From the President

President’s column

Greetings, RUSA members!  I was thrilled to see so many of you at the Midwinter meeting in Boston.  The conference was both productive and enjoyable for RUSA.  The Book and Media Awards ceremony on Sunday evening was a great success, thanks to the efforts of the RUSA staff and volunteers.  For the first time we announced the winners of the Carnegie Medal alongside our annual “best of” book and media lists.  This year’s Carnegie winners were Sally Mann’s Hold Still for nonfiction and Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer for fiction.  I am looking forward to hearing from both winning authors at our Carnegie event at the Annual Conference in Orlando, which will be held Saturday, June 25.  The winners of our other BMAs can be found on our RUSA News blog at  I’d also like to once again thank our award committees for their dedication and tireless work.

In other news from Midwinter, the RUSA Board approved the formation of a task force to propose a new name for our association.  I recently emailed my call for volunteers to the RUSA membership:

The task force grows from concerns that the name Reference & User Services Association no longer accurately describes the dynamic quality of the work that we do.  RUSA comprises a wide variety of interests and activities, including readers’ advisory, interlibrary loan, genealogy, user experience and all kinds of library public services.  Many of us once identified as reference librarians but recognize that reference is changing radically, and find ourselves wondering how best to brand ourselves and the services we provide.  As we consider ALA’s current Libraries Transform campaign, we are thinking about the transformations within RUSA’s membership and wanting to make sure that we as an association continue to support and represent our members’ needs and interests.  It is also important that our name speak to potential members.  The charge of the task force will be to determine name change possibilities and make a recommendation to the RUSA Board by the end of 2016.  In the course of recommending a new name for RUSA the task force will be considering larger issues of rebranding within RUSA and library public services generally, and will be invited to think beyond the standard library lingo.

I received a large number of volunteers in response to this message; I believe this is because these questions are pertinent not only to RUSA but to all of us in our everyday jobs.  I’ll be putting together the task force very soon and will be excited to see the results of this effort.  Any name change would need to be approved by the RUSA membership during the annual election, so everyone will have a chance to weigh in.

As a division president, I was invited to attend an all-day information policy workshop on Thursday at Midwinter.  The workshop was organized by Alan Inouye, Director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), and focused on how ALA’s leadership can be advocates for key information policy issues on the national and local scale.  During the day we heard from an impressive lineup of speakers including Marjory Blumenthal, executive director of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who described the “information policy triangle” comprised of the three key issues of freedom of speech, privacy and intellectual property/copyright and discussed how these play out in the areas of telecommunications and media policy, education and research funding.  Donna Scheeder, President of IFLA, spoke about the effects of globalization and how treaties and IGO policies impact information in the US.  Alan Fishel, senior counsel for the Policy Revolution! initiative managed by ALA OITP, described the qualities needed for effective advocacy, including confidence, clarity and concision.  We reviewed ALA’s National Policy Agenda and spent time in small group discussions to identify key issues and strategies for advocacy.  I found the day both informative and stimulating, and it has me thinking about how RUSA can provide advocacy and how advocacy should be a part of all of our jobs.

In my last RUSA update I wrote about our initiative to start interest groups in RUSA, with an invitation to propose an interest group as part of our pilot phase.  I’m happy to report that four pilot interest groups were proposed, approved and are underway.  If you are interested in being involved in any of these interest groups, please contact the convener:

Copyright, Faithe Ruiz (
The focus of the Copyright IG is on providing a forum for the RUSA community to exchange ideas relating to copyright law and its application, to strengthen communication and cooperation among RUSA members on issues relating to copyright, and to provide opportunities for growth and improved reference services.

Entrepreneurship, Steve Cramer (
Entrepreneurship has been a hot topic of reference and adult services librarians for some time now. The concept includes self-employment, starting a business, and starting a nonprofit (also called social entrepreneurship). For libraries, support of entrepreneurship can involve outreach, research support, providing spaces for innovation and collaboration, and connecting entrepreneurs to other local resources and support services.

First Year Experience, Douglas Hasty (
The purpose of this group is to share ideas and develop new connections for future collegiality and support. Topics for discussions include but are not limited to retention improvements, introduction to higher education research skills development, outreach, first generation students, international students, students enrolled simultaneously in high school and college (dual enrollment programs), reference services, etc.

Shared Collections, Tina Baich (
This Interest Group will focus on the topic of Shared Collections, which can encompass shared print initiatives, shared storage facilities, and prospective sharing of collections through cooperative collection development.

I’m excited by these interest groups and look forward to hearing about their work.  Thanks to the conveners for their efforts and visionary thinking, and to the Organization & Planning Committee, chaired by Beth German, for facilitating this process.

Please feel free to contact me any time at  I welcome your questions and comments.

Anne Houston
RUSA President 2015-2016

Emerging Leader

Greetings from RUSA’s 2016 Emerging Leader

I consider myself an expert email watcher. Of course in October 2015 my iPhone Mail app just about had enough of my checking and refreshing. But all for a very good reason! The phrase “Congratulations!” had never meant so much to me as it did when I opened the Emerging Leaders email with that exact phrase. I will admit I had to read that email a few times just for it to sink in and then I could celebrate.

My name is Catherine Damiani and I am honored to be RUSA’s 2016 Emerging Leader. I recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies and currently work as East Providence Public Library’s full-time Digital Services Librarian. I was introduced to RUSA when I was a library school student through ALA’s Student-to-Staff program at ALA Annual in 2014. I was very lucky to have experienced working with such a fantastic organization through the S2S program. I continued working with RUSA as a Voices blogger during ALA Annual 2015 and became very interested in serving on RUSA committees during that time. Within RUSA, I currently serve on the President’s Program Planning Committee and the ETS Hot Topics in Electronic Reference Discussion Group. My involvement with RUSA and ALA as a whole has lent an enormous amount of experience and value to my professional career. I am so excited to be serving RUSA in this capacity.

To give you a little background: the Emerging Leaders program was developed to help new librarians hone leadership skills and work with other librarians from around the country on projects for the American Library Association. This year’s fifty Emerging Leaders will be working on projects for AASL, ACRL, ALA-APA, ALCTS, ALSC, APALA, IRRT, MAGIRT, PLA, YALSA, and of course RUSA.

