From the President

President’s column

To begin this issue of RUSA Update, I’d like to highlight some of the not-to-be-missed events that will be taking place at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. Whether you are a new member or you have been involved in RUSA for many years, these events are sure to peak your curiosity and engage your interests.

ALA Midwinter Events

[Free!] Genealogy Institute: Meeting the Needs of Your Family History Patrons:
Friday, January 30, 2015 – 8:30am to 4:00pm; Enjoy an interactive day of learning and networking for all librarians serving genealogists. Leaders from the library and genealogical industry will cover a variety of topics, including strategic planning, partnerships, and serving diverse populations. Luncheon provided by our sponsor, ProQuest. Registration is free, but required. Limit 150 participants. Find the link to register at

RUSA President’s Program Discussion Forum:
Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 10:30am to 11:30am; Get a preview of the 2015 RUSA President’s Program by taking part in a thoughtful discussion about the themes in danah boyd’s book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens (available for free download at We’ll discuss implications on privacy, information seeking behaviors, and library service of the future. Even if you haven’t read the book, feel free to join us for what is sure to be a wide ranging discussion on how libraries can best serve teens. This discussion is organized by the 2015 RUSA President’s Program Planning Committee and the RUSA Just Ask Task Force.

We are very excited to be able to announce that danah boyd will be our 2015 RUSA President’s Program speaker at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco! danah boyd is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and is a 2008 PhD graduate of the School of Information (iSchool) at the University of California-Berkeley. Her research focuses on the intersection between technology and society and she blogs at Mark your calendars now – the RUSA President’s Program will take place on Saturday, June 27, 2015 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm.

RUSA Leadership Development and Speed Mentoring Session:
Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 3:30pm to 5:30pm; Join a group of experienced RUSA leaders and engage in a fun, interactive “speed mentoring” session. Similar in format to “speed dating”, MLS students, new librarians, and mid-career librarians are invited to participate in this session where they will have the opportunity to gain leadership advice from a number of senior librarians and RUSA leaders.

RUSA Membership Social:
Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm; Kick off the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in style with the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Membership Social—an opportunity to eat, drink, network, win door prizes and learn more about RUSA. The social is open to all ALA Midwinter attendees! RUSA members are encouraged to bring their friends and anyone interested in learning more about the association and networking with peers. All attendees will have the opportunity to win fantastic door prizes!

Book & Media Awards Ceremony and Reception:
Sunday, February 1, 2015 – 5:00pm to 6:30pm; The highly acclaimed Chicago author, Margaret Hawkins will be our feature speaker and kick off our premier awards event for adult reading and reference. We’ll unveil the winners of The Reading List, Listen List selections—lists that are used by readers advisory librarians nationwide, Notable Books, which forms the basis for the Carnegie Medals Longlist —as well as the winners of the Dartmouth Medal for reference, the Sophie Brody Medal for Jewish literature, the Zora Neale Hurston Award for achievement in promoting African-American literature and the Louis Shores Award for book reviewing. All ALA Midwinter Meeting participants are invited to this celebration on-site in Chicago. Can’t attend? For the most up-to-date announcements, follow the event on Facebook and track it on Twitter with hashtag #literarytastes.

Discussion Forums/Discussion Groups:
The RUSA Sections (BRASS, CODES, History, MARS, RSS, and STARS) are organizing open discussions on a number of timely and relevant topics. All registered ALA Midwinter attendees are encouraged to drop in, listen, learn, and contribute. These include Hot Topics: Augmented Reality, the Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group, the Future of Reference Education for Librarians, and STARS Hot Topics – to name a few.


Keep in mind that except for meetings involving awards or nominations, most other meetings are open, meaning that anyone registered for ALA Midwinter may attend. Visiting a meeting can often be a great way to learn about the work being done in a certain area and meetings of some groups may allow you to demonstrate your own interest in a topic. The RUSA Board will be holding two open meetings at Midwinter, on Saturday, January 31 from 1:30 – 3:30 pm and on Monday, February 2 from 2:00-4:00 pm.

Online Courses – attend where you are!
More and more of our members are taking advantage of our online learning opportunities. Make sure to check out RUSA’s great selection of continuing education courses that will be offered over winter/spring 2015. These include the ever-popular Business Reference 101, Genealogy 101, Readers Advisory 101, Xtreme Bibliographic Searching for Interlibrary Loan & Reference, Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping, and – available for the first time – Introduction to Economic Data on the Web. Find these courses and our upcoming and archived webinars at

Checking in on Strategic Planning
On September 15, 2014 the RUSA Review Task Force completed its work through the release of a final report, which can be found on ALA Connect at This was a vast project that took a great deal of coordination along the way. Credit for the success of the project goes to all of the members of the task force, but most significantly to co-chairs Chris LeBeau and Diane Zabel. The report now serves to highlight the key challenges and opportunities that RUSA faces as it strives to be a responsive and sustainable organization. It is now one of the primary research documents that is informing our Strategic Planning Process.

RUSA has contracted with Paul D. Meyer, President and Co-CEO of Tecker International, LLC to provide strategic planning coordinating and facilitation services. Paul has worked with large, complex and multi-system organizations as well as small community-based institutions, corporations, and nonprofits representing a variety of industries and professions. He has previously consulting services to several ALA divisions, including ACRL, ALSC, PLA, and YALSA. The members of the RUSA Strategic Plan Coordinating Task Force met with Paul for a Process Design session on October 25. The task force is now gathering and reviewing secondary research in advance of the creation of a new survey questionnaire that will be distributed electronically to the RUSA membership. The task force will then create draft core purpose and core value statements for review by the full RUSA Board. On Friday, January 30th, 2015 the full\ RUSA Board will participate in a day-long facilitated strategic planning discussion at ALA Midwinter in Chicago. This timeline will allow us to complete a new plan before the ALA Annual Conference 2015 in San Francisco.

That’s a brief summary to a substantial project for RUSA!

Best wishes to all of our RUSA members and may you have a wonderful winter!


Joseph Thompson
RUSA President 2014-2015

Senior Administrator – Public Services
Harford County Public Library
1221-A Brass Mill Road
Belcamp, MD 21017

Emerging Leader

This year’s ALA Annual in Las Vegas was a bittersweet experience, because although the conference was wonderful it also signaled the end of my time in the Emerging Leaders program. I made some great connections with other librarians from across the country, particularly the four people on my project team. It’s odd not to talk to them each Thursday at our weekly meeting, which we previously had done for about six months.

Thank you again to RUSA for sponsoring me as your Emerging Leader; I’m still so grateful for this opportunity, which absolutely helped me to strengthen my leadership skills and to network with librarians outside of my direct geographical community. Now that I’m an Emerging Leaders alum I’ve already begun encouraging other librarians and LIS graduate students to apply!

Although I have graduated from the Emerging Leaders program I am still very involved with RUSA! I’m presenting interning on the RUSA Professional Development Committee. The project that I’m primarily working on is RUSA’s Free School Subcommittee, a project that aims to provide LIS graduate students opportunities to engage in professional development and to meet library practitioners.

I look forward to continuing my involvement with RUSA in the future!

Katelyn Angell
RUSA Emerging leader

RUSA News/Announcements

Dear RUSA Members,

With a new year looming, I want take a moment to let all RUSA volunteers know how much we appreciate all the work, time and energy you put into RUSA. RUSA has so many wonderful things to offer members such as service on our book award committees, our beloved Literary Tastes and Book & Media Awards events, guidelines for reference and user services and online educational sessions among others. We couldn’t have done any of this without the invaluable advice and assistance of our member leaders and volunteers. I also want to thank every RUSA member for all their dedication and loyalty in helping to make our division successful; it’s a pleasure and a privilege to serve you! The entire RUSA office staff thanks you all!

The Midwinter conference will be in Chicago this year and I hope those of you who will be there will take time to visit with us at the RUSA Membership Social. It will be held Saturday, January 31, 2015, 5:30 pm 07:00 pm, at the Hilton Chicago – Williford B. Join us to mingle, meet the RUSA board members, committee chairs, and volunteer leaders, and have some fun. We’ll have a raffle with great prizes and refreshments will be available so be sure to come and bring your friends and colleagues – all members and visitors are welcome!

One other event that is always of interest to all RUSA members and book lovers is the Book & Media reception taking place Sunday, February 1, 2015, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Hilton Chicago – Williford. We are excited to announce that we have a featured guest speaker this year: Margaret Hawkins, author of Lydia’s Party and senior lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ms. Hawkins will be signing copies of her book after the reception. We’ll also unveil the winners of The Reading List, Notable Books list (which help form the long list for the Andrew Carnegie Medals of Excellence for Fiction and Nonfiction), the Listen List selections, and many more (see all of our awards here: All ALA Midwinter Meeting participants are invited to this celebration in Chicago. If you can’t attend, you will be able to track the announcements on Twitter with the hashtag #literarytastes. Don’t miss this wonderful event. We hope to see you there!

