MARS Executive Committee
Tuesday, January 18, 2000
Poolside Room, Menger Hotel
Minutes

Executive Committee Members Present:  Linda Friend (chair), Nancy
Buchanan, Andrea Copeland, Lise M. Dyckman, William McHugh, Pat Riesenmen
(ex officio)

Others Present: Sara Brownmiller, Elliot Kanter, Linda Keiter, Naomi
Lederer, Caroline Long, Natalie McDonough, Julia Rholes, Ann E. Robinson,
Colleen Seale, Sally Willson Weimer.


1. Linda Friend called the meeting to order at 9:30 AM and reviewed the
agenda.

2. Managers in Mars Discussion Group (Andrea Copeland) There were about 65
individuals at the group's meeting on Sunday, which consisted of a
discussion of managing public printing.  Carrie Bickner, Web Coordinator
at the New York Public Library, facilitated the discussion.  Janet Doerge
has volunteered to serve as vice-chair of the Group for the coming year.

3. Planning (Caroline Long) Caroline is the RUSA representative on the ALA
committee planning the 2001 conference, discussed the changes that would
take place for the 2001 annual conference in San Francisco. It is hoped
that the newly adopted program tracks, with programs in each track located
at a single hotel or cluster of nearby hotels, would cut down on
wear-and-tear.  However, no one will be required to stay within a single
track.  Each track will have a no-conflict exhibit period.  Each
division's meetings will also be centered at a single hotel or cluster of
close hotels.  Concerns were expressed that one division or cluster might
have all of its meetings at a particularly remote site.  That is indeed
likely to happen, given the size of the campus that forms the conference
site in each city ALA visits.  Concerns were also expressed that the site
of the RUSA meetings be communicated in time for participants to make
their hotel reservations appropriately, and Carolyn indicated that ALA
would attempt to get the word out.

Also, ALA membership meetings would no longer be no-conflict times, though
the opening general session will remain no-conflict.  Divisional programs
will perhaps not necessarily be in tracks, though RUSA's might be more
likely to be in a track than some others might.  The time blocks have been
changed, and programs can run across multiple adjacent blocks. Programming
will come from the divisions and round tables, and not from ALA.  The
committee coordinating the conference will place programs that come to it
into the various tracks.  They will watch for similar-sounding programs,
and particularly for programs with the same speaker addressing a
similar-sounding topic, and suggest that the groups sponsoring these
programs consider collaboration.  However, it will remain up to the
sponsoring groups whether they want to pursue collaboration.  The
committee will avoid organizing tracks around types of libraries,
reflecting RUSA concerns in this area.

One track will be reserved for late-developing programs and issues (this
is a particular issue for LITA).  The question was raised as to whether
Discussion Groups should be in the late-developing track, since these may
also be assigned to tracks.  They may need to turn in some kind of form
well in advance to be assigned to a track, or they may not necessarily
need to be part of any track.  Or they may try to see at a later date if
they fit into any established track.  Or they may be assigned space
according to the site of their divisions meetings.  The committee is still
reviewing all these options.  Concerns were also raised about ambiguous
topics--topics that might fit into more than one track.  Will there be a
way for the sponsoring group to convey which track these should belong to?

Questions were raised about what information goes into the printed
program.  A web site for the conference will be accessible well in advance
to show the tracks as they develop.  The printed program may be much less
elaborate than currently, or it might come in several sections so that the
whole program need not be carried around.  There will be some kind of
printed list of meetings, however, that can be carried around.

Forms for requesting meeting space for RUSA programs will go to RUSA, who
will try to fit the programs into the periods available on the track a
program has been assigned to.  Sections, such as MARS, that have a
traditional time for their program may not always be able to keep it.  
There will be no change in the total number of programs RUSA can offer.

The 2001 team will have a booth at the 2000 Chicago annual.  American
Libraries will have column on the planning for the conference. Publicity
for the 2001 program should list the tracks.  A mechanism would need to be
set to get scheduling information back to the section.  The option of
tacking a committee meeting onto the back of a program it had sponsored
was mentioned; this may no longer be possible if programs are placed into
tracks.  Questions were raised as to whether this new system for
organizing the annual conference was an experiment, and Caroline replied
that the new system would probably have to run several years before it
could be evaluated.

