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DRAFT Minutes - RUSA History Section Executive Committee Midwinter Meeting #1 (virtual) - 01/21/2014

RUSA-History Executive Committee # 1 (Virtual Meeting) -  Minutes

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Present:   Michelle Baildon (Chair), Eileen Bentsen, Nancy A. Bunker, Melinde Lutz Byrne, Bill Forsyth,  Julie Higbee,   Laura Hibler, Helene Lafrance (recorder), Josh Lupkin, Olga Perkovic, Jenny Presnell,  Sara Morris,  Christina Thompson,  Shelley A. Arlen, Leigh-Anne Yacovelli, Patrick Oberholtzer

  • Introductions
    • Besides the members of the Executive Committee, the following people were in attendance:  Olga Perkovic and Eileen Bentsen, Co-Chairs of the Task Force Revising the “Using Primary Sources on the Web” Page; Laura Hibbler, Chair of the Communication Committee; Melinde Lutz Byrne, Chair of the Genealogy Preconference Planning Committee; Patrick Oberholtzer, Representative to the RUSA Membership Committee; Shelley Arlen, Representative to the RUSA Publications and Communications Committee, and Chair of the Instruction and Research Services Committee;  Josh Lupkin, Chair of the ABC-Clio Award Committee; Bill Forsyth, Chair of the Local History Committee; Julie Higbee; Leigh-Anne Yacovelli
  • Minutes from RUSA HS Executive Committee meetings, Annual 2013 (already approved by the Executive Committee):
  • Announcements of RUSA and HS events:
    • Michelle posted the list of RUSA and HS events at Midwinter.   see http://connect.ala.org/node/217214  Please encourage other section members to attend.
    • Don’t miss  the RUSA Membership Social from 5:30 to 7pm  on Saturday at the Sheraton Liberty Ballroom B.  5:30-7pm:  There will be a raffle and a contest. (  http://alamw14.ala.org/node/12864)
    • Don’t forget to sign up/RSVP for the tour of Independence Hall, the behind-the-scenes tour of the German Society of Pennsylvania which is celebrating its  250th anniversary, and the RUSA History Section Dinner at Banana Leaf Malaysian Cuisine.
    • On Sunday, the  History librarians’ Discussion Group will feature a great panel on the “Role(s) of Humanities Librarians  in Digital Humanities.”
    • The in-person meeting of the RUSA-HS, Executive Committee meeting is on Monday.
  • Chair's report
    • Feedback/discussion on All-committee meeting format at Annual (deadline for scheduling for ALA Annual is January 30)
      • Everybody seems in favor of continuing with the all-committee meeting format, even though it was difficult last year for people who are members of more than one committee.  One suggestion was for the committees to hold a virtual meeting before or after the conference, and then participate in the all-committee one. 
      • Final decision is to continue this year with the all-committee meeting. If needed, committees could have a separate meeting.  Michelle will email all chairs to see if anyone needs a separate meeting. 
      • We need to be aware that, in terms of hospitality to new members, it’s sometimes hard for them to find the tables they need in an all committee meetings. It would be nice to have staff helping new members. Michelle wants to have a local committee at Annual, so maybe one of the volunteers could be at the all-committee meeting.
      • Awards committee will continue to meet at Annual if needed.
      • We need to keep in mind that some people gets funding only if their committee meets in person.
    • Section contributions to RUSA strategic plan
      • The History Section has been asked to describe how our recent and ongoing work contribute to the objectives of the RUSA Strategic Plan (attached to the agenda).
      • Deadline was supposed to be yesterday (01/20), but was extended.  Before the end of this week, all committee chairs need to review the Strategic Plan and let Michelle know how the work of their committee has contributed to.  Michelle will then draft something and submit it to us for comments.  
    • Emerging Leaders proposals - due April 4 (proposal form attached to agenda)
      • Michelle was an emerging leader in 2010, and it’s very intense.  She wants to submit at least one proposal.  All proposals need to be run by the RUSA Board. One  idea is an instruction exchange/clearinghouse.   Maybe  a project related to the new Information Literacy Guidelines would be good.  Send more ideas to Michelle.
    • Updates from RUSA Board 