Last year’s RUSA Emerging Leader, Beth Boatright, worked on the RUSA “Library as Publisher” project. I am thrilled that myself and 4 other Emerging Leaders will be continuing this project and developing a toolkit for libraries interested in publishing. After our day-long workshop at ALA Midwinter in Boston I am confident when I say that the RUSA project project team is a dream team and that we are all incredibly excited to be working on this project.

Stay tuned for more updates as I will be posting to both RUSA Updates and RUSA News during my time as RUSA’s Emerging Leader. I also love to tweet and if you do too be sure to connect with me on Twitter @BiblioCatherine.

Catherine Damiani

RUSA News/Announcements

Don’t miss out on Early Bird Registration rates, which end at 12 p.m. (CT) March 16, 2016. You can register for the conference using this link: ALA Annual Conference registration.

RUSA’s Annual Conference Line-up:

President’s Program
“Be Our Guest”:  Creating Immersive Guest Experiences in Libraries

Join RUSA for a thoughtful discussion on how to create an effective “guest experience” in your library that both teaches and inspires your users.  Keynote speaker Dave Cobb, Vice President for Creative Development of the Thinkwell Group, is an expert on designing immersive educational experiences for museums and theme parks. He’ll talk about how libraries can tell stories with space and create emotional resonance with their users–drawing on examples from the library world, as well as local Orlando theme parks.

Business Data for Librarians –
Ticket purchase required
As the business world embraces big data, so must librarians. The focus of this full-day workshop will include: conducting a data reference interview; delving into the issues of data validity and data information literacy; and, working with data tools and datasets. Participants will look in-depth at locating and manipulating financial and marketing data in particular. You’ll hear from experts through interactive sessions on data and microdata in libraries and business reference work, the types of financial data and the primary sources for obtaining it, and how to employ skepticism in assessing marketing and consumer data.  Register here.

A Spoonful of Data-Driven Sugar: Using Big Business Research to Improve Customer Satisfaction in Easy-to-Implement, Single-Serving Packets  Ticket purchase required
USAA, Amazon, Zappos, Trader Joe’s, and Starbucks are among companies ranked highest in customer service and they spend millions of dollars identifying ways to make their users happy. Learn how our panelists have tested and incorporated specific communication techniques into their workflows and patron interfaces, improving customer satisfaction and their own understanding of user needs, wants, and stress behaviors. Attendees will receive access to a digital toolkit of tips and tools. Register here.

Genealogy Preconference Free, but registration is required*
This free workshop will help librarians of all types learn techniques. This can include better understanding of genealogy research methods and sources. It can also include how libraries can leverage their unique holdings to become more relevant to genealogists, who tend to be passionate in their support of libraries that have useful materials. Register here:

Annual Conference Programs
(Dates and times have not been confirmed yet. Please stay tuned!)

The Library as Publisher: Emerging Services for Storytellers and Scholars
More information to come. Stay tuned!

Educating for the Future of Reference, sponsored by the RSS Education & Professional Development Committee
What do reference librarians need from library school coursework to best prepare them for the current marketplace? To help answer this question we have assembled a panel that includes reference/public services librarians from both academic and public libraries, a library school professor, and a library school dean, to explore whether existing coursework as currently taught meets these needs, and if not, how those working in the profession can best inform library schools as they make strategic decisions about curriculum.

Partnering for the Common Good: Libraries, and Genealogical Societies
Interest in family history (genealogy) is at an all-time high across the nation. In addition, Technology is making possible partnerships between libraries and societies that would not have been possible a few years ago. Come hear stories of successful collaboration between all types of libraries (Public, Academic, School, and Special), and genealogical societies. Learn how you can leverage these partnerships to the benefit of your library. Participants will learn how to identify opportunities for their own libraries to partner with a local genealogical society.

Not Your Average Consortia
As library partnerships and collaborations are needed more than ever, library consortias are being relied upon more as resources and tools in a library’s future. This presentation will focus on what years of consortial development and participation has taught us. The panelists provide decades of experience in consortial partnerships and will be able to touch upon the “best of” practices in these partnerships. They will also guide a discussion on future developments and opportunities for all consortial cooperation.

Emerging Technologies Librarians: Changing Roles for Changing Times
We’ll take a look at the day in the life of Emerging Technologies Librarians, the trends in job descriptions, tips for successfully juggling competing priorities, and advice and strategies for keeping up. Our panel will delve into the discussion regarding what preparation library schools should be providing for reference practitioners. The panel will bring together LIS reference educators and reference practitioners – which makes this a unique program. At the end of this program, participants will be able to describe several different variations of job descriptions and responsibilities of emerging technologies librarians.

Book and Media Awards Ceremony & Reception

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
“The Sympathizer,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen, published by Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, was selected as the winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and “Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs,” by Sally Mann, published by Little, Brown, and Company, Hachette Book Group, was selected as the winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.

This is the first time the Carnegie Medal winner announcements were made during the Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, reflecting a new calendar for the awards, with the shortlist announced in October, the winners in January and the popular celebratory event continuing at ALA Annual Conference each year. During the celebratory event, both Nguyen and Mann will receive a medal and $5,000. The four finalists will each receive $1,500. To attend the celebratory reception, purchase tickets for the event here.



CODES Awards

Notable Books List
Reading List
Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration
Sophie Brody Medal
Dartmouth Medal
Outstanding Reference Sources
Zora Neale Hurston Award
Louis Shores Award

BRASS Awards
Outstanding Business Reference Sources
Best of the Best Business Websites

History Awards
Best Historical Materials

ETS Awards
Best Free Reference Websites

Annual Conference

Uprooted book cover Book Of Aron book cover Delicious Foods book cover Pretty Girls book cover Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings book cover

Literary Tastes: Celebrating the best reading of the year
Featured speakers include:
Naomi Novik, author of Uprooted. Published by Del Rey. Winner of the 2016 Fantasy category of RUSA’s Reading List.
Jim Shepard, author of The Book of Aron. Published by A.A.Knopf. Winner of the 2016 Sophie Brody Medal and finalist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
James Hannaham, author of Delicious Foods. Published by Little, Brown and Company. 2016 Notable Book for fiction.
Karin Slaughter, author of Pretty Girls. Published by William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins. Winner of the 2016 Adrenaline category of RUSA’s Reading List.
Joy Harjo, author of Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems. Published by W.W. Norton and Company. 2016 RUSA Notable Book for Poetry.

