Everyone is invited to the join in the conversation at the RISS (Reference & Instruction Services Section) ‘business meeting’ on Saturday, May 3, from 5 to 6 p.m.

This year we’re putting aside the usual business meeting fare – soliciting ideas for next year’s programming and arm-twisting attendees into volunteering to run the group. You may hold your applause.

What are you doing?

The meeting, billed as “Reference and Information Services Section Project Update,” is an opportunity for ARLIS members to share reference and outreach projects undertaken at home libraries. Emphasis will be on publicizing projects in which others can participate or ones which other libraries can adopt and adapt. Not allprojects turn out the way one expects: this session can also include projects which encounter unexpected obstacles or conclusions.

Time will be limited, so be prepared to offer a concise summary of the project’s goals, tools, and reception. (Works in progress are fine, too.) The hope is that the conversation will lead to increased communications and sharing of successful reference projects across member libraries. Even more, we hope to find a dynamic and effective way to take advantage of the Society’s ‘collective wisