Quarterly Update

Carol Schuetz, editor



DeeDee Baldwin, Editor

Greetings HS members!

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all new and continuing HS members. I’m excited to begin my term as Chair of the History section for 2019-2020. The rest of your Executive Committee includes Vice Chair/Chair Elect Kathy Shields, Past Chair Jenny McElroy, Secretary Eileen Bentsen, and Members-at-Large Erica Bruchko, Celestina Savonius-Wroth, and Nicole Wood.

We just wrapped up a productive year, and we’re looking forward to tackling new projects and initiatives. If you have any comments or ideas about how we can make HS better for our members, please let us know. And if you’re new to RUSA and/or the History section, we encourage you to get involved. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities, and we’re committed to finding a place for anyone who wants to serve.

Please read on for a recap of ALA Annual in DC and other section activities, and keep up with RUSA HS through Facebook, Twitter, history-l, and ALA Connect.

Thank you for being an HS member, and here’s to a fantastic year!
Melissa Gonzalez


Events from ALA Annual in DC

  • The room was packed for our program “National Archives from Anywhere: Online Primary Sources for History, Genealogy, Foreign Relations, and Teaching about the American Experience” with 240 attendees. Special thanks to Nancy Bunker from Whitworth University for organizing such an interesting and useful program.
  • 28 attendees participated in the History Librarians Discussion Group conversation about underrepresented perspectives and groups in history librarianship. The session was facilitated by convener Michael Kicey from the University of Buffalo.
  • 35 attendees at the Genealogy & Local History Discussion Group participated in small group discussions about resources and strategies for helping patrons get started doing genealogical research, as well as prioritizing and preservation of documents for digitization. The session was facilitated by convener Anne Jamieson from the Deerfield Public Library.
  • We had 150 participants at the Genealogy Pre-Conference. We thank ProQuest for their continued sponsorship of this popular event.
  • Thanks to Laurie Preston from the HS Local History Committee for organizing a tour of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
  • We capped off the conference with a fun breakfast at Busboys and Poets!

HS Bylaws
The HS Executive Committee worked diligently last year to update the section bylaws, which hadn’t been revised since the late 80s! We’re happy to report that the updated bylaws were approved in the spring election and are now in place. You can view the bylaws on the RUSA HS website. Thanks to past Chair Jenny McElroy for leading this effort.

History Section Handbook
The Executive Committee is working on final edits and updates to the section handbook and hope to have it published on the HS website soon. Big shout out to former HS Chairs David Murray and Chella Vaidyanathan for all their efforts in bringing the handbook together.

Thanks to DeeDee Baldwin from Mississippi State University who keeps us “in the know” through our HS Facebook and Twitter accounts, and to Meg Galasco from Indiana University Kokomo for managing history-l and providing us with the always informative HS Weekly Roundup. Also, keep your eyes open for updates and improvements to the HS web page.

ALA Connect
We’ll be looking into making better use of ALA Connect in order to facilitate committee work and increase communication throughout the section. If you haven’t set up your Connect profile, we strongly encourage you to do so. It’s easy – just click on the down arrow in the top right corner of ALA Connect, click on Profile, ad fill out your preferences. Make sure you review your email permissions under My Account. If you say No to email, we won’t be able to communicate with you as a member.

Updating Guidelines
The Genealogy and Local History Committees have been revising the “Guidelines for Developing a Core Genealogy Collection” and “Guidelines for Developing a Core Local History Collection,” with the goal of creating a unified, modern set of “Guidelines for Establishing, Developing, and Maintaining Genealogy and Local History Collections.” Their work is nearly complete, so be on the lookout soon for more information about these.

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