ALA Annual Conference
Sunday, June 27, 2015, 8:00am-10:00am, hotel TBA
Orlando, FL

Naomi Novik headshot
Naomi Novik

Jim Shepard headshot
Jim Shepard

James Hannaham headshot
James Hannaham

Karin Slaughter_headshot_Photo by Alison Rosa
Karin Slaughter

Joy Harjo headshot
Joy Harjo


RUSA Achievement Awards ceremony and reception
Sunday, June 27, 5-6:30pm, hotel TBA
Orlando, FL


Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award
This year’s winner is Cheryl LaGuardia, research librarian at the Widener Library of Harvard University.
The Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award was established in 1958. It presents a cash award of $5,000* and a citation to an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.

Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services
The 2016 winner is San Jose Public Library, San Jose, CA, for the Virtual Privacy Lab (, a free, encrypted online learning tool for all libraries to share with patrons.
Established in 1990, the Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services is a citation and $1,000* award presented to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons’ reference needs.

John Sessions Memorial Award
This year’s winner is The Center for Labor Education & Research, University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu
Established in 1980, the John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Such efforts may include outreach projects to local labor unions; establishment of, or significant expansion of, special labor collections; initiation of programs of special interest to the labor community; or other library activities that serve the labor community. The winner receives a plaque.

NoveList’s Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award
Dr. Mary K. Chelton, retired professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Queen’s College, CUNY, was selected as this year’s winner.
Established in 1985, the Margaret E. Monroe Award is $1,250* and a citation presented to a librarian who has made significant contributions to library adult services. The individual may be practicing librarian, a library and information science researcher or educator, or a retired librarian who has brought distinction to the profession’s understanding and practice or services for adults.

Reference Service Press Award
Denise Adkins, associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Information Science and Learning Technologies and C. Sean Burns, assistant professor, University of Kentucky School of Information Science, authored the winning article selected for the 2016 Reference Service Press Award. The article, “Arizona Public Libraries Serving the Spanish-Speaking Context for Changes,” was first published in Fall of 2013, (Vol. 53, No. 1) of Reference and User Services Quarterly
Established in 1985 and sponsored by Reference Service Press, this award constitutes a plaque and $2,500*. It recognizes the most outstanding article published in RUSQ during the preceding two-volume year.


Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)

BRASS Mergent Excellence in Business Librarianship Award
Jared Hoppenfeld, Business Librarian/Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University was selected as this year’s winner.
Established in 1989, the Excellence in Business Librarianship Award presents a citation and $4,000* cash award to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business librarianship.

BRASS Emerald Research Grant Award
Lisa O’Connor, associate professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of Kentucky, for her study, “Why Aren’t Millennials Taking Stock?:  Assessing the Role of Information Literacy in Market Avoidance.”
The Emerald Research Grant Award will be awarded to individuals seeking support to conduct research in business librarianship. The funds may be used at the discretion of the award recipients.

Global Financial Data Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award
This year’s winner is Ruth D. Terry, business and government information librarian, assistant professor at the University of Alaska-Anchorage
This $1,250* award recognizes a librarian new to the field of academic business librarianship in order to support attendance to the ALA Annual Conference.

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award
Susan Wolf Neilson, librarian, Wake County Public Libraries (N.C.) was selected as the 2016 winner.
This award, $1,250*, is to support the attendance at Annual Conference of a public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and who requires financial assistance to attend the ALA Annual Conference.

BRASS SimplyMap Student Travel Award
The 2016 winner is Katherine Glasoe, student at the School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College.
This award consists of $1,250* and is given to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master’s degree program to fund travel to and attendance at the ALA Annual Conference and a one-year membership in the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA.

Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES)

Louis Shores Award
Multimedia & Technology Reviews
was selected as the 2016 winner.
Established in 1990, this award recognizes an individual reviewer, group, editor, review medium or organization for excellence in book reviewing and other media for libraries.

Zora Neale Hurston Award
Dr. Florita Bell Griffin, Creative Director of ARC Communications, LLC, a Texas-based Visual Art Communications and Publishing Company is the 2016 winner.
This annual award, founded in 2008, provides $1,250 for funds to travel to the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the United for Libraries’ Gala Author Tea and two sets of  Zora Neale Hurston books published by Harper Perennial, to an individual ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature.

Emerging Technologies Section (ETS)

ETS Achievement Recognition Award
Beth Boatright, information services and instruction librarian, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, was selected as the 2016 winner.
The ETS Achievement Recognition Award is given annually to recognize excellence in service to MARS. This award, presented at the annual ETS Chair’s Program, is given to an individual who is a current member of ETS, and has been an active member for the past two years.

HISTORY Section (HS)

Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award
The 2016 winner is Thomas Padilla, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Michigan State University.
Established in 2012, the Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award winner will receive a citation and up to $2,500* which may be used at the winner’s discretion.  This award will be granted to an MLS degreed librarian from an ALA accredited school to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship.

Genealogy / History Achievement Award
Michele C. McNabb, Library Manager, Genealogy Center, Museum of Danish America was selected as this year’s winner.
Established in 1992 and sponsored by ProQuest, this award presents a citation and $1,500* cash to a librarian, library or publisher and recognizes professional achievement in historical reference and research librarianship.

Reference Services Section (RSS)

RSS Service Achievement Award
The 2016 winner is Sarah J. Hammill, Business & Online Learning Librarian, Florida International University.
This annual award, founded in 2010, is given 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.

Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (STARS)

STARS-Atlas Systems Mentoring Award
The 2016 winner is Kimberly Steiner, interlibrary loan technician at Messiah College (Pa.).
Sponsored by Atlas Systems, Inc., this award offers $1,250* to fund travel expenses associated with attending ALA’s annual conference. The recipient will be a library practitioner who is new to the field of interlibrary loan/document delivery or electronic reserves, and who has daily, hands-on involvement in the areas of borrowing, lending, document delivery, electronic reserves, material delivery, or resource sharing.

Virginia Boucher-OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award
Tina Baich, associate librarian and head of resource sharing and delivery services, bibliographic and metadata services, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis was selected as this year’s winner.
The Virginia Boucher-OCLC Distinguished ILL (Interlibrary Loan) Librarian Award is an annual award consisting of $2,000*, sponsored by OCLC, and a citation. It recognizes a librarian for outstanding professional achievement, leadership, and contributions to interlibrary loan and document delivery through recent publication of significant professional literature, participation in professional associations, and/or innovative approaches to practice in individual libraries.