In addition, the RUSA board will meet three times in Chicago; please feel free to join us as our honored guests. The meetings will be held:

RUSA Strategic Planning Discussion
Friday, January 30, 2015
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
McCormick Place West – W192a

Board of Directors Meeting I (RUSA)
Saturday, Jan 31, 2015
01:30 pm – 03:30 pm
Hilton Chicago – Grand Tradition Room

**Don’t miss our Town Hall, where we invite all RUSA members to provide input on RUSA’s strategic path.**

Board of Directors Meeting II (RUSA)
Monday, Feb 2, 2015
02:00 pm – 04:00 pm
McCormick Place West – W195

See you in Chicago and best wishes for a happy new year!

Susan Hornung
Executive Director, ASCLA/RUSA

Book & Media Awards Ceremony and Reception:
Sunday, February 1, 2015 – 5:00pm to 6:30pm;
The highly acclaimed Chicago author, Margaret Hawkins will be our feature speaker and kick off our premier awards event for adult reading and reference.

We’ll unveil the winners of The Reading List, Listen List selections—lists that are used by readers advisory librarians nationwide, Notable Books, which forms the basis for the Carnegie Medals Longlist —as well as the winners of the Dartmouth Medal for reference, the Sophie Brody Medal for Jewish literature, the Zora Neale Hurston Award for achievement in promoting African-American literature and the Louis Shores Award for book reviewing. All ALA Midwinter Meeting participants are invited to this celebration on-site in Chicago. Can’t attend? For the most up-to-date announcements, follow us on Facebook and track us on Twitter with hashtag #literarytastes.

Membership Social:
Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm;
Kick off the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in style with the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Membership Social—an opportunity to eat, drink, network, win door prizes and learn more about RUSA. The social open to all current RUSA members, friends of RUSA and those meeting attendees interested in learning more about the association and networking with peers. All attendees will have the opportunity to win fantastic door prizes!

RUSA Leadership Development and Speed Mentoring Session:
Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 3:30pm to 5:30pm;
Join a group of experienced RUSA leaders and engage in a fun, interactive “speed mentoring” session. Similar in format to “speed dating”, MLS students, new librarians, and mid-career librarians are invited to participate in this session where they will have the opportunity to gain leadership advice from a number of senior librarians and RUSA leaders.

Genealogy Institute: Meeting the Needs of Your Family History Patrons:
Friday, January 30, 2015 – 8:30am to 4:00pm; Enjoy an interactive day of learning and networking for all librarians serving genealogists. Leaders from the library and genealogical industry will cover a variety of topics, including strategic planning, partnerships, and serving diverse populations. Luncheon provided by our sponsor, Proquest. Registration is free, but required. Limit 150 participants. Please register here:

RUSA Online Learning


Embedded Librarianship Across Disciplines.
December 9: 2:00-3:15 PM

Examine three successful models.
Read more. Register here.

GlobalEDGE: Your Free Resource for Global Business Knowledge.
December 11: 1:00-2:15 PM

Learn about globalEDGE, a free international business website.
Read more. Register here.

Online Courses:

Introduction to Economic Data on the Web.
Feb. 2 – 28, 2015

Economic concepts and terms essential to understanding economic reference questions.
Read more. Register here.

Business Reference 101.
Feb. 9 – Mar. 6, 2015

Demystify SIC and NAICS codes, ROI and 10k’s.
Read more. Register here.

Readers’ Advisory 101.
Feb. 16 – Apr. 5, 2015
(Chats on Thursdays, Time 3 p.m. CST)
Be more comfortable providing readers’ advisory (RA) services.
Read more. Register here.

Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping.
Mar. 23 – Apr. 12, 2015

Introduction to mapping tools and GIS technologies for public and academic library users.
Read more. Register here.

Genealogy 101.
Mar. 23 – Apr. 26, 2015

Introduction to American genealogy reference service and assist patrons with family history research.
Read more. Register here.

Xtreme Bibliographic Searching for Interlibrary Loan & Reference.
Apr. 20 – May 17, 2015
(Live Sessions on Thursdays, Time 1 p.m. CST)
Mansel Pre 56 to Digital Repositories, DOAJ to Trove to HathiTrust. Don’t know those terms, then this course is for you!
Read more. Register Now!

RUSA Committee Reports

Just Ask Task Force
The Just Ask Task Force has continued to meet since ALA Annual and have been discussing its future goals. The Task Force is developing social media tools that reference staff can use to highlight what they do, including a #JustAsk social media campaign. Reference staff would be encouraged to Tweet some of their most interesting questions using the #JustAsk hashtag. We are hoping to compile these as a way to highlight the variety of questions we receive. Said another way, it’s a way to tell our story. Stay tuned for more details.

Midwinter Meeting:
Task Force Meeting: The Task Force will be meeting on Saturday January 31 from 1:00-2:00 PM, location to be determined. The meeting is open to anyone.