A plenary wrap-up session for each track is being considered for Tuesday
morning, possibly with reactors or summarizers.  Concern was expressed
that whatever was offered Tuesday morning needed to be good enough for
people to stay for.  Other ideas to encourage people to stay through to
Tuesday were offered--scheduling really strong programs on that morning,
having the exhibits open later, encouraging state associations in the area
to bring in individuals not normally active in ALA on Monday and Tuesday.

In closing, Caroline promised to communicate with the sections in RUSA on
how Discussion Groups and Discussion Forums would be handled once plans
were more developed.

4. Education, Training, and Support Committee (Natalie McDonough)The
committee had just had two resignations, and with other members rotating
off, it was almost a new committee.  The committee was reviewing its Web
site.  They were considering a program for 2001 Annual on barriers to
effective staff training.  They may post a call on the listserv for
research in the area, and conduct a literature review.  They will explore
the notion of a knowledge community.  It was noted that Management of
Electronic Reference Services Committee was working on projects in this
area.

The committee is also working on its Web-published directory of innovative
Web-based services.  Services such as email reference and chat services
are being looked at, as are appropriate types of software.  It was
suggested that perhaps this could be a topic for one of the MARS
discussion groups.

5. There was a discussion of the possible number of programs for 2001
annual.  We have had three proposed--the MARS program itself, and possible
programs by User Access to Services and Education, Training and Support.  
The section is only guaranteed two, though the RUSA board can approve more
if other sections do not put forward two proposals.  Often only the MARS
program proper is put forward from the section, although we did at least
once in recent years have three programs approved.  Formal programs do
guarantee a listing in the printed program, and Discussion Forums do not
get such a listing under the current system.  The new system might result
in listings for Discussion Forums, but it is too early to know how the
system will work.

6. Scheduling Coordinator (Sara Brownmiller) She is in the final year of
her term and a replacement needs to be identified.  The Web schedule page
now needs to be moved to the ALA Web site, but there were concerns as to
whether it could be updated fast enough there.  Alesia will be asked.  
The question was raised whether Discussion Groups should remain in their
traditional one-hour slot.  Some have been trying longer slots, at least
at Midwinter.  The whole scheduling process perhaps needs to be reviewed,
and will certainly have to be redone in light of the plans for 2001
annual.

7. MARS Web Coordinator (Elliot Kanter for Alesia McManus)  A number of
items have been added to the Web site--a committee interest form, the
updated handbook, 1999-2000 roster (mail-to links still being added), the
MARS Best Web site, and MARS candidate information for the 2000 election.  
Several committees, such as Planning and Publications, are submitting
pages.  A number of things remain to be done: make further revisions of
the MARS home page, continue to add committee pages, remove reference to
the gopher and transfer gopher information, create a MARS Web FAQ
(including information on options for making Web pages available and how
to get templates), creating idea lists (Denise Bennett will coordinate the
content), redesign the conference section on the home page, make sure that
the committee section of the home page links either to committee pages or
committee descriptions in the handbook, and continue roster enhancement to
improve navigability. Alesia met with Donovan Vicha, the RUSA Web Program
Officer, on Sunday. Donovan is working on a template without the "blue
bars."

8. Publications Committee (Elliot Kanter) The committee has been working
on recruiting a replacement for Jian Liu as Messages from MARS
editor/MARS-L Moderator.  A search committee has been appointed, and
candidates will be interviewed at annual and an appointment recommended to
the MARS Executive Committee immediately thereafter.  Normally, the July
issue of Messages is transitional, but Jian is leaving for China
immediately following annual, so the Committee hopes to recruit an
experienced ex-editor to help out.  A position ad will be placed in the
next issue of Messages, and will be posted on MARS-L and in whatever other
channels would be effective.

The committee is trying to institute a process of reviewing the entire
website each year at midwinter, but no mechanism is in place for a formal
committee review.  This year individual members will review the pages and
send corrections to Alesia.  Elliot asked all committee chairs to review
their website.  The Publications Committee will discuss the site in a
conference call in late 2000, and ask for a meeting space at Midwinter
2001 that will allow them to go online.  MARS archiving policy revision is
recommending that pages be archived in a print format, since there is no
reliable way to archive materials electronically long-term, but this does
not preclude having outdated pages available electronically, identified as
such, on a case-by-case basis.

