Mars Executive Committee
Tuesday June 18, 2002
Marriott, Atlanta
 
Minutes

Members Present:  Executive Committee members: William McHugh (Chair),
LeiLani Freund (Vice-Chair/Chair Elect), Naomi Lederer, Doris Ann
Sweet, Carole Pilkinton.  Committee and Task Force Chairs or
Representatives: Mary Popp, Danise Hoover, Becki Whitaker, Marcella
Stark, Lori Morse, Nancy Portnow. Also attending: Nancy Bodner, MARS
representative to RUSA Standards and Guidelines.

William McHugh brought the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.

A. Orientation. 

Committee members and chairs were introduced, followed by a review of
the meeting agenda. Additions to the agenda included items for MARS
Business: Discussion of fee based services for Web Best Lists, and a
report on the suggested co-sponsorship of the program "Real World
Steps to Interoperability" with ALCTS.

B. Reports
	1. User Access to Services (Mary Popp) - the committee is
working to update and complete the Bibliography of User Behavior as an
Occasional Paper. A sub-committee, including a liaison from
Publications, has been appointed to complete this manuscript by
Midwinter. The sub-committee was approved by ExComm; Bill indicated
that sub-committees are a good option to allow a committee to add
members or focus for a special project.

Danise Hoover, incoming chair, reported on the committee planned forum
for Midwinter: Electronic access and authentication in different kinds
of libraries. They asked for a 1.5 or 2 hour bloc of time. Sunday
afternoon from 2-4 pm was decided on. Three speakers are planned; Bill
McHugh emphasized the importance of discussion time. A business
meeting will follow the forum. The proposal was approved by ExComm.

	2. RUSA Membership (Becki Whitacker section representative)-
The committee is trying to revitalize membership. A retreat report
touched on membership charge of recruitment and marketing. Targets for
increasing membership are reference librarians in public and academic
libraries, and new SLIS students. Nancy Bodner emphasized the
importance of communication to all section chairs and RUSA Board. RUSA
needs better coordination of efforts and priorities. RUSA is
encouraging revitalized mentoring efforts in sections. RUSA desires to
put more effort into the RUSA booth. Becki suggested an early Saturday
time bloc would enable MARS to push conference programs. Four hour
blocs were suggested, but RUSA is flexible about how to cover; the
point is to have people talk about RUSA opportunities. Naomi mentioned
that MARS doesn't carry a membership cost in addition to RUSA
membership. Nancy emphasized the outreach value of attendance lists
from meetings, discussion groups, and programs.

Becki reminded Discussion Group Chairs to be sure to pass around an
attendance sheet, which should then be forwarded to Becki. This
ensures that Membership can follow up with recruitment of new members.

	3. Outreach Committee - Bill McHugh received a report from
Kelley Lawton, chair of Outreach. Naomi Lederer reported that about 55
people attended the Meet Martians meeting. Bill passed around copies
of the article "O Librarian Where Art Thou?" which highlights the
importance of recruiting librarians. Bill asked what kind of role an
organization like RUSA/MARS can have in promoting recruitment. Bill
also drew our attention to the White Paper produced by the ACRL Ad-Hoc
Task Force on Recruitment and Retention chaired by Pat Hawthorne and
George Bynan. The paper includes guidelines for organizations, such as
targeting undergraduate and graduate students. There was some
discussion about ways to project a positive career image for
librarianship. Nancy Bodner, who chairs the task force on recruitment
and diversity, has a very positive, action-oriented focus.

	4. RUSA Standards and Guidelines (Nancy Bodner, liaison) -
RUSA maintains a file of publications and guidelines.

		(a) Jody Fagan will be incoming chair of Education,
Training and Support. The committee's 'Guidelines' for training
sessions (1995) document will need to be reviewed for possible
revision and for continuing relevance.

		(b) CODES is interested in creating guidelines for
'How to write a review' using a practical approach.

		(c) The Digital Reference Guidelines Ad Hoc Committee
had only been authorized by ExComm for one year. George Porter will be
moving to the position of MARS vice-chair, and there is a need to
extend the group for one year. The motion to extend for one year was
made and approved by ExComm. A draft of the committee charge and
membership is maintained on George Porter's Web site. The previous
RUSA Standards and Guidelines group chaired by Bernie Sloan had asked
that MARS accept this project. MARS agreed to formulate standards for
digital reference, making them publicly available for review and
comment.

