Toronto Meeting Notes

Originally posted by Anna Simon


40th Annual Conference
Toronto, Canada March 29–April 2, 2012
Reference and Information Services Section
March 30, 2012
Moderators: Amy Ballmer and Emilee Mathews
Anna Simon, AWS News and RISS Blog Contributor
Link to 2011 minutes
56 attendees

Committee introductions: Emilee Mathews is new co-moderator, Anna Simon is blog news contributor.

Update on RISS activity
· Libguide and Pathfinder directory, started by Virginia Allison, is up on blog. All
guides have come from ARLIS/NA members!
· Special thanks to Mia D’Avanza, Emilee Mathews, Ellen Petraits, and Kate Wilson for making this happen.
· Directory hopefully being turned into ARLIS/NA e-publication; sent to Hannah Bennett, Professional Resources Editor of Communications & Publications Committee, for consideration as addition to the ARLIS website.
· Future goals for guide: juried submissions, annotations,
keyword tagging, subject headings, various methods of searching/indexing.
· Need someone/s to help develop the database after approval—there is column in sign-in list for people to check their interest—that includes jurors, apply metadata, etc.,
· Current guidelines for submission: should be appropriate for multiple users—not just art history or for art historians.
Other criteria?

· RISS blog
· In past year has taken a backseat to Pathfinder directory, but moderators are very interested in developing it as professional space that supports reference and information service providers.
· Ideas for blog include:
o Anything that creates a community, provides support, and helps us do our jobs
o Recruiting library science students to write
o Reposting relevant list-serv posts including content from other great library blogs and websites:
· In the Library with a Lead Pipe
· Info-Mational
· Chronicle blogs
· Museum library blogs
· All Things Visual
· RUSA, ACRL, etc.,
· Features on RISS members—what they’re doing and how
· Spotlight new reference resources—digital and print
· Spotlight new ideas about art info dissemination
· Museum and library exhibits, special collection happenings

· Interested in contributing? Contact Emilee Mathews ( or Anna Simon (

· Highlights from participants related to RISS (difficult to hear, bad acoustics)
· Tony White, moderator, Creative Processes and Formats: Artist’s Publishing, Fine Press, and the Altered Book
· RISS members were well represented on panels and in poster sessions
· Emilee mentions groups like ours could provide model for directions to move the group— liaisons from RUSA, ACRL, IFLA, could report back to RISS

· Floor is opened for discussion
moderators ask people to discuss their vision for RISS

· Kayla from Simmons mentions that she’s doing a blog for resources in art and
annotating them

· Amy speaks about being the liaison for multiple subjects and working the general ref desk—wonders how many of us have integrated into other subjects—how is the silo disintegrating?

· Margret Erickson at Colby College offers her opinion that specialized subjects are on their way out

· How to triage question—Evan, whom works one day week at public library, is happy if he can catch art questions, wonders how do we help non-art librarians manage these questions?

· Jennifer Helman (IUPUI) discusses visual literacy and keeping our generalized skills up to par to stay relevant

· Libguides are commonly used for sourcing subjects outside one’s area; cross-training in different areas of library helps

o Material for possible session here?
o Heather Koopmans says there’s a session dealing with visual cross-training (and leadership?) at the conference
· Questions about assessing reference transactions
· Amy says her chats are recorded and they assess them somewhat,
· Important to be able to assess our services to prove that they’re valuable
· Adeane Bregman from Boston College says they don’t even have a “reference desk”

· Emilee wraps up by saying these would make great sessions and that the conversation should continue


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