Category Archives: RSS Review

RSS Review

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Message from the Chair:

Hello Everyone!

Who knew that we had such a big winter in store? I’m counting on seeing more hints of spring shortly, as the robins are descending once again on the DC Metro Area.

RSS had a great ALA Midwinter, with five well-attended Discussion Groups and an amazing Fourth Annual Pancake Breakfast. But the overall high achiever was our MARS co-hosted workshop, “Collaboration: Spaces & Services,” with a whopping ninety attendees! Way to go RSS & MARS Education and Professional Development.

As March begins to fade away, don’t forget that this is the time to sign-up for Committees! Our Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Qiana Johnson, is looking for a few good volunteers. To get involved, please complete the RUSA Volunteer form. If you have questions or would like to learn more about RSS and its committees, please feel free to contact me at agbrown@gwu.edu or Qiana at q-johnson@northwestern.edu.

I look forward to hearing from you all as we begin the race to Annual and Las Vegas. And keep your eyes peeled for the first signs of spring!

Ann Brown
RSS Chair, 2013-2014
agbrown@gwu.edu

Get Involved with RSS!

The Reference Services Section (RSS) of RUSA represents the interests of librarians and library support staff engaged in all aspects of reference and information services including the delivery, management, and evaluation of reference and user services in all kinds of libraries. We represent and support library staff providing frontline reference service in libraries of all types.

We are currently inviting new and not-so-new members of RSS to volunteer to lead and serve on committees. The list and information about these committees can be found here. We are also looking for members to serve as RSS representatives to RUSA-level committees.

Serving on an RSS and/or a RUSA committee is a great way to give back to the profession, grow professionally, and network. To get involved, please complete the RUSA volunteer form.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about RSS and its committees, please feel free to contact me at q-johnson@northwestern.edu.

Qiana Johnson
RSS Vice-Chair

Committee Reports

Catalog Use Committee/Discover Services Committee

The RSS Board recently approved a name change to the Discovery Services Committee with this revised charge:

The RSS Discovery Services Committee focuses on the use of catalogs and other discovery tools in reference service, including such aspects as communicating, evaluating, improving, studying, and teaching the use of such tools; monitors and communicates significant continuities and changes in the use of such tools; identifies and examines critical issues and problems in the use of such tools; provides opportunities for librarians to propose and discuss innovative solutions to discovery problems; joins with librarians in other specialties to produce improvements in library service.

The Committee will hold a discussion forum at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas on Sunday, June 29 from 3:00-4:00 PM, opening with a few brief presentations as discussion starters.

Colleen Seale, Chair 2013-2014

Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need

The Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need committee conducted an online meeting on January 21 to check in on progress members have made with various tasks. One of those tasks is a survey to find areas of need within our community and the resources related to communication and teaching strategies. The survey questions were reviewed and finalized and we determined the venues we plan to send the survey out to initially. We also discussed the length of time the survey should remain open. We are currently working on getting the questions transferred and formatted into the survey software so that we can send it out soon. The results from the survey will be used plan programs, forums for discussions, and professional development opportunities.

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

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored two exciting forums at Midwinter. A standing room only crowd of roughly 140 people attended “Skype? FaceTime? Why Has Face-to-Face Not Been the New Wave in Digital Reference?,” which was facilitated by Benjamin Andrus, Binghamton University. The focus of the discussion was on how camera-to-camera reference has been implemented at different institutions. Most use Skype, but other platforms and course management systems were also discussed. The conversation then moved to emerging trends in digital reference and how emerging technology will shape the future of the reference interview. The take home lesson for the group was that all institutions are different and that a one size fits all solution for video based reference service has yet to be found. Many of attendees agreed that there is great value in offering these services, but they are underutilized by patrons. The hope is that as the next generation of library users come of age, they will not be hesitant to use services like Skype or FaceTime that they have grown up using.

Our second forum, “Patron-Centered Reference Librarianship: Using Patrons’ Interests to Motivate Information Literacy Learning,” was facilitated by Kevin Michael Klipfel, California State University, Chico, and it drew over seventy-five attendees. After discussing what is involved in student-centered teaching and agreeing that teachers are more Socratic facilitators than experts telling students what to think, focus shifted to how this would transfer to the reference desk. Attendees discussed the successes and difficulties that may be encountered when one tries to engage in patron-centered reference by tying students’ interests to their schoolwork. They also discussed how the traditional reference interview is not often patron-centric. Strategies for connecting with patrons as people and providing patron-centered reference in the virtual realm were also discussed.

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee did not meet at the Midwinter Meeting. The committee’s meeting for Midwinter was conducted via email in September when the winning forum proposals for the meeting were chosen.

Crystal Lentz, Chair 2013-2014

Education and Professional Development for Reference

Education and Professional Development for Reference co-sponsored events, a webinar with CODES Reference Publishing Advisory Committee and the in-person workshop before Midwinter Meeting with MARS Professional Development. The committee is currently engaged in gathering information on assessing the state of reference education. We hope to share our preliminary finding of phase one and two of the study by ALA Annual. Stay tuned for more information. If you are interested in helping us with this study, please contact the committee chair.

Joseph Yue, Chair 2013-2014

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee

A group made up of members of ERUS and the Virtual Reference Services Committee created a survey to assess the state of the profession in the provision of virtual reference services, and will be moving into the analysis stage. At the end of January 2014, ERUS sent out a survey looking at reference service models and evaluation of service. At the close of the survey, we received a very large number of responses. Analysis of the results, as well as decisions on the best way to disseminate the findings will begin in the next few months. The committee is considering proposing a discussion forum for Midwinter 2015 on the same topic, with the hope that the survey results can be incorporated.

Jason Kruse, Chair, 2013-2014

Library Service to an Aging Population

The committee met virtually in January. Committee member Janet O’Keefe represented us for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at ALA Midwinter.

Continuing our work on the Guidelines for Library Services to Older Adults, we have begun drafting new standards for programming, outreach, and technology. We generally use the phrase “midlife and older adults” to recognize the spectrum of ages and life-stages represented by adults over fifty years of age. We are finalizing speakers and format for our ALA presentation in Las Vegas.

We are an active and enthusiastic group, with participation from librarians from across the country. Please consider joining us!

Abigail Elder, Chair 2013-2014

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference

We met in person at Midwinter and finalized plans for our discussion forum proposal. The discussion forum will begin with a presentation by two librarians who are using a sales framework that helps them ask questions of their patrons and show how the library can help meet their needs. We’re exploring options for hosting a follow up open meeting for discussion forum attendees to discuss whether they have been able to use the framework in their daily work.

We’ve also been in touch with the Just Ask committee to see if there are areas where we could collaborate. We expect more discussion on this in the coming year.

Jessica Hagman, Chair 2013-2014

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee

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

To date, five modules have been completed and we are in the finishing stages of the Assessment and Professional Development modules. Once complete with those, we will begin the final two modules: Staffing/Partners and Information Literacy.

The VRC is accessible at this link; it is also linked under the Hot Links section of the RSS Virtual Reference Committee page, and the Professional Tools section of the RUSA Resources page, the VRC is now linked in the Web Resources section of the ALA Library Fact Sheet 19: Virtual Reference: A Selected Annotated Bibliography.

One section of the VRC has Tips & Best Practices and we continue to seek input from RSS members. If anyone has words of wisdom to share on any topics related to virtual reference, please send them to Jared Hoppenfeld at jhoppenf@tamu.edu or Christine Tobias at tobiasc@msu.edu.

Stay tuned to hear about a possible forum where you can hear more about this resource at ALA Annual in Las Vegas.

Jared Hoppenfeld, Chair 2012-2014

Christine Tobias, Chair 2013-2014

Young Adult Reference Services Committee

Young Adult Reference Services Committee (YARS) held a face-to-face committee meeting during Midwinter to finalize its discussion forum that was taking place later that afternoon on how adolescent brain development affects teen information seeking behaviors. The results of that discussion forum will be publicized in the upcoming issue of Young Adult Library Services (YALS). During the meeting, the committee decided that during 2014 ALA Annual, the committee will host a discussion forum on Homework Help in libraries, a controversial topic. Information will gathered on best practices in order to make a recommendation as to what level libraries should expect to offer in-house homework help to their students.

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

Allyson Evans, Chair 2013-2014

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (aer123@psu.edu), editor.

RSS Review

Amy Rustic, Editor

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Message from the Chair:

Hello RSS Members!

I hope all of you are staying warm as we head into winter.

RSS is working on its agility and responsiveness to the changing nature of librarianship. We are currently reviewing the charges of three of our committees to better reflect our membership and its needs. As we finalize those, please check this newsletter for the next update.

If you’re heading to Midwinter, please make a point of stopping by one of our discussion forums, or join us for our Fourth Annual Pancake Breakfast! It’s a great opportunity to network with RSS leadership and make new friends. We are in the last phase of planning, so make sure to check RSS-L for where we’ll be eating the morning of Saturday, January 25.

See you online and (maybe) at Midwinter!

Ann

Ann Brown
RSS Chair, 2013-2014
agbrown@gwu.edu

What Makes RSS Great? Tell us why you think RSS is great:http://tinyurl.com/rssgreat

RSS Committee Reports

Catalog Use Committee
The RSS Catalog Use Committee is applying to the Board to change the Committee’s name and to revise its charge. We will not be meeting at Midwinter but will be meeting virtually and will plan a discussion forum for the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Colleen Seale, 2013-2014 Chair

Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need
The Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need committee met on October 23 to review its goals and direction for the future. We decided to continue with our plan to survey relevant communities with the objective of using the data gathered to build a portfolio of best practices and created a timeline for completion. The committee will review the survey at our Midwinter meeting in January and administer it in February 2014.

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

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee
SKYPE? Face Time? Why Has Face-to-Face Not Been the New Wave in Digital Reference?

Saturday, January 25, 1:00-2:30 PM

Face-to-face communication utilizing mobile devices has become increasingly popular thanks to front-facing cell phone cameras and other technologies, yet literature written about offering video reference services concludes that such services are not heavily utilized. Join with colleagues to share your own experiences with video chat reference, ideas for marketing the services, and whether or not you believe what the literature concludes is true. Facilitator: Benjamin Andrus, Binghamton University

Patron-Centered Reference Librarianship: Using Patrons’ Interests to Motivate Information Literacy Learning
Sunday, January 26, 8:30-10:00 AM, Pennsylvania Convention Center-115 C

Although it is widely acknowledged that library education should be patron-centered, serious discussions of patron-centered reference librarianship are virtually non-existent. Now is your chance to be part of just such a discussion. Gather with colleagues to share best practices and strategies for engaging users in patron-centered learning at the reference desk. What does patron-centered learning mean to you? What strategies do you use to connect with users at the reference desk? How can we motivate authentic learning within the context of reference? Learn from others and share your own strategies for connecting with users as unique individuals, not just information problems to be solved. Facilitator: Kevin Michael Klipfel, California State University, Chico

Crystal Lentz, 2013-2014 Chair

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee
A team made up of members from Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee (ERUS) and Virtual Reference Services (VR) Committee, created a survey to assess the state of the profession in the provision of virtual reference services. The survey was sent out in September, and the analysis of results will begin soon. ERUS is also finalizing the questions for a survey looking at reference service models and evaluation of service. The survey will hopefully be ready to send out to listservs by the end of this year. ERUS will be meeting virtually after the Midwinter Conference.