Elizabeth Stephan
Diana Shonrock


Professional Development Committee
The Professional Development Committee (PDC) provides leadership and coordination of learning opportunities beyond the geographic constraints of conference meetings. This year the committee already reviewed proposals for online courses and webinars. Peruse the outstanding new offerings and register for one or more of these great learning opportunities We are excited to announce that RUSA Executive Committee once again agreed to offer each section one free webinar in calendar year 2015. The PDC will review the proposals in spring 2015 but now is the time to start thinking about submitting a proposal. Stay tuned for the call for proposals and deadlines.

Elizabeth Kline, chair

RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee
The RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee (CPCC) will be meeting at ALA Midwinter in Chicago on Sunday, February 1, 1-2:30 pm to discuss logistics, priorities, and projects. However, the “rubber will really hit the road” beginning in May 2015. Be on the lookout for the RUSA announcement for program submissions for ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Once announced, the deadline for submissions will be May 1, 2015! So, it’s never too early for RUSA Sections to begin thinking about program offerings in Orlando. Currently, each section has one slot available for a program offering, but, as additional details become available, we’ll be keeping everyone informed. If any section chairs have questions about 2016 programming, feel free to communicate these to your liaison and we’ll get answers for you. The current CPCC roster is available at

RUSA CPCC will also be having a pre-Midwinter online meeting with a meeting time to be announced to kick off the 2014-15 committee’s activities.

Don Boozer, chair 2014-15

RUSA Membership
In a new initiative, RUSA Membership has been holding monthly sessions of a virtual RUSA 101 on the second Thursday of the month. Not only does Joe Thompson, current RUSA President join, but we’ve also had Tina Baich, Chair of STARS, Qiana Johnson, Chair of RSS; Jenny Presnell, Chair of History; Ed Kownslar for RUSA Awards; Todd Hines, Chair of BRASS; and Stephanie Graves, Chair of MARS. Thank you to all of these amazing volunteers! We’ve averaged 15 people at every session which has been amazing! (And if you’re interested in guest starring–send Ann Brown an email at

We’re going to start RUSA 201 in December. This will be a virtual session aimed at people already in RUSA and on Section Committees. Watch the listservs for an announcement!

Ann Brown, chair


John Gottfried, Editor

Message from the BRASS Chair

Planning for Midwinter in Chicago is underway. As a reminder, there are no required committee meetings at Midwinter. BRASS will hold an all-member meeting, which includes time for an open-floor business topics discussion. It will be held on Sunday, February 1 from 8:30 to 10:00 AM. BRASS discussions and committee work will continue virtually as well during the Midwinter period. Please read the committee reports below for updates on current planning and initiatives.

Our Vice Chair Paul Brothers will be sending out a call for BRASS committee volunteers in the near future. These appointments will start after Annual 2015. The call will go out on BRASS-L, so please join the BRASS-L listserv if you aren’t already subscribed and watch for the notice. Members are not required to attend conferences in order to participate on committees.

Please contact me if you have BRASS-related questions or ideas.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Chicago.

Todd Hines
BRASS Chair 2014-2015

BRASS Committee Reports

Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
A new article has been posted to the Public Libraries Briefcase: “Help! I’m not a Business Librarian,” by Sal DiVincenzo

Other ideas for articles:

  • Terry Zarsky: Description/case study of the opening of a new high-tech library center, library21c (
  • Article or presentation about building a Local Business Contact List at the city-county-state levels
  • Julia Herrington: considering an article on “Libraries in Boomtowns”
  • Updating past Public Library Briefcases: committee divided the workload for a dead link check
  • Topic for 2015 ALA Annual Convention Program:
  • Panel about Revenue Streams for Libraries (would include naming rights, sponsorships, crowd funding, grants and other non-levy type revenue sources)
  • Midwinter: committee will meet virtually sometime in January.

Ed Rossman, 2014-2015 Chair


Business Reference Services Discussion Group
To date, the BRASS Discussion Group has hosted two virtual discussions during the fall semester:

On September 19, 2014, a virtual discussion was held which centered on collections. This topic was chosen based on responses to a survey sent out earlier to all BRASS members. Several resources were discussed including HBR, WRDS, Thomson Reuters Eikon and other Thomson resources, Investext (Mergent vs. Thomson), Bloomberg, and MSCI ESG Research. The recording is available on ALA Connect.

On October 24, 2014, an instruction-themed virtual discussion took place. We discussed faculty outreach, strategies for one-shot and embedded instruction, business information literacy, and assessment. During the meeting, many people shared links to instructional resources. These links are available in the chat transcript posted on ALA Connect.

