Mars Executive Committee
Saturday January 19, 2002
New Orleans Convention Center 295
Minutes

Members Present:  
Executive Committee members: William McHugh (Chair), 
Nancy Buchanan (Past Chair), LeiLani Freund
(Vice-Chair, Chair- Elect), Naomi Lederer, Carole Richter,
Doris Ann Sweet, Nicholas Rosselli, Daisy Benson, Anne
Haynes, Alesia McManus, Pat Riesenman. 

Committee and Task Force Chairs, Representatives and Planning 
Committee members: Marcella Stark, Natalie McDonough, 
Lori Morse, Rosemary Meszaros, Jose Aguinaga, 
Mary Pagliero Popp, Kelley Lawton, Carolyn Larson, Scott Garton, 
Marianna Fitzgerald, George Porter, Arlie Sims, Lesley Bell, David
Hovde, Paige Weston, Pam Sieving, Becki Whitaker, Colleen
Seale, Amy Tracy Wells, Linda Friend, Denise Bennett,
Martha Walker, John Glace, Nancy Portnow.


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William McHugh brought the meeting to order at 2:00 pm.

A. Orientation. Committee members and chairs were
introduced, followed by a review of the meeting agenda. A
current roster was passed for corrections.

B. News and Announcements

1. Products and Services: Jose Aguinaga reported that the
Sunday morning forum will include three speakers on the
topic of choosing live reference software products.

2. Education, Training and Support: Arlie Sims announced
that Sunday's DG Forum will address the topic of support and
training for virtual/chat reference services. The Forum is 
offered jointly by Education, Training and Support, and 
Management of Electronic Reference Services.

3. Managers in MARS DG: Bill McHugh reported that Sunday's 
Discussion Group topic is "Electronic Resources on a Shoestring." 

4. MARS Web Coordinator: Alesia McManus announced that
Daisy Benson will take over updating the MARS Web site
after the Midwinter Conference. The official transition
takes place after Annual.

5. George Porter reported that the ACRL Science &
Technology Section will host a Discussion Forum Sunday,
9:30-11:00 am. where two speakers will address SFX and the
NISO Open URL standards. 
MOUSS will sponsor a vendor Discussion Forum Sunday, 4"30-
6:30 pm on Integrated Library Systems (Ex-Libris, III,
Sirsi and Endeavor).

6. Bill McHugh suggested posting discussion forums and
programs relevant to MARS focus and interests on MARS-L.

7. Nicholas Rosselli announced that the Indigo Girls will
be featured performers for the Atlanta Scholarship Fund.
Get those tickets fast!

8. Bill McHugh reported that Executive Committee minutes
from Midwinter were approved as written. Minutes from
Annual 2001 were passed around to Executive Committee
members and chairs; they may be approved by the end of the
conference.

9. Bill McHugh reported that charges to the Digital
Reference Guidelines ad hoc Committee and to the Section
Review Task Force were both approved electronically by Executive 
Committee members between Annual 2001 and Midwinter 2002 conferences.

10. Appointment Process:
LeiLani Freund (Vice-Chair) will be making appointments to
committees throughout the Spring. Committee Heads should
fill out Committee Member Status Reports no later than
February 10, indicating which members will be remaining or 
leaving, including any special information. Most appointments are
for two years except for except for chairs,internships, and other 
special appointments such as consultants that are
usually only one year.
Four years is the usual limit on committee membership, 
not including the intern year. This limit helps to 
encourage new member activity. The vice-chair appoints new members. 
Bill McHugh stated that 'consultant' status can be useful for special 
needs and projects. Consultants are generally individuals who have 
completed four years as a committee member, but are needed for particularly 
projects or to ensure continuity.

Forms passed to members and chairs: MARS
Committee Membership Status Report; MARS Committee and
Discussion Group Interest Form. Naomi Lederer mentioned
that the Outreach Committee should be added to the Interest
Form.

11. Bill McHugh asked that committee minutes be sent to 
committee members and liaison, to the Marcella Stark as 
Chair of Planning, and to the section Vice-Chair and Chair.
E-mail can be used in place of the paper form. Minutes are 
eventually sent to ALA Archives.

C. MARS Business
1. RUSA Board Retreat:
Bill McHugh passed the 'Retreat Results' memo, and
reported on the Retreat discussions. 

