RUSA RSS Health and Medical Reference Committee Committee
Submitted by Laura Haines, 9/12/14
“I want to update you on this weekend at ALA. First of all, we did not have a meeting, per se. Well, not at all. There was a glitch and the printed program had the Health and Medical Reference Committee meeting in the Convention Center, whereas the electronic version had it in a hotel with all the other RSS committees. I am pretty sure this affected more than just our committee. If I had known I would certainly have put out some kind of heads-up about it. So even though both Barbara and Kelli put aside other things they could be doing, we were in two locations and couldn't meet. We had one visitor who had a lovely conversation about what we've been doing. Sorry - everyone! It was kind of a bust.
However, lots of news:
1) We have a new chair: Laura Haines. Yea Laura!! I'm not sure when the chairing for me ends (it might already be over!), but I'm sure it will be a smooth transition,since Laura has been with us pretty much from the start. I think I'm still going to continue shepherding the Guidelines. which leads to:
2) I met with the Standards and Guidelines Committee on Sunday June 29. They seem to think our guidelines are in very good shape. Their committee works online now, and it sounds like there is a good chance the entire process might be completed by Midwinter 2015! It has to be approved by the Standards and Guidelines (and they will almost certainly have some changes for us), and then it goes out for public review (this is supposed to be not a long process), and then it goes to the RUSA Board. And when they approve it, it's done! At least for 7 years.
One little weird note about the Guidelines. The Standards and Guidelines Committee decided to keep the "Guidelines for Medical Legal and Business Responses" up on the website until after all three parts have been replaced. Business updated theirs last year, ours will be done soon, but there is no section in RUSA to do Legal. So they are going to find someone to do them. Therefore, those old guidelines might co-exist with ours for a couple of years.
3) We have at least one new member, so I have added her to this email. Ann Glusker, BST Librarian from The Seattle Public Library, with a medical library background. Welcome Ann!
-- Karen Vargas, June 30, 2014
The goals for the 2014-14 year of the Health and Medical Reference Committee are as follows:
- Complete the document Health and Medical Guidelines. This has been submitted to the Standard and Guidelines Committee who will review it in September 2014. The Guidelines should be complete and accepted by Midwinter 2015.
- Promote and develop the Medref-L listserv in order to provide a discussion space for workers in all libraries who provide health or medical reference to talk about the special issues arising from those types of reference questions.
- Develop a web page to communicate helpful resources for those in the field providing health or medical reference.
- Programming: contribute a Webinar, discussion forum or program for ALA Annual Meeting and/or other venues.
Approximately 60 people attended the ALA Annual Conference program, "Different Strokes: Serving the Health Information Needs of a Diverse Community" held on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 1:00pm. The committee’s is planning a free RSS webinar, “Tried and True and Even Something New: Best Old and New Medical and Health Information Resources.” Details will be announced shortly. A subgroup to rewrite guidelines for medical reference continues to meet to discuss guidelines planning. The committee has established a listserv where librarians can discuss issues regarding medical reference. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The link to subscribe is http://lists.ala.org/sympa/subscribe/medref.