The discussions held so far involved around forty participants each. Thank you to the committee members who have helped coordinate these discussions. The next virtual discussion of the BRASS Discussion Group will take place on November 21, 2014 with a topic to be determined.

Emily Treptow 2014-2016 Chair

Business Reference Resources Committee
The latest column on outstanding reference resources will be appearing in the next issue of the Reference and User Services Quarterly. There will be eleven resources reviewed for this issue.

The committee also approved of a topic for the publishers forum for the next ALA annual conference next June in San Francisco. The forum will be on Financial Literacy and will be titled Money Smart – Sources for Promoting Financial Literacy to your community.

Ed Hahn, 2014-2015 Chair

Education Committee
The BRASS Education Committee is up to a great start this year. We’ve been busy working on a number of projects:

  • Migration to the new LibGuide 2.0 platform led by Peter McKay is completed. Last year’s effort was focused on combining the Selected Core Resources and Best of the Best Business Websites guides into single topical guides []. Now all members are reviewing and updating their guides to take full advantage of new functionality. The plans for November include a virtual meeting to further discuss style guidelines and come up with a process for editorial review.
  • The preconference working group, including Natasha Arguello, Christina Sheley, Ashley Faulkner, Desirae Sweet, and Susan Schreiner will coordinate the 2015 RUSA BRASS preconference in San Francisco. We are trying a new half-day format and a new topic on intellectual property for entrepreneurs. We have been able to recruit excellent presenters who will discuss IP challenges faced by entrepreneurs, patent and trademark searching, and best practices in business librarians’ collaboration with the campus technology transfer office.
  • Nominating and voting for three Best of the Best Business Websites which will be announced at the RUSA Book and Media Award Ceremony at the ALA Midwinter is also under way. Our theme for selecting the best business website aligns with the upcoming 2015 Preconference “Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs.” The working group which includes Susan Schreiner, Kelly LaVoice, and Penny Huffman continues developing a marketing plan to raise the profile of the award. To see the previous winners, please visit

Natasha Arguello, 2012-2015 Chair

Program Planning Committee
BRASS 2015 ALA Annual Program!

Mark your calendars:

Monday, June 29, 2015, 8:30-10:00 AM

“Not Elsewhere Classified”: Researching New and Niche Industries

How do librarians teach business students and entrepreneurs the research techniques for a budding industry or market? How do we help our clients get ahead of an emerging industry or a new idea? Learn from experts about how to locate and evaluate information on leading-edge industries, assess markets, and lead your clients in making strategic decisions when their business crosses traditional NAICS code boundaries or is part of a new field.


Laura Young, Co-Owner of Bizologie (and another speaker, to be announced)

Laura is a Research Analyst for Austin Ventures, a 30-year-old venture capital firm with $3.9 billion of assets under management. She received her MSIS from the University of Texas and her BA from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Before pursuing a career in the private sector, she provided research and instruction services for the University of Texas Libraries. The other speaker will be associated with new ventures also.

Diane Campbell, 2014-2015 Chair

Publications and Communications Committee
The Publications and Communications Committee will be putting together a preliminary draft of the BRASS ALA Annual 2015 Schedule of Events in March. The P&C Committee will be soliciting committee chairs for their program and meeting information. This draft version will not have as much information as the final version, but will be a means to notify BRASS members well in advance of ALA Annual about the types of programming available. The preliminary draft schedule should make it easier in piecing together the final schedule in May/early June.

Chad Boeninger, 2014-2015 Chair

Vendor Relations
Business Expert Press’s three year support for a BRASS travel award has come to an end. RUSA will fund the award for one year while we try to find another sponsor for next year. The Vendor Relations Committee also made a proposal to Gale to retain our awards and were successful.

Chris LeBeau, 2014-2015 Chair

Gale Cengage Learning Excellence in Business Librarianship Award
The BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship committee continues to solicit nominations through December 14th, 2014. The award recognizes a business librarian who has made a significant contribution to our field. Take a look around you (or in the mirror!) and if this sounds like you or someone you know, then please take a look at this page for more information on how to submit a nomination:

Celia Ross, 2014-2015 Chair

Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award Committee
Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, this $1,250 monetary prize is given 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 the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA. Candidates for the award should have demonstrated interest in a career in business librarianship and the potential to be a leader in the profession, as evidenced by activities that may include (but are not limited to) coursework, internships, jobs, special projects, and publications. Applicants may download the form here:nomination form (PDF format). Deadline for all nominations is February 8, 2015.

Michael Oppenheim, 2014-2015 Chair

Emerald Research Award Committee
The Emerald Research Award Committee is currently seeking nominations for the $5000 award described below. Please let colleagues know about the award. Feel free to distribute the announcement below to your local listservs:

Are you a librarian in need of funding for a business research project?

