Present: Jim Niessen, Chair, Curt Witcher, Past Chair, David Langenberg, Agnes
Widder, Secretary, Marilyn Carbonnell, Nancy Godleski, Vice-Chair/Chair.Elect, Ruth
Carr, Cindy Kaag, RUSA Vice-President/President Elect (observer), Ann Reinert,
Janice Schultz (guest), Nancy Huling, Carla Rickerson
It was determined that we need not begin the Tuesday meeting at 7 ,a.m. to
accommodate the need for early departures to the airport.
Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting was postponed until Tuesday at
which time copies will be provided.
We went through the agenda and people present gave reports of the Section and
RUSA activities, which were known at this point. These included whether we need
appoint a representative to the RUSA Publications Committee. We discussed the
need for an official section webmaster, as Theresa Mudrock does not wish to
continue this work. Another H-HISTBIBL editor should be recruited. We were to
think about these things and there would be more discussion on Tuesday.
The AHA has asked us to provide input about library training for history graduate
The Historical Events Committee has revised its charge, which will be discussed
Tuesday. They are about to launch their web page on upcoming historical events.
This page needs a permanent home.
The Instruction and Research Services Committee, chaired by David Lincove, will
have its initial meeting on Sunday.
History Librarians’ Discussion Group will meet Monday, chaired by Nancy Godleski.
There will be more discussion of the RUSA retreat on Tuesday.
RUSA Access to Information Committee is having a forum on privacy issues and
libraries Saturday morning.
RUSA Conference Program Committee. Carla Rickerson is our representative and in
charge of our next conference program, which is being planned by the B and I
committee and will be on evaluating web resources in history. There will be a
genealogy pre-conference at Toronto ALA.
RUSA Nominating Committee. Lou Vyhnanek says we have candidates.
RUSA Organization Committee. Ruth Carr needs to report on our new I and RS
Committee. It has 7 members and Nancy has volunteer acceptance forms from
people who would like to be on it. There is no limit on number of members it could
have. We are being asked, again, about our virtual members. How is a virtual
member defined? Genealogy Committee has appointed two consultants.
RUSA Publications Committee. Nancy Ruling talked about the ending of the
publication of RUSA Update. She has been editor of our Section's contributions to
this for 12 years. She needs information by Jan. 29, 2002, from Committee chairs.
The last issue was to have come out already, but has not; it will come out after this
conference. We will have, henceforth, 1 page in each of the quarterly issues of RUSQ
for our Section's news. Appropriate information includes announcing preconferences, "think" pieces, reports of ongoing Section work, pointing out ways
to become involved in the Section, and indicating links to our web page. The timing
of release of RUSQ issues won't necessarily be such that it will be a good place to
announce upcoming conference meetings. Dissemination of our news and work via
the web and this publication needs clear thought. We will have discussion on
Tuesday. Also, Nancy will keep doing the work at this time, but would like us to be
looking for a new editor.
RUSA Standards and Guidelines. David reports that two of our guidelines, the one
for collecting local history, and the one on preservation, need to be revised or they
will be sunsetted. People in the Local History Committee volunteered to do the
work, which should include revising the bibliographies, adding info about the web,
and about digital preservation.
The program at the Atlanta Conference in 2002 will be put on by the B and I
committee and will be on teaching students to evaluate web sites. It is well in hand.
The program for the Toronto Conference in 2003 is to be put on by the Local History
Committee. Will the I and RS committee also take a turn, in rotation, to plan the
Section's program? It was hoped and thought so once they are underway. We need
to do a better job of follow up on and promotion of our programs. We had
discussion about this. How might we capture speakers' PowerPoint presentations?
LC grants ISSNs to web publications. We could get an ISSN for a web publication
upon which information from our programs could be mounted. Then maybe people
would be more willing for their PowerPoints to be given to us, as they would get
credit for a "publication," albeit a virtual one.
The Section dinner was announced. It will be Sunday evening at Olde Nawlins
Cookery, 729 Conti St., in the French Quarter, at 6 p.m.