	5. Chair's Program 2002 (Pam Sieving) - Pam reported on the
evaluations of the program. Approximately 500 people attended, with
about 20% returned evaluations. Overall they were very favorable,
especially regarding Roy Tennant. People liked the practicality of the
program. Pam gave an overview of the variety of responses.

	6. MARS Best (Lori Morse)- Lori reported that the 2002 List of
MARS Best Free Reference Sites is completed. There are twelve
committee members. Thirty-one sites made the final list, of sixty-six
nominated. Carolyn Larson noted that the Bibliographic Enrichment Team
at Library of Congress is adding comments from published sources to
bibliographic records, and they would like to add annotations from
MARS Best. Carolyn proposed that we approve MARS Best annotations for
inclusion in L.C.'s bibliographic records. Becki Whitaker said such a
statement would need to be approved by RUSA Board. ExComm approved the
idea and forwarded the suggestion on to RUSA Board; Carolyn will draft
a statement for inclusion and approval that Bill McHugh can take to
RUSA Board.

	7. RUSA Access to Information (Lori Morse liaison) - Bill
McHugh reported that the RUSA Board approved the new ALA document
"Privacy: an Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights."

	The committee program proposal for 2003 Annual is on the topic
"How today's library should confront ideas of information access and
intellectual freedom." They are asking for Saturday, June 21 at
10:30-12.

	8. RUSA Publications (Nancy Portnow) - There are no incoming
materials to review. The committee discussed guidelines for Web pages,
using as a model the Web site guidelines developed by MARS to aid
committees in structuring their pages.

The committee is considering the idea of including advertising on the
RUSA site for revenue raising. This will be brought to a vote next
year. Several major associations and societies allow Web site
advertising: examples are SLA and APA.

	A tip sheet on getting published has been completed by the
RUSA Publications Committee and was passed around.

	9. Managers in MARS - Naomi Lederer reported for Carrie
Bickner. The Discussion Group was held Sunday on the topic of
negotiating with vendors for better price and other advantages. The DG
was facilitated by Jane Fisher, Coordinator of Information Services,
NYPL.

	10. Education, Training and Support. Incoming Chair is Jody
Fagan.


	11. Planning (Marcella Stark)
		a. The MARS Handbook is now in pdf format; there was
some discussion about the logistics of dual upkeep.

		b. MARS goals and RUSA priorities: there will be an
effort to bring these into closer alignment in the coming year.

		c. Public Libraries charge has been updated to strike
the responsibility of maintaining a list of consultants for electronic
resources. The list is not current and is being addressed in RUSA
Publications. ExComm approved the change.

		d. Planning recommended approval for the Publications
Committee proposal made at Midwinter. Proposal, Appendix A: "MARS
Publications recommends that the Section Representative to the RUSA
Standards and Guidelines Committee also serve as an ex-officio member
to MARS Publications. Rationale: If the Section Representative to
Standards and Guidelines also sat on MARS Publications s/he would be
in a position to see early proposals from publications by MARS
Committees. It would be smoother to make a suggestion early for the
recasting of a project as a set of guidelines.  In addition, it would
also be possible for the Section Representative to see possibilities
for collaboration with other RUSA Sections on projects, or make
suggestions through Publications to this end." ExComm approved the
proposal as corrected (dropping 'standards' language in the rationale
statement).

		e. A draft of the charge for the Virtual Reference
Desk Discussion Group was reviewed by the committee and passed out to
ExComm. The purpose and use of word 'virtual' were discussed. The
recommendation was made to move forward with the title as-is at this
time in order to keep flexibility in the definition. ExComm approved
the motion to accept the charge.

	f. Position description for Web Coordinator - this has not a
formal description, and not dated or paginated in the Handbook.
Publications has now developed a formal position description and
procedures for selection. Planning reviewed, with some suggestions to
Publications to bring the format in line with other postition
descriptions. The new MARS Web Coordinator position is described as
clearly distinct from the MARS-L Coordinator. ExComm will review these
documents, and LeiLani may ask for approval electronically before
Midwinter.

