Go to:
Online Doc
Meeting Request
Mary Bogan's picture

Draft Minutes - RUSA History Section Executive Committee Midwinter Meeting #2 - Monday, 01/27/2014

Rusa-History Executive  Committee Meeting #2 – Draft Minutes
Monday, January 27, 2014, 8:30 – 10 am
ALA Mid-Winter, Philadelphia

Present:  Shelley Arlen, Michelle Baildon (Chair), Mary E. Bogan,  Nancy A. Bunker, Bill Forsyth, Helen Gbala,  Mike Hall, Helene Lafrance (Recorder), Sara Morris, Jenny Presnell,  Christina Thompson, Chella Vaidyanathan


(1) Report on RUSA Board of Directors (Michelle Baildon)

Michelle gave a brief report of the brainstorming/discussion at the Board of Directors meeting.

(2)  Reports from History Section Committees and Discussion Groups

  • ABC-CLIO Online History Award Committee:  Joshua Lupkin (Chair), not present, but he reported to the Executive Committee during the 01/24 virtual meeting.  He is frustrated and wants to discuss the criteria for the award with ABC-CLIO.  In recent years, innovative projects had to be rejected because of arcane rules.
  • Communications Committee:
     Makiba Foster and Laura Hibbler, not present. See minutes of 01/24 virtual meeting for an update.
  • Genealogical Publishing Company Award Committee (Helen Gbala).  Decision for the award is this year.  The definition of who is eligible is different in various places. Not clear if it has to be a librarian.  This should be clarified.  Joe Burckey from GPC will be involved in the committee.  Agnes will follow up.
  • Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group:  Curt Witcher (Chair) not present.  Midwinter discussion went well; 3 people presented followed by a low key discussion.  Good turnout, about 40 people.
  • Genealogy Committee:  Mike Hall (Chair) reported that they met earlier after Annual to talk about changing the guidelines.  Not much progress so far, but they will resume work. Guidelines are due by Annual. Mike also attends IFLA and he recently became chair of their Genealogy Committee. He is now the ALA Genealogy liaison to IFLA.  In 2016, IFLA will be in the U.S. (SF, Boston, or DC).  This year, it’s in South Africa.
  • Genealogy Preconference Planning: 
    • Melinde not present, but Bill reported on the program.  They had 83 registrations and ended up with 73 people attending.  They were pleased with the turnout, but the room was a little challenging.  A survey was distributed to attendees (17 responses):  36% learned of event from listserv, 24% from ALA registration; 48% would have used credit if available.
    • The group wanted to get back in ALA fold, but RUSA has funding requirements.  They did not get enough registrants through ALA and event was cancelled.  They then decided to go back to doing it independently.  Everything fell on their shoulders (marketing, etc.).  They realized that many registrants are postponing decision to attend until after the holidays.
    • They are concerned about attendance in Las Vegas (attendance always better on East Coast) and are looking at the possibility of going partly virtual. They were told that all ALA hotels were already booked for meetings and they will have to go far.
    • Next week (February 5-6)  is the Roots Tech conference in Salt Lake City.   Mike is organizing a preconference with virtual speakers from all over the world through SKYPE  (half the speakers will be virtual).  They will see what is successful and hope to learn from that experience.   They want to change things in the future.  Sara suggested that they offer webinars with CEU credits through RUSA.
    • Also suggested a webinar on "Basic Genealogy for Academic Librarians".    Professors are starting to use genealogy databases as primary sources and want help from librarians.  The 3 top suggestions for topics in the survey were certification, training, and another one, all geared at skills for professional librarians.
  • History Librarians Discussion Group (Chella Vaidyanathan): 
    • Had a successful Midwinter discussion  with 2 speakers from Cornell and one from U. Penn.  60 members participating. Presentations will be sent to the listserv.
    • Digital history should be a big direction for RUSA-History.  Maybe we should plan a joint meeting with two groups (RUSA-HS and ACRL Digital Humanities) and start collaborating.  People from WESS (John Marlow)  are interested to do something with RUSA.  Chella will follow up with WESS to explore possible collaboration, topics.  There is a project on Civil War soldiers (UCLA and U. Chicago) which can generate  possible speakers.  
  • Historical Materials:  Nicholas Wyant, Chair, not present .  Agnes presented award at the awards ceremony.   There were 8 websites to present, (ask Agnes details)  They will  be highlighted in an article. The point of the award is to make primary sources more accessible.
  • Instruction and Research Services (Shelley Arlen)
    • Two subcommittees are working on 1)  updating the web site on Using Primary Sources on the Web; 2)  developing libguides on digital sources from different countries/regions of the world.   For the libguides project, the basic structure is up.  The first one will be on the U.S.; will start with 15 links that are very useful.  Guidelines have been set up to make the libguides sustainable long-term.  Chella will send password for us to look at the first libguide.  Michelle would like to open up the libguides for people of other sections to contribute.  They could suggest links to be approved by a moderator.  Would like to have an internship for students interested in becoming bibliographers. We can also create an ad hoc committee where people don't have to be members of the section but can contribute to the project.  We could recruit Spectrum scholars.
    • The Information Literacy Guidelines have been distributed and are available in PDF on the RUSA-H web site. A poster that can be used at conferences  should be created shortly.     Jennifer Dorner and a few other volunteers will use Adobe Connect to create a webinar.  Our guidelines are based on the ACRL Information Literacy Standards which are in the process of being completely revamped/revised. There is some concern about that.  Sara said that we should just go ahead anyway, that the ACRL revision will take a long time.  There is already a mechanism in place to upgrade our guidelines, so we can do it when it’s time.
  • Local History Committee (Bill Forsyth)
    • Will have a virtual committee meeting in February or March.  Progress made on the database for finding aids for genealogy and local history publications published by vanity presses or independent published sources.  Committee is working on a revised proposal for funding to RUSA.  They talked with Gaylord (?) who will give a short presentation about Family History in Las Vegas.
    • Local History is in charge of the program in San Francisco in 2015.  Proposal is due in May.  Michelle suggested a speaker, interested in genealogy, Paula Madison, an NBC executive who came to talk at MIT.  Sara will also share an ideal with Bill.   Committee asked for clarifications:  do we want a high profile speaker, or a nuts and bolts kind of speaker?  

