Quarterly Update

Carol Schuetz, editor



Steven M. Miller, Jr., editor

Message from the Chair:

Hello RSS Readers,

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Sweet Iron Waffle Bar for our Annual Pancake Breakfast during ALA’s Midwinter conference. RSS took over more than half of the tables in the small restaurant! Some of us indulged our sweet tooth with our waffle choices while others walked on the savory side with options like a waffle with brie, basil, and bacon or a waffle with Prosciutto, crème fraiche & green onions. It was wonderful catching up with familiar faces and meeting new people, all of whom contribute to achieving the Section’s goals 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. A big thank you to Rebecca Jackson, RSS Past-chair, for finding such a unique and delicious location for our Annual Pancake Breakfast.

RSS members, through our committees, have been busy planning programming that will continue to help front-line reference providers improve their skills and meet the needs of their users. The Virtual Reference Services Committee is co-hosting an e-forum on virtual reference service, providing an opportunity to learn from colleagues. In addition, RSS committee members will be busy during ALA’s Annual conference with programs, our discussion group, and meetings.

At the Annual conference in D.C., the Library Service to an Aging Population Committee will sponsor another exciting program, the Managing, Marketing & Measuring Reference Committee will facilitate our discussion group and the Annual Reference Research Forum will take place. Especially exciting: this is the 25th anniversary of the Reference Research Forum! We will celebrate this amazing milestone at the
RSS All-Committee meeting and look forward to seeing past and present committee members and chairs, and previous presenters. The All-Committee meeting is also an excellent place to learn more about the work the RSS Committees do and how you can become involved. Meeting times and locations will be posted on the ALA scheduler, the RSS Facebook page, and we will send information out to the RSS listserv.

Not attending ALA, or unable to make the All-Committee meeting? Just email Janet O’Keefe, RSS Vice-chair (jokeefe@fpl.info) or fill out the RUSA Volunteer Form: http://www.ala.org/rusa/members/volunteer.

Cynthia Johnson
RSS Chair 2018-2019

RSS Committee Reports

Library Service to an Aging Population Committee
The Library Service to an Aging Population Committee played a key role in contributing to the recent revision of the “Keys to Engaging Older Adults Handbook”, which can be accessed by visiting the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services page (https://bit.ly/2S2sT2A). This guidebook offers guidance on how to provide outreach and engage with the older adults in your community.

Committee members will also be presenting at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference. The session is entitled: “The New Frontier: Hot Topics Engaging Older Adults.” It will be presented on June 22, 2019 at 8:30 AM – 10 AM in Washington, D.C.

Taina Evans, Library Service to an Aging Population Chair 2018-2019


Managing, Marketing & Measuring Reference Committee
The Managing, Marketing & Measuring Reference Committee is looking forward to facilitating a lively discussion at this year’s ALA Annual conference. The discussion will focus on how different libraries manage, market, and measure reference with a program titled: “Sound Bites: Current Conversations About Reference.” Join us for a conversation about three current reference issues:

  • Managing reference services: What are your concerns?
  • Marketing reference services: What works?
  • Measuring reference: What do we measure and why?

Let’s learn from each other’s successes! Check the ALA Scheduler or Program, or follow RSS’ Facebook/Twitter page, for the day, time, and location.

Sarah Baker & Adele Dobry, Managing, Marketing & Measuring Reference Co-Chair’s 2018-2019


Research and Statistics Committee
The Research and Statistics Committee has been hard at work reviewing submissions for the 25th Annual Reference Research Forum at ALA’s Annual conference. Finalists will present their original research on Monday, June 24, from 1-2 PM at a location to be determined. Plan to come to the Forum and be inspired by the research your colleagues’ research and creativity!

Check the ALA Scheduler or Program or follow RSS’ Facebook/Twitter page for location information.

Qiana Johnson & Joseph Yue, Reference and Statistics Co-Chair’s 2018-2019


Virtual Reference Services Committee
The Virtual Reference Services Committee and the Managing of Emerging Technologies Committee of ETS hosted an online discussion of the present state of reference services on February 26 and 27. This forum was an opportunity to learn from colleagues who might be just starting out with virtual reference service or have expanded existing services with new technologies. Topics included a discussion of what is currently going well, lessons learned from past experiences, and future plans.

To view an archive of the two-day conversation, you can view the list-serv “vrc-eforum – ETS Managing Emerging Technologies and RSS Virtual Reference Services Committees E-forum.”

Judith Emde & Paul Chasen, Virtual Reference Services Co-Chair’s 2018-2019