The Emerald Research Grant Award, sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing Limited offers one award of $5,000 and a citation to an individual or team seeking support to conduct research in business librarianship. The awards will be presented at the RUSA Awards Ceremony at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. Recipients will be required to attend the RUSA Awards Ceremony.

Candidates must submit a detailed proposal outlining their proposed research project; methodology, scope and timetable; how this project fits into the existing literature; and projected outcomes, including a statement outlining how this research will benefit the library profession. Proposals will be reviewed for thoroughness; potential to positively impact the library profession; and potential to provide a useful addition to the existing library literature. Proposals will be accepted from both individual researchers and those working collaboratively. At least one member of a collaborative team must be a member of ALA.

The recipient(s) may be asked to present their findings at a public BRASS event within two years of receiving the award (at the discretion of the BRASS Executive Committee). The recipient will also be required to acknowledge the Emerald Research Grant when publishing or presenting their research. The deadline for proposals is December 14, 2014. Proposals can be sent to:

Leticia Camacho, 2014-2015 Chair

Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee
Do you know a public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and whose attendance at the ALA Annual Conference is not fully funded by their institution? Please nominate your colleague for the Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award! The recipient will receive $1250 in travel funds to attend the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. If you meet the qualifications, please don’t hesitate to nominate yourself! The deadline for nominations is December 14, 2014. For details, see

Karen Chapman, 2014-2015 Chair

Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award Committee
You may not recognize this committee—that’s because it’s undergone a name change while we look for another vendor sponsor. However, the charge is still the same! We are looking for a new academic business librarian to give a $1250 grant to travel to ALA. Please nominate yourself or a new business librarian at:

Julia A. Martin, 2014-2015 Chair


Barry Trott, editor


Chair’s Note

The CODES Board will not hold meetings at ALA Midwinter in Chicago, but will be meeting virtually prior to and following Midwinter.

We encourage all CODES and RUSA members to make plans to attend RUSA’s Book and Media Awards Reception on Sunday evening during ALA-Midwinter. At this time, award winners will be announced for numerous awards that CODES committees are currently working on, including Notable Books, Sophie Brody, Reading List, Dartmouth, Best Reference Books, and others.

Anyone interested in getting involved in CODES should fill out the committee volunteer form to indicate their interest in serving. Many CODES committees are now virtual, so opportunities may exist for participating that were not available in the past. Anyone with questions about appointments to CODES committees should check with Edward Kownslar, CODES Vice Chair/Chair-Elect if you have any questions ( More information is available on the CODES web site:


Deborah Abston, CODES Chair, 2014-15


Laura Hibbler, Editor


Please join the RUSA History Librarians Discussion Group to learn about two outstanding crowdsourcing projects from the University of Iowa and the University of Louisville. The group will meet at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Conference on Sunday, February 1, from 1-2:30 pm. The panelists will talk about how they successfully engaged their local communities in transcribing historical materials for these two digital projects.

Chella Vaidyanathan, History Librarians Discussion Group

The Historical Materials Committee is in the process of creating its annual Best Historical Materials list. We have selected the winners and are in the process of writing abstracts for the RUSQ article.

Matthew J. Wayman, Chair of the Historical Materials Committee

Nominations are being accepted for the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) History Section Genealogical Publishing Company Award. This award is presented to a librarian, library or publisher, who is a RUSA member, and recognizes professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research librarianship. Sponsored by Genealogical Publishing Company; the 2015 award is $1,500 and a citation. For more information and to download the nomination form, please visit

Helen Gbala, Genealogical Publishing Company Award Committee

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

Chanitra Bishop, Editor


Message from the Chair of MARS


ALA Midwinter is fast approaching. MARS: Emerging Technologies section will have meetings and a great set of discussion groups. Below is a tentative schedule of events. Locations to be announced later.

I encourage you to attend one or more of our engaging discussion groups. It’s a great way to see the work of our MARS Committees. If you are interested in joining MARS, we’d love to have you! Let us know at ALA MidWinter, fill out the RUSA volunteer form located on the RUSA website, or email Donna Scanlon (


Overview of MARS Events at ALA MidWinter 2015

SATURDAY, January 31, 2015

MARS Planning Committee
8:30 – 10:00 am
MARS Executive Committee Meeting I
10:15 – 11:30 am

Virtual Reference Discussion Group: Online Chat Services
4:30 – 5:30 pm

RUSA Membership Social
5:30 – 7:00 pm

SUNDAY, February 1, 2015

MARS Discussion Group: Assessing Integration of Library Services into Course Management Systems
8:30 – 10:00 am

