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Larayne Dallas's picture

Committee Report Prior to Annual 2011 for the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee


RUSA Committee Report


Date: 1 June 2011


x Prior to Annual Conference                    


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.  Also, this year making a special effort to clear up uncertainties about some older guidelines and to improve the information provided on the RUSA website about preparing guidelines.

Committee report:

One new guideline is under development and making good progress:

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


We look forward to hearing an update on the possibility of CODES working with ALCTS to update “Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements” – historically a product of ALCTS.


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

-“Guidelines for Behavioral Performance of Reference and Information Services Providers.”  Members of the Management of Reference Committee have, with dedicated effort, produced a revised version of this respected guideline.  Members of Standards and Guidelines have had the opportunity to offer comments and we expect that the draft will soon be shared with the library community.

-“Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians.”  This guideline is at its first review, after being originally prepared by a task force.  Management of Reference members are taking on the review and are at the very beginning of the process.


“Guidelines for Establishing Local History Collections” is coming up for review and History Section officers expect to appoint a task force to direct that process.


These two older guidelines continue to linger on the RUSA website – after much discussion by Standards and Guidelines members and by others.

-“Guidelines for Medical, Legal and Business Responses at General Reference Desks” (2001) – We are almost positive that this guideline was revised with a more limited scope and approved – even by the RUSA Board in 2008 -- but without good record keeping.  To my surprise, members of the BRASS Education Committee did not seem interested in guiding the revised guideline, now called “Guidelines to Business Information Service Responses” through to approval.

-“Guidelines for Information Services” (2000) – We know that there was discussion of the feasibility of the project – and concern -- in 2007 when the guideline was first up for review.  The guideline has its supporters but leaders of the group which formerly guided it, the Access to Information Committee, have not responded to recent inquiries.

We have already passed the time when these guidelines would normally have been sunsetted.  I plan to ask members of the Standards and Guidelines Committee to make that recommendation.


Committee members have made good progress on revising the RUSA Handbook chapter on guidelines, hoping to make it easier to use and understand.  We need to finish off the work and present it for approval.  More later on this.

Larayne Dallas, Chair of the RUSA Standards and Guidelines Committee – 6/1/2011

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Signature of person reporting                                                                            date