Quarterly Update

Carol Schuetz, editor



Steven M. Miller, Jr., editor

Message from the Chair

Hello RSS Readers,

An exciting development for Reference Services Section is our new Twitter handle, @RSS_RUSA. I want to extend my gratitude to Steven M. Miller for setting up our Twitter account and to the Communications Committee for exploring how RSS can use social media to engage with RSS members and with all librarians and staff who provide reference.

As I mentioned in my last column, three RSS committees are currently on hiatus (Committee on Multilingual Services, Services for Job Seeking Patrons, Health and Medical Reference). Four people have agreed to serve on an ad hoc committee which will review the committees’ charges, look at past activities, and consider each committee’s value to the profession. Their report is due at the end of April, 2019. Please join me in extending thanks to the following volunteers for taking on this short-term project: Lise M. Dyckman, Ann Glusker, Rhonda Marker, and Suzanne Odom.

Finally, I look forward to meeting many of you at ALA’s Midwinter conference in Seattle, January 25-January 29, 2019. Rebecca Jackson, RSS Past-Chair, is busy scoping out possible locales for the RSS Annual Pancake Breakfast. Many thanks to Rebecca for helping us continue with this tradition. The Pancake Breakfast is a wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues with whom you may have only exchanged email while working on RSS projects. I hope you make time in your Midwinter schedule to stop by and enjoy breakfast with your RSS compatriots. The Breakfast is also a chance to learn more about RSS; if you aren’t an active member but are interested in learning more about RSS and opportunities to become professionally engaged, please bring your appetite and questions! Watch our Facebook page, Twitter account, and the RSS listserv for details about our Ninth Annual Pancake Breakfast in Seattle.

If you are interested in volunteering for an RSS committee, please email either me at cynthiaj@uci.edu or email Janet O’Keefe, RSS Vice-chair (jokeefe@fpl.info). Descriptions of our committees are available at http://www.ala.org/rusa/contact/rosters#rss.

Cynthia Johnson
RSS Chair 2018-2019

RSS News & Updates

Call for Presentations: 25th Annual Reference Research Forum

Celebrating its silver anniversary, the RSS Research & Statistics Committee invites submissions for reference service research project proposals for presentation at the New Discoveries in Reference: The 25th Annual Reference Research Forum at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Researchers and practitioners from all types of libraries, library school faculty and students, and other interested individuals are encouraged to submit a proposal. The committee is particularly interested in research serving diverse patrons.

As a popular and valuable ALA Annual Conference program, attendees have the opportunity to learn about innovative research projects conducted in reference services including user behavior, electronic services, reference effectiveness and assessment, and organizational structure and personnel. For examples of past projects presented at Forums, please click on this link – http://bit.ly/RSSResearchandStatistics.

The Committee employs a blind peer review process to select three projects for 20-minute presentations, followed by open discussion. Identifying information will not be shared with the reviewers until after the final selection of the projects. Selected submissions must be presented in person at the Forum during ALA Annual in Washington, D.C.

The criteria for selection include originality (potential to fill a gap in reference knowledge or build in previous studies), quality (research design and methodologies), and impact (significance of the study in improving the quality of reference services). Research projects may be in-progress or completed. Previously published research or research accepted for publication will not be accepted.

Proposals are due by Friday, January 4. Notification of acceptance will be made by Monday, February 18. Submissions can be made as follows:

Submission Page 1 – Contact Information: Please include the primary contact’s name, title, institutional affiliation, mailing address, and email address. Additional research team members should be noted in the appropriate field.

Submission Page 2 – Research Description (250 word maximum): The research description must not include any personally identifiable information, including your name or the name of your institution. Please include these elements: 1) Title of the project; 2) Explicit statement of the research problem; 3) Description of research design and methodologies; 4) Findings or results (if available); 5) Brief discussion of originality, unique contribution, potential impact and significance of research (please use semicolons
between items in a list and sentences should be complete). Proposals that exceed the word count or that do not follow the format described above will be automatically rejected.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, or have questions for the chairs of the Research & Statistics Committee, please contact Joseph Yue (contact.jyue@gmail.com) and Qiana Johnson (q-johnson@pobox.com).

RSS Committee Reports

Virtual Reference Services Committee

The RSS Virtual Reference Services and ETS Managing Emerging Technology Committees are collaborating on developing an e-Forum about current practices and initiatives in considering new technologies in reference services at our libraries. Please be on the lookout for a date and time for the e-Forum in Winter 2019.

Submitted by Judith Emde, Virtual Reference Services Chair 2018-2019

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee met on Wednesday, October 31. After announcing the creation of the new RSS Twitter feed, the committee approved a new social media policy as a way to post more regularly on Facebook and Twitter. The plan outlines ways to help share information about RSS updates, news and events, along with other helpful links from around the Internet for the membership.

The committee will also be working with the webmaster to try to update links on the RSS homepage.

Submitted by Steven M. Miller, Jr., Communications Committee Chair 2018-19

Research and Statistics Committee

The Research and Statistics committee is preparing to hold the 25th Annual Reference Research Forum in Washington, DC. To prepare for it, the committee has released the call for proposals (please see announcement RSS News & Updates) and will use a blind peer review process to select presentations. Over the years, presenters have included luminaries in the field and many projects have gone on to publication. The Research and Statistics Committee is looking forward to a program that will be of interest to libraries of all types.

Submitted by Quiana Johnson and Joseph Yue, Research and Statistics Committee Co-Chairs, 2018-19

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