Quarterly Update

Carol Schuetz, editor



Steven M. Miller, Jr., editor

Message from the Chair

Hello RSS Members,

I hope the fall season is treating you well. RSS has been working on many things while watching the temperatures drop and the leaves turn. (I know, I’m showing my Great Lakes privilege here and not all of you have fall colors. But you might prefer to keep warmer temperatures.)

We have completed the creation of the joint task force with REFORMA that I mentioned last issue. RUSA has created a space on ALA Connect for them to do their work, and they should be getting started updating the Guidelines for Library Services to Spanish-Speaking Library Users. Our archives working group has been hard at work crafting a plan to preserve our history. We appreciate all the hard work our committee and task force members are doing, and look forward to their results.

If you are interested in taking part in the work of our committees and task forces, there is always room for more enthusiastic librarians. The volunteer form is live on the RUSA site (https://bit.ly/2PP7zLw) and our Vice-chair, Rebecca Graff, will be making appointments starting after Midwinter. Descriptions of the committees can be found at http://www.ala.org/rusa/contact/rosters#rss.

Speaking of Midwinter, RSS does not hold meetings in person during the conference. However, we do hold our annual Pancake Breakfast for those who are attending. We will post more details on where and when on RSS_l and the RSS ALA Connect space once we have them. Last year, we had so many people attend that there was not room to seat us all. I’m certain we will look for a larger space this year. I can promise you a good time getting to know your fellow RSS members and a good breakfast.

Please remember, all our meetings are public, whether virtual or in person. The RSS Board meets on the fourth Monday of every month at 1:00pm Eastern Time. The link to join in can be found on the RUSA Update calendar (https://bit.ly/2CfmTJe). Following us on Twitter @RSS_RUSA or liking our Facebook page are also good ways to keep informed on what your section is doing. We are always happy to hear from our members, so please get in touch if there is something you need or wish to share.

Janet T. O’Keefe
RSS Chair 2019-2020

RSS News & Updates

Call for Presentations: 26th Annual Reference Research Forum
The Research & Statistics Committee of the Reference Services Section of the Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) invites submission of reference service research project proposals for presentation at the “New Discoveries in Reference: The 26th Annual Reference Research Forum” at the 2020 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. 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 about serving diverse patrons.

The Reference Research Forum is 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 projects presented at past Forums, please see the Committee’s website: https://bit.ly/31RKY3v. The Committee employs a blind peer review process to select three proposals for 20-minute presentations, followed by open discussion. Identifying information will not be shared with reviewers until after final selection of proposals. Selected submissions must be presented in person at the Forum during ALA Annual in Chicago, IL.

Criteria for selection:

  • Originality: Potential for research to fill a gap in reference knowledge or to build on previous studies
  • Quality: Research design and methodologies
  • Impact: Significance of the study for improving the quality of reference service

NOTE: Research projects may be in-progress or completed. Previously published research or research accepted for publication will not be accepted.

Important Dates:

Proposals are due by Friday, January 3, 2020. Notification of acceptance will be made by Monday, February 17th, 2020. The submission must not exceed the stated word count limit.

Submission Details:

Submissions will be accepted as Word documents:

  • SUBMISSION PAGE 1: Contact Information

Please include the primary contact’s name, title, institution affiliation, mailing address, and email address. Additional research team members should also 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:

  • Title of the project
  • Explicit statement of the research problem
  • Description of the research design and methodologies
  • Findings or results if available

Brief discussion of the originality, unique contribution, potential impact, and significance of the research (if you use semi colons between items in a list, you need to make sure the entire list is a complete sentence.)

Proposals that exceed the word count or that do not follow the format described above will be automatically rejected.

Forum proposals as well as questions about the Forum should be directed to the 2019-2020 committee chair: Qiana Johnson (q-johnson@northwestern.edu)

Committee Reports

Research & Statistics Committee
The Research and Statistics committee is preparing to hold the 26th Annual Reference Research Forum in Chicago, IL at ALA Annual. To prepare for it, the committee has released the call for proposals (please see announcement in 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 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.

Communications Committee members Jason Dupree and Steven Miller have worked on updating the Research and Statistics portion of the RSS website. You can check out the archive of past Reference Research Forums at this link: https://bit.ly/31RKY3v.

Submitted by Qiana Johnson, Research and Statistics Committee Chair, 2019-20

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