEmerald Research Grant, which consists of two $5,000 awards presented to individuals seeking support to conduct research in business librarianship. The deadline to apply for these grants is also December 15, 2011.

More information about these awards, including nominating instructions, can be found at the RUSA Awards web page. Monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented.

Time to party! Midwinter Book & Media Awards in Dallas

RUSA Midwinter Book and Media Awards; Sunday, Jan. 22, 5:00-6:30 pm; Fairmont Hotel, Oak Room, 1717 N. Akard St., Dallas

Coming to Dallas? Don’t miss ALA’s premier awards event for adult reading and reference! This is the event for anyone who loves reading books, giving books, sharing books, and learning about the year’s hottest titles for adult readers from the readers’ advisory experts in RUSA.

Start making your to-be-read list for 2012! We’ll announce the winners of the Reading List, the Notable Books List and the Sophie Brody Medal. We’ll also announce the Zora Neale Hurston Award, the Dartmouth Medal for outstanding reference title of the year, the Outstanding Reference Sources list, Outstanding Business Reference Sources, “Best of the Best” Business Websites, and the Louis Shores Award for book reviewing.

Standards and Guidelines (S&G) Committee

Looking back to New Orleans and the Annual Conference, S&G members voted to recommend to the RUSA Board sunset for two RUSA guidelines:

●     Guidelines for Medical, Legal and Business Responses at General Reference Desks (2001)

●     Guidelines for Information Services (2000)

Generally S&G members recommend sunset with regret, but RUSA policy and lack of a sponsor led to the decisions.

Looking forward to new guidelines:

●     STARS has forwarded to S&G Guidelines for ILL Management and Operations. These guidelines make recommendations regarding the qualifications needed for managers of interlibrary loan and document delivery services and give other guidance concerning ILL staffing.

●     Work continues on new guidelines from the History Section’s Instruction and Research Services Committee. These are guidelines for providing research and information resources to undergraduate students of history.

●     A potential collaborative project is under still under discussion. The Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements is an ALECTS product—not recently revised—with obvious appeal to CODES members.

●     A brand new BRASS effort, in cooperation with Special Library Association (SLA), is working on focusing on core competencies for business students.

Reviews of existing guidelines:

●     Members of the RSS Management of Reference Committee have been working to review two guidelines. Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Providers is a document previously associated with the committee. Members of the group have also taken on the review of Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians. This document started out as the product of a special task force.

●     History Section members are organizing to review Guidelines for Establishing Local History Collections.

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

John Sessions Memorial Award Committee

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 John Sessions Memorial Award offered by RUSA. The deadline for nominations is December 15, 2011.

Established in 1980, the award is named in honor of John Sessions, former American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) co-chair of the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups. The John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Such efforts may include outreach projects to local labor unions; establishment of, or significant expansion of, special labor collections; initiation of programs of special interest to the labor community; or other library activities that serve the labor community.

The Russell Library, Middletown, Connecticut, was the 2011 recipient of the award for their successful Business & Career Programs. The Russell Library provides ten to twelve workshops annually that aim to help individuals find jobs or change their careers. Programs include job searching, interview coaching, computer classes, and stress reduction during job searching, among other topics. With this programming, the library has done significant outreach to union and community members by providing services of special interest to the labor community, as well as connecting with local organizations to publicize their services to job seekers. The award committee selected the library as this year’s recipient for these notable efforts that are vital in today’s economic climate and for the value the programs hold for the local labor community.
The 2012 award will presented at the RUSA Awards Reception during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.

To nominate a library or library system, download and complete the nomination form (PDF format), and follow the submission instructions therein. Questions should be directed to the committee chair.

Emerging Leader Report

Emily Hamstra is a Learning Librarian at the University of Michigan’s Shapiro Undergraduate Library. She has primary responsibility for developing, promoting, and delivering innovative instruction specifically geared towards undergraduates. Hamstra also provides reference and coordinates the library’s large leisure reading collection designed to support learning and exploration outside of the classroom. She partners with a local independent bookseller to maintain this collection. She wrote about and presented on this unique partnership at the ACRL 2011 Conference (“Capturing your Community: Partnering with Local Booksellers for Collection Development and Events”). Recently, Hamstrs organized the library’s Banned Books Week events, which included a Read Out and a book drive for a local prison library.

Follow Emily on Twitter (@the_weeds) and Goodreads.


Carol E. Schuetz, Editor


Message from the BRASS Chair

Hello BRASS members!

Greetings from your 2011-2012 Chair. Since Annual I’ve been working on several projects and getting to know the ALA and RUSA staff very well! You have a great Executive Board and an energetic set of committee chairs. The Program Committee has been working hard on the program for the 2010 Annual in Anaheim (June 21-26). I hope many of you will be able to join us.