(3) History Sections Reps to RUSA Committees

  • RUSA Access to Information:   Nicholas Wyant, not present, no report.
  • RUSA Awards Coordinating (Agnes Haigh Widder) 
    • Gale Cengage is  in bankruptcy.  They were funding many of our awards, including the new one on Innovation. ($17,000 from Cengage for all awards).
    • Committee is writing a policy on RUSA awards that looks at funding.  A recommendation will be made for temporary funding.  If the Budget and Finance Committee doesn't vote to fund,  the awards may remain as unfunded on the book or be discontinued.
    • Agnes will send the new policy.   Will share with the committee but not include in the minutes (policy not approved yet).
  • RUSA Budget and Finance (Sara Morris, and Jenny Presnell)
    • There was a slight surplus at the end of the year.  RUSA has too much money in the reserve fund.  The money ($3000) will go through providing more support for  RUSA office.
    • There is money to increase impact of signature events, and for extra food and honoraria.  RUSA will also fund the awards for this year, for example $10,000 for the Cengage ones since the company is withdrawing its support. 
    • Other budget items:
      • Money for RUSA President's Program and publicity
      • Just Ask Campaign, $10,000
      • $2500 for conference calls.
      • Will redo the brochure for  recruitment ($2500)
      • Still in the work to develop an Apple app  modeled on the YALSA app which doesn't work well.  $20,000
      • Proposed Budget:  $115,000
    • Discussion about funding of Midwinter.  Midwinter makes money (except once in the previous years).
    • Webinars are profitable so we need to take a hard look on that front and get organized.  Need to find out the average price of a webinar.
    • We can have a six month embargo and then make the webinar available for free to RUSA members.
  • RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee:  Janalyn L. Moss, not present, no report.
  • RUSA Learning Opportunities and Knowledge Task Force (Jenny Presnell) no report.
  • RUSA Membership Committee:  Patrick B. Oberholtzer, not present, no report.
  • RUSA Nominating Committee:  Curt B. Witcher, not present, no report.
  • RUSA Organization and Planning Committee:  David Lincove, not present, no report.
  • RUSA Professional Development:  Rachael E. Elrod, not present, no report.
  • RUSA Publications and Communications Committee:  Shelley A. Arlen.  Meeting cancelled at Midwinter.  Goals:  make social media more prominent.  Survey on content audit of the RUSA  website.
  • RUSA Standards & Guidelines Committee:  Charles B. Thurston, not present, no report.
  • Addition to the agenda:  RUSA Review Task Force (Christina). They are discussing if they want to do a survey.  They would survey leadership.  Need to focus more on contents in the RUSA structure. Report may not be ready in May.

(4)  Other Business

Agnes said she will  be running for Vice-Chair.