Jason Kruse, 2013-2014 Chair

Health and Medical Reference Committee
The committee will host a discussion group during the ALA Midwinter Meeting called “Your Experiences with the Affordable Care Act.” The program will take place Monday, January 27 from 8:30-10:00 AM in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in room 105A. Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment goes through March 31, 2014. Come to this forum to discuss your library’s experiences: what has worked, what hasn’t worked, complaints, successes, surprises (both good and bad), and any other things about this process. A subgroup to rewrite guidelines for medical reference has met monthly to prepare a draft of the Guidelines. The committee will meet at ALA Midwinter to discuss the guidelines and other committee business on Sunday January 26 from 3:00-4:00 PM.

Karen Vargas, 2012-2014 Chair

Job and Career Reference Committee
Webinar
The RSS Job & Career Committee held it’s first free webinar on Thursday, November 21: “Partnerships in Career Services @ Your Library: A Case Study at St. Paul Public Library”,

Description: Join the ALA RSS Job & Career Reference Committee for a presentation and discussion on the work of St. Paul Public Library surrounding their Mobile WORKplace, community partnerships, and other initiatives to assist their patrons with digital literacy and employment after a strategic planning process.

New Listserv
We are also launching a subject-specific reference listserv: http://lists.ala.org/sympa/info/rssjcr-l

RSS Job and Career Reference Listserv. This is a subject-specific listserv that addresses Job and Career reference/public service delivery within a library setting (public, academic, corporate or special). Appropriate content includes relevant workshop offerings, reference questions & resource reviews. No vendor surveys.

We invite anyone with interest in the topic to join the listserv by sending an email to sympa@ala.org with SUBSCRIBE rssjcr-l firstname lastname in the subject of the message and leave the rest of the email blank.

For any questions or concerns please contact Kate Oberg.

Midwinter Discussion

RSS Job & Career Reference will be meeting virtually during Midwinter although they have an in-person discussion also planned entitled “Partnerships and Job & Career Reference: RSS Job & Career Reference Committee Discussion Forum.”

Description: There are many organizations involved in assisting job-seekers. How do libraries interact with community partners when offering library services to job seekers? Join the RSS Job & Career Reference Committee for a discussion and sharing of programs, strategies & techniques.

It is tentatively scheduled for: Saturday, January 25 3:00-4:00 pm

Nominations Requested
The Committee is also accepting nominations from ALA members for speakers on job and career reference. If you know a library system or librarian who has accomplished a great deal in job & career reference, that has strong presentation skills, and an interest in sharing with the wider library community, please email us. Send all nominations to committee chair, Kate Oberg.

Kate Oberg, 2013-2014 Chair

Library Service to an Aging Population
The RSS Library Services to an Aging Population continues to work on overhauling the Guidelines for Library Services to Older Adults, for which we are responsible. Right now, we are working on the reference and programming sections, with the goal of having a draft ready for our virtual meeting on January 16.

Abigail Elder, 2013-2014 Chair

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking
The RSS Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee, is trying to get the Board to approve a revision to our Committee’s charge so that our focus can be changed to immigrants, not just the Spanish speaking. The proposed revision of the charge reads: “To improve library services to immigrants of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds at the local and national levels.” We are a very small group at present and would really welcome more participation.

For more information about the committee please contact: DLL-2@hotmail.com

Dana M. Lucisano, 2013-2014 Chair

Marketing & Public Relations for Reference
The Marketing and Public Relations Committee met virtually in early October. We are exploring ways that libraries can work to promote the work of librarians in promotion for libraries overall. We will continue our discussion when we meet at Midwinter and are investigating possibilities for hosting a discussion forum at Annual. If you’ve seen any great examples of campaigns promoting the work of librarians or library staff, we’d love to see them. Please send to Jessica Hagman.

Jessica Hagman, 2013-2014 Chair

Recognition Committee
The Recognition Committee is soliciting nominations for the RSS Service Achievement Award.

This annual award is presented to an RSS member who has made either a sustained contribution towards attaining the goals of the Reference Services Section or a single significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section.

Anyone who wishes to nominate a Reference Services Section member for the award should do so by December 15. Please send a nomination letter to the award committee chair (Emilie Smart) detailing how the nominee has met either of the above criteria Questions regarding the award or nomination process should be directed to the committee chair.

Emilie Smart, 2013-2014 Chair

Research and Statistics Committee
The Research and Statistics Committee of the Reference Services Section of RUSA invites the submission of research projects for presentation at the 20th Reference Research Forum at the 2014 American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

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. All researchers, including reference practitioners from all types of libraries, library school faculty and students, and other interested individuals, are encouraged to submit a proposal.

For examples of projects presented at past Forums, please see the Committee’s website.

The Committee employs a blind review process to select three projects for 20-minute presentations, followed by open discussion. Selected submissions must be presented in person at the Forum in Las Vegas, NV.

Criteria for selection:

  • Quality and creativity of the research design and methodologies;
  • Significance of the study for improving the quality of reference service;
  • Potential for research to fill a gap in reference knowledge or to build on previous studies;
  • Research projects may be in-progress or completed;
  • Previously published research or research accepted for publication will not be accepted.

Proposals are due by Monday, December 30, 2013. Notification of acceptance will be made by Monday, February 10, 2014.

The submission must not exceed two pages. Please include:

  1. A cover sheet including your name(s), title(s), institutional affiliation(s), mailing address(es), fax number(s) and email address(es).
  2. The second page should NOT show your name, any personal information, or the name of your institution. Instead, it must include:
  3. Title of the project;
  4. Explicit statement of the research problem;
  5. Description of the research design and methodologies used, and preliminary findings if any;
  6. Brief discussion of the unique contribution, potential impact, and significance of the research.

Please send submissions by email to:
Ava Iuliano, Chair, RUSA RSS Research and Statistics Committee, aiuliano@fiu.edu

Ava Iuliano, Chair 2013-2014

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee
The Subcommittee continues to work on the Virtual Reference Companion (VRC) with the goal of completion by ALA Annual 2014. The Subcommittee meets monthly and works in subgroups between meetings.

The Skills module was completed at the end of August and resources were added to the Resources section of the VRC. The remaining four modules to complete are Assessment, Professional Development, Staffing/Partners, and Information Literacy. The Subcommittee has divided into two subgroups to complete work on the Assessment and Professional Development modules by ALA Midwinter 2014.

The VRC is now live at http://www.ala.org/rusa/vrc. It is also linked on the RSS Virtual Reference Committee page under the Hot Links section and on the RUSA Resources page under Professional Tools. We have requested to have it linked in the Web Resources section of the ALA Library Fact Sheet 19: Virtual Reference: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. The old resource is still available at http://cs.ala.org/ra/vr_adventure/vr_adventure_index.htm.

One section of the VRC has Tips & Best Practices and we seek input from RSS members. If anyone has words of wisdom to share on any of these or other topics related to virtual reference, please send them to Jared Hoppenfeld or Christine Tobias.

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

Young Adult Reference Services Committee
Young Adult Reference Services Committee (YARS) has gone through a busy year of transition. At the ALA Annual in Chicago this summer, the YALSA Board voted to conditionally make YARS a joint committee between YALSA and RUSA RSS, so long as its charge was rewritten to reflect its new joint committee status and approved by both divisions. Not only is the committee rewriting its charge, it is also overhauling RUSA’s Guidelines for Library Services to Teens to better align with YALSA’s Research Agenda. The committee will be holding an in-person meeting at Midwinter on Sunday, January 26 at 8:30 AM, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Room 402. Following the meeting, YARS will host the discussion forum “The Teen Brain Construction Site: How the Adolescent Work-in-Progress Mind Shapes Information Seeking Behaviors” from 10:30-11:30 on Sunday January 26 at Midwinter; Pennsylvania Convention Center Room 204 C.

Allyson Evans, 2013-2014 Chair

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (aer123@psu.edu), editor.

Message from the Chair

RSS

Amy Rustic,Editor

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Hello RSS Members!

I’m so excited to start my year as chair of this exciting section. It was great seeing so many of you in Chicago, especially at our Open House, featuring breakfast from EBSCO and our second annual Trivia Contest put together by the fantastic Marjorie Lear. And thank you to Sarah Hammill, our outgoing chair, for her fantastic leadership and can do attitude!

I do have one thing to shout to the rooftops: Young Adult Reference Services (YARS) is a brand new joint committee with Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)! We look forward to expanding this new cross-division committee a success. Thank you to Joe Thompson (Chair-Elect of RUSA and former Chair of RSS) and Sarah Hammill for seeing this through for us!

For the coming year, I want us to do all that we can to market our section. In this day and age, anything we can do to provide our members with quality programming, webinars, and value is the best goal we can have. One thing you can do is become a fan of RSS on Facebook! Check us out here: http://www.facebook.com/rss.rusa. We post periodic updates, members of the quarter, and if you won ANYTHING at the Open House in Chicago—your picture is already up there!

Welcome to all our new members and congratulations our newly elected leaders: Qiana Johnson, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, and Don Boozer, Member-at-Large. I look forward to working with all of you in the next year!

Remember the code of the Reference Librarian—if you have any questions—ASK!

 


Ann Brown

agbrown@gwu.edu
RSS Chair, 2013-2014

RSS Committee Reports

Catalog Use Committee
A new committee name and updated charge will be proposed at the next RSS Board meeting. The Catalog Use Committee will continue to update a bibliography of materials on the current and future state of the library catalog available at http://connect.ala.org/node/202483

Colleen Seale, Chair 2013-2014 

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee
The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored two exciting Forums at Annual. “Keeping it Real in a Virtual World: Managing and Promoting Your Online Reference Collection,” was facilitated by Sara Memmott from Eastern Michigan University, and April Levy from Columbia College Chicago. The eleven attendees were from a variety of types of libraries, including academic, community college, and public libraries, plus there was one non-librarian in attendance. Discussions took place in small groups, with ideas reported back to the entire group. Suggestions included: correlating recommended reference sources with events in the news, for more information, via Twitter and Facebook; featuring a “highlighted” reference resource or tool on the library’s home page; QR codes in the stacks to connect users with online resources that relate to those in print (or those recently removed and sent to storage); building on the QR codes idea, having librarians assisting users model the behavior we want to encourage by taking a smartphone or iPad/similar device to the stacks and using it to connect to and demonstrate an online resource; and using infographics to share/summarize information for users (resources available, cost of subscriptions, etc.).