As fall quickly turns to winter, we need to think about ALA Midwinter in sunny Dallas. (I hear they have finally broken out of the 100s!) Please save the dates: January 20-24, 2012. BRASS will continue with its virtual meetings during Midwinter, but there will be a real, on-ground All Members Meeting on Sunday, January 22 from 10:30 am-12:00 pm. More details to follow on BRASS-L. Committees that choose to get together at Midwinter will make informal arrangements among themselves.

Carol Smith, Chair of the Publications and Communications Committee, has rearranged some roles. Carol Schuetz is now BRASS Notes editor. Kathryn Corrigan is the new BRASS Member Publications List Manager, and Robert Perret is the BRASS-L manager. Other BRASS member notes include two appointments to the new RUSA Just Ask Campaign. The BRASS reps are Ilana Barnes and Elizabeth Stephan.

Between now and Midwinter think about volunteering to serve on a BRASS committee. Our Vice Chair Ann Fiegen will be forming committees in the near future. Look for a call on BRASS-L. So join the BRASS-L listserv if you haven’t and watch for the notice. Members are not required to attend conferences in order to participate on committees.

Again a reminder that ALA is migrating the website to a different platform, therefore we have done minimal updating of our BRASS web pages. Our reports and documents are in ALA Connect. You can also find our more than 900 members in Connect!

Contact me if you have ideas, questions or concerns.

Hope to see many of you in Dallas!

Chris LeBeau
BRASS Chair 2011-2012

BRASS Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee

The Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee will be sponsoring the BRASS Forum at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim and is currently working on selecting panelists for the discussion. The topic chosen for the forum is “Using Social Media to Promote Business Librarians and Resources.”

The forum will focus on how we can increase contact with patrons by using social media to harvest the “long tail” of questions—those detailed or niche questions that together total more than general instruction. Businesses have used the theory of the long tail to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction by catering to specific preferences. Social media is uniquely able to address these needs through its flexibility and accessibility.

The forum will be held on Saturday, June 23 starting at 1:30 pm. We hope you can join us.
Lydia LaFaro, 2009-2012 Chair

BRASS Program Planning Committee

The 2012 BRASS Program Planning Committee is preparing the program “Business Data Sources: Librarians and Content Creators.” Many of us were curious about the librarian point of view about business data sources, and also how business data sources are created by such providers as the US Census, ESRI, and the RAND Corporation.

The speakers we currently have in our program are the following:

●     Bobray Bordelon, Princeton University

●     Jerry Wong, US Census

●     Angela Lee, ESRI

●     Joe Nation, RAND Corporation

In the coming months, the program planning committee will work to finalize the speaker presentations and also pin down conference logistics in order to have a great program for Anaheim in 2012.

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


Anthony Lin, Chair, 2011-2012

BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee

The Business Reference Sources Committee has begun its work selecting new titles for its “Outstanding Business Reference Sources” column, which appears in the winter issue of RUSQ, and welcomes its new members this year: John Burns of the Watertown Public Library, Valerie Freeman of Johnson & Wales University, Penny Scott of the University of San Francisco, and Becky Smith of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nathan Rupp, Chair 2011-2012

BRASS Education Committee

Please plan to attend the upcoming pre-conference at Anaheim 2012: “Mastering Business Acumen (MBA) in a Day: Business Concepts for Library Reference.”

This full-day interactive workshop is designed for new business librarians; generalists who have assumed responsibility in business librarianship; or librarians who handle business reference-related inquiries in all types of libraries including academic, public, and special libraries. This workshop will provide librarians with a broad conceptual understanding of business topics in four major business disciplines: accounting, finance, marketing, and management. This preconference will complement Business 101, which focuses on business reference, business resources, and collection development.

Confirmed presenters include:

  1. Accounting: Todd M. Hines (MLS, MBA, MAcc, CPA), Princeton University Library
  2. Finance: Chris LeBeau (MLS, MBA), University of Missouri-Kansas City
  3. Management: Elizabeth Leonard (MLS, MBA), Western Carolina University
  4. Marketing: Andy Spackman (MBA, MLS), Brigham Young University

Leticia Camacho, Chair, 2011-2012

BRASS Education Committe eConnect page

BRASS Best Business Sites

BRASS Vendor Relations Committee

The BRASS Vendor Relations Committee has been working closely with the BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee in order to secure sponsorship for our 25th anniversary celebration to be held in 2013 in Chicago. The Vendor Relations Committee is also hoping to be able to announce a new award starting up in 2012…Stay tuned!

Celia Ross, Chair 2011-2012

BRASS Gale Cengage Student Travel Award Committee

Do you know a student eligible for the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award?

Established in 1992 and sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, this $1,000 monetary prize is awarded to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master’s degree program to fund travel to and attendance at the ALA Annual Conference and a one-year membership in RUSA’s BRASS. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in a career as a business reference librarian, and the potential to be a leader in the profession as demonstrated by activities that may include (but are not limited to) coursework, internships, jobs, special projects, and publications.