The committee will update the "20 Years of MARS in Print" to "25 Years of
MARS in Print" for the birthday celebration.  The question of whether it
should include electronic publications was raised.  Three publication
proposals have been approved.  Local Systems and Services is working on a
web-published "Directory of Innovative Web Based Services" (approved last
fall).  Public Libraries is working on a web-published "Internet Training
and Learning: A Guide to Web Resources for Public Libraries" (approved
last spring).  User Access to Services is converting their web
bibliography of recent research on user behavior and online services into
a print publication.  The Publications had approved the proposal with
suggestions, and Executive Committee was asked to approve.  Discussion
ensued on the form the publication should take: it might be too long for
an RUSQ article, where the User Access to Services Committee was hoping to
publish it. The committee was looking at shortening the abstracts to allow
publication in this venue.  An Occasional Paper would open up other
channels for distribution, though it would be slightly less timely.  
Concern was expressed that the committee not sacrifice valuable content in
converting the bibliography to a print publication.  The proposal was
approved by the Executive Committee, and Elliot will take the proposal to
RUSA Publications.

9. Outreach Task Force (Naomi Lederer) A year-long kickoff for the MARS
twenty-fifth birthday party is planned for the Chicago happy hour. Melissa
Trevvett will handle local arrangements.  The Task Force is being replaced
by a standing committee, and a charge is being written. The committee is
proposed for 7-9 members with two interns.  However, it was pointed out
that MARS guidelines only allow one intern.  Four individuals will
continue from the Task Force.  Potential members will need to realize that
committee membership involves such substantial responsibilities as
organizing the happy hour.  Recruiting sponsors for the birthday party in
San Francisco at annual 2001 is being considered, as is the idea of
encouraging MARS members to bring a colleague to the birthday party as a
recruiting opportunity.

10. Local Systems and Services (Ann Robinson)  They had had one visitor at
their meeting.  The are working on a web publication on innovative
web-based services, and hope to finish by annual.  They also hope to have
a discussion forum an annual on "my library" web sites.  Possible
conflicts of this discussion forum with other MARS programs and forums
were discussed, and changes in times were recommended.  Questions were
raised about possible limitations on virtual memberships.  Linda indicated
that each committee should do whatever works for them, but that she may
ask Planning to develop guidelines.  The Committee was encouraged to look
at gateway issues, which had generated a great deal of interest in forums
at this midwinter.

11. 2000 Program Planning Committee (Julia Rholes) Hal Burghel of
University of Nevada at Las Vegas, a notable futurist, has been engaged.  
The program will focus on the future of the digital library.

12. the MARS Achievement Recognition Certificate Committee (Bill McHugh)
The committee has chosen an individual to receive this year's Certificate
(also known as "My Favorite Martian") at the annual meeting in Chicago.

13.  Linda led a discussion on possible ideas for a memorial to Bernie
Pasquilini.  Bernie's death still seemed too recent for concrete ideas to
be discussed.  Linda & Pat Reisenman will work on bringing ideas together.  
Renaming the "My Favorite Martian" award for Bernie has been suggested, or
possibly establishing a second award or certificate that would have a
public library emphasis.  It might have a different focus, such as a
product or program, rather than an individual.  Amy Wells will extract
various tributes of Bernie for his family and post on our Web site.  A
celebration of Bernie at the annual meeting in Chicago was suggested,
possibly between the Executive Committee meeting and the MARS happy hour.

14. MARS archiving guidelines (Bill McHugh) Bill and Pat and the members
of the Planning Committee have revised the guidelines. The revision had
been initiated to deal with the large number of electronic documents that
need to be archiving.  Currently there is no reliable way to archive this
material electronically, so print archival copies need to be made.  The
opportunity had been taken to revise the guidelines more thoroughly, and
to have the secretary coordinate depositing files with RUSA for eventual
archiving.  Planning had made a few changes in the proposed wording at
their meeting on Sunday, and the revised proposed guidelines will be
distributed to the Executive Committee to be approved virtually.

15.  Linda and Pat discussed the need to identify a historian-in-training
to help Pat with her responsibilities as historian.  This person might
work on collecting materials after a certain date, with Pat continuing to
work on organizing the older materials.  Possible these would be
co-historians; changes to the handbook might be necessary.  Linda hoped to
have something in place by annual.

16.  The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 PM.

Transcribed by William McHugh