RUSA Membership
Jason Coleman, Chair of Conference Program Coordinating Committee joined RUSA 201 on January 20 for a great session. If you’re interested in knowing more about what this committee looks for, we’ve posted the session and presentation here:

RUSA 101 is an orientation to RUSA, it’s sections, and the work done across the division.

RUSA 201 provides more in-depth content for RUSA members about what is done at the division level and opportunities to get involved.

Watch the listserv for updates and meeting information!
If you or your committee are interested in being featured, please drop me a line at

Ann Brown
Chair, RUSA Membership Committee

RUSA Publications and Communications
Consider blogging for RUSA Voices, the new blog for RUSA members and those who support the mission and goals of RUSA.

We are looking for folks (RUSA members or interested parties) to blog during ALA’s Annual Conference this coming June in Orlando about interesting sessions, discussion groups, and happenings.

If you’re not attending Annual, but have other things you’d like to share, consider blogging about items or interest or things that really grind your gears throughout the year. Can’t do it then, but still interested?

Going to other library conferences and want to share what you learned? Bring it on! No topic is taboo and since this is a user generated blog, we want to hear what you think. RUSA wants to hear what you think. ALA wants to hear what you think.

Please check out RUSA Voices at

Questions?  Interest?  Contact David Midyette (

Amy Rustic
Chair, RUSA Publications and Communications Committee


John Gottfried, Editor

Message from the BRASS Chair

The BRASS Board will be having an online meeting on Tues. Feb. 23 from 1-3PM CST.

I also want to thank everyone for all the time and devotion they have committed to making BRASS the best section in RUSA! I’m looking forward to the Annual Conference in Orlando and I hope you all are as well. We have a great selection of programs, forums, meetings and social gatherings to look forward to as that time approaches.
Warm regards,
Paul Brothers, BRASS Chair 2015-2016

Business Reference Services Discussion Group
The BRASS Discussion Group facilitated a virtual discussion on November 13th. In attendance were 43 BRASS members. Topics included changes in SLA, the formation of RUSA interest groups, and much more. There was also an in-person discussion held at Midwinter in Boston on January 10th. Roughly 15 members were able to attend this discussion, which was focused around collections. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in these discussions. The next virtual discussion will be on March 23th at 2pm EST. It will be an open agenda.

Emily Treptow 2014-2016 Chair

Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee
Our committee has been holding virtual meetings the last few months in order to plan for our Academic Forum at Annual in Orlando: “Innovation and Risk Taking in Business Academic Librarianship:  Lightning Talks”. The Forum will feature up to seven academic business librarians discussing innovative practices, products or services. The Committee will select seven librarians to make 5-7 minute presentations with time after for discussion. We are willing to consider proposals with an element of risk, and even those describing a project that did not succeed. A call for proposals has been sent out, but we encourage all business librarian to submit their proposals using the form linked here:

Van Houlson, 2015-2016 Chair

Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee
The committee continues to work on updating the Public Libraries Briefcase and adding informative articles. The latest entry, “Understanding Financial Ratios for Small Business,” is a fascinating article written by Ray Cruitt. We will be meeting shortly to discuss new ideas to make it easier to exchange information about business reference resources with business librarians who support small businesses and budding entrepreneurs. Looking forward to Orlando…our committee will meet on June 25th at 3pm.

Salvatore DiVincenzo, 2015-2016 Chair

Business Reference Sources Committee
The Business Reference Sources Committee is in the process of nominating sources that will be selected for an upcoming issue of Reference and User Services Quarterly.

The Committee has also selected the program to be presented at the annual Publisher’s Forum, which will take place at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. The title of the forum will be “One Part Social, One Part Commercial: A Recipe for Supporting Social Entrepreneurship.”

Ed Hahn, 2014-2016 Chair

Education Committee
The BRASS Education Committee continues to pursue a variety of exciting goals.  In addition to ongoing work to continually update BRASS Business Guides, four committee teams have been working on completing their individual projects:

  • Pre Conference Planning Team
    • Work continues on developing the 2016 BRASS Preconference “Business Data for Librarians” at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. Our speakers have provided us with brief descriptions of their intended content, and we have used this information to send out advertising text to relevant listservs, social media outlets, ALA Connect and others. We will continue to advertise over the coming months, as well as working out the details of our interactive presentations. This looks to be an amazing Preconference! If you haven’t already, consider joining us on June 24th, 2016.
    • This team benefits from the efforts of Tom Ottaviano, Peter McKay, Charles Allan and Emmy Solis.
  • Best of the Best Business Websites Award Team
    • After running another successful nomination and voting process, the Team is now completing the process of contacting Award winners. In addition, the Team developed and submitted a proposal to consider changing the award from a print certificate to a web badge; this proposal has been submitted to the Executive Committee.
    • This team benefits from the efforts of Monica Hagan, Cara Cadena and Bridget Farrell.
  • Free Webinar Team
    • Having facilitated a very successful 2015 RUSA Free Section Webinar “Supporting Entrepreneurship: The Kauffman Foundation’s Research and Resources”, the team is currently responsible for soliciting ideas and speakers for a possible 2016 free webinar.
    • This team benefits from the efforts of Phebe Dickson, Robbie De Peri and Christina Sheley.
  • Paid Webinar Team
    • The Team continues to investigate whether there is any need for further business reference webinars and whether this would be an appropriate or feasible undertaking for the Education Committee. Plans are to discuss this issue in greater depth at our Committee Meeting at ALA Annual 2016.
    • This team benefits from the efforts of Kelly LaVoice, Hiromi Kubo and LuMarie Guth.

The BRASS Education Committee has had a wonderful year learning and exploring ourselves, and we hope the business reference community feels we have provided similar opportunities to all of you!

Ashley Faulkner, 2012-2015 Chair

Nominating Committee
The BRASS Nominating Committee is excited to announce a slate of strong candidates for BRASS office:

  • BRASS Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect:
    Chad Boeninger
    Greg Fleming
  • Secretary
    Jared Hoppenfeld
    Ilana Stonebraker
  • Member at Large
    Annette Buckley
    Ed Rossman

Many thanks to the candidates, and to those who submitted nominations. BRASS will be in good hands.

Andy Spackman, 2015-2016 Chair

Program Planning Committee
Over 865 hotels with 103,230 rooms are scheduled to open in 2016, according to hotel research firm STR ( Want to learn more? Come to the BRASS ALA Annual Program “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes: Travel and Hospitality Landscape and Library Resources,” which will be held Monday, June 27th 8am to 10am at the ALA Annual Conference in beautiful Orlando, Florida. Breakfast sponsored by S&P Capital IQ.