The deadline for nominations is January 31, 2011. Information about the award, including a PDF of the nomination form, can be found on the RUSA website.

As explained in the nomination form, letters of reference, and a library school transcript must be submitted with the application.

Carol L. Anderson, Chair 2011-2012

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee

Brass Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award committee is now ready to accept nominations.

In order to be eligible for the award, nominees must be a current member of the American Library Association, have a career interest in business reference librarianship, and be willing to participate in BRASS.

The award is a cash award of $1,000 for travel expenses at the ALA Annual Conference.
Please send all nomination to the following:

Mail to:
Melissa Jeter, Adult Services
Toledo Lucas County Public Library
Heatherdown Branch
3265 Glanzman Rd.
Toledo, OH 43610


E-mail to:
Subject: Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award

The due date for this award is December 15, 2011.

Information about the award, including a PDF of the nomination form, can be found on the RUSA website.

Melissa Jeter, Chair 2011-2012

BRASS Publications and Communications Committee

Since ALA Annual Conference, The BRASS Publications Committee has focused on redistributing committee responsibilities. Effective with this issue, Carol Schuetz will serve as Editor of BRASS Notes. Kathryn Corrigan recently assumed responsibilities for maintaining the BRASS Member Publications List, and you will periodically see her calling for submissions via the BRASS-L listserv. Robert Perret is now serving as the BRASS-L manager, and Kaiping Zhang will be managing the development of a BRASS Master Schedule for the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. Whew!
But that’s not all. The BRASS Executive Committee has appointed a new BRASS webmaster. John Gottfried, Business Librarian at Western Kentucky University, will begin managing BRASS pages once they have been migrated from ALA’s current Collage content management system to a new Drupal-based platform. The migration of ALA pages to Drupal began in October 2011, and will proceed in a rolling fashion for all ALA pages through 2012 and well into 2013. We do not yet have an estimated date for when our BRASS pages will be transitioned. Stay tuned!

Like many other BRASS Committees, we will be meeting virtually instead of in person at the ALA Midwinter Conference. We plan to meet via Adobe Connect in mid-January.

The committee is also working with the BRASS 25th Anniversary ad hoc committee to develop web pages dedicated to next year’s festivities.

As always, the committee requests that all BRASS committee chairs conduct a regular review of their committee web pages, and advise us if any updates or changes need to be made as we move into a new year of great BRASS accomplishments. The Collage web platform is showing its age and making updates is a time-consuming process, so we also ask for your patience as we work through page updates.

Carol Smith, Chair 2010-2012

BRASS 25th Anniversary Planning Committee

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

Louise Feldmann, Chair 2011-2012


Announcements: Midwinter

Vicki D. Bloom, Editor


Book and Media Awards Reception

The RUSA Book and Media Awards Reception will be held during Midwinter on Sunday January 22 from 5:00-6:30 pm. The RUSA event features many CODES awards including the Notable Book List, the Reading List, the Listen List, the Sophie Brody Medal, the Dartmouth Medal, the Zora Neale Hurston Award, the Louis Shores Award, and the Outstanding Reference Sources Award. The reception is open to all. Location details will be announced closer to Midwinter. Join your colleagues in this not-to-be-missed celebration that has become the highlight of Midwinter for many.

CODES Listen List

The inaugural announcement of CODES new audiobook juried list will be made at the 2012 Book and Media Awards. The Listen List honors the outstanding work of narrators whose reading creates a new story experience for listeners, one a reader could not achieve by her/his own reading of a printed book. The lists consists of twelve titles, all of which will be annotated and include listenalikes. This award extends CODES work promoting and supporting collection development and readers’ advisory service, extending that support into the realm of whole collection RA.

CODES Hot Topics Discussion Group

Saturday January 21, 2012; 10:30 am-12:00 pm

Dallas Convention Center, A302

For Midwinter 2012, the CODES Hot Topics Discussion Group is focusing on collection assessment. While assessing library services and resources has been important for many years, the current economic realities and serious interest in “return on investment” has brought it to the forefront in all kinds of libraries. Participants will exchange information on how their institutions are implementing collection assessment activities and share the methodologies they are using and the outcomes that result. What works and what does not work? How does assessment affect collection development decisions, budgeting, and cooperative collection development activities with other libraries?

Please join us for a lively and thought-provoking discussion on this very hot collection development topic. All conference registrants are invited to join us.

Call for Papers/Presentations

The RUSA/CODES Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Committee invites submissions of presentations and/or papers for the 5th Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Forum to be held in Anaheim during ALA’s Annual Conference. The Forum will take place on Saturday, June 23 from 10:30 am-12:00 pm.

They invite papers or presentations on various responses to:

●     Browsing for Pleasure Reading in the Digital Age: All aspects of the topic, including information encountering, 2.0 applications, the intersection of human/computer guidance, ILS integration, the impact of ebook sites, and the implications for cataloging, reviewing, organizing, and searching data are welcome, as are other interpretations and approaches to the topic.