Our second Forum, “Technology Competencies for Reference Librarians,” facilitated by Tina Chan from the State University of New York at Oswego, had a total of twenty-one attendees from academic, public, school, and other libraries. The very lively discussion touched on topics including what to look for in interviewees, how changing technology affects staff, what should go into a staff manual, and whether resistance to change is age-related.

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee did not meet at ALA Annual 2013. The committee’s meeting for Annual was conducted via email in May when the winning forum proposals for the conference were chosen.

Crystal Lentz, Chair 2013-2014

Education and Professional Development for Reference
The RSS Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee is co-sponsoring a webinar on promoting reference products. The webinar is organized by the Reference Publishing Advisory Committee of the Collection Development and Evaluation Section in RUSA. The webinar will be held before the end of the year; look out for further announcement on this online event and other professional development opportunities related to reference service. The committee will commence our data gathering phase on assessing the state of reference education in the next few months. We are in the process of finalizing the various facets of this topic we want to explore in this initial phase of the project.

Joseph Yue, Chair 2013-2014 

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee
Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee (ERUS) has partnered with Virtual Reference Services Committee to form an ad hoc team to survey the current state of virtual reference. The questions have been drafted and the goal is to have the survey out by the end of this summer. ERUS is currently working on a survey looking at reference service models and evaluation of service. The committee is reviewing a first draft of questions that came out of discussions from Midwinter and Annual 2013. The goal is to have this survey ready to send out to listservs by the end of this year.

Jason Kruse, Chair, 2013-2014

Health and Medical Reference Committee
Approximately sixty people attended the ALA Annual Conference program, “Different Strokes: Serving the Health Information Needs of a Diverse Community” held on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 1:00 PM. The committee met at the All-RSS meeting at the Conference. Ideas for a discussion forum at next year’s conference were discussed. The committee is planning a free RSS webinar, “Tried and True and Even Something New: Best Old and New Medical and Health Information Resources.” Details will be announced shortly. A subgroup to rewrite guidelines for medical reference continues to meet to discuss guidelines planning. The committee has established a listserv where librarians can discuss issues regarding medical reference. The email address is medref@ala.org. The link to subscribe is http://lists.ala.org/sympa/subscribe/medref. Plans are being made to promote this listserv.

Karen Vargas, Chair 2012-2014

Job and Career Reference Committee
The Job and Career Reference Committee met at ALA Annual. The Job and Career Reference Committee is moving forward with a wiki open to interested librarians and a listserv for librarians interested in Job & Career reference. Contact Kate Oberg (kathryn.oberg@gmail.com) if you have further questions.

Kate Oberg, Chair 2013-2014

Library Service to an Aging Population
Library Services to an Aging Population hosted “Boomers to Seniors: Library Models for Serving and Engaging Older Adults” that highlighted programs in California and Georgia, along with current research studies. Committee member Alan Kleiman moderated the panel. The presentation was enthusiastically received by the attendees; there was a strong sense among the group that this area of librarianship is being reinvented and many different models need to be tried.

In that same vein, the committee had an excellent meeting in which members decided that the current Guidelines for Library and Information Services to Older Adults no longer reflect current best practices. Committee members agreed that overhauling the Guidelines is the top priority this year. If you would like to be involved in this process, please follow us on ALA Connect or contact Abigail Elder (aelder@beavertonoregon.gov).

Abigail Elder, Chair 2013-2014

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking
The Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee met Saturday morning with only a few interested parties. The discussion group on Arizona libraries had twenty-five in attendance and seemed to be well received. Many of the speakers were also members of REFORMA who helped promote and support this program. ASCLA also has programs and webinars of interest to services to the Spanish Speaking. A few of the current and potential members suggested a change in the direction of this committee, perhaps in more dedication to services to immigrants. Rather than one specific group, this would include a broader spectrum of services libraries provide and potential expansion to include more libraries and government agencies interested in supporting these groups. Over the past few years, the Services to the Spanish Speaking had discussion groups for a limited audience. Consideration of changing the direction would enable more growth. I was not able to obtain a chair for the future. A few expressed potential interest and I am in contact with them to make their wishes known for your consideration. We were indeed fortunate to have the presentations on Sunday afternoon, but, as always, the programs often conflict with other broader interest programs such as this case with the Digital Public Library presentation.

The Committee hosted a discussion group on Sunday, June 30, 2013 3:00-4:00 PM, “Arizona Libraries: Spanish Services and Community Outreach.” As a border state, Arizona has historically always had a large Spanish Speaking/Latino community. Paulina Aguirre-Clinch, Marissa Alcorta, Paula Maez, Emily Scherrer, and Cecilia Tovar shared examples of successful programming and provide strategies for making connections to your own Spanish Speaking communities.

With the contemporary increase in recent immigration from Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries, library services and outreach to these communities is needed now more than ever. Two library systems in Southern Arizona, Yuma County Library District, and Pima County Public library, have used their resources, staff skills, and community building to provide relevant services and programming to these ever growing communities.

Finally, the Guidelines for Library Services to Spanish-Speaking Library Users may be due for an update.

Stephen Marvin, Chair 2012-2013

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference
The Marketing & Public Relations Committee hosted a free webinar on the Slam the Boards concept in May. Attendees learned about the idea from Bill Pardue, who shared tips for finding questions on social question and answer sites, and tips for those who are new to the practice.

We also hosted a workshop at Annual in Chicago where Slam the Board participants shared their experiences. Thanks to Bill sharing his knowledge with us and to those who attended. If you’d like to continue participating in the Slam the Boards project, you can join a Facebook group to connect with others who’ve been caught by the Q&A bug.

We’re currently exploring ways to collaborate on event planning with other ALA groups interested in marketing and public relations. At our Annual committee meeting, we also discussed what we might learn from non-library marketers and public relations specialists, such as Jonah Sachs, author of Winning the Story Wars and social media experts who can help us learn tools and strategies for better telling our library stories.

Jessica Hagman, Chair 2013-2014

Recognition Committee
The RSS Recognition Committee chose Larayne Dallas as the RSS Service Achievement Award recipient for 2013. Larayne has had a long career in the Reference Services Section and is widely regarded as one of the most hard-working RSS members, having served on/chaired numerous committees and mentoring new and incoming chairs. Her involvement in RSS includes:

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

Emilie Smart, Chair 2013-2014

Research and Statistics Committee
Over the 2012-2013 year, the Research and Statistics Committee solicited and selected proposals for the 19th Annual Reference Research Forum. This year’s forum included “Research Guides Usability Study,” by Angela Pashia, Instructional Services Outreach Librarian, University of West Georgia; “Two Birds, One Stone: Using a Mixed Methods Approach to Measure Service Process and Identify Usability Pain Points in Virtual Reference,” by Christine Tobias, User Experience and Reference Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries; “Query Clarification in Chat Reference: A Visual Transcript Analysis,” by Alexa Pearce, Librarian for Journalism, Media, Culture & Communication, New York University Libraries.

The Forum was held Saturday, June 29 from 1:00-2:30 PM at McCormick Place in Chicago. Approximately 180 people attended the event.

The committee also went through the literature from the past year to select exceptional articles detailing research in reference. The full Reference Research Review is available here.

Lynda Duke, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)
The partnership with the RSS Marketing and Public Relations Committee for the Slam the Board series (webinar: May 2013; “Slamming”: June 10; in-person discussion forum: June 2013 @ Annual) was a success. The participants were treated to both background on the Slam the Boards initiative itself and also practical ideas on marketing reference services for their own institutions.

The partnership with the RSS Evaluation of Reference and User Services (ERUS) Committee is on-going. The ad hoc virtual reference survey team presented a preliminary draft at our committee’s meeting at Annual. They are planning to continue to revise it (and the draft was also shared with incoming MARS chair, Sam Stormont).

The informal drop-in Wikipedia Edit-a-thon was held in the Networking Uncommons area of the McCormick Place from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM on Sunday at Annual. Although only fourteen people stopped by, there was a lively discussion on Wikipedia’s potential uses by libraries as a tool to provide access to resources and to promote libraries’ collections.

One participant shared the article (Honan-Allston Branch of Boston Public Library) she created from scratch as a library school student (including photos she took). One participant who had never edited Wikipedia articles before signed up for an account and edited her first article during the Edit-a-thon. Additionally, during the Joint RSS/MARS Executive Committee Meeting, attendees were intrigued by the idea of the Edit-a-thon and discussed ways something similar could be incorporated into section activities in the future.

Also at Annual, outgoing RSS Co-Chair, Don Boozer, introduced incoming RSS Co-Chair, Cathay Crosby, who most recently was Chair of the RSS Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Committee. Cathay and Alisa Gonzalez (MARS Co-chair) will chair the committee beginning directly after ALA Annual 2013.

Don Boozer, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee
The Subcommittee is excited to continue working on the Virtual Reference Companion (VRC) with the goal of completion by ALA Annual 2014. The group continues to meet monthly and works in subgroups between meetings. A fifth module will be complete by the end of summer, leaving four more to go.

One section of the VRC has Tips & Best Practices and we are looking for ideas from RSS members that may help those new to the world of virtual reference. Our modules include Planning, Skills, Information Literacy, Technologies, Staffing/Partners, Marketing, Assessment, and Professional Development. If anyone has words of wisdom to share on any of these or other topics related to virtual reference, please send them to Jared Hoppenfeld at jhoppenf@tamu.edu or Christine Tobias at tobiasc@mail.lib.msu.edu.

Although the VRC has been accessible to anyone with the URL, it will be going live by the end of summer as we will request that http://www.ala.org/rusa/vrc takes the place of the previous resource, as it is linked from its current RSS location(s).

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

 

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (aer123@psu.edu), editor.

Message from the Chair

RSS Review

Amy Rustic, Editor

Hello RSSers!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSS Members are doing lots of great things including quietly leading and serving on committees, publishing pertinent research related to reference and more. To read about what the RSS community is publishing be sure to check outhttp://connect.ala.org/node/184065.

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

I look forward to continuing the successes of RSS!