Ilana Stonebraker, 2015-2016 Chair

Publications and Communications Committee
The P&C Committee will be holding a virtual meeting in February where we will discuss the following:

  • Social Media Policy
  • Appointing a new BRASS Notes Editor
  • Using RUSA Voices for BRASS
  • Discussion of BRASS-L content policy
  • Update of BRASS website projects

Chad Boeninger, 2014-2016 Chair

Vendor Relations Committee
There have been several changes in sponsorships for BRASS awards:

  • We are pleased to announce that Mergent is the new sponsor of the BRASS Excellence in Business Librarianship Award. The award is increased to $4000.
  • SimplyMap is now the sponsor of the BRASS Student Travel Award.
  • ReferenceUSA has confirmed they will continue to sponsor the BRASS members’ reception at ALA Annual in Orlando 2016.
  • Our long-time friends S&P Capital IQ continue to sponsor the BRASS continental breakfast prior to the BRASS program.
  • Mintel will once again sponsor the BRASS Discussion Group coffee.
  • Emerald has reached out to BRASS again about continuing the popular Emerald event as part of Annual, and early planning has started for 2017. We continue to thank Emerald for their sponsorship of the BRASS Emerald Research Award.

Be sure to let all our sponsors know how much we value their commitment to BRASS activities!

Ann Fiegen, 2015-2016 Chair


BRASS Mergent Learning Excellence in Business Librarianship Award
The BRASS Mergent Excellence in Business Librarianship committee is pleased to announce that Jared Hoppenfeld, business librarian at Texas A&M University, has been selected as this year’s recipient. A longtime BRASS member, Jared has published widely on topics relevant to academic and public business librarians, including “Information-Seeking Behaviors of Business Faculty,” the most-downloaded article of 2014 in the Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship. A 2015 article, “Engaging with Entrepreneurs in Academic and Public Libraries,” was selected to be included in a special entrepreneurship-themed issue of Reference Services Review.

Business students at Texas A&M University also benefit from Jared’s expertise and creativity. After identifying a gap in the business information literacy schedule, Jared proposed a new program targeting first year students and now nearly all business students receive instruction starting their freshman year. Additionally, his current work with the national Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) has impacted not just his constituents at Texas A&M University but EBV programs across the country. He was the driving force behind the creation of the EBV Info Portal which coordinates among a growing number of database vendors, as well as staff, faculty and librarians at other EBV institutions.

For these contributions and other efforts, the committee is pleased to name Jared this year’s winner of the BRASS Mergent Excellence in Business Librarianship award. This award is generously sponsored by Mergent and consists of $4,000 and a citation. An award ceremony is planned for ALA Annual in Orlando. Congratulations, Jared!

Celia Ross, 2014-2015 Chair

Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award Committee
Katherine Glasoe is the recipient of the 2016 BRASS Student Travel Award. Katherine plans to graduate from Simmons College with her MLS in May 2016 and intends to pursue a career in business librarianship. She has gained practical work experience with her position as a Technical Services Assistant at Harvard Business School’s Baker Library, an internship with The Brattle Group, and with her position as a Graduate Student Library Assistant at Draper. While maintaining a busy work and academic schedule, she serves as the current President of the Simmons College student chapter of SLA. One of her goals is to become an active member of BRASS.

Diane Zabel, 2015-2016 Chair

Global Financial Data Academic Business Librarian Award
Ruth D. Terry, Business and Government Information Librarian at the University of Alaska Anchorage, is the recipient of the Global Financial Data Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award. Projects in her first year as a business librarian include using assessment results to shape library instruction, a mini-grant project to embed information literacy into specific courses, and using metrics and input from faculty to improve the collection. She has also been active as the co-chair of the new BRASS business librarians group, as secretary for the Anchorage chapter of the Alaska Library Association, and as a member of the Alaska Governor’s Council on Libraries. We wish Ms. Terry all the best in her new career and hope that this travel grant for the ALA annual meeting will help her to enhance the development of her career and to further contribute to the profession of business librarianship.

Julia Martin, 2015-2016 Chair

Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award Committee
The Morningstar Award committee met through email and publicized this award through various listservs, state association websites, and ALA Connect. We received 3 outstanding candidates and chose Susan Wolf Neilson as our recipient of the $1250 award to help with travel to this year’s Annual ALA Conference.

The committee worked well together and did a good job in selecting the award winner.

Committee members:

Patricia Hull
Kelly Jeanne Evans
Edmund A Rossman
Cynthia H Slater
Janet Tom

Patricia Hull, 2015-2016 Chair


Barry Trott, Editor

ALA Midwinter saw another great round of book and media awards. Be sure to see the spring copy of RUSQ for a listing of all the award winners. Please mark your calendars for the RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony 5-6:30 p.m. on June 26. This event is a great opportunity to the book award winners, as well as network with colleagues.

Appointments for 2016 CODES awards committees are just about complete, and CODES vice-chair, Dan Mack is getting set to start appointing members to other CODES committees as well as CODES representatives to RUSA level committees. Volunteers should fill out the form at, or email me at  If members have a question about what membership on a particular committee may entail, please feel free to email Dan at

The CODES executive committee is working on their section review. Done every 5 years, the section review is a chance to look at the structure and operations of the section and see what is working well and what might be changed to improve CODES. The section review will be submitted to the RUSA Board later this spring.


Laura Hibbler, Editor

The RUSA History Genealogy Achievement Award committee met (in person at ALA Midwinter and virtually). The Committee finalized the citation for their award winner, Michele C. McNabb, Library Manager, Genealogy Center, Museum of Danish America.

RUSA History Genealogy Pre Conference Planning committee had a successful pre-conference with about 100 attendees. The speakers and topics were:

  • “Seventeenth-Century New England Research,” Lindsay Fulton, from the New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • “Migrations Out of New England,” Christopher C. Child, from New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • “Learning about ‘Good’ Genealogy: Educational Opportunities and Testing,” Elissa Scalise Powell, CG , CGL

The New England Historic Genealogical Society invited all attendees to a tour of their facilities, followed by a reception.

History Section members enjoyed an informal meet-up during ALA Midwinter, at Jaho Coffee Roaster and Wine Bar.