Adjourned at 9:05 a.m. Respectfully submitted,
Agnes Haigh Widder, secretary
Present: Carla Rickerson, Ed Oetting, Agnes Widder (Secretary), Jim Niessen (Chair),
Phoebe Janes, Nancy Godleski (Vic-Chair/Chair Elect), David Langenberg, Ruth Carr,
Ann Reinert, Curt Witcher (Past Chair), Sam Boldrick, Tom Kemp
1. Minutes from the meeting of last June ALA conference were distributed and
2. Various committee reports.
Bibliography and Indexes Committee. Ed Oetting said they met for 3 ½ hours
Saturday and chose 12 recently published history bibliographies to be reviewed
jointly in RUSQ, as the best bibliographies in history for the year. This committee is
responsible for the Section's program at the upcoming ALA annual conference in
Atlanta. The topic is evaluating web resources. The following speakers have been
lined up: Joel Kitchens, a librarian at Texas A and M University, who will speak on
instruction and the web and David R. Chesnutt, editor of the Henry Laurens papers
and an editor of markup language for web versions of personal papers. A third
speaker from the project Documenting the American South is being sought.
Genealogical Publishing Company Award. Sam Boldrick says a winner has been
selected for this year and they have two nominations for next year.
Historical Events Committee. David Langenberg said they are putting the finishing
touches on their web site on upcoming historical events and plan an official launch
on March 1 Y11• They would like more committee members. The web site is a
calendar of upcoming anniversaries in 2002:-2006 which libraries might wish to
commemorate. 2007 is to be incorporated.
History Librarians' Discussion Group. Two people from ACLS came and answered
questions about the History E Book project. 29 people attended. Jim asked Nancy
Godleski to give him a summary of the discussion for the H-Histbibl e list.
Genealogy Committee Tom Kemp summarized from a report he distributed to the
Executive Committee. Pre-conference planning is going well. It is being planned by
those who spoke at the pre-conference last year. The program is worked out for
Atlanta and they are working on the program for the pre-conference for ALA in
Toronto also. Tom would like more speakers. There was discussion about the
guidelines for doing workshops for genealogy and the points, which should be
covered. There was discussion on the genealogy web course from ALA RUSA.
Genealogy committees are being established in the Public Library Association in
many states.
Local History Discussion Group. Tom Kemp reported that Jean Kiesel spoke to the
discussion group and the Genealogy Committee together about the Bayou State
Periodical Index. 25 people attended. There were reports on people's activities.
Instruction and Research Services Committee. Nancy reported on the Committee's
meeting. They had a major brainstorming session. The charge is purposely vague.
They want a project orientation. Possible things they envision doing: a toolkit like
map librarians have on a website, create guidelines for evaluating primary source
websites in history for students to use. Joe Toth will do a literature search to assist.
Celestina Wroth will send an email to assess how libraries work with history
departments. Are there required courses with library components? What should
the size of this committee be? 13-14 people came to the meeting of whom 7 or 8 are
presently actually appointed to the committee. Where does this committee fit in
taking its turn to plan the Section's annual conference program? Next time they will
brainstorm what should go in a toolkit. Evaluating web sites is the first goal. This
committee should have a meeting in Atlanta but nothing is scheduled now and
needs to be. A sheet about this committee needs to be developed for the RUSA
Handbook. Ruth could copy what is there and send it to Jim and Nancy for them to
use as a model for drafting a page for it.
Local History Committee. Ed Frank was not present, but had written a letter to Jim,
which he read to us. The committee has 2 official members, but the interest in
membership is large. There were appointment snafus. They had good attendance at
the meeting and the people who attended need to be made members. Ed has the
list. Curt Witcher thought people had filled out membership volunteer sheets but
nothing had been done about them. Mary Mannix will be the chair, or is willing to
be. Ed needs to send the attendance list to Nancy. The volunteer form is on the web.
They seem to go down a well when sent to the RUSA office. Jim will look into it and
Tom offered to help. Members need to be appointed before Atlanta for 2001-2 as
well as next year. The Local History Committee is in charge of doing the program
for the Section at the Toronto conference. The form needs to be submitted in midMay. The volunteers at the meeting did planning yesterday. "All history is Local: the
Canadian Example" is to be the title. They will seek speakers from the Canadian
National Archives. They need 5 or more members.
Nominating Committee. Mary Mannix is at work and others are helping her.