●     Researched papers and in-the-trenches presentations are equally welcome.

The committee employs a blind review process and will select three projects for twenty-minute presentations.

To submit: Send an abstract of your paper or description of your presentation (up to 350 words) to: by January 15, 2012. Please include on a separate cover sheet your name, title of presentation/paper, institutional affiliation, full contact information, and any technological needs. Include on your abstract ONLY the title of your presentation/paper. Notification of acceptance will be made by February 27, 2012.

CODES Readers Advisory (RA) Committee to Contribute to Library Journal’s Reader’s Shelf

Members of the CODES RA committee have contributed the end-of-the-year column for Library Journal’s Reader’s Shelf. Each year a group of RA librarians is asked to write the column, reflecting on some of their favorite titles of the year. This year’s column features titles from six members of the RA committee: Stephanie Chase, Multnomah County Library, Oregon; Jacob Cleary, Chicago Public Library, Illinois; Lucy M. Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library District, Missouri; Deborah Luchenbill,The State Historical Society of Missouri; Troy Lynn Reed, Southeast Regional Library, Maricopa County Library District, Arizona; Deborah T. Walsh, Geneva Public Library District, Illinois. The column will run in the December 15th issue of Library Journal.

CODES member Rebecca Vnuk heads to Booklist

Booklist has hired Rebecca Vnuk, a past member and chair of the CODES RA Committee, as the new Editor for Reference and Collection Management. Rebecca will be responsible for all print and electronic reference reviews, as well as for developing feature articles on readers’ advisory and collection development. Rebecca welcomes column ideas from CODES members. She can be reached at

HISTORY Announcements

Laura O’Neill Hibbler, Editor


The History Section will have its customary dinner at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Dallas on Sunday, January 22. A long-standing tradition, members of the History Section and friends are invited to a Dutch-treat dinner at a restaurant near the convention center. The venue has yet to be chosen but will be announced on the History-L listserv in early January. If you are not a member of the listserv please be aware that any member of the History Section can join. To subscribe go to

The Historical Materials committee is always looking for new and interesting bibliographies (print and online) and exception websites, especially those that collect, archive, and provide enhanced access to primary sources. Every year we evaluate sources but suspect we may miss some of the outstanding sources you find useful. We’d really like to hear from other librarians what resources we should consider for our next “Best” list. Send nominations to the chair, Nick Wyant (

Messages from MARS: The Newsletter of the RUSA-MARS Emerging Technologies in Reference Section

Melissa J. Clapp, Editor


Message From the Chair


The months seem to be flying by, and we are fast approaching the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Winter of 2012 marks the first time that MARS will use a modified system of meeting during Midwinter. Committees, other than the Executive Committee, will be given the option of meeting in person during Midwinter or meeting virtually prior to Midwinter and submitting a report of committee activities to the Executive Committee by Friday, January 6. The Executive Committee will meet in person during Midwinter and will refer to committee reports to conduct business during each meeting. This is a pilot program, and it will be very interesting to gather feedback following Midwinter to gauge the general response from members of MARS.

The RUSA Membership Social will be held on Saturday, January 21. This event allows RUSA members and prospective members to meet and mingle while learning more about RUSA. I encourage you to attend if you are able to do so. The social is a highlight for RUSA during the Midwinter Meeting.

There will also be three very interesting discussion forums during Midwinter. Please show your support if you are attending the Conference. The Hot Topics in Electronic Reference Discussion Group will host a discussion forum on Saturday, January 21 from 1:30-3:30 pm entitled “Reaching out to Patrons in Virtual Ways: Old School Successes and New Initiatives.”

The Local Systems and Services Committee will host a discussion on Sunday, January 22 from 4:00-5:30 pm. entitled “The Learning Commons and the Academic Library: Using Emerging Technologies and New Partnerships to Build Student Success.”

The Virtual Reference Discussion Group will host a discussion forum on Saturday, January 22 from 4:00-5:30 pm entitled “UX + VR FTW.” Read more about each of the discussion forums in the descriptions below. Please join us if you can!

Warm Regards,

Dianna McKellar

MARS 2011-2012

MARS Professional Development Committee

With the merger of the Education, Training and Support with Professional Development (PD), MARS now has a new “Super Committee.” Take a look at our membership herd at our new ALA Connect site.

The PD Committee sponsored the first webinar for RUSA on August 2, 2011! Using GoToWebinar software recently licensed by RUSA, this webinar was an “Introduction to Screencasting Tutorials” based on content from a previous MARS program during Annual 2010. There were over forty attendees and plans to repeat this session are tentatively scheduled for December 16. We still have some growing to do in planning and executing webinars, but the potential is enormous and the support from RUSA is fantastic.