RSSsarah

 

 

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

RSScindylevine

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Striving for balance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Coleman, Kansas State University

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

Ann Brown, George Washington University

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

Cathay Crosby, Ask a Librarian Delaware Statewide Coordinator

Have a story to share? Let us know what makes RSS Great!
tinyurl.com/rssgreat

RSS Committee Reports

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

Colleen Seale, Chair

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

The revised goals are as follows:

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

Holly Wilson, Chair 2013-2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crystal Lentz, Chair 2012-2013

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

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

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

Ellen Keith, Chair, 2011-2013

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

Karen Vargas, Chair 2012-2014

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

Kate Oberg, Chair 2012-2013

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

Abigail Elder, Chair 2012-2013

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

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

Stephen Marvin, Chair 2012-2013

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

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

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

If you have any questions, please contact webinar organizers Don Boozer (librarian.don@gmail.com) , Alisa Gonzalez (acgonzal@nmsu.edu) or Cathay Crosby (cathay.Crosby@lib.de.us).

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

Virginia Cole, Chair 2012-2013

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

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

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

Lynda Duke, Chair 2012-2013

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

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

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

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

Don Boozer, Chair 2012-2013

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

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

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

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

Jared Hoppenfeld, Co-Chair 2012-2013

Jennifer Lau-Bond, Co-Chair 2011-2013

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (aer123@psu.edu), editor.

Message from the Chair

RSS Review

RSS_LogoALA Midwinter a Great Success!
It was great seeing many of you at ALA Midwinter in Seattle. I hope you enjoyed the RSS events including the delicious pancake breakfast, lively discussions, and the free workshop, and also found time to enjoy the sights and scenes of Seattle.

Speaking of Pancakes, we broke a record at our 3rd Annual Pancake Breakfast (Shortcake Saturday) with more than twenty-five people in attendance. Thanks to Judy Solberg for scoping out such a hotspot with a fantastic view.

I wasnt able to attend, but rumor has it the free workshop New Tech for Reference: from the reference interview to roving reference, challenges, benefits and best practices, organized by the Education & Professional Development for Reference Committee, was a smashing success. Praise was lauded at the organizers and at the presenters. We hope to continue offering more of these great deals. Be sure to stay tuned to RSS-L to be up-to-date.

We also had a number of great discussions on a wide variety of topics including Core Standards for Young Adult Reference Services, Mother Goose and Promoting Library Services for Spanish Speakers for Spanish Speakers, Just Ask, Helping Patrons find Employment or Career Information, and Coping with Burnout on the Front Lines. Be sure to read the committee reports for details!

We Appreciate You!
One of the focuses of RSS this year is to recognize the members who pay to volunteer with our section. We are doing this by sharing their publications, so others can learn about current research related to reference.

See the RSS Publications List read the latest submissions and share your publications!

Also sprinkled throughout this issue you will see quotes from RSS Members on what makes RSS their section within RUSA. Take a minute to share your thoughts about RSS using our feedback form.

Starting with this issue the RSS Review we will be interviewing an RSS Member of the Quarter. I am very pleased to announce that Joe Thompson has been selected as our first RSS Member of the Quarter. Find out a little more about Joe below.

If you want to be a part of this lively, fun, and dynamic section, then you are in luck. Ann Brown (RSS Chair Elect) will be appointing volunteers to a myriad of committees and positions. Stay tuned to RSS-L where she will send an email asking for volunteers.

Happy reading and of course if you have any questions, please contact me!

Sarah J. Hammill
RSS Chair

RSSsarah

RSS Member of the Quarter
Joe Thompson, Associate Director, Western Maryland Regional Library

RSS_Joe1. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Happy to help!

2. What do you like to do for fun?
Spending time with my wife and daughter, visiting parks and museums. Taking day hikes and reading as time allows. Volunteering time in support of Citizens for Maryland Libraries, our statewide friends group.

3. Describe RSS in 3 words.
Powerful people connections.

4. What do you value most about RSS and/or RUSA?
Ive been able to meet and learn from so many incredible people through my RSS and RUSA participation. In addition to the excellent formal learning opportunities offered by the section (i.e. programs and discussions), there are so many great opportunities for informal conversations. Some of the best ideas Ive picked up for enhancing service at my library have started this way.

5. Where do you see reference services going in the next 3-5 years?
Ive always seen what we call reference as being entirely about helping people. Its about connecting people to information; helping them find books, music, and movies to enjoy; and empowering individuals to grow. Over the past several years libraries have been doing a terrific job at removing service barriers and making access to resources an easy and transparent process. We need to make sure this focus continues as it relates to our ILS, ebook, and other online subscription services that libraries dont necessarily control directly. While our services become ever faster, easier, and frictionless, we need to also make sure that the value of these library services is evident to the people who use them. Im really excited about RUSAs developing ASK campaign, which will offer a lot of opportunities for publicity and library advocacy.

6. In your own words…
None of our accomplishments in RSS would have been possible without the fantastic teamwork of people across the section. We are very lucky to have so many smart and dedicated people volunteering their time in support of improving library service. Something thats really important to me is helping those people new to the profession make connections with those who have years of experience to share. These often prove to be valuable relationships for everyone. Please take every opportunity you have to make these kind of introductions between people. Be a connector.

What makes RSS Great?
“I love RUSA RSS because it keeps me engaged and excited about all the new developments in reference. ALA is huge but RUSA RSS is all about everything I love about my job: Reference! I know whenever I see a RUSA RSS program that it will be right on target with my job and my passion.”

Ava M. Iuliano, International Relations Librarian, Florida International University

Have a story to share? Let us know what makes RSS Great!
tinyurl.com/rssgreat

RSS Committee Reports

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee
The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored two excellent Forums at Midwinter. Just Ask: Defining and Advocating for the Reference Librarian, facilitated by Elizabeth Stephan from Western Washington University, had a total of forty-five attendees from public, academic, and other types of libraries. Lively small group discussions focused on the new or changing role of reference librarians, how it may differ by type of library, and the kind of support needed to make the public aware of the changing role.

Our second Forum, Unhappy Campers: Coping with Job Dissatisfaction and Burnout on the Front Lines, facilitated by Virginia Cairns from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, had 48 attendees from many different types of libraries. Discussions took place in small groups, with many great ideas and suggestions reported back to the entire group. Topics included how to approach management for help with burnout, strategies for preventing and alleviating burnout in your peers or subordinates, and ideas for how we as individuals can cope with burnout in our own lives and careers.

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee did not meet at ALA Midwinter 2013. The committee’s meeting for Midwinter was conducted via email in October when the winning forum proposals for the meeting were chosen.

Crystal Lentz, Chair 2012-2013

Education and Professional Development for Reference
The RSS Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee (EDPRC), in collaboration with the MARS Professional Development Committee, hosted a free workshop New Tech for Reference: From the Reference Interview to Roving Reference, Challenges, Benefits and Best Practice at ALA Midwinter 2013. The workshop was a resounding success with over seventy-five people in attendance. Ninety-five percent of attendees thought they would implement some of the ideas presented at their library. The workshop consisted of three sessions which highlighted using social media to answer reference questions, an iPad roving reference program, and how LibAnswers were implemented as a knowledge base. All presentation materials are available on the ALA Connect. The planning group looks forward to offering a free workshop opportunity at an upcoming ALA conference, and is busy documenting lessons learned so we can improve for the next workshop.

In addition, EDPRC is in discussion with RUSA CODES, who coordinated the Reference Publishing Discussion Forum, Are Users Finding Our Online Reference Resources, at Midwinter to see if we could do a follow-up via webinar. Lastly, the group is still developing a process to review library school syllabi for reference themes; this is our spring project.

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

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee
The Evaluation of Reference and User Services met virtually on January 30 and discussed two upcoming goals. The first is to determine, by survey, what reference models are currently in place (triage, combined desk, roving, etc.) in libraries and how libraries arrived at those models and also how libraries are assessing those models. The second is the formation of an ad hoc committee with the Virtual Reference Services committee to take a snapshot of the current state of virtual reference, get a baseline of services being offered, and ideas for those who haven’t implemented it yet. Much work to do between now and Annual!

Ellen Keith, Chair, 2011-2013

Health and Medical Reference Committee
The Health and Medical Reference Committee (HMRC) has chosen four speakers for the 2013 ALA Annual program, Different Strokes: Serving the Health Information Needs of a Diverse Community. In addition, the HMRC has had a webinar proposal approved by RUSA on the topic of best medical resources. However, as the committee would really like to have a series of free programs on this topic, the HMRC is considering the possibility of doing a quarterly online discussion series which could be free to anyone. The HMRC has also met monthly to work on new guidelines for health and medical reference.

Karen Vargas, Chair 2012-2014

Job and Career Reference Committee
The Job & Career Reference Committee had a lively gathering of ALA members discussing job & career reference at our respective institutions (public, academic, & career colleges) in Seattle. For more information or to get involved with our online wiki efforts, contact the committee chair Kate Oberg: Kathryn.Oberg@gmail.com.

Kate Oberg, Chair 2012-2013

Library Service to an Aging Population
RUSA RSS Library Services to an Aging Population met on Thursday, January 31st. The committee is considering a change to its charge, with a focus on positive language and broadening the scope to recognize that Aging Population encompasses a diverse group with a wide variety of interests and needs.

The committee will be making minor changes to the Guidelines for Library and Information Services to Older Adults, last revised in 2008, and suggesting additional resources for Keys to Engaging Older Adults @ Your Library. The committee hopes to provide input on the Access to Information Wiki under construction by the RUSA Access to Information Committee.

The committee recently lost two members, so is currently seeking new members to join. Please contact Abigail Elder (aelder@ci.tualatin.or.us) if you would like to join us!

Abigail Elder, Chair 2012-2013

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking
Lucia Castillo, of the Vancouver Public Library, provided a very informative and interactive lively session on the program used in Canada to assist young families with social skills and engaging with the Spanish speaking community. Vancouver is thriving with a variety of culture and languages. Less than three percent are Spanish speaking and they all attend the Mother Goose program despite the distance they may need to travel.

A collection of YouTube videos from the session are linked below:

The Services to Spanish Speaking had some discussion in advance of the presentation on Mother Goose about the next step toward revising the Guidelines for Services to the Spanish Speaking. The committee is seeking volunteers for next year.

Stephen Marvin, Chair 2012-2013

Management of Reference Committee
The Committee met virtually on January 30th and discussed a request by an original member of the RUSA Task Force that wrote the Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians (http://www.ala.org/rusa/resources/guidelines/professional) to ask that they be reinstated. Discussion revealed that perhaps the Committee previously had acted in haste and the matter will be brought before the RSS Board at its February 7 meeting.

This Committee is also working with the Services to an Aging Population Committee in sponsoring a discussion session at the Annual Conference in Chicago. The session is about The Little r in Reference .

Session summary: There is plenty of talk about the new work of “little r” reference, but little detail on how that translates into the daily work of public library reference staff. This program delves into the who/what/where/how of contemporary reference work.