Approximately 18 people attended the History Section’s tour of the Boston Athenaeum at ALA Midwinter.

RUSA History Librarians Discussion Group held an excellent session during ALA Midwinter. Eileen M. Bentsen, Baylor University Libraries, writes with the following notes about the discussion:

The Discussion Group (DG) focused on two topics of interest to members: digital tools for history, and the ACRL Framework and RUSA IL Guidelines for UG History Students: Beyond the Classroom. Both topics generated lively and useful discussion among the attendees who represented public, academic, and special libraries, historical societies and museums, and individuals from tech start ups wanting to work with history librarians to better promote services, collections, and tools.

Eileen Bentsen (convener of the DG) opened the digital tools portion of the discussion by sharing the “Tools” page from her colleague’s LibGuide on digital scholarship tools – chosen because they are all freely available on the web and most don’t require a long learning curve (Megan Martinsen. Digital Scholarship: Tools, Discussion followed on what each tool could do, who might have used them, and a list of other tools and sites recommended from the attendees.

Many of the institutions present did not have a digital humanities librarian working within or with their institution and the website The Programming Historian ( was recommended as a good starting place for independent learning. It was also suggested that the links provided during this discussion be added to the existing Library of Congress and/or Digital Public Library of America web site. Eileen agreed to follow up on this.

The group next moved on to a discussion of the ACRL Framework, ACRL IL Guidelines, and RUSA IL Guidelines for UG History Majors and how to move the use of these tools beyond the traditional classroom. Copies of all three documents were shared among those present. Attendees focused on the “scholarship as conversation” portion of the ACRL Framework and how this aspect would be most useful in non-academic settings as a way to address several common issues. Issues included:

  • incorporating these items (esp. the RUSA IL Guidelines) in the teacher training workshops that many of the institutions participated in
  • introducing these documents into discussions with educators, board members, and other stakeholders as a means of demonstrating the authority and ownership librarians, archivists, and library staff have in the educational mission of the institution
  • could the Guidelines be used as the design principle in designing an institution’s website
  • use the Guidelines and Framework with State History Day organizers to provide a more realistic time schedule for the research involved in these projects

Among the topics which generated the most discussion was the use of these documents as a tool to explain the ethical issues involved when working with primary source materials.

A full list of links is posted on ALA Connect at and will be mailed to attendees. Other methods of dissemination are also being considered.

Emerging Technologies Section (ETS)

Chanitra Bishop, Editor

ETS Helps to Make Inaugural Midwinter “Deep Dives” a Success
ETS helped to launch the inaugural round of “Deep Dives” – small, half-day professional development workshops – at this year’s Midwinter meeting in Boston.  The program, “We Are All User Experience Librarians: Creating Change from the Trenches” aimed to provide attendees with an introduction to why user experience design matters in libraries, what it is, and how librarians can take simple, sustainable steps to implement it.  The sold-out session heard from Heidi Steiner Burkhardt [University of Michigan], Pete Coco [Boston Public Library], Deirdre Costello [EBSCO], Courtney McDonald Greene [Indiana University] and Lauren McKeen [Northwestern University] about creating user-centered content, developing a content management strategy, simple ways to begin doing usability testing, and how to do “flash” – quick, inexpensive – ethnographic research on library users, as well as receiving a capsule introduction to user experience design.  Talks were accompanied by audience-participation exercises that allowed attendees to begin thinking about how to practically apply the concepts and strategies discussed in their own libraries, and they concluded with a lively Q&A period.

The session received uniformly positive evaluations, and the User Experience Design Committee hopes to expand in into a pre-conference to be held at Annual 2017 in Chicago.  Slides, tweets, and other media from the Deep Dive are available at:

ETS updates, changes and call for volunteers!
Updated Bylaws have been posted to the ETS website. Our handbook, forms and policies & procedures are currently undergoing revision.

The ETS Executive Committee recently approved the merger of two committees (Products & Services and Local Systems & Services) to form a new committee: Services for Systems & Discovery.

 The charge for the Services for Systems & Discovery committee is ‘To create, collect, analyze, evaluate and disseminate information and materials on the development, and implementation of a variety of products, both locally and vendor created;  coordinate the concerns of individuals or organizations involved in selecting, acquiring, and evaluating electronic reference products and services; and to gather and share with the library profession information on new technologies and ethical issues relating to such systems and services. These services and products can include provision of electronic reference services; document delivery; expert systems; locally developed databases; public access catalogs; non-bibliographic databases, discovery systems.’

Check out the list of all committees for the Emerging Technologies Section (ETS).  Please email Courtney Greene McDonald (Vice-chair) or Donna Scanlon (Chair) if you have any questions about any of our committees.  Visit our website to learn more about ETS and to volunteer.

If you plan to attend the Annual conference in Orlando, join us at our All Committee Meeting on Sunday, June 26th from 10:30-11:30am for an opportunity to meet ETS members and have your questions answered!  Watch the ALA Conference Schedule for room information.

ETS at Annual

Saturday, June 25th

  • 3-4pm – Promoting Subject Specialists & Enhancing Visibility of Library Reference (ETS/MERS)

Sunday, June 26th

  • 1-2:30pm – Emerging Technologies Librarians: Changing Roles for Changing Times (ETS) Join us and our speakers as they share their thoughts in areas such as the day in the life of Emerging Technologies Librarians, the trends in job descriptions, tips for successfully juggling competing priorities, and advice and strategies for keeping up.  Our speakers:  Beth Boatright, most recently chair of our Hot Topics Committee, Business Librarian and Emerging Technologies Coordinator at Indiana University/Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IUPFW), and a 2015 Emerging Leader; Tara  Radniecki, author of the paper, ” Study on Emerging Technologies Librarians: How a new library position and its competencies are evolving to meet the technology and information needs of libraries and their patrons”  (

Are you working in an emerging technology role at a public library (past or present)?  Would you be interested in participating in our panel?  If so, please contact Debbie Bezanson with your interest or with any questions you might have.

  • 3-4pm – Beyond Metrics: Data-Drivers in Library Decision-Making (ETS/Hot Topics)
  • 4:30-5:30 – “Fact or Fiction: What Virtual Reference Training Works and What Holds Promise” (ETS/Virtual Reference). Is your library currently training staff on virtual reference services? Are you looking for ideas on how to approach training or make your training efficient? This program allows the librarian to learn about current training programs, the ideal methods of assessment, and identify best training practices. As a topic that will interest all types of libraries, librarians are encouraged to share their experiences and acquire helpful tips from others.