If you have any ideas for a MARS webinar, please contact Nancy Cunningham, Chair of Professional Development ( The committee will be working on developing future webinars that shoujld be of value to ALA members. We are also interested in training other MARS commitees on the process and best practices for implementing webinars. Professional development is something that every MARS committee offers. We are eager to partner with any other committee and have lots of able members.

PD members also volunteered to participate in a joint RSS/MARS Subcommittee to plan preconference sessions. Both MARS and RSS intend to offer affordable professional development sessions as preconferences by finding locations and presenters that support our educational efforts without high fees. Got a great idea for a preconference? Please let Nancy know about it and she will pass it along.

Our committee held its first virtual meeting in October using GoToWebinar software! We found this to be an effective and fun way to conduct committee business. Members can record notes, visit websites, respond by voice or chat—the ultimate communication experience. No more scrambling at Midwinter to share ideas. We intend to continue having regular virtual meetings to help us stay on track with planning activities. Using the webinar software for virtual meetings also helps us improve our technical skills. Some of the challenges to virtual meetings have been scheduling, which required using Doodle to determine best meeting times and troubleshooting during the session. However the support from RUSA has been excellent and our committee will gain more experience as these virtual meetings become routine.

Van Houlson, Co-Chair

RUSA MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Planning Committee Update

Saturday, January 21st 2012 4:00-5:30 pm

Location: Dallas Convention Center, V304

The title of the Virtual Reference Discussion Group is “UX + VR FTW”

Courtney Greene, Head of Digital User Experience (DUX) at Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, will begin the forum by discussing what happens when user experience meets virtual reference. She will argue that libraries are in the user experience business—that our users’ needs are at the forefront of everything we do. Greene will describe a recent reorganization that has led DUX to take on a more active role in supporting and managing virtual reference (VR) tools at IUB Libraries: IM via LibraryH3lp, text reference via Google Voice, and a newly re-designed mobile site. She will share how she and her team have worked to balance the advantages of centralized management of VR services (for over a dozen service points across campus) with the importance of staying closely connected to librarians in the field, on the ground and at the desk. She will also discuss how the mobile redesign increased access to research apps and how users have responded to the changes. After Greene’s presentation we will discuss her ideas and other emerging technologies for virtual reference.

Committee News:

The Virtual Reference Discussion Planning Committee has held three online meetings since ALA Annual, 2011: July 27, 2011, August 8, 2011, September 28, 2011. With the committee’s expanded membership (from 3 members to 7 members), it is proving difficult to find meeting times and meeting platforms that work well for all members. The committee has been using MegaMeeting or Google + Hangouts for synchronous online meetings, and Google Docs for asynchronous sharing of ideas.

Jason Coleman, Chair

RSS Review

RSS logo




Amy Rustic, Editor


Message from the Chair

Greetings RSS Members!

Midwinter 2012 is soon upon us! The ALA Midwinter Meeting will be held January 19-24, 2012. Most RSS committees will be holding virtual meetings between January 16-31, rather than in-person meetings at Midwinter. However, for those of you who will be attending in Dallas, we will be sponsoring many events to enrich your experience.

Most importantly, we’ll be hosting the Second Annual RSS Pancake Breakfast bright and early on Saturday, January 21, at Cindi’s New York Delicatessen at 306 S Houston St, right near the Convention Center and hotels ( We expect breakfast to begin around 8:15 am, but we’ll be sending out an official announcement soon. We hope to see you there!

  1. Saturday, 10:30 am-12:00 pm: Discussion Forum: Feedback and discussion on the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers and the Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians
  2. Saturday, 1:30 -3:30 pm: Discussion Forum: Library Programs and Services to Baby Boomers
  3. Sunday, 10:30 am-12:00 pm: RSS Discussion Forum: TBA
  4. Sunday, 4:00-5:30 pm: Discussion Forum: Answering the YA Reference Question – Making Connections that Matter with Marie Radford
  5. Monday, 10:30 am-12:00 pm: Discussion Forum: TBA

I wish you the very best in 2012, and look forward to seeing many of you in Dallas!

Liane Taylor

Chair, Reference Services Section

RSS Chair, 2011-2012

RSS Announcement

Nominate yourself—or someone else—for one of the many achievement awards and conference travel grants offered by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), the division of ALA representing librarians and information service professionals in reference, collection development, readers advisory, genealogy and resource sharing.

The deadline for almost all of our nominations is December 15, 2011. We offer a multitude of professional achievement awards, as well as a few conference travel grants—the list of awards is so long, it’s too many to include here!

The amount for the STARS/Atlas Systems Mentoring Award has increased to $1,250! This travel grant provides funds for travel to ALA’s Annual Conference for a library practitioner who is new to the field of interlibrary loan/document delivery or electronic reserves, and who has daily, hands-on involvement in the areas of borrowing, lending, document delivery, electronic reserves, material delivery, or resource sharing.