Speakers

  • Todd Dunkelberg, Director, Deschutes Public Library (Bend, Oregon)
  • Stephanie Chase, Director of Library Programs and Services, The Seattle Public Library
  • Sue Banks, Deputy Director, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

We discussed a request by Sarah Hammill on whether our Committee wanted to work on updating the Competencies for Cooperative Services. With our work on re-evaluating the fate of the Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians, we have enough on our plate.

Sally Dockter, Chair 2012-2013

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference
RSS Marketing and PR committee met in person at ALA Midwinter on January 26. (Meeting notes are posted on ALA Connect).

During this meeting, we brainstormed the details of the upcoming webinar/discussion event for ALA Annual, “Slam the Boards.” The webinar will be during the week of May 20-24 and presenter Bill Pardue will introduce us to the volunteer program “Slam the Boards,” how it came to be, its mission, how it works, and measuring success. He will also set us up to participate on June 10 so that by ALA Annual, we’ll be ready to take this discussion to a deeper level.

Our discussion of “Slam the Boards” is on June 26. Bill will recap the webinar and our experiences. We’ll then move into how to develop ways like “Slam the Boards, helping customers where they are with professionalism and friendliness. Our hope is that participants will walk away with specific ideas and plans about extending current or creating new online question-answering, social media, and virtual reference services that they can bring back to their libraries for immediate consideration.

Marketing and PR for libraries is also a major consideration for every aspect of library work. We discussed the newly-reformed “Ask” campaign and other ways libraries can advocate their relevance to their communities.

Current programs such as Ask, Turning the Page, the Geek Campaign and more offer libraries opportunities for marketing and promotion. The RSS Marketing and PR committee is considering the development of a workshop for ALA Annual 2014 to showcase what is available.

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2013

Organization and Planning Committee
The committee met online in January 2013. We reviewed RSS Bylaws and Handbook and thought we might be able to move forward updating both documents. However, upon further review, we discovered some issues/inconsistencies between the documents that require further discussion. We will be holding a joint O&P/Executive meeting in February or March to work out these issues once and for all. Then we will move forward with updating. Our goal is to have a very easy-to-use Chair Orientation Handbook; updated, clear bylaws; and a Handbook for Officers, if needed, which explains duties of each position and other details.

Liane Taylor, Chair 2012-2013

Recognition Committee
Are you eligible for the 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 Susan Ware at saw4@psu.edu or Virginia Cole vac11@cornell.edu

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

If you want to find out which honored colleagues you will be joining, see the list of RSS Honor Roll Members.

Virginia Cole, Chair 2012-2013

Research and Statistics Committee
In January, the RSS Research and Statistics Committee selected three presenters for the 19th Annual Reference Research Forum; the program will include the following:

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

Lynda Duke, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)
The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee has a new MARS Co-chair, Alisa Gonzalez, Social Sciences Librarian and Reference Coordinator at New Mexico State University Library.

The committee will be partnering with the RSS Marketing and Public Relations Committee on a webinar in late-May and related discussion forum for ALA Annual. The topic will be active advocacy and promotion of virtual reference services, and the speaker will be Bill Pardue (of “Slam the Boards!” fame).

Investigation of hosting a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at ALA Annual is also in the works. After an informal meeting in the Networking Uncommons at Midwinter, the event has taken on some new and exciting possibilities. These will be being discussed within the committee and with attendees at the Midwinter get-together.

The committee is also in the beginning stages of partnering with the RSS Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee (ERUS) on a survey to ascertain the current state of virtual reference. Don Boozer (RSS Co-chair) attended a meeting of ERUS in January, and plans are moving ahead on forming an ad hoc team to construct and administer the survey.

More details on each of these initiatives will be forthcoming, so stay tuned to the committee’s ALA Connect space.

Don Boozer, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee
The subcommittee continues to meet monthly and works in subgroups between meetings. Our virtual Midwinter meeting took place on February 5. We are finishing up the Training, Interview Skills, and Core Competencies modules and will work on additional modules as we look forward to ALA Annual.

Jared Hoppenfeld, Chair 2012-2013
Jennifer Lau-Bond, Chair 2011-2013

Young Adult Reference Services

We hope to schedule our midyear committee meeting imminently, to discuss the guideline mandate of the committee and directions we are going including perhaps issues such as:

  1. Optimal handling of the “class bomb” and other youth-related quirks in VR
  2. Balancing cooperating with existing media specialist staff/compensating for losses in Media Center staffing and collection budgets while still reinforcing the necessity of each
  3. Publics’ Balancing Act: working with faculty while not impinging on the role of the Media Specialist
  4. Outreach cooperation with Just Ask
  5. Possible cooperation with BRASS/RSS Jobseeker Committee on teen financial fitness/jobs/entrepreneurship

We are also progressing through RSS leadership on the move to becoming a joint YALSA committee.

The committee sponsored a discussion forum at Midwinter entitled Reference Services to Young Adults: Why Common Core Standards Matter. Adopted by forty-five of the fifty states and several territories, the Common Core State Standards are impacting the way that students are being taught and information literacy is being judged. The ripple effect from that hits libraries and library services immediately in ways we are trying to evaluate.

The discussion forum, led by Amanda Ellington, Rose Luna, and Margaux DelGuidice, drew an interested crowd of 78 librarians from all types of libraries, from school to public to academic to state libraries. The session received coverage in Publishers Weekly. Meanwhile, the session has a useful wiki.

We hope to see what topics might be useful to those serving young adults for a discussion forum at Annual.

Nicolette Warisse Sosulski, Chair 2012-2013

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (aer123@psu.edu), editor.

Message from the Chair

RSS

Amy Rustic, editor

 

Helllooooo RSSers!

Welcome to the Pre-Midwinter RSS Review! Below are some of the highlights of the great things happening in our section.

If you are heading to Seattle for the ALA Midwinter meeting mark your calendar for the following RSS events:

  • FREE Workshop! New Tech for Reference: from the reference interview to roving reference, challenges, benefits and best practices

When: Friday, January 25th, 1:00-5:00 PM.

Where: The University of Washington, Odegaard Library

More: Seehttp://connect.ala.org/node/190900 to register today!

  • Pancake Breakfast!

When: Saturday, January 26th, 8:00 AM

Where: Location TBA

More: Stay Tuned to RSS-L & Facebook for location information!

  • Helping Patrons find Employment or New Career Information Discussion with Job and Career Reference Committee

When: Saturday, January 26th, 10:30-11:30 AM

More: Stay Tuned to RSS-L and Facebook for location information!

 

  • Just Ask: Defining and Advocating for the Reference Librarian Discussion with Elizabeth Stephan & Diana D. Shonrock

When: Sunday, January 27th, 8:30-10:00 AM

More: Stay Tuned to RSS-L and Facebook for location information!

  • Mother Goose and Promoting Library Services to Spanish Speaking Discussion with Lucia Castillo

When: Sunday, January 27th, 10:30-11:30 AM

More: Stay Tuned to RSS-L and Facebook for location information!

  • Why Common Core Standards Matter: Discussion with Young Adult Reference Services Committee

When: Sunday, January 27th, 3:00-4:00 PM

More: Stay Tuned to RSS-L and Facebook for location information!

  • Unhappy Campers: Coping with Job Dissatisfaction and Burnout on the Front Lines Discussion with Virginia Cairns

When: Monday, January 28th, 1:00-2:30 PM

More: Stay Tuned to RSS-L and Facebook for location information!

Some other exciting happenings within RSS include a great slate of candidates for RSS Chair-Elect and Member-at-Large. Fortunately, ALA elections dont happen until March when all of the current campaigning and attack ads will be a distant memory. But the decision will be a tough one

  • Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
    • Peter Collins
    • Qiana Johnson
  • Member-at-Large
    • Don Boozer
    • Betsy Park

We are ready to launch the new Why is RSS Important? Share your thoughts athttp://tinyurl.com/rssgreat and see your name in the next RSS Review!

In addition, we are looking for the 1st RSS Member of the Quarter. When you think of RSS, does someone immediately come to mind? Someone that always volunteers to get the job done?? Someone who is always thinking about how to add value to the RSS membership? Someone who is continually thinking on how to improve the section and its offerings? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then let us know whom. Go tohttp://goo.gl/UKFKd to nominate the 1st RSS Member of the Quarter!

Self-nominations are welcome.

Finally, be sure to check out the RSS Members Publications List (http://connect.ala.org/node/184065). Highlights include:

  • Hoppenfeld, J. (2012). Keeping students engaged with web-based polling in the library instruction session. Library Hi Tech, 30(2), 235-252. doi: 10.1108/07378831211239933
  • Malizia, M., R. Hamilton, D. Littrell, K. Vargas, & C. Olney. (2012). Connecting Public Libraries with Community Emergency Responders. Public Libraries 51(3), 32-36.
  • Jeter, Melissa C. (2012) “Weathering the Storm: Expanding an Oral History Collection in Uncertain Economic Times.” Library Worklife: HR E-News for Today’s Leaders.

Be sure to share your publications with us (http://tinyurl.com/RSSmemberpubs) and you might see your name in print in the next RSS Review!

Thats it for now!

Sarah J. Hammill

Committee Reports

Communication & Teaching at the Point of Need Committee

The RUSA Communication and Teaching at Point of Need Committee has finalized their survey results and will be reporting to the membership shortly. We will be meeting virtually for midwinter at a date TBA shortly on the ALA Connect website.

Christine Sharbrough, Chair 2012-2013

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

Just Ask: Defining and Advocating for the Reference Librarian (Sunday, January 27, 8:30-10:00 AM) Want to influence the way RUSA advocates for reference services? Join members of the RUSA Just Ask Committee to discuss the evolving role of reference librarians and reference services in all types of libraries. The discussion will help create a RUSA member-influenced vision of both, which in turn will assist the organization in advocating more effectively for the support and development of quality reference services.

Unhappy Campers: Coping with Job Dissatisfaction and Burnout on the Front Lines (Monday, January 28, 2013, 1:00-2:30 PM) Shrinking budgets, staff cuts, competing demands, impatient patrons; it all has an impact on staff morale and the quality of service provided by librarians everywhere. Gather with colleagues to discuss the issues faced, as well as potential strategies for managing unhappiness and distress in the workplace from the perspectives of library administration, peers, and the individual librarian.

Crystal Lentz, Chair 2012-2013

Education and Professional Development for Reference

The Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee is working hard with MARS to put together a fantastic and free ALA Midwinter Workshop on New Technology for Reference. For more information and to register please see the details below.

As our primary focus this fall has been with the workshop, the group has engaged in discussions with other committees regarding an education offering around marketing reference resources.

RUSA MARS and RSS invite you to New Tech for Reference: from the reference interview to roving reference, challenges, benefits and best practice at the University of Washingtons Odegaard Library. The workshop is free, open to all and includes refreshments. ALA membership or Midwinter registration is not required.