RUSA is concerned about under-representation of front-line
Reference librarians as well as some other groups (Public
libraries, small libraries). There is a perceived need for
a better place for the 'generalist' librarian. Denise Bennett
referred to the survey about why librarians don't belong to
RUSA: Answers included cost, lack of obvious place for
front-line librarian. Section reviews for MOUSS and MARS
should include consideration about whether they are
appealing to these groups.

Bill McHugh suggested ways to make the organization work
for those who are less involved. 
- A Hot Topics in Frontline Reference Discussion Group
will be created under RUSA
- Think of potential committee members from small or
public libraries
- Marketing- make greater conscious effort to recruit new
librarians/members
- Coordinate Discussion Group Topics better
- Web publishing issues could attract interest
- Life-cycle of programs: find ways to expand and leverage
program work into new forms

Natalie McDonough mentioned the need for more direct
promotion with public libraries; could offer pre-conference
ALA program to PLA.

Denise Bennett suggested consideration of further steps for
program content from the beginning of planning; Doris Ann
Sweet, George Porter and Nancy Buchanan all spoke to the
potential to synergize and enhance program efforts beyond
the program or forum itself (e.g. publication, report,
PowerPoint presentation). Bill McHugh spoke to the
continuing education aspect where content can be re-
packaged as a pre-conference to bring in revenue.

RUSA concern about a home for 'frontline' reference people
was discussed. Because 'managers' is in the MOUSS title,
the general reference person may perceive that their issues
are not the focus. MARS real focus is librarians with a
strong electronic orientation. Nancy Buchanan suggested
that section descriptions may not help the new librarian
identify with RUSA groups. 

Denise Bennett said the idea of a new Reference Section in
MARS has not been totally rejected; the new RUSA Discussion 
Group (Hot Topics in Frontline Reference) is viewed as a way 
to test the water. The goal is to recruit members and find 
the right terminology and orientation.
What would a new section do? Nancy Buchanan suggested that
reference librarians express interest in practical
challenges and issues/solutions. Amy Tracy Wells expressed
a concern about duplication of effort. Bill McHugh
commented that MARS is RUSA's largest section (about 2,000
members). Nancy Buchanan cautioned that it can be useful to
have several discussion groups addressing the same topic,
usually with a different focus. We don't want to legislate
topic focus from the top down.

2. Updating of MARS Best Lists: Lori Morse
Some resources included in these lists have changed; the
URL or orientation of the site may be different. Do we want
a print publication in view of the changing nature of the
resources? Alesia McManus said that access problems may be
reported to her; Publications is thinking about the issue
of currency also. Becki Whitaker said currency is not
necessarily the only issue. The MARS Best lists are dated
and reflect choices for that point in time. 
How are the lists being used? 
Carolyn Larson suggested the current link should be added to the
list if the site still exists. Further discussion concerned
the options of updating URLs and other critical information
as opposed to leaving each list as a snapshot in time.
There was some concern about leaving dead or bad links on our Web
pages, so if bad URL's aren't updated, they should at least be 
removed.

D. Reports

1. Messages from MARS: Anne Haynes
MARS will only be allowed one page in the new RUSA Update format 
in RUSQ. In the past MARS has received as many as four pages of 
messages, but Anne hasn't had to cut any copy sent to her. Under 
the new limit, she may need to edit the print version of Messages 
to fit the space limitations. The deadline will be earlier for 
each issue, and the information won't be as timely as the Web version 
was. Amy Tracy Wells said the 'Chair Report' could be brief to save
space; we would like to use the Update to promote future
events, but timeline might not allow for that. If
recruitment is a goal, then Discussion Group summaries
might be good to include. Anne stated that January 28 is the
deadline for the next print version of RUSA Update. Should
the Update be restricted to new post-Midwinter information?

2. RUSA Membership: Becki Whitaker
Marketing is a new responsibility for Membership
Committee. Some ideas include:
- posting reference position job openings
- target several groups such as LIS students, Reference
librarians
- Web pages for members?
- Discount opportunities
- RUSA booth sitters for Annual Conference- could we have
giveaway items?
- Post names of committees which have member openings
- No budget for marketing!

The Pre-Conference Program discussion will be postponed
until the next meeting.

Meeting was adjourned at 4:00 PM

Transcribed by Carole Richter
MARS Secretary
 
Carole Richter Pilkinton
Electronic Resources Librarian
University of Notre Dame Libraries
(574) 631-8405
richter.8@nd.edu