More info is available on the RUSAblog or or visit the RUSA awards web page:

Catalog Use Committee

The Catalog Use Committee recently held a virtual meeting where we discussed our plans for Annual 2012. The group decided to host a Moderated Roundtable Discussion during our meeting time at the conference. We are narrowing down a selection of topics, with the intent that each table will interrogate one topic in-depth. The Moderated Roundtable will constitute about two-thirds of the meeting time, with the remaining time dedicated to sharing key points from the discussion with the whole group. We are very excited about this format, as we feel it is a way to engage the audience and other committees to spur cutting edge discussions. With that in mind, we will be reaching out to other committees in the coming months to provide subject specialists to moderate the roundtables. Please look for more information as we narrow our focus.


Peter Collins, Chair 2011-2012

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

The RUSA/RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee is pleased to announce the acceptance of two discussion forum proposals for Midwinter in Dallas:

●     “For whom the Catalog Serves: Reference Librarians using Information-Seeking Features of Catalogs and Discovery Systems,” proposed by Anne Larrivee of Binghamton University; Sunday, 10:30-12:00 pm; Dallas Convention Ctr, Rm D175

●     “Managing the Different Types of Reference Services,” proposed by Bonnie Fong of Rutgers University; Monday, 10:30 am-12:00 pm; Dallas Convention Ctr, Rm C145

Congratulations to Anne and Bonnie!

These forums are sure to be lively and informative, so make a point to attend both!


Emilie Smart, Chair 2011-2012

Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee

This year the Education & Professional Development for Reference Committee re-energized though new membership and project possibilities, along with the archiving of past projects. We are currently migrating and expanding our list of websites, videos, and other online resources related to training for the reference practitioner from a closed list in ALAConnect to a public Delicious account. In addition, we are collaborating with the MARS Professional Development Committee to offer a no-cost workshop at ALA Midwinter in 2013. To further the access to free reference training resources, the group also is investigating collaborating on webinars. EPDRC determined that the New Employee Orientation Bibliography was a wonderful project, however due to staff time to adequately maintain the list and changing interest in the committee we are archiving the bibliography.


Kristen Mastel, Chair 2011-2012

Library Service to an Aging Population

In addition to our program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim (How Libraries Are Serving the Evolving Needs of Baby Boomers and Older Adults), our committee has scheduled a Discussion Forum at the Midwinter Meeting in Dallas on “Library Programs and Services to Baby Boomers” on Saturday, January 21 at 1:30 pm. For those who are able to make it to Dallas, this discussion forum will be a great opportunity to share ideas on how libraries can best serve this population!


Jeff Kempe, Chair 2011-2012

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking

The RSS Services to the Spanish Speaking committee designed and conducted a survey of librarians from all types of libraries working with Spanish-speaking patrons. The survey received almost 100 responses. The committee was contacted by the REFORMA Newsletter editors to submit an article summarizing survey results. The article will be published in the Winter/Fall issue. The committee will hold a virtual meeting in January to continue planning for a discussion forum and at the 2012 ALA Annual to share and discuss survey results. For more information and full survey results please visit the committee’s ALA website.

Gabriel J. Duque, Chair 2011-2012

Management of Reference Committee

The Management of Reference Committee plans to hold an open discussion during its regular meeting time (Saturday, January 21, 10:30 am-12:00 pm) at ALA Midwinter. We will be addressing two issues:

  1. We will be asking for feedback regarding the draft revision of the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers.
  2. We would like to hear about the use of Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians, which is due to be revised.

The draft revision of the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers are currently posted on ALA Connect. Your feedback would be appreciated.

William Weare, Chair 2010-2012

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference

The RSS Marketing & Public Relations Committee has partnered with YALSA to co-sponsor a discussion forum, organized by Joe Thompson, chair of RSS Organization and Planning. The forum centers on the timely topic, “Answering the Young Adult Reference Question—Making Connections that Matter” and will be led by Dr. Marie Radford, of Rutgers University (recently co-authored “Seeking Synchronicity” which is freely available through OCLC. The discussion will explore the dynamics of negotiating reference questions with young adults face-to-face and via various technologies. It is scheduled for Sunday, January 23 at 4:00 to 5:30pm. All ALA attendees are invited! Additionally, our committee will meet virtually on Wednesday, January 18, 1:00-2:30pm (Eastern) for our Midwinter meeting, more information can be found on ALA Connect.

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2012

Organization and Planning (O&P) Committee

RSS O&P met online with RSS Executive Committee on August 11 and Oct. 27. At the October meeting, RSS Execituve Committeess approved the creation of a Young Adult Reference Services Committee that will work in partnership with YALSA. To create an interest group or discussion group within the YALSA division, fifteen signatures of active YALSA members interested in actively participating will be needed. Work on formalizing this relationship will proceed over the fall/winter. Upcoming: O&P will work with Exec to resolve the status of the User Education and Information Literacy Committee and the Services to Adults Committee while it considers the creation of a committee focused on Frontline Reference Instruction. The need for other new committees will be evaluated. O&P members are currently serving on both the RUSA Structure Task Force and the RUSA Web Conferencing Task Force. O&P will not meet face-to-face in Dallas during ALA Midwinter 2012.