Reference technology is constantly changing; what was once radical has become established, complete with best practices. Newer technologies appear rapidly, challenging us to understand, learn and adapt ever more quickly.

This workshop explores three new reference technologies, their benefits, challenges and best practices: using social media for reference; applying iPads in roving reference; and integrating a knowledge base system (such as LibAnswers) into reference services.

SCHEDULE:

1:00 – 1:15: Check-in

1:15 – 1:25: Welcome and introductions

1:25 – 2:45: Social media in reference – challenges, benefits and best practices (Michelle Chronister, U.S. General Services Administration)

2:45 – 3:10: Break (refreshments courtesy of OCLC QuestionPoint)

3:10 – 3:55: Using iPads for roving reference (Ava Iuliana, Cindy Dottin and Lauren Christos – Florida International University)

3:55 – 4:40: Knowledge base systems for reference (Erica Nicol and Linda Crook, Washington State University)

4:40 – 5:00: Wrap-up, closing and evaluations

Everyone is welcome, but pre-registration is required athttp://bit.ly/MARSRSS . In the event that registration reaches capacity, RUSA members will have preference.

Additional information about the workshop is available (including session descriptions) here: http://connect.ala.org/node/190900

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

 

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee

Please note thatMeasuring and Assessing Reference Services and Resources: A Guide is available in public ALA Connect space. This guide was spearheaded by the Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee when chaired by Lisa Horowitz in 2002-2003. In 2010-2011, committee members Tiffany Walsh, Robin Kinder, Jan Tidwell, and Richard Caldwell updated the guide and moved it into Connect. We hope RSS members make use of this valuable resource!

Ellen Keith, Chair 2011-2013

 

Health and Medical Reference Committee (HMRC)

The HMRC met virtually using Blackboard Collaborate on September 10, 2012. The committee decided to handle all of its professional communication on ALA Connect. The committee will be creating an ALA Connect Community for health and medical reference discussions. Various panelists were brought up and discussed as possibilities for the program at ALA 2013. Various members of the committee decided to spearhead the webinar series, and another group agreed to work on the new Medical Guidelines. Virtual meetings to discuss these two areas are being planned for this fall. A meeting of the HMRC is planned for ALA Midwinter.

Karen Vargas, Chair 2012-2014

Job and Career Reference Committee

The RSS Job and Career Reference Committee will have a discussion group at Midwinter, Helping Patrons Find Employment or New Career Information. The discussion group is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, January 26 from 10:30-11:30 AM.

We also are welcoming new committee member from BRASS, Janet Franks.

Kate Oberg, Chair 2012-2013

Library Service to an Aging Population

We are planning to meet virtually in January.

Abigail Elder, Chair 2012-2013

 

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking

Mother Goose and Promoting Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Community

Lucia Castillo, BA in Librarianship from Leeds Polytechnic, England, and MLS from the University of British Columbia, Canada, has worked with academic and special libraries in Peru for over 25 years. Since 2007, she has been working at the Vancouver Public Library. Her Mother Goose Program in Spanish for the Latino community is the only program available in Vancouver for Spanish speaking children. The Services to Spanish Speaking committee is proud to be able to have Lucia Castillo at ALA Midwinter on Sunday from 10:30-11:30 AM to give sample “story hour.” Attendees will learn the difficulties of meeting needs of the Spanish-speaking community through a question and answer period and discussions. There is evidence music stimulates the development of cognitive ability and emotional intelligence from an early age. Why not start teaching parents today to use rhymes and songs with their children? As Hans Christian Andersen said, “Where words fail, music speaks.” While Mother Goose programs attract children, the Mother Goose program is meant for parents. They are going to rescue a tradition applicable to other cultures, such as the Latino community. New immigrants need to integrate, but without losing their heritage and culture. For the Latino families, the Mother Goose program is a totally new thing. Through the program the Latino families keep their heritage, language, culture, tradition, socialize in a group activity, and make lifelong friendship. Services to the Spanish Speaking described the details of a survey published in the REFORMA Newsletter. ASCLA recognizes, along with the Services to the Spanish speaking, the 43% growth of the U.S. Hispanic population. Bringing Latinos into the library still remains an uphill battle. RUSA RSS is sponsoring this exciting discussion during ALA Midwinter see you in Seattle. For more information, please contact Stephen Marvin (smarvin@wcupa.edu) or Lucia Castillo (lcastill17@yahoo.ca).

Stephen Marvin, Chair 2012-2013

Management of Reference Committee

The Committee has begun writing Professional Competencies for the Management of Reference Services. We are looking at current job ads to see what skills and talents are being sought these days. We are also looking for similar types of documents from other organizations and plan to do a literature review. Nancy Huling, a current committee member, was also on the Committee when the original Competencies were written, so her wisdom will be beneficial to the process. We are not meeting in person at Midwinter, but we will hold a virtual meeting on January 30, 2013 to continue our efforts.

Sally Dockter, Chair 2012-2013

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference

The RSS Marketing and PR Committee will meet on Saturday, January 26 from 10:30-11:30 AM. The location has not been determined. This is a regular meeting to discuss our goals, upcoming program planning, and work on collaboration with other RSS committees.

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2013

 

Organization and Planning Committee

The Organization & Planning Committee will soon begin work on updating the RSS Handbook, reviewing the RSS Bylaws, and assisting the RSS Executive Committee with holding the RSS Annual Open House. The Committee will be meeting virtually for Midwinter. The time and date will be announced via RSS-L.

 

Liane Taylor, Chair 2012-2013

 

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.

Please send your nomination detailing specifically how the nominee has met either of these criteria to Virginia Cole (vac11@cornell.edu), the award committee chair, by December 1.

Virginia Cole, Chair 2012-2013

Research and Statistics Committee

The Committee will not be meeting in person at Midwinter, and will schedule a virtual meeting soon.

Call for Presentations

The Research and Statistics Committee of the Reference Services Section of RUSA invites the submission of research projects for presentation at the 19th Reference Research Forum at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

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. All researchers, including reference practitioners from all types of libraries, library school faculty and students, and other interested individuals, are encouraged to submit a proposal.

For examples of projects presented at past Forums, please see the Committees website: http://connect.ala.org/node/187004

The Committee employs a blind review process to select three projects for 20-minute presentations, followed by open discussion. Selected submissions must be presented in person at the Forum in Chicago.

Criteria for selection:

  • Quality and creativity of the research design and methodologies;
  • Significance of the study for improving the quality of reference service;
  • Potential for research to fill a gap in reference knowledge or to build on previous studies;
  • Research projects may be in-progress or completed;
  • Previously published research or research accepted for publication will not be accepted.

Proposals are due by Monday, December 31, 2012. Notification of acceptance will be made by Monday, February 11, 2013. The submission must not exceed two pages. Please include:

1 A cover sheet including your name(s), title(s), institutional affiliation(s), mailing address(es), fax number(s) and email address(es).

2 The second page should NOT show your name, any personal information, or the name of your institution. Instead, it must include:

a. Title of the project;

b. Explicit statement of the research problem;

c. Description of the research design and methodologies used, and preliminary findings if any;

d. Brief discussion of the unique contribution, potential impact, and significance of the research.

Please send submissions by email to: Lynda Duke Chair, RUSA RSS Research and Statistics Committee.

Lynda Duke, Chair 2012-2013

lduke@iwu.edu

Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)

The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee has been going through some transitions this year so far. We’ve had some personnel changes with several members resigning or expressing interest in resigning to take on new duties and different responsibilities. We wish them all the best! One of those was coordinating our “RUSA MARS/RSS VR Committee Survey Ad Hoc Group” so we are looking for someone who would like to take on that project. (You need not be a current member of the committee.) The committee has also been in transition on communication channels and is in the process of switching from our current listserv to one sponsored by ALA. The listserv serves as a “behind-the-scenes” tool for discussions by and announcements to committee members that may not be quite ready for posting to ALA Connect.

The committee will be having a virtual meeting in early 2013, and we are looking forward to moving ahead on projects in the New Year.

Don Boozer, Chair 2012-2013

 

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee

Jason Coleman has stepped down from the subcommittee and we wish to thank him for all his contributions. We have since added two new members to our group and we would like to welcome Christine Tobias and Neal Pomea. We are thrilled to have them join the team.

The subcommittee continues to meet monthly and works in subgroups between meetings. We will not be meeting at Midwinter, but our virtual monthly meeting will be on January 22nd at 1:00-2:00 PM CST. Our new members have been going through Drupal training while the rest of us move forward with our modules. The Resources section has been reorganized by topic and we will continue adding to this section as we work on additional modules. The Training module is still in progress and will be complete by Midwinter. We have recently discussed the Interview Skills and Core Competencies modules and subgroups have begun to take ideas from those meetings and implement them into Drupal content.

This will bring us to having four sections complete (or almost complete) by Midwinter. With additional members, we hope to continue at a fast pace into the spring to get most of the Virtual Reference Companion (VRC) complete by the Annual Conference.

Jared Hoppenfeld, Chair 2012-2013

Jennifer Lau-Bond, Chair 2011-201

 

 

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (aer123@psu.edu), editor.

Message from the Chair

RSS

Amy Rustic, Editor

Hola, Everyone!

I am honored and humbled to chair the section that focuses on frontline reference issues! As the chair of the Reference Services Section, I look forward to working with each and every one of you to continue the great work the former leaders of this section have started.

Speaking of former leaders, I have big shoes to follow (and Liane, it doesnt matter if they are only a size 5!). Many, many thanks go to Liane Taylor, outgoing chair of RSS. I can go on and on about Lianes work but it is really evident in all aspects of RSS and many facets of RUSA; if something has become more efficient or effective, you can bet Liane was behind it!

In interests of space, I will focus on just two things that Liane has done to ensure that our section is streamlined, efficient, and effective. Liane is responsible for the detailed Chair Orientation Manual. She added a calendar that has been instrumental in helping the section to document and record the sections history. It includes setting goals for each committee, which ensures that the section continues to be viable and applicable to individuals involved in frontline reference. Furthermore, she saw the need for an RSS Archivist. You will see Cindy Levine, the RSS Archivist, listed as a co-chair of your committee; she is not a co-chair but is quietly working behind the scenes to make sure that the section stays organized. She has created categories within ALA Connect for each committee to record minutes, goals, current activities, and rosters.

I would be remiss without mentioning the leadership of Joe Thompson. Let me mention one of his many contributions (and there are many!) to the section. Through his leadership as chair of Organization and Planning he was the mastermind in making a fundamental, and I would argue fun, change to the RSS Annual Open House. At the Open House in Anaheim we debuted a trivia contest. It was through Joes thoughtful deliberation that the trivia contest was a success and included awesome prizes! We will miss Joe but rest assured he is still involved in RSS as a member of the new Young Adult Reference Services (YARS) Committee, a committee he was instrumental in creating.

