Denise Wetzel, Editor
Message from the Chair:
Hello to our readers,
I am delighted to be starting my term as Chair of RSS. Amy Rustic did a wonderful job as Chair for the 2016-2017 year and I really appreciate her mentoring skills as I prepared for my term. The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect for this year is Cynthia Johnson, and I look forward to working with her and the other members of the RSS Board this year. We still need volunteers for many of our committees. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me at email@example.com.
We had a busy annual conference in Chicago this past June. The RSS Open House and All-Committees Meeting provided opportunities for interested RSS members to meet and greet, and to find out about the work of RSS. The ETS/RSS Happy Hour was great fun with the chance to socialize, eat plenty of food, and celebrate in good cheer. Thanks to Plunkett Research for sponsoring this event. To find out other activities of the Section, please see the Committee reports in this issue.
This year, as last, RSS will be following RUSA’s continued restructuring. Related to that, we will be updating the RSS Handbook and possibly making further changes to the RSS Bylaws. We will also be reviewing the RSS web pages to ensure their currency and more effectively demonstrate the work of the committees and section. In addition, we are hoping to sponsor a pre-conference for ALA Annual 2018. A membership survey was distributed in the late spring and we will be analyzing the results with a view towards better meeting the needs of our section members.
If you have any ideas for helping RSS improve our services to you–the librarians who identify with the Reference Services Section, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If you have any questions, again, please ask me. I think with the enthusiasm of our committee volunteers and the experience and creativity of our executive officers, including our Members at Large, this will be a great year for RSS.
RSS Chair 2017-2018
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not only will you become a member of this esteemed group, you will also be recognized at ALA Annual in Chicago!
Join the RSS Honor Roll today!
RSS Committee Reports
Communication and Teaching at the Point of Need Committee
The Committee sponsored a Discussion Forum at ALA Annual on June 25th. The title was, “What Not to Tweet: Best Practices in Point-of-Need Social Media.” The session’s four panelists provided an engaging session with tips on using social media to build your own “brand,” connect with faculty, promote specialized library collections, and generally build your library’s community.
Shannon Richie, email@example.com
Patricia Greenstein, firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of the Communication Committee members met at the RSS All-Committees meeting on Saturday, June 24th at ALA Annual in Chicago. There was discussion about how we can continue to improve communication about what RSS does and is doing, including how to improve attendance at the Saturday morning RSS Open House at ALA Annual, and how best to promulgate the elevator speech, which appears below and at the top of the RSS web page, under “What is RSS?”
RSS works to ensure that reference and information services are kept current and relevant in the context of the ever-changing needs and interests of library users, by providing professional development and educational opportunities, by creating, assessing, and publicizing resources and services, and through collaborative and shared experiences for its members.
Much of the updating of web page information for RSS Committees has been taken care of, but if any RSS Committee web page contains outdated information, please notify Laura Friesen, Communication Committee Chair (email@example.com), or Jason Dupree (firstname.lastname@example.org), Webmaster for RSS.
The committee will hold its first meeting this year in early September.
Members of the Communications Committee are posting regularly to the RSS Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/rss.rusa), so get your committee news and activities into the Facebook contacts, Denise Wetzel (email@example.com) or Manda Sexton (firstname.lastname@example.org) for posting!
Along with the ETS Membership and Communication Committee, the RSS Communication Committee helped to arrange for and to sponsor the Plunkett Research RUSA ETS/RSS Happy Hour at ALA Annual in Chicago. The happy hour was held Saturday, June 24th from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at Bar Louie, 333 N. Dearborn, where a good time was had by all.
Laura Friesen, email@example.com
Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee
The RUSA/RSS EDPRC sponsored a discussion forum at Annual 2017 in Chicago featuring Dave Tyckoson as the lead speaker. Dave is a reference librarian at Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno. He has taught online courses on reference and has published widely on various aspects of libraries and reference services. Tyckoson served as president of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) in 2007–2008, and he received the Mudge Award for distinguished contributions to reference librarianship in 2005. With John Dove, he is the author of Re-imagining Reference Services in the 21st Century, published by Purdue University Press in 2014. In preparation for the discussion forum Tyckoson did some research on library school curricula around reference-related courses and also sent out a quick-and-dirty survey to practicing reference librarians. In answer to the question “What did you learn in library school that you still use?” fully 100% of the respondents to his query indicated that the reference interview fell into this category. The turnout was fairly modest numerically (20 attendees) at the discussion forum but there was a great deal of competition for our attention in that time slot in Chicago, even among committee members. Nonetheless it was a good discussion and we are grateful to Dave for sharing his time and thoughts with us.