Joe Thompson, Chair 2011-2012

Recognition Committee

RSS Service Achievement Award – Nominate someone today!

The Reference and Services Section of RUSA is pleased to solicit nominations for the annual RSS Service Achievement Award. This award, which will be presented at the annual RSS Open House and the RUSA annual awards ceremony, honors an RSS member’s contributions to the section. The recipient will be chosen based on either sustained contributions towards attaining the goals of RSS or a single significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section.

To make a nomination please send a letter detailing specifically how the nominee has met either of these criteria to Lori Thornton, the award committee chair, by December 15:

Lori Thornton, Chair 2010-2012

Research and Statistics Committee

The Research and Statistics Committee invites submission of research projects for presentation at the 18th Reference Research Forum at the 2012 American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA. The Reference Research Forum continues to be one of the most popular and valuable programs during the ALA Annual Conference, where attendees can learn about notable research projects conducted in the broad area of reference services such as user behavior, electronic services, reference effectiveness and assessment, and organizational structure and personnel. The deadline for submissions is January 2. Please visit ALA Connect for more information.

Qiana Johnson, Chair 2010-2012

Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)

The proposed program “Are Virtual Reference Services Worth the Effort?” sponsored by the RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee has been accepted for ALA Annual 2012. A panel of experts will discuss ways to look at return-on-investment and evaluation of virtual reference (VR) services and various methods used to assess their effectiveness. Real-life examples of ways this has already been done will be presented as well. Scheduled panelists represent a cross-section of different libraries and each will share their unique perspective. The committee will be holding a virtual meeting in late December or early January at which it plans to discuss the possibility of conducting an annual online survey to assess the distribution and logistics of virtual reference services in libraries, as well as the logistics behind enhancing the accuracy and visibility of existing virtual reference-related content within online resources like LISWiki and Wikipedia.


Don Boozer, Chair 2011-2012

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee

The Virtual Reference Tutorial subcommittee established three goals for2011-12. The first is to continue improving the VR Tutorial content for two additional modules this year, and to provide 4 or more modules for user testing. The second is to implement the Tutorial in ALA’s new content delivery tool, based on tool availability. The final goal is to identify ongoing improvements for next year.

The committee meets regularly to discuss content, review modules and update existing Tutorial modules. Drupal use is planned, and feasibility testing will be explored this spring. By ALA Annual, several selected modules should be available for user testing.


Valli Hoski and Jennifer Lau-Bond, Co-Chairs 2011-2012


Katharine Calhoun, Editor


Message from the Chair


STARS committee members have been working diligently to plan entertaining and informative meetings for Midwinter in Dallas. We hope to see you all there and remember everyone is invited to attend STARS events.

This year STARS will also be busy starting their section review. Whether you’re new to STARS, or a past member, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me directly with any comments or questions.

Finally, if you would like to stay current on what STARS is working on, please remember to check back at our website.


Heather Weltin

STARS Announcements

The Education and Training Committee is planning to offer the popular, free workshop, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL,” in conjunction with ALA Midwinter in Dallas. The workshop will take place at the Dallas Public Library on Friday, January 20 from 8:30 am-12:30 pm. Our speakers will be Karen Janke (lending), Megan Gaffney (borrowing), Cindy Kristof (copyright), and Collette Mak (resources, systems, and standards).

More information and a link to register will be available soon on the Committee’s website. Whether you’re new to resource sharing or are a long-time practitioner, please plan to join us for this exciting workshop.

Many thanks to our generous sponsors: OCLC, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MCLS), and the Dallas Public Library. See you in Dallas!


Megan Gaffney, Chair

Hot Topics Discussion Group

Please mark your calendars for the Hot Topics Discussion Group at the upcoming ALA Midwinter in Dallas on Saturday, January 21 from 4:00-5:30 pm.

This informal gathering is meant to stimulate conversation and knowledge-sharing about current concerns related to resource sharing. Please send suggested topics to: Naomi Chow (

Possible Hot Topics include:

●     Policy and procedures

●     Serving long-distance education/online patrons’ needs (How far do we go?)

●     Charging patrons for ILL services (requests; overdue, damage, lost; non-pick up)

●     Lending new (current year) books

●     ILL and copyright (TEACH Act, Course Reserves)

●     ILLiad v. 8.1xx problems and issues (Share your fixes!)

●     Returnables paperwork (Sending back lender’s paperwork, or not?)

New Services

●     How well is OCLC Knowledge Base service working?

●     What are other ways to systematically process licensing restrictions?