Hot Topics Discussion Group: Augmented Reality
1:00 – 2:30 pm

MONDAY, February 2, 2015

MARS Executive Committee Meeting II
8:30 – 11:30 am


Sessions @ Midwinter

Talking Chat: The Good, the Bad, and the “What Were We Thinking?”!
The RUSA MARS: Virtual Reference Discussion Group will be holding a forum on January 31st, 2015 from 4:30-5:30 pm in McCormick Place West w474a. The forum topics will be focused on online chat services and known issues, characteristics of successful and unsuccessful implementations, and more. Panelists will share their experiences with online chat services and participates will have an opportunity to ask questions. If you are considering implementing online chat services in your library or you would like to learn more about what has worked and not worked for other libraries, this is an opportunity to gain insight on how other libraries are implementing their online chat services. Moderators of the forum will be Jessica Cerny (Chair) and Matt Torrence (Member at Large).

Management of Electronic Resources & Services
Join the MARS Management of Electronic Resources & Services Panel Discussion at Midwinter 2015 in Chicago on Sunday, February 1, 8:30-10:00am: Assessing Integration of Library Services into Course Management Systems: Where We Stand Now

Our panel of presenters will engage the audience in a group discussion of best practices for implementing and assessing a robust library presence in the CMS environment. The attendees will benefit from an exploration of the challenges and advantages of integrating library services into university-wide systems and platforms.

Hot Topics in Emerging Tech

You’ve heard of Oculus Rift and you’ve seen Google Glass. What are libraries doing with augmented reality? It’s time to move beyond QR codes!

Join us for a Hot Topics session to learn about new and successful augmented reality projects in libraries – and bring your questions, ideas, and cool tech toys for discussion and Q&A! Hot Topics will meet on Sunday, February 1, from 1-2:30pm at Midwinter. See you there!

MARS Committee Updates

Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee, composed of Nancy Cunningham, Dianna McKellar, Kelley Ann Lawton, and Debbie Bezanson was able to successfully recruit a complete slate of talented candidates for your Spring 2015 ballot. Thanks to all those who agreed to run. We encourage everyone to vote when the emails come to us in the Spring.

Debbie Bezanson, Chair, Nominating Committee

‪Planning Committee
The Planning Committee is working on a complete update/overhaul of the MARS Handbook which was last revised in 2008. We have been working on the introductory sections this Fall and will be working with Committees on the parts of the Handbook describing their work next. We hope to have a revised draft ready for comment from the membership in late Spring of 2015.

The Planning Committee is also working on a by-laws change to come to you along with your ballot this Spring– to change our acronym from MARS to ETS to more closely match our section name.   Since we changed our name in 2010, many new and potential members have been confused by the acronym that no longer matches our name. So the Executive Committee has recommended we put an acronym change on the ballot for this year. Another reason to look for your ballots and vote this Spring!

Debbie Bezanson , Chair, Planning Committee

Best Free Reference Web Sites
The RUSA MARS Best Free Reference Web Sites committee is eager to add a couple new members to their group. If you are a savvy internet researcher and would like to help us create our list of the best free websites that are useful for ready reference on various subject areas, please fill out a volunteer form at Thank you!

Changes to Website Updates
In response to recommendations from last year’s Section Review, MARS Members-at-Large (Courtney McDonald, Amy Fry, Matt Torrence) will now be collaborating on updates to the MARS web site. We anticipate the first overall ‘refresh’ on the Section website should be complete early next summer. Committee chairs are encouraged to review their committee page (charge, etc.) and contact their Member at Large liaison with any corrections or new information.

Martian Award – Who will be our Favorite Martian
Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions and achievements of “your favorite Martian”!

Nominations are being accepted now through December 14th for this year’s MARS Achievement Recognition Certificate (also known as the “My Favorite Martian” Award). This award, which recognizes excellence in service to MARS Emerging Technologies in Reference section, is presented at the annual MARS Chair’s Program.

The recipient will have made either
1)   sustained contributions toward attaining the goals of MARS; or
2)   a single, significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impactupon the work of the section.

Nominees must be a current member of MARS, and have been an active member for the past two years.

For more information, and a list of recent recipients, see

To nominate someone, please complete the nomination form ( and email to Courtney McDonald,, by December 14.


RSS logo

Amy Rustic, Editor  


Message from the Chair

Things are starting to ramp up in preparation for Midwinter. And while Chicago can be cold in late-January, it’s a fantastic place to visit. And I’m not just saying that because I live here. There will be a number of signature RUSA programs and networking events, as well as opportunities to meet or get to know other RSS members. Be sure to stop by the RUSA Social on Saturday, January 31 from 5:30-7:00 pm to meet other RUSA members, learn a bit about RUSA and the sections, and do some general networking. Also join us for what is becoming a great tradition–the RSS Pancake Breakfast. Look for details on both events coming soon on the RSS-L list.