C. MARS Business
	1. RUSA Organization Committee. Bill McHugh reported on the
subject of RUSA virtual committees and members. RUSA recommended to
ALA that virtual members be encouraged to participate as actively as
possible. A RUSA executive summary with recommendations document was
passed to ExComm. Section Reports regarding virtual members are
included with the report. Beginning with the last round of
appointments, MARS appointed a full complement of physical members
when possible, with virtual members as additional to the total. Bill
McHugh proposed recommending that committees be allowed to have eleven
members, which would support the practice of allowing a full
complement of members even if a virtual member is quite active. The
committee also discussed the MARS recommendation that RUSA/MARS
provide support for conference calls and other means of communication
to support group participation. There is probably no immediate way to
enable virtual participation in physical conference meetings. Mary
Popp and Naomi Lederer will identify options and proposals that could
support virtual conferencing. Their ideas will be sent to MARS-L, and
may then be forwarded to RUSA. Mary and Naomi will report back at
Midwinter.

 	2. Section Review Draft Document - ExComm commended Paige
Weston for outstanding coordination and organization work on this
project. Bill McHugh remarked that it is a very rewarding experience
to see this summary of achievement come together. Bill advocated an
ongoing way of recording program and discussion group topics,
sponsorships and numbers for each conference. Some of this information
was difficult to find. Recording of this information for 2002 should
begin now!
	Where Do We Go from Here? and New Issues (p. 10-11) - The idea
was raised about satellite recording of major programs. What is
involved? The Chair's Program for 2003 could be a good candidate.

	A motion was made and approved to accept the Section Review
Document with the one change identified at Monday's ExComm meeting.

	3. Carrie Bickner, Scheduling Coordinator is considering
leaving. Does MARS need this position or is RUSA doing more of this
management? Scheduling information is being posted on the RUSA site. A
unified MARS listing is still useful to help avoid conflicts; handling
forms is confusing to chairs.

	4. Liaison Responsibilities
		a. Alesia McManus will be liaison to Publications.
		b. Naomi Lederer offered to act as virtual liaison to
MARS Best (a virtual committee).
		c. Mary Popp will act as liaison to the new Virtual
Reference Discussion Group.


D. Additional Reports
	1. RUSA Organizational Structure Task Force (Nancy Portnow)-
committee is reviewing options for more involvement from front line
reference librarians. They are waiting for Section Review reports from
MOUSS and BRASS in order to discuss more fully. It may be that more
collaboration between sections will be one solution.

	2. RUSA Planning and Finance (LeiLani Freund) - Reviewed
financial reports and budgets. The committee anticipates some drop in
income but membership is pretty stable now. A drop in RUSQ advertising
and circulation is possible. Cathleen Bourdon mentioned the great
attendance at the Digital Reference Pre-conference and said the
committee should also be very pleased about the success of the first
Distance Learning course on copyright.

	3. RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee- Leilani
reported that the time slot for the MARS Chair's Program was approved
for 10:30-12 on Sunday. Use of 'Information Commons' in the title was
suggested.

	4. RUSA Board - Bill McHugh reported the committee recommended
approval of the Library Bill of Rights revision.

E. Other news and announcements
	1. Initial ExComm orientation meeting at Annual Conference -
when should this be held? The planned Pre-conference on Friday will
conflict with the traditional meeting time. The initial meeting
provides important background and orientation for new chairs. We tried
moving the meeting to early Saturday at this conference, but the
meeting was rushed in its one-hour time slot. The decision was made to
retain the traditional Friday afternoon (2-5:30) meeting time.

	2. Subscription Web List (MARS Best fee-based) - Is this a
good possibility for new task force?

	3. How should the reduced print constraint for Messages in
MARS be handled? For now, see how this works out.

	4. Nominating Committee for 2003. Marcella Stark reported that
a slate has been prepared.

	5. Becki Whitaker attended the New Members Roundtable.


Transcribed by Carole Pilkinton
MARS Secretary
 
Carole Richter Pilkinton
Electronic Resources Librarian
University of Notre Dame Libraries
(574) 631-8405
pilkinton.10@nd.edu