RUSA Access to Information Committee. Ann Reinert reported that the forum on
Saturday, "Reference Privacy Issues and Solutions," was good. It covered such
things as retention of email records and whether they are really deleted when you
delete, vendor cookies and searching on vendor web sites. Proquest says they won't
use your search. Video surveillance. Checking out books automatically. Proxy
forms' and servers' accounts. Privacy of staff members. Discussing reference
questions with colleagues. Issue of referring questions and privacy. 9/11 re a
person in Florida realizing a terrorist had used his/her library, told her director,
who called police, who called the FBI. A person from LC said you should figure out
your legal status. Reference is a public area, but not all areas of the library are. 27
attended. Intellectual Freedom Committee has a syllabus on the web for what is
taught on this subject in library schools. Banned book resource guide is coming out
in 2003. 6th ed. of the Intellectual Freedom Handbook is out.
RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee. Carla Rickerson says there will
be 6 pre- conferences, including genealogy, two in CODES, one in BRASS, one in
MOUSS. For 2002 program proposals are due to RUSA office in May. She will
contact Ed to be sure our form gets filled out and sent in. The SAA (Society of
American Archivists)/ALA Joint committee, which Carla attended wishes to have a
program at ALA Atlanta on primary sources in the classroom. We would be wise to
co-sponsor this; we could lend our name, but have no money to assist with. There
was concern that it would be the same as the program that the B and I committee is
planning to have, but the differences were pointed out and people were reassured.
SAA/ALA Joint Committee wants to do a program on privacy and security at the next
RUSA Membership Committee. Phoebe Janes reported that 6 people attended.
There was a lot of discussion about the web site and its usefulness in recruiting
members. How do people get involved in ALA? Cost of dues is a problem. People
don't want to pay to belong to more than one section. They want to belong to the
Section that is about the kind of work they do. Should there be free divisional
membership or discounts to new members? It would help if open committee slots
could be listed on our web page and have it linked to the volunteer form to fill out.
Have a booth at the annual conference. Recruit people in library school. RUSA
membership is up 4%, without doing anything! Ed suggested that we need to
recommend RUSA as a place to become involved to our colleagues. There is no
specific place for reference librarians in ACRL. We could also have the signup sheets
at our discussion groups and committee meetings ask whether attendees are RUSA
or HS members. Then, after the conference, someone would follow up by contacting
these people. Job lists should be on the RUSA web site. And, it could be that you’d
have to belong in order to see them!
Nominating Committee. Lou Vyhnanek was not present, but the work has been
done. Nancy Ruling is running for RUSA president, so we must all be sure to vote.
Ed is our rep to the 2003 nominating committee. Some History Section names are
going forward.
Organization Committee. Ruth Carr reported that from the Retreat results they will
see if there are things that the RUSA staff could do rather than us. She also stated
that people will need passports to fly to the 2003 conference in Toronto. Please
remind your colleagues of this. MARS is establishing a new discussion group in
MARS on digital reference. Our experiences with virtual committee members will
be reported on.
Planning and Finance Committee. Nancy Godleski reports that RUSA is in debt. She
gave the figure. Money can still be transferred from the endowment. The debt is
because of low attendance at the institute in Baltimore. Also no new publications
came out last year and no web courses were offered. The debt is debatable as there
are reserves to draw on. No one seemed worried. $50,000 is to be transferred from
the endowment. Subscription price of RUSQ is going up from $50 to $57 per year
for US subscribers. RUSA has not been prevented from doing anything yet from lack
of funds. RUSQ subscriptions are down by 10%. 5 pre-conferences are planned and
they hope to get an excess of $3500 in revenues from these. Postage costs are down
owing to use of email instead. They prioritized things in order to see how to save
money. Is the tracking system worth it? We could have metadata from the
programs on the web instead. They will phase out the Past President's breakfast. It
was recommended that the directory of peer consultants could be done away with
RUSA Publications Committee. Jim will investigate the appointment of an HS
representative. Ruth thought this committee might be going to be eliminated. Nancy
needs a list of our RUSA representatives to other committees with their
appointment dates and terms. The ALA Handbook of Organization has this
RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee. David Langenberg reported that two of
our guidelines, for local history collecting and for restoration of materials will be
sunsetted unless we update them soon. Ed Frank informed Jim that members of the
Local History Committee have volunteered either to update or recommend
sunsetting them. When Jim reported this to the RUSA Board, it set the Annual
Meeting in Atlanta as the deadline for the updating or expiration of the two LH
guidelines. Genealogy Committee has a new guideline they are working on, on
continuing education for genealogy reference service in libraries. Something about
help sheets on the web that are standards/guidelines by another name needs
looking into.