Jane Daugherty, Editor        RSS logo                  



Message from the Chair:

Hi everyone,

I hope all of you who attended Midwinter in Boston enjoyed yourselves and that your in-person and virtual meetings were productive.  The RSS Pancake Breakfast was a lot of fun and the discussion forums and deep dive that were sponsored or co-sponsored by RSS committees were well attended.  I’m sure our events in Orlando will be just as successful.

Committee chairs and some RSS Executive Board members have been hard at work over the last few months on the RSS Section Review.  The review is a two part process comprised of individual committee reviews completed by the committee chairs and an overall section review based on the committee reviews.  Thank you to all of the committee chairs for completing their committee reviews and an extra special thank you goes to Ann Brown, Liz DeCoster, Cynthia Johnson, and Amy Rustic for helping me write the section review.  The completed document, with an appendix containing all of the committee reviews, will be posted to ALA Connect after it is submitted.

Committee appointments are underway and we are looking for volunteers to fill spots on RSS and RUSA committees.  Amy Rustic, RSS Vice Chair, has started the appointment process and has been in touch with many of you already.  If you have not been contacted by Amy and you’re interested in volunteering for a committee, fill out the RUSA volunteer form here:

If you have questions, or would like to learn more about RSS and its committees, please feel free to contact me at or Amy Rustic at

Be on the lookout for information about the programs, discussion forums, and other RSS sponsored events at Annual as the conference draws nearer!

Crystal Lentz
RSS Chair, 2015-16


RSS Honor Roll
It’s that time of year! We want to recognize you and your contributions to RSS!

The RSS Honor Roll 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 Ellen Keith at

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

Join the RSS Honor Roll today


Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need Committee
The Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need Committee will be sponsoring a discussion forum at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando on assisting patrons at the point of need through social media. Details are below:

“Please Throw Me a Vine! Assisting Patrons at the Point of Need through Social Media”

Given the large and growing percentage of the American population that is now using social networking sites for communication, it’s likely that your patrons will pose questions and research challenges on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Join us for a discussion on how we can best communicate at this developing point of need.

When: Sunday, June 26, 3-4pm
Where: TBA

The Committee’s Selected Bibliography on Point of Need Reference and Instruction is available here:

Colleen Seale, Chair 2015-2016

Discovery Services Committee (Formerly Catalog Use Committee)
The Discovery Services Committee has been meeting virtually to discuss plans for the year and for ALA Annual.  As a committee we completed the RSS Self Study/ Section Review. Within this review we reflected on our purpose within the Reference Services Section and within the American Library Association. The Discovery Services Committee is the only one that specifically focuses on how cataloging and discovery service trends impact reference services.

Over the past several years we have hosted a bibliography of relevant reference/discovery & cataloging citations on ALA Connect. The committee decided that it would be best to conduct a review of the literature annually and explore ways to post the bibliography to the RSS website.

The committee also discussed plans to hold and RSS Forum at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference. The theme of this year’s forum is “Exploring Engagement between Discovery and the Catalog. This forum will focus on how the Library Catalog still an essential presence on most library websites and explore how it’s being used by reference librarians.

Anne Larrivee, Chair 2015-2016

 Evaluation of Reference and User Services
ERUS is working on our research project via survey.  We will:

  • Request screenshots or pdfs of their data collection forms to ascertain what info is collected and extrapolate what has changed from the hash mark days.
  • Get basic background info, such as type of library (academic, archive, medical, public, school, special, &c.) and how they use data (reporting, staffing decisions, hours, training, etc.).
  • Ask a few open questions such as: what’s the most useful thing you do with your data; what would you like to learn about your service, but do not currently measure; etc.
  • Code the submissions into categories and analyze the results.

Rebecca Graff, Chair 2015-2016

Health and Medical Reference Committee
On January 12, 2016 the Health and Medical Reference Committee (HMRC) held its virtual Midwinter meeting. In attendance were six current committee members and one new person who attended in hopes of learning more about the committee. Much of the time was spent preparing for the RSS section review, and the HMRC’s report to the RSS Chair. The committee discussed answers to proposed questions and Laura Haines, HMRC Chair, wrote and submitted the report to the RSS Chair shortly after the meeting. The Committee also discussed future leadership and membership. HMRC is happy to announce that member Ann Glusker has agreed to be the chair starting July 2016. The committee also has many members who will be leaving the group at that time. We encourage anyone who has any interest in health reference to check out this committee; exciting work and programming is continuing! If you have any questions about the work of the committee, please do not hesitate to contact Laura Haines at or Ann Glusker at

HMRC continues to work to promote our recently revised Guidelines as well as Medref, a health and medicine oriented listserv available to anyone answering health related reference questions managed by the Committee. The aim of the listserv is to be an open and welcoming environment for library workers from all types of libraries to discuss all questions or issues related to health and medical reference. Member Toni Holbrecht presented a “press release” about Medref to the Committee during the virtual Midwinter meeting that will be used in various venues to promote this exciting listserv.

HMRC has joined forces with ACRL’s Health Sciences Interest Group in offering a Discussion Forum at ALA in Orlando this July. The forum, entitled “Implementing Health and Medical Reference Guidelines: Training librarians, paraprofessionals and part time staff,” will highlight how the new Health and Medical Reference Guidelines can best be implemented in any type of library, including how to train professional as well as non-professional staff regarding what are often sensitive reference questions. More details to follow, but we hope all interested in learning more about providing excellent health reference will be able to attend.

Laura Louise Haines, Chair 2015-2016

Services for Job-Seeking Patrons
In the January 15, 2016, meeting the RSS Board approved changing the name of this committee from the Job and Career Reference Committee to Services for Job-Seeking Patrons. This change should clear up some confusion about the purpose of this committee.

On January 9, 2016, our committee held a discussion forum at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The discussion focused on assisting low-skill workers and non-Internet users with job searches. We had 23 attendees and a very lively discussion. Keyboarding, computer skills and access to computers remain an issue for many patrons. Limited literacy and English language skills are also commonly observed. The local government job center can often be a partner. In addition, it can be effective to be present at a multi-agency fair where multiple services are present.  Examples include kindergarten sign-up and registering for government assistance. A more detailed summary of the discussion is posted on ALA Connect for anyone who is interested.