So, you might be wondering what you can expect from me. First, I would like to welcome Ann Brown as the RSS Chair Elect. I look forward to working with Ann who is sharp, considerate, collegial, and fun; I believe we will make a great team!

Regarding RSS this year, I would like to focus on our members and what they have done for the section. We already have the RSS Service Achievement Award which honors a member for either a sustained contribution towards attaining the goals of RSS or a single significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section. Furthermore, you can become a prestigious member of the RSS Honor Roll. If you have served RSS in three or more different capacities, let the RSS Recognition Committee know! See http://www.ala.org/rusa/sections/rss/honoroll for the current members of this esteemed list!

More recently, we have published the RSS Members Publication List. Please let us know what you have published by filling out the form here. This is a way to showcase the activities of RSS Members and it also serves as a resource for you!

Finally, modeling after ACRLs Member of the Week, I would like to implement RSS Member of the Quarter. This will coincide with the RSS Review and will feature a short interview with an RSS Member. Stay tuned via RSS-L for more information.

To conclude, I look forward to the year ahead and getting to know each of you. Please dont hesitate to contact me (hammills@fiu.edu) with questions or ideas on how to improve the section. If I dont know the answers, I have a great team (which includes all of you) to ask!

Keep in Touch,

Sarah J. Hammill
RSS Chair

Catalog Use Committee

The Catalog Use Committee hosted a Roundtable Discussion at ALA Annual in Anaheim. The group had planned out five distinct discussion topics for the meeting, with a moderator for each topic.

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

The Roundtable was scheduled for 4:00 PM on Saturday evening, and this may have impacted attendance. In the end, we had a dozen attendees and decided to meet together as one group. The smaller size of the group really helped draw in all of the participants. We had a very lively discussion, touching on each of the topic areas. We were able to devote more time to areas of particular interest to the group. The evaluations from the session were quite positive, with three-quarters rating the overall experience as Very Good and one quarter rating it as Excellent.

A focus for the Catalog Use Committee this coming year will be to look at the impact of Ebooks on the Library Catalog and best practices for displaying information about accessing and downloading on various devices, number of users, check out periods, along with other themes.

Peter Collins, Chair, 2011-2012
Colleen Seale, Chair, 2012-2013

Communication & Teaching at the Point of Need Committee

The Communication & Teaching at the Point of Need Committee is just getting started so there is not much to report at this point. Our charge is “to offer programming, forums for discussions, and professional development opportunities focused on effective communication and teaching strategies, skills and technologies used during virtual or face-to-face reference interactions as well as other patron points-of-need. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the reference interview, teachable moments during the reference interaction, and point-of-need videos or tutorials.”

As chair, I am looking forward to a fantastic year of leading the charge for this committee. Great reference skills are a true asset in any job but crucial for librarians.

Christine Sharbrough, Chair, 2012-2013

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored two really exciting Forums at Annual. Rethinking Your Reference Collection, moderated by Christy Caldwell, had twenty-three attendees and a very lively discussion about the use and fate of print reference collections. Participants were both academic and public librarians and discussion covered topics from decision-making to dealing with staff resistance.

Our second Forum, E-Access and Patron Bleed, moderated by Nicolette Sosulski, covered a common feature of virtual reference servicesassisting patrons from anywhere in the world with topics your local collection may not support. Eight public and academic librarians found a lot of common ground in this forum, discussing how their services deal with the expectations of patrons far outside a geographical or topical area.

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee did not meet at ALA Annual 2012. The committee’s meeting for the annual conference was conducted via email in May when the winning forum proposals for the conference were chosen.

Crystal Lentz, Chair, 2012-2013

Education and Professional Development for Reference

Work is progressing on coordinating a joint in-person workshop at ALA Midwinter 2013 with the Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee (EPDRC) and MARS Professional Development Committee. The workshop, New Tech for Reference: From the Reference Interview to Roving Reference, Challenges, Benefits and Best Practices, will be held Friday, January 25, 2013 from 1:00-5:00 PM at the University of Washington Odegaard Library, room 220. Topics include: Twitter, Facebook, and social media for reference, iPad/roving reference and using a Knowledge base, like LibAnswers, in reference.

Over the next year the EDPRC will be reviewing syllabi from ALA-accredited LIS programs to review what content is covered in reference courses. This will aid in future directions for the committee.

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

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee

The committee hosted a lively discussion forum at 2012 Annual, The How, What, and Why of Reference Evaluation and Assessment, moderated by committee members Ellen Keith and Jason Kruse on Saturday, June 23. We had seating for fifty and at one point, all fifty seats were filled! In our discussion of who was doing assessment and what tools were being used, interesting paths were shared. Assessment in some libraries is formalized to the point of having an assessment librarian or director. Besides tools like READ and LibQual, some libraries are using the Secret Shopper approach; some have created a rubric to assess undergraduate papers where the undergraduate has visited a librarian. Decisions being made with assessment data inform staffing, services, and best use of time. It was a fascinating discussion and we thank all who attended!

Ellen Keith, Chair, 2011-2013

Health and Medical Reference Committee

The first meeting of the Health and Medical Reference Committee was held at the all RSS meeting at ALA annual. The committee discussed new health and medical reference guidelines, the program that the committee will hold at ALA annual in Chicago in 2013, possible webinars that could be sponsored, and ways to communicate health reference issues with the broader librarian community. Karen Vargas brought several documents that would be helpful in the creation of the guidelines and an online page will be set up where people can post additional resources as a first step for the guidelines. Panelists were proposed for the 2013 program on serving the health information needs of a diverse community. The committee agreed that they would like to work on a quarterly series of RUSA webinars, beginning with one on basic resources for medical reference.

Karen Vargas, Chair 2012-2014

Job and Career Reference Committee

The inaugural meeting of the Job and Career Reference Committee was held July 2012 and the following members attended: Kate Oberg (co-chair), Jennifer Hootman, Gergana Kostova, Samantha Soucy, and Arlene Weismantel. The charge of the committee is: to offer programming, forums for discussions, and professional development opportunities focused on providing services and outreach related to patrons’ jobs and career needs, including library resources and reference assistance; guides, tutorials, and web content; programming, promotion, and instruction; and effective community partnerships.

Kate Oberg, Chair 2012-2013

Library Service to an Aging Population

he RSS Library Services to an Aging Population Committee sponsored a program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim: How Libraries Are Meeting the Evolving Needs of Baby Boomers and Older Adults. Over 100 people attended the program, which included presentations by Susan Hildreth (IMLS), Jane Salisbury (Multnomah County Public Library), Tony Sarmiento (Senior Services America), and Suzanne Flint (California State Library). The program included a lively question and answer period, in which various viewpoints on serving these populations were expressed. If you would like slideshows from the program, you can view them online at TransformingLifeAfter5.org.

Jeff Kempe, Chair, 2011-2013

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking

The Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee is planning a discussion during ALA 2013 Midwinter with a speaker from a public library to present their childrens program. The session would include a demonstration of their story hour, in addition to a discussion of the marketing of similar programs and why community health organizations seemed to be more popular to promote services such as story hours to the Spanish community. The presentation will be in English and Spanish.

Other activities for this year may include a review of the Guide to Services to the Spanish and another review article potential on case studies of Spanish speaking library use.

Stephen Marvin, Chair 2012-2013

Management of Reference Committee

The Management of Reference Committee met twice in Anaheim at ALA Annual. At the first meeting William Weare, Chair, reported that the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers revisions now needed approval from the Standards and Guidelines Committee and then final approval from the RSS Board. We discussed the Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians. At the most recent Midwinter meeting, the discussion session did find value in the Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians, but the Committee isnt sure whether they were referring to the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers. Because of other problems the Committee sees with them we agreed that the original document should be sunsetted and this Committee should focus on updating the professional competencies for managing reference services and departments. William brought this plan to the RSS Board who approved it.

Sally Dockter, Chair 2012-2013

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference

Our committee sponsored a workshop at ALA Annual, “Let’s Work Together: Integrating Social Media, Online Marketing and Outreach” with David Lee King, Marshall Breeding and Jennifer Robinson. Liane Taylor assisted with on-site organizing and reported that the workshop went well.

As mentioned in our prior update, for ALA Annual 2013 in Chicago, we are pleased to collaborate with two other committees to co-sponsor with the RSS Virtual Reference (VR) Committee Chair Don Boozer and MARS co-chair Ellen Filgo a proposed workshop: ” Slam the Boards: A Model for Marketing Through Action.” This would be presented by Bill Pardue and may include an expansion of the concept of “guerilla marketing techniques for VR” (as Don put so well). We may shift this workshop to be a webinar prior to June’s conference, with a discussion forum at the conference. We’ll know soon which way we’re taking this.

Marketing and PR are essential for the promotion of all library services. During our most recent RSS meeting (Friday, July 20), our committee began to look at two elements for our upcoming initiatives to work on with partner committees:

1. School sustainability (working with YARS)
2. Marketing in academic libraries (working with Research & Statistics)

We’re excited for an active new year!

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2013

Organization and Planning Committee

The RSS Organization & Planning Committee will be working closely with the RUSA Executive Committee over the next year to continue to improve the effectiveness of the section. We will also be following up on feedback weve received over the next year, updating the handbook, reviewing the bylaws, and creating several surveys.

Liane Taylor, Chair 2012-2013

Research and Statistics Committee

The Research and Statistics Committee hosted the 18th Annual Reference Research Forum on Sunday, June 25. This years presenters were Lili Luo presenting Best Practices of Text Reference Service: A Synergistic View, Susan Gardner Archambault and Kenneth Simon presenting Apples and Oranges: Lessons from a Usability Study of Two Library FAQ Web Sites, and Alison Graber, Alison Hicks, Caroline Sinkinson, and Stephanie Alexander presenting Research Assistance Interactions: Exploration of Users Motivation and Perceptions. The committee also combed the literature to select exceptional articles detailing research in reference for the Reference Research Review: 2011.

Lynda Duke, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)

The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee held its official meeting at ALA Annual in Anaheim on Saturday, June 23, as part of the RSS All-Committee meeting. Twelve people were in attendance. One of the primary goals of the meeting was final planning for the committee’s sponsored program held on Saturday, June 23, at 1:30-3:30pm: “Are Virtual Reference Services Worth the Effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us”. The program was successful with approximately 150 people attending.

The committee is partnering with the RSS Marketing Committee on a webinar with Bill Pardue on marketing virtual reference services prior to Annual 2013. A discussion forum on this topic is planned for Annual 2013 itself with some sort of “bridge” activity between the webinar and Annual also being considered.

With the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee now having access to the RUSA Drupal installation, they are moving ahead with posting content. They have renamed the “Tutorial” the “Virtual Reference Companion” and aim to make it applicable to both managers/supervisors of VR service and frontline VR librarians. We are very excited about their progress and what they have planned.