3. RUSA Board of Directors Report. Jim said that creation of a hot topics in front
line reference discussion group has been created and will have representatives from
MARS and MOUSS. [the ACRL/ULS has one like this.] RUSA is to explore the
sunsetting of MOUSS and MARS to see about creating a Reference Section within
RUSA. "Reference Interview" will be the President's Program. This will include the
future of reference initiative, breakout sessions, and white papers re this topic
which will be online, the future of the reference desk, readers' advisory service
needed more now than ever? Ideas for speakers for the Atlanta conference for this
are being solicited. When we say RUSA to people we should say what it means.
Mentoring. Some sections do this more than we do. It was thought that we already
did this. There is interest in certification to strengthen pay for librarians. There is
talk about creating a 501(c)6 organization which could work on the certification
question. Divisions could choose to be 501(c)3, which is the IRS code for tax-
exempt organizations, which can't lobby? Or 501(c)6, which can? The Reference
Album Ad-Hoc Committee has finished. The page has gone public and people were
thanked. This is a place to see examples of types of reference web pages. Emily of
the D.C. ALA
office says there are two education things online with their support: a free e mail
tutorial on licensing and a $185 distance education course on fair use. GODORT and
the D.C. ALA office are working on "take down issues" re Sept. 11 (gov. docs. that the
gov. wishes not to have available).
4. 2002 History Section program. Already reported on.
5. History Section Preconference. Planning is coming along. Info given previously
in this document.
6. History Section Webmaster and H-Histbibl Editor. We began a discussion about
this topic. Three other RUSA sections have publication committees within them.
The have ex-officio people on them that do web stuff, do newsletter editor work, etc.
With the reduction of section news
that will occur as we migrate from the print RUSA Update to the one page we will be
allowed for
news in the quarterly RUSQ we need more coordination and dissemination of our
news and activities to the members in other ways, such as e mail and the web. What
should be put on the web? RUSA will e mail notices to members of the various
sections. History Section has 888 members. Do we need a Section newsletter
online? Should the web editor be a formal position? We voted at the meeting to
create a HS position to be responsible for the HS web site. And now we need to find
a person to do this. Send suggestions to Jim and Nancy, please. We hope Theresa
will stay in place until a new person is found. Nancy, who has been our editor for
our pages of RUSA Update wishes to step down from this, after 10 years. And so
volunteers for this are sought also. The coordination between the news editor for
our pages in RUSQ, the Section webmaster, and editor(s) for H-Histbibl and the
Genealib lists will be critical and we need to be thinking about all this. Do we need a
publications committee to coordinate all these things? Curt suggested that the RUSA
endowment monies could be used to hire a webmaster to do web work for all the
RUSA sections, that we would feed what we want done to this person. Other ALA
divisions have staff who do this type of thing. Jim will raise this idea with the RUSA
Board. It was also suggested that this could be a job for the HS member at large. For
now though, we are seeking a web master for our Section from within our
membership, and also someone to do the newsletter editing type work that Nancy
has done, only for our RUSQ contributions.
7. Feedback for RUSA Board on the RUSA Board Retreat Outcomes. RUSA should be
represented at the state library association meetings; state library associations tend
to have reference sections with which RUSA could easily liaise. A booth would be
free; if nothing else, we could send materials for someone to display. We should get
out the word about RUSA to the most people possible. Tom Kemp reports that
people are honored to be invited to join the Genealogy Committee and willingly join
RUSA to do so; experience with the new I and RS Committee seems to confirm this
too. RUSA staff could contact the state library associations and find a liaison. It is
disturbing that RUSA has not been represented at PLA (it is at ACRL). Curt
recommended that RUSA hire a special individual as RUSA webmaster who would
help raise the visibility of RUSA and aid membership recruitment.
The meeting adjourned at 10:56 a.m. Respectfully submitted,