Arlene Weismantel, Chair, 2015-2016

Virtual Reference Committee
The committee has been reviewing guidelines under its purview. The committee has recommended to the RUSA Standards and Guidelines committee that the Guidelines for Cooperative Reference Services be sunset. The committee is currently updating the Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services. The committee is also co-sponsoring a discussion forum at Annual with the Virtual Reference Discussion Group.

Qiana Johnson, Chair 2015-2016

Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee
The Virtual Reference (VR) Companion Subcommittee has been working on ideas for making the companion more useful and intuitive, suggested by new members of the committee. These include different formatting, for example including Tips and Best Practices as part of the main menu in the left margin of the page; and additional content, for example, distilling some of the articles listed in the bibliography in the Assessment module to create useful guidance in that module. The Subcommittee participated in the committee review process for RUSA/RSS, a process that happens every four years to ensure the effectiveness and ongoing usefulness of RUSA sections and committees. The Subcommittee has been discussing the possibility of co-sponsoring, with the VR Services Committee, the Virtual Reference Discussion Forum at ALA Annual coming up in June. The VR Companion is accessible at, as well as in the Hot Links section of the RSS Virtual Reference Committee page, the Professional Tools section of the RUSA Resources page, and in the Web Resources section of the ALA Library Fact Sheet 19: Virtual Reference: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. The Subcommittee continues to welcome suggestions for its Tips and Best Practices module; these can be directed to either co-chair, Laura Friesen (, or Neal Pomea ( or by leaving a comment on ALA Connect: (

Laura Friesen, Co-chair 2015-16
Neal Pomea, Co-chair 2015-16


Kerry Keegan, Editor

Message from the Chair

My Fellow STARS,

The ALA Midwinter Meeting has come and gone and I hope you were able to join us in Boston for some of the fun and excitement. Our members were busy and highlights include two very interesting panel discussions hosted by STARS: at the ILL Discussion Group we had a thoughtful assessment of the 2005 Task Force on Qualifications for Interlibrary Loan Operations Management and the Hot Topics Discussion Group featured a presentation about shared print collections in Maine.

Behind the scenes, STARS and RUSA board members worked tirelessly to secure approval of the revised Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, shepherding the proposal through THREE separate votes in just 24 hours! Many thanks, again, to Brian Miller and the Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee for seeing this monumental task through to completion.

Now, our attention turns to the Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida – just four short months away! In addition to the ILL Discussion Group and Hot Topics, RUSA STARS will be hosting several events during Annual:

  • A Spoonful of Data-Driven Sugar: Using Big Business Research to Improve Customer Satisfaction in Easy-to-Implement, Single-Serving Packets. A pre-conference workshop on Friday June 24, from 8am-12noon
  • Not Your Average Consortia. A panel presentation co-sponsored by RUSA STARS and LLAMA-SASS on Sunday June 26, from 10:30-11:30am
  • Resource Sharing in Tomorrowland: A Panel Discussion about the Future of Interlibrary Loan on Sunday June 26, from 1-2:30pm

Also, mark your calendars for the STARS Social on Friday June 24, from 7:30-10pm (Location: TBA).

I hope to see you all in June!

Your Chair,

Tom Bruno
Chair 2015-2016

Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee
The RUSA Board of Directors approved the revised Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States at ALA Midwinter and it was mounted, with the new Explanatory Supplement and ALA ILL Request Form, on RUSA’s website.  On February 15, 2016, the Codes Committee publicly announced the updated documents on a variety of listservs and on Facebook. Publication in RUSQ is expected to appear in the summer of 2016.

The Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee is now planning additional publicity for the new documents. There will be presentations at the ILLiad International Conference in Virginia Beach, in March 2016, and at the Great Lakes Resource Sharing Conference in Indiana, in June 2016.  The Committee is tentatively working on presentations for GWLA’s annual conference and for ACRL New England, as well. Committee members Nora Dethloff and Tina Baich will be working on an article for The Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery, & Electronic Reserves. The committee is also exploring the possibility of recording a live webinar with OCLC, this summer, which will be free to all ILL practitioners.

Committee chair Brian Miller is also pursuing a presentation opportunity for delegates to the IFLA Conference in Columbus, Ohio, this summer.

Brian Miller

STARS Education & Training Committee
Over the summer of 2015, migrated to a new platform that is hosted by DreamHost. Linda Frederiksen, Jake Kubrin, and Kristen Palmiere transferred information from the former platform to the new one and the new was announced on listservs in October 2015. Thank you to all the STARS committees who are currently updating sections of the new site. All users of the site are encouraged to submit any updates or suggestions for new pages to

On January 8th, 2016, the 9th annual Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL workshop took place at the Boston Public Library. Thank you to the Boston Public Library, OCLC, and Atlas Systems for sponsoring the event, and special thanks to Megan Gaffney, Karen Janke, Cindy Kristof, and Collette Mak for their excellent presentations. The event was well-attended and well-received. Planning for next year’s workshop in Atlanta is underway.

Kristen Palmiere

STARS Rethinking Resource Sharing Committee
The live link to the STAR Checklist (Version 2) of best practices in interlibrary loan/library resource sharing is now available at!

Please review these checklist items and join our growing list of STAR Libraries. Together, we can start valuable discussions about library practices and keep rethinking resource sharing to even better serve users.

Thank you to Broward County Public Library, The Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection, and Kansas City Public Library, who are our first participants!

Beth Posner

STARS Nominations Committee
The STARS Nominations Committee has just confirmed the final slate of candidates for the upcoming ALA elections. The 2016 elections will open on March 15 and close on April 22.  Results will be announced on April 29, 2016.  Eligible members will be emailed their voting credentials between March 15 and March 18, 2016.  Everyone should remember to vote!

Nora Dethloff

LLAMA SASS / RUSA STARS Consortial Borrowing Joint Committee
The Joint Consortial Borrowing Committee has been hard at work planning our program for ALA Annual 2016. Please make sure to join us for:
Not Your Average Consortia
Sunday 10:30 -11:30 am

Description: As library partnerships and collaborations are needed more than ever, library consortias are being relied upon more as resources and tools in a library’s future. This presentation will focus on what years of consortial development and participation has taught us. The panelist provide decades of experience in consortial partnerships and will be able to touch upon the “best of” practices in these partnerships. They will also guide a discussion on future developments and opportunities for all consortial cooperation.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Heather Weltin