      • First RUSA Board Meeting at Midwinter is on Saturday from  1:30 to 3:30.  The second meeting  is Monday afternoon. There is a call for action items.  Let Michelle know if you have any.  Already on the agenda is the issue of  RUSA branding, and Big Focus (major directions for RUSA).   Sara suggested recruitment of new members and the necessity to give people the choice of not attending Midwinter. 
  • Vice Chair's report
    • Nominations
      • We have a ballot which will come out shortly.
    • Appointments 
      •  Jenny needs feedback from committee chairs about the members of their committee who could be “chair material”.  Then the next step is to recruit new members and to make appointments, but there is time.
    • Learning Task force: Jenny is a member of this new task force.  She will contact chairs about that to get their input.
  • Past Chair's report (Sara)
    • Research Grant
      • Did get applications for the research grant.  Have heard from the RUSA office that Cengage will pull their funding for awards after this year. We may have to reach out to other vendors/companies.   The Awards Committee has a manual that addresses what to do  when a vendor withdraws its support.
      • It would be nice to feature the winners of research grants in some webinars.  It would increase exposure for them and for the grant.
  • Reports or comments from Chairs and Reps
    • ABC-CLIO Online History Award Committee (Joshua Lupkin)
      • Josh won’t be at Midwinter.  In-between year for the committee since the award is given every other year.  Josh’s goal for this year is to discuss criteria with ABC-CLIO.  In recent years, some excellent projects had to be rejected because of arcane rules or specific requirements.   Example:  some cutting edges projects don’t have learning modules, therefore are not eligible.   Nancy reminded us that ABC-CLIO is really about learning projects.
      • Josh will send his ideas to Agnes Haigh Widder, who is  our representative to the RUSA Awards Coordinating and will follow up. Josh should copy Michelle as well.  
    • Communications Committee (Laura Hibbler)
      • Laura would like all of us to look at the draft of the Communications Toolkit and give her our feedback.
      • She also wants feedback on how to improve the website.
      • She wants regular updates from all committee chairs to post on various pages.   
      • February 21st is the deadline for the next RUSA Update.
      • Michelle praised Laura for an excellent job with the Twitter account. 
      • Facebook is not doing so well.  Some people may not have switched to the new Facebook page (there were more people signed up to the old one).
      • Discussion on how we can encourage new members to sign up for the listservs and/or to follow RUSA on Facebook and Twitter.   Patrick Oberholtzer (representative to the Membership Committee) will send an email about that to new members or renewing members.  Sara suggested to publicize the listserv at the Discussion Group on Saturday.
      • Communication Committee needs to find a way to send a message to all RUSA History Section members (right now the information is available on a spread sheet).
    • Genealogy Preconference Planning (Melinde Lutz-Byrne)
      • The preconference will be held all day on January 24.  There are 14 speakers (several panels).  At this point, it’s over subscribed with more than 80 people. What the Committee tried to do initially was to move back into  ALA fold and to use ALA  registration page.  They qualified for that but did not get enough people (minimum 64 people), maybe because the ALA deadline was too early or because of the cost.  Within ALA, they  had to charge even though the room was free and Proquest was paying for the lunch.   For Las Vegas, they are going on their own again.  It’s too late to change.   They are also exploring now if they should do something twice a year, maybe only a half day, maybe online.
      • In the contracts with their speakers, they asked for permission to record the sessions for possible use in a webinar or other live stream event.  All speakers agreed.  This will not happen now, but it’s good for the future
    • Task Force on revising the “Using Primary Sources on the Web” web page (Olga)
      • The page was last updated 6 years ago.  Olga and Ellen are working together on the revision. They got usage stats on the page, which is heavily viewed.   Right now it’s mostly text based and they want to change that.    They have 5 volunteers and will  have a first virtual meeting in early February to get  moving on the project.  Laura is on board as well to do the actual edits on the web page.    Hopefully this project ties in with some of the goals of the RUSA Strategic Plan.


See you all in Philly if we can get there….