Mars Executive Committee
Tuesday January 22, 2002
Convention Center 280
Minutes

Appendix: MARS Goals, 2002-2003

Members Present:  
Executive Committee members: Bill McHugh
(Chair), Nancy Buchanan, LeiLani Freund, Carole Richter,
Pat Riesenman, Doris Ann Sweet, Naomi Lederer. 

Committee and Task Force Chairs/Representatives, including
incoming chairs: 
Carolyn Larson, Kelley Lawton, Mary Popp, Mary Mintz, 
Marcella Stark.


William McHugh brought the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

A. Orientation 
Committee members and chairs were introduced.

B. Reports
1. Outreach: Kelly Lawton
a. Happy Hour was well attended, including 25 non-member
guests. The committee plans to leave Happy Hour publicity
at Annual Registration area. A MARS handout of programs and
discussion groups will also be handed out at Happy Hour. 
b. Projects include redesign and revision of the MARS
brochure, welcoming e-mail to new MARS members including
volunteer opportunities if a list can be obtained. Jim
Crooks is considering re-establishing the mentoring
program.

2. User Access to Services: Mary Popp reported that the
committee is planning an expansion of the Bibliography of
User Behavior (published in RUSQ) to an Occasional Paper.
They will need to update, remove dated information, and add
context. 

Following this project, the committee wants to rethink the
direction of the group. They hope to be more proactive in
thinking about their focus in relation to reference
services. User Access plans to experiment with conference
calls and smaller incremental deadlines to move projects
forward.

3. Planning: Marcella Stark
a. The section review process for Planning was completed. 
b. A PDF version of the Handbook has been completed; it
will be proofed and posted to the MARS site.
c. MARS Goals for 2002-2003: See Appendix A
d. There was some discussion about section level program
scheduling difficulty; no immediate action will be taken.
e. Planning reviewed the handbook text text for the Recognition 
Certificate,and considered ways to ensure that information about
the recipient is appropriately disseminated. ExComm proposed several
changes to the text Planning had presented: 
(1) The recipient will be notified before a public
announcement, within a month of selection. The public announcement
will be made at about the time the ALA election results are
announced.
(2) The list of recipients will be posted on the MARS site.

A motion to approve "text as edited" in Handbook corrections was made 
and approved.

4. RUSA Planning & Finance: LeiLani Freund and Nancy
Buchanan. 
a. LeiLani reported that money in the endowment fund has
shrunk dramatically; there was discussion about whether to
continue transferring monies in light of this situation.
The group agreed to continue to transfer some funds to the
endowment for now. There is currently enough money in the
operating budget to transfer the usual $50,000. RUSA
reserve is now $280,000.
b. Potential budget cut exercise: Because RUSA
expenditures may need to be cut, the committee produced a
contingency 20% budget reduction plan. The main RUSA costs
are in staffing. 
(1) The committee will phase out the Directory of Peer
Consultants and the print guide to policies and procedures. 
(2) The past-presidents breakfast will be discontinued.
(3) Discussion of whether the Executive Committee Fall
Meeting could be rolled into an ALA meeting; this plan
seems unlikely.
(4)There was general brainstorming about projects that
could be dropped.
(5) Nancy reported that Cathleen Bourdan thinks a cut is
more an ALA need rather than RUSA; RUSA activities always
have been dependent on revenue and reserves. 
(6) Can money be saved by doing all publications in-house?
(7) Good news: membership dues revenue is on target;
postage savings have resulted from growing e-mail use.

5. Managers in MARS Discussion Group: Naomi Lederer
reported on the "Electronic Resources on a
Shoe String" discussion. This group may have needed more
publicity.

6. Preconference publicity: officially this is a
divisional program, so it will be known as a RUSA pre-
conference. Our publicity will include reference to MARS;
it was suggested that RUSA be asked to include MARS name in
publicity if possible.

7. Historian: Pat Riesenman reported on MARS-L archive
keying project.

8. RUSA Board: Bill McHugh 
a. The board reminded us that passports (or birth certificate and 
other identification) will be needed for Toronto.
b. RUSA should be referred to by its full name in all
publicity.
c. ALA may consider a spin-off organization with different
tax status, which would enable advocacy of certain issues such as
pay equity.
d. Pre-conferences: there will be six or seven for RUSA in
Toronto, the most at any conference. MARS will repeat its
Atlanta pre-conference.
e. Program time slots were discussed. 
f. There is a conflict with the ML King holiday; future conflicts 
will be eliminated after the currently scheduled conferences.
g. ALA Conference attendance is down slightly (7,600
compared to 8,400 in 2001).
h. Reference Album Project: initiated by Jo Bell Whitlatch
when president of RUSA and intended to provide a searchable
database of reference Web sites. Some work has been done,
but it is not publicly accessible or complete. RUSA is
looking for a home for this project. ExComm agreed to
investigate further the needed level of commitment to
populate the template. How comprehensive should this be? 
i. Bill McHugh suggested the idea of a task force to
explore a fee-based 'Best Sites' list. LeiLani Freund
suggested this be postponed until after Atlanta in view of
the many new projects currently under way.

8. Conference Program Planning 2003: LeiLani Freund
reported that Lesley Bell will join the committee. The
working topic will address "Service with a Smile." Are we
still providing what the patron wants in a friendly way, or
have the demands of the new technology made us less than a friendly
place? This discussion could include authentication and other security
issues that may be driving people away.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

Appendix A: MARS Goals 2002-03

1. Complete the 2001-2002 MARS Section review, addressing
any issues raised and implementing appropriate changes
suggested by the results.

2. Explore possibilities for future RUSA/MARS pre-
conferences and encourage committee-sponsored programs that
promote the mission of RUSA/MARS.

3. Establish a discussion group dealing with digital
reference issues.

4. Explore feasibility of a fee-based reference resources
"best" list similar to the MARS Best Free Reference Web
Sites. 

5. Encourage a broader and more active membership in the
MARS Section.

a. Look at membership roster and consider the need for
targeted outreach.

b. Seek ways to promote more active participation by the
membership in committees and discussion groups. 

6. Focus on current issues in technology and the provision
of electronic reference, such as:

   a. Educating and preparing reference service personnel
for
the future, especially digital and live reference.
 
   b. Discussing the role of direct-to-the-consumer
electronic services such as Ask Jeeves or refdesk.com. How
do we define ourselves with respect to these services? Do
they supplant or do they supplement library reference
services?

   c. In light of recent heightened security concerns,
ensuring that technological safeguards do not
disenfranchise our users.

   d. Keeping informed of legislation that affects access to
electronic products, including copyright and licensing,
archiving, and fair use issues.

   e. Defining the needs of distance learners and using
technology effectively to meet those needs. 

7. Continue to enhance the MARS Web site.

8. Continue to enhance the MARS Handbook, and continue to
update the MARS Bylaws. 


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