●     What is the experience with the Copyright Clearance Center’s “Get It Now” service?

●     Updates on the IDS Getting It System Toolkit?

●     ILL and apps for patron access to your ILL online service?

●     Experiences with short-term e-book lease via OCLC WorldCat Resource Sharing?

●     OCLC Article Exchange experiences?

Issues for Changing Times

●     How do we deal with online journals that disappear? (If no one’s archiving!)

●     How does your library deal with Pay-Per-View? (Payment, access)

●     How does your library deal with Early View (online first, pre-publication) articles?

●     Anyone using unique training methods (e.g., YouTube) for student assistants or patron outreach?

●     OCLC’s upcoming (free!) online training on resource sharing, First Search

If you’d like to give a brief demo of a cool new service or show how things are working at your library, please contact Naomi Chow (

Naomi Chow, Chair, 2012

Troy Christenson, Chair-Elect

Interlibrary Loan Discussion Group

The Interlibrary Loan Discussion group combines brief, formal presentations with informal, topical discussions and networking to create an informative and energizing ninety minutes. For this year’s Midwinter meeting, the group will feature two twenty-minute programs. The first is “100% Document Delivery: What to do when your collections are ALL off-site.” Bethany Sewell, Access Services Librarian, Penrose Library, University of Denver (UD), will discuss how the Penrose Library provides ILL and Document Delivery services while ALL of UD materials are stored ten miles away in their Hampden Center Annex. Tina Baich, Interlibrary Loan Librarian, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will be our second speaker. Ms. Baich will reprise her timely and instructive Interlending and Document Supply Conference (12th ILDS) presentation “Opening Interlibrary Loan to Open Access: Locating and Managing Borrowing Requests for Open Access Materials.” If you have any comments or questions, or if you would like to suggest a group discussion topic or volunteer for future programs, please contact David Atkins at or (865) 974-6866.

David P. Atkins, Chair

International Interlibrary Loan

Heather Weltin and Tina Baich presented preliminary results of the International Interlibrary Loan Committee’s 2011 survey on international ILL at the 12th Interlending & Document Supply Conference in September. Weltin and Baich gathered helpful insight into what international ILL practitioners would most like to learn from the survey. In the spring, the committee hopes to write an article for RUSQ with an emphasis on this feedback. The committee is now preparing an executive report providing a complete overview of the data collected and hopes to present the report to the STARS Executive Committee for approval at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Tina Baich, Chair

Rethinking Resource Sharing Policies

The Rethinking Resource Sharing Policies Committee developed a sixty-plus item checklist for libraries to use as a way to reflect on the resource sharing services they provide. The STAR Checklist was distributed beginning in February 2011. A number of libraries have completed it and have qualified as Rethinking Resource Sharing STARS, including seventeen libraries belonging to the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. They are listed on the Rethinking Resource Sharing website and have received certificates noting their achievement. In addition, a number of libraries in Australia completed the checklist this spring/summer, many of which also qualified as Rethinking Resource Sharing STARS. For more information on Rethinking Resource Sharing, see their website.

At ALA Annual, the committee continued working on the next phase of the STAR Checklist. This involves transforming the checklist from a simple list of items to a dynamic resource. The idea is to link each checklist item to a relevant definition, example, or other resource. Linking practitioners to such information will enable greater understanding of any concept, best practice, technology, or other item mentioned in the checklist that a library may not be engaged in. To this end, the checklist will become a toolkit. A process for moving forward with this was discussed at ALA Annual, and the committee hopes to have completed the process by the end of summer.

Additionally, the committee decided to begin offering STAR recognition for different levels of activity with checklist items. Where before a library needed to be engaged in 80% or more of the items on the checklist, the committee is offering STAR recognition to libraries that are engaged in 60% or more, who will be awarded one star, 70% or more: two stars, 80% or more: three stars, and 90% or more: four stars.

The committee also discussed its role in helping libraries that do not qualify as STARS or are interested in learning more about how to engage in services, best practices, and other items noted on the checklist. Committee members are committed to working with libraries that participate in the checklist, and willing to offer advice and guidance in order to help libraries improve their resource sharing services.

Evan Simpson, Chair

Vendor Relations

The Vendor Relations Committee has been focusing on a few key areas since our meeting at ALA Annual in New Orleans. First, we decided to extend invitations to attend our meetings to providers of resource sharing products and services. We will have John Brunswick from Atlas Systems, Clare MacKeigan from Relais International, and Tony Melvyn from OCLC in attendance at the Midwinter meeting, and we will be attempting to bring in additional members of the vendor community. Another area that the group has focused on over the past year has been the creation of reports on interlibrary loan activity that go beyond the data we have on volume of requests. Toward that end this summer we requested that OCLC create a most frequently requested unfilled titles report. The hope is that this report would be useful for collection development purposes.


Becky Ringwelski