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RUSA Standards & Guidelines Pre-Midwinter Committee Report


RUSA Committee Report


Note: Submit one copy of this report to the RUSA Executive Director 2 weeks before board meetings. Please note: Reports will be posted to the RUSA Board group in Connect and will be accessible to all members.


Date: _12/13/2010 & corrected 12/20/2010


Please check one:


q Prior to Annual Conference                       x prior to Midwinter Meeting


Name of Committee:  Standards and Guidelines

Chairperson:   Larayne Dallas

Your e-mail:  Ldallas@austin.utexas.edu


For Committees:

Objectives of committee for this conference year:  As always:  To advise the RUSA Board of Directors on guidelines “for the delivery of reference information services and of general library services and materials to adults.”  Also, to work with RUSA members and committees in the preparation and review of guidelines.  For this year especially:  To clear up uncertainties about some old guidelines and to improve the information provided on the RUSA website about preparing guidelines.

Committee report:

In conjunction with the 2010 Annual Conference, the Standards and Guidelines Committee and the RUSA Board approved:

“Resource-Sharing Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters.”  This new guideline from the STARS Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee has been posted on the RUSA web pages.


Two new guidelines are under development but we do not have information indicating that either is likely to be ready for RUSA Board consideration at Midwinter 2011:

-The History Section’s Instruction and Research Services Committee continues work on research/information guidelines for historical research. 

-“Guidelines for Interlibrary Loan Operations Management,” from the STARS Codes, Guidelines, and Technical Standards Committee, has been approved by the STARS Executive Committee.  The guideline was discussed by Standards and Guidelines Committee members at Annual 2010, with a general feeling of reservation about recommending approval of the guideline.  After the conference, Bryna Coonin, one of our S&G members gathered comments on the guideline from other S&G members. Those have been shared with STARS representatives.


Two current RUSA guidelines are being reviewed by the RSS Management of Reference Committee:

-“Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Providers.”

-“Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians.”


There are two older guidelines in limbo and under discussion by Standards and Guidelines members.

-“Guidelines for Medical, Legal and Business Responses at General Reference Desks” (2001) – We think that this guideline was revised with a more limited scope and approved – even by the RUSA Board in 2008, but records were lost.

-“Guidelines for Information Services” (2000) – We know that there was discussion of the feasibility of the project in 2007 when the guideline was up for review.  It does not appear that the guideline was revised.


RUSA web site updates have been made, thanks to RUSA staff.  We have more to do to improve the usability of information on the website for those trying to write or revise guidelines.  Committee members are currently revising the RUSA Handbook chapter on guidelines, hoping to make it easier to understand.

Larayne Dallas, Chair of the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee – 12/13/2010

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Signature of person reporting                                                                            date