We are also delighted to welcome our new chair, Dr. Carol Leibiger, Associate Professor and Information Literacy Coordinator at I. D. Weeks Library, University of South Dakota. Welcome aboard, Carol, and thank you for your willingness to serve.
Bryna Coonin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Carol Leibiger, email@example.com
Health and Medical Reference Committee
Chair Ann Glusker will be presenting a webinar on September 20, through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), titled Health Reference and You: ALA Guidelines, Best Practices, and Training Resources. It will focus on using the new Health and Medical Reference Guidelines as a support for training staff to be more comfortable with health-related reference questions, and will offer 1 hour of Continuing Education from the Medical Library Association.
The committee will work this year to increase usage of the MedRef@ALA list-serv, and will work on enhancements to and maintenance on the guidelines and committee web pages.
The committee will look into possible connections with the upcoming “Libraries Transform” initiative; the NNLM will be creating health-focused messages and the committee may be able to promote those. We are also considering creating a free webinar on reliable health information sources.
As part of seeking out collaborative opportunities; we will be contacting the CAPHIS section of the Medical Library Association to explore partnership options.
Ann Glusker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Library Services to an Aging-Population Committee
On Monday, June 19th from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, the Library Services to an Aging Population held a joint meeting with the program planning committee for 2017 ALA Annual program “Aging – A new frontier: Implications and Opportunities for Libraries and Librarians.” Presenters included:
- Taina Evans, Coordinator, Older Adults Services, Brooklyn Public Library
- Allan Kleiman, Director, Montville Township Public Library, Panel Moderator
- Joan Larson, Retired Librarian, Retired Members Round Table
- Stacey Lewis, Manager of Adult Programming, St. Louis County Library
- Tony Sarmiento, Executive Director (retired), Senior Service America Inc.
- Kristine Countryman, Adult Services Librarian, Pierce County Library System (Q/A session)
In addition, the final plans of the program for ALA 2017 included handouts, PowerPoint slides, and the question/answer segment.
The program planning committee (many also serve on the RSS – Library Services to an Aging Population) decided to add author Elizabeth White to the panel discussion because she has written a book about the trials and tribulations of being middle aged and unemployed. Libraries throughout the country develop programs/services that restoring the dignity of unemployed individuals. The book is Fifty-Five Unemployed and Faking Normal: Your Guide to a Better Retirement Life.
The Committee discussed the pending approval of the revised Guidelines for Library Services with Midlife and Older Adults: Best Practices. The Committee agreed to revise the language in the guidelines to state 60+ versus 50+ when referencing the targeted audience. A brief discussion was held on the ALA Toolkit – Keys to Engaging Older Adults revamp.
The Committee was also invited to speak with Carrie Russell/ALA Washington and Roger Goldblatt of the FCC about a potential digital divide project focusing on older adults. The Committee agreed to meet with Carrie and Roger at 2017 ALA Annual.
Fatima Perkins, FPerkins@psa10a.org
Research and Statistics Committee
This year, the Research & Statistics Committee hosted the 23nd Annual Reference Research Forum, “New Discoveries in Reference,” on Sunday, June 25th from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event was attended by approximately 120 people. Three research teams, selected through a double-blind review process, presented their findings. Marie Radford from Rutgers University presented findings from a study analyzing virtual reference microaggressions. Ann Roselle from Phoenix College detailed an analysis of research consultation service outcomes, and recommendations for those creating or improving their programs. Finally, Wenli Gao from the University of Houston discussed outcomes of an assessment of data service consultations, and their implications. The committee also reviewed and posted an annotated bibliography of articles relating to reference research for the 2016 Reference Research Review available at: http://connect.ala.org/node/267563. The committee will be leading both of these efforts again in the coming year, with calls for next year’s research forum to commence in Fall 2017.
David Ward, email@example.com
Joseph Yue, firstname.lastname@example.org
Services for Job Seeking Patrons Committee
Services for Job Seeking Patrons had a great Mid-Winter Discussion group but did not meet at Annual Conference. Instead, we checked in via email with members to find out who was interested in staying on for another round. We lost one member due to her term limit but have picked up another so we still remain at 4 active members. We are currently working on the goals for next year.
Rachel Minkin, email@example.com
ETS/RSS Virtual Reference Services Committee
In June, the RUSA Board approved the revised version (April 2017) “Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services.” Look for the updated guidelines on the ALA web site soon.
At ALA Annual the RSS Board voted to approve the proposed change in committee name and committee charge. Due to restructuring in ETS, the committee is an RSS committee now. The new name is RSS Virtual Reference Services Committee, and the new charge is:
“To provide timely information resources and programming related to the creation, management, improvement, and other aspects of virtual reference services.”
Hilary Kraus, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Reiman-Sendi, email@example.com