Midwinter is also a time for business meetings. On Friday of the conference, the RUSA Board will be meeting to begin strategic planning for RUSA for the coming years. The planning will be led by the Board, but there will be many opportunities for input by the membership. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me. I welcome the opportunity to bring forward the ideas of RSS members.

I look forward to seeing you at Midwinter!

Qiana Johnson
RSS Chair, 2014-2015

RSS Honor Roll

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

Regardless of your experience in high school, you may be eligible for the RSS Honor Roll.

The RSS has an Honor Roll that gives recognition to active RSS members who have served the section in three different capacities since its inception.

If you have been a member of three or more committees or discussion groups since RSS was established in 2004 and have not previously been added to the honor roll, please send your name and a list of the three ways you have served RSS to Sarah Hammill at

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

Join the RSS Honor Roll today!

2015 ALA Annual Scheduling

Even though winter isn’t even quite here, the scheduling site for ALA Annual 2015 is already open! If your RSS committee would like to schedule a meeting or host a discussion forum in San Francisco this summer, you can now begin thinking about titles, descriptions, A/V needs, etc. Deadline for submissions of committee meetings and committee-hosted forums is February 11, 2015. For additional details, required information, and submitting instructions, check out

Don Boozer, RSS Scheduler/Member-at-Large


Kerry Keegan, Editor


Message from the Chair


Our committees have made great progress on important projects this fall. An Ad Hoc Website Review Committee has been working to inventory and update the STARS website. My hope is that the end result will be a more useful and easily navigable website for our members. The Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee is still hard at work revising the Interlibrary Loan Code for the U.S. Thanks to those who provided input by responding to the Committee’s recent survey. If you didn’t respond, don’t worry! There will be additional opportunities for feedback in the coming year.

Our awards committees are just beginning their work and are awaiting your nominations for the Virginia Boucher OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award ( and the STARS / Atlas Systems Mentoring Award (

Midwinter will be here before you know it as will STARS’ annual FREE workshop, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL,” presented by the Education and Training Committee. This year’s workshop will be held at the University of Chicago Regenstein Library on Friday, January 30, 2015, 8:30am-12:30pm. If you would like to attend, please register at

If you are attending Midwinter, please join your fellow STARS at the ILL Discussion Group (January 31, 10:30-11:30am) and the Hot Topics Discussion Group (January 31, 4:30-5:30pm). The Hot Topics Discussion Group will be focused on shared collections so come with your questions and ideas to share with the group. STARS is a section built on networking and sharing, and the discussion groups offer a great opportunity for both.

I hope to see many STARS at Midwinter and encourage you to come up and introduce yourself if we haven’t yet met!

Hoping to see you in Chicago,

Tina Baich

STARS Chair 2014-2015



STARS Committee Reports

STARS Membership Committee
STARs Membership is continuing to work with the ad hoc Web Committee to update committees’ information and incorporate initiatives into our marketing efforts. We’re also beginning to organize our collaborations with other committees to build a STARs Timeline complete with documents, pictures, etc., highlighting all the work STARs does throughout the years.

Micquel Little, Chair

STARS Legislation & Licensing Committee
Our committee recently held a conference call to review our charges and to plan for the year. We are discussing ways in which the committee can better meet the needs and expectations of the STARS membership. To that end, we will be conducting a survey soon for all STARS members. Please keep an eye on the STARS Listserv for an announcement and link to the survey.

Sherri Michaels, Chair

Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee
The Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee is currently reviewing and revising the Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States and its Explanatory Supplement. A survey was shared with the ILL community in October to gather suggestions for revisions from ILL practitioners around the country. In addition, the committee has negotiated with the ALA Video Roundtable the retirement of their separate document on the interlibrary loan of audiovisual materials. The Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee is aiming to have a first draft of the ILL Code and Supplement completed by Spring 2015 for the STARS Board and RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee to see before ALA Annual. An approved draft will then be shared for general comment with the ILL community in late summer/early fall 2015.

Brian Miller, Chair

Vendor Relations Committee
The Vendor Relations Committee met on 10/28/14 and decided to add a section in for hardware, to include information on minimum requirements for ILL scanners. This is titled “What to Look for When Buying a Scanner for ILL.” This will be expanded upon using an upcoming survey of ILL practitioners’ feedback on their current scanners’ use. Finally, we are looking into co-sponsoring (possibly with the STARS ILL Discussion Group) a session of scanner talks at ALA Annual, with vendors giving short presentations about their products and potential uses for ILL.

Robin Moskal, Chair