We are also looking at a change in our official mission statement to fold in the charge of the now-disbanded Cooperative Reference Services Committee to “To identify and study issues relating to virtual reference services, and to evaluate and promote technological and service standards, guidelines, and ‘best practices’ for local and cooperative virtual reference services in all types of libraries.” We will be working with MARS and RSS to accomplish this.
Jason Coleman (Kansas State University Libraries and incoming Secretary of RSS) is moving ahead with the Survey Ad Hoc Group. He has recruited 2 people to help in designing and distributing the survey to determine the current state of virtual reference services.

The committee will be considering a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at either Midwinter and/or Annual. The committee plans to conduct their official midwinter meeting virtually with a time to be determined.

Don Boozer, Chair 2012-2013

Virtual Reference (VR) Tutorial Subcommittee

After receiving training from Louise Gruenberg and with her assistance as well as that of Sean Bires and Andrea Hill, the VR Tutorial Subcommittee has begun populating the new resource in Drupal. The Planning Module now includes what used to be the Policies Module and is complete. The Training Module is currently in progress. The Resources section is a work in progress and we will add to this, as well as Tips & Best Practices and Activities, as we work on the modules. We will be reorganizing the Resources by topic, instead of alphabetically. We are awaiting permissions from ALA so we can populate the Welcome page.

The subcommittee continues to meet monthly and works in subgroups between meetings. We will be brainstorming about the Interview Skills Module next and a subgroup will take ideas from that meeting and implement into Drupal content. We plan to continue to work this way until the resource is complete, hopefully by next years annual conference.

We decided that Virtual Reference Tutorial does not fit the resource anymore and have renamed it the Virtual Reference Companion: A Guide for VR Coordinators and Librarians, or VRC for short.

The subcommittee would like your help in making this resource be as useful as possible. We will be sending out a survey in the near future to request tips & best practices, activities, and resources in regards to virtual reference that we may be able to use for the VRC. We will greatly appreciate your input.

Jared Hoppenfeld, Chair 2012-2013
Jennifer Lau-Bond, Chair 2011-2013

Young Adult Reference Services

The newly minted Young Adult Reference Services (YARS) committee held a lively and informative discussion forum at 2012 Annual. The varied group of attendees points to the importance of reference services to this demographic. Fifteen participants talked about teen/young adult reference-related topics that ranged from assisting with research to marketing reference services to tweens, teens and undergrads (and the difficulties therein).

Plans are to continue offering discussion forums at conference and online while building name recognition and growing the committee’s membership from within YALSA and RSS.

Barbara Roos, YALSA
Emilie Smart, RSS
Co-Chairs, 2012-2013

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (aer123@psu.edu), editor.

Message from the Chair

RSS Review

Amy Rustic, Editor

RSS logo

Greetings RSS Members!

I can hardly believe its almost time for ALA Annual 2012 in Anaheim. We have many great events planned, including programs, discussions, and the RSS Open House. Read below for more information and stay tuned to our Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/rss.rusa) or RSS-L (to join: http://bit.ly/rss-l) to see a complete schedule of events with room numbers.

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

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

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

Liane Taylor

ltaylor@txstate.edu

RSS Chair, 2011-2012

RSS Service Achievement Award

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

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

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

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

Liane Taylor, RSS Chair; RSS Recognition Committee

Catalog Use Committee

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

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

Round Table Discussion Topics:

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

Peter Collins, Chair 2011-2012

Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

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

The Call for Proposals is posted on the Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee home page: http://connect.ala.org/node/98429

All are welcome to submit.

Emilie Smart, Chair 2011-2012

Education and Professional Development for Reference

The Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee (EPDRC) is working with the MARS Professional Development Committee to create an in-person workshop for ALA Midwinter 2013 for library staff, along with investigating topics for online training to be made available through ALA. EPDRC gathered websites and online resources related to reference training through social bookmarking, available at: http://www.diigo.com/user/rssepdr.
Additions to the list are welcomed by e-mailing one of the committee members. In addition, the group is investigating options for collaboration on a webinar around the Statistical Abstracts and what’s next.

Kristen Mastel, Chair 2011-2012

Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee

Join the Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee at Annual for a discussion of assessment on Saturday, June 24, from 4:00-5:30 PM, in the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 203B . Our discussion topic is The How, What, and Why of Reference Evaluation and Assessment. Its description is as follows: As the number of reference statistics decline, librarians look to measure the value of reference interactions more qualitatively. The Wisconsin-Ohio Reference Evaluation Program (WOREP), the READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment Data), and LibQual are among the tools that have been used. This discussion forum will address the how, why, and what of evaluation and assessment of reference. Participants will discuss how evaluation and assessment are being done and funded; whywhats behind both librarians and administrators reasons for collecting this information; and the whatwhat is being collected, the workload, and the decisions being made with this data.

Ellen Keith, Chair 2011-2012

Library Service to an Aging Population

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

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

Jeff Kempe, Chair 2011-2012

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking

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

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

Gabriel J. Duque, Chair 2011-2012

Management of Reference Committee

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

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

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

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

William Weare, Chair 2010-2012

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference

The RSS Marketing and PR Committee is providing a workshop called Lets Work Together: Integrating Social Media, Online Marketing, and Outreach with panelists/presenters David Lee King, Marshall Breeding, and Jennifer Robinson. It is scheduled to be on Monday, June 25, 8:30-10:00 AM at the Anaheim Convention Center 210D. We expect between 150-200 participants. Our committee will also meet virtually during ALA Annual (date/time TBD).

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

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

Cathay Crosby, Chair 2011-2012

Organization and Planning Committee

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

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


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

A group of RSS volunteers have also completed an update of the RSS home page content at http://www.ala.org/rusa/sections/rss. We are now working with our RSS Webmaster Shu Qian to figure out a way to have animated graphic images appear at the top of the RSS page.

Making plans for Annual? O&P will hold its once-a-year in-person meeting on Saturday, June 23 during the 8:00-10:00 am RSS Open House/All Committee Meeting at Anaheim Convention Center 210D during the ALA Annual 2012 in Anaheim. Visitors are always welcome.

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

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

 

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

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

Joe Thompson, Chair 2011-2012

Research and Statistics Committee

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

Qiana Johnson, Chair 2010-2012

Virtual Reference (VR) Services (MARS/RSS)

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

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

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

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

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

Don Boozer, Chair 2011-2012

Interested in getting involved with RSS?

Hi Everyone!

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

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

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

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

If you have any questions, please email me at hammills@fiu.edu .

I look forward to meeting many of you in June!
Sarah J. Hammill
RSS Chair Elect

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (aer123@psu.edu), editor.

Interested in getting involved with RSS?

If yes, then keep your eye on the RSS-L listserv!

(See http://www.ala.org/rusa/sections/rss/rssprotools/rssedl to subscribe to the list.)

I will be sending an email to the list as I start to make committee appointments. Many of our committees do their work entirely online so if you can’t attend ALA, you can still get involved!

To learn more about our committees, go to the RSS website and scroll down to “Our Committees.” We have four new committees so there is something for everyone interested in front-line reference services!

Sarah J. Hammill, RSS Chair Elect

 

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (aer123@psu.edu), editor.

Virtual Reference (VR) Tutorial Subcommittee

The planned activities of the VR Tutorial Subcommittee include revision of the VR tutorial modules using Drupal and performing user testing. As of December 2011, module revisions are in process. These include the Policies and Training modules. The team meets monthly and shares reports periodically with the Virtual Reference committee, and with RSS and MARS.

The Subcommittee would like your input!

We need you, your library and colleagues input

? Share current tips, best practices, best/worst cases on VR use in your library;

? We need top tips from libraries who were/are new to VR as well as the experienced libraries;

? We welcome your best practices from planning, policies to training and marketing;

? We would love to hear about your worst cases as well as best successes all are valuable lessons learned;

? Share a colleague to be a module reviewer or tester, please;

? The VR team is already asking that the splash page is removed from the Tutorial site.

Please contact the subcommittee co-chairs with your suggestions, tips and testing input at Valli Hoski (VHoski@libraryref.org) or Jennifer Lau-Bond (jllaubond@gmail.com).

Valli Hoski, Chair 2010-2011

Web Advisory Board Committee

The Web Advisory Board Committee had the 2012 mid-winter virtual meeting on January 30. The migration to Drupal has happened last year. Members have started to take trainings on using Drupal as the new web content management tool. For our RSS website, we will continue working closely with all the other committees in order to keep the content as current as possible and make it more accessible.

Shu Qian, RSS Webmaster

Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)

The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee held its virtual Midwinter meeting on Friday, December 16, 2011. Minutes and a recording of the meeting are available in ALA Connect.

The Committee is hosting a program at ALA Annual 2012 entitled “Are virtual reference services worth the effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us.” Panelists are confirmed and a high profile person has given tentative confirmation to serve as moderator. Stay tuned to ALA Connect for more details.

The committee will be discussing ideas for the 2013 ALA Annual via email and other means. The focus currently under consideration is to do something with gadgets or technology since the last several Annual programs have focused on other “soft” aspects of virtual reference service.

In keeping with its goals, the Committee has created the “RUSA MARS/RSS VR Committee Survey Ad Hoc Group”. Jason Coleman, an active member of the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee as well as Undergraduate & Community Services Librarian at Kansas State University, has volunteered to lead the new group. They are charged with conducting an online survey to assess the distribution and logistics of virtual reference services in libraries. Jason has asked individuals interested in working on the project to contact him at coleman@k-state.edu as soon as possible.

The Committee members are also exploring ways to update existing virtual reference content in online venues like Wikipedia, LISWiki, LibSuccess, etc. Options under consideration include sponsoring a Wikipedia “Edit-a-thon” at Annual Conference, creating a Twitter hashtag, inaugurating a Google Group, etc.

Don Boozer, Chair 2011-2012

Library Services to the Spanish Speaking

The Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Committee held its 2012 Midwinter virtual meeting on January 19. Upcoming activities include a discussion forum at the 2012 Annual Conference titled Que pasa? What’s Happening in U.S. Library Services for Spanish Speakers? and a revision of the Guidelines for Library Services to Spanish-Speaking Library Users. Last December the committee published the results of a nation-wide survey on library services for Spanish speaking patrons in the Fall/Winter issue of the REFORMA National Newsletter.

Gabriel J. Duque, Chair 2011-2012

Management of Reference Committee

The Management of Reference Committee held a Discussion Forum on Management of Reference on Saturday, January 21, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas. Two topics were discussed: 1) the draft revision of the Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers, and 2) the upcoming revision of Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians. About 20 people attended the discussion.

William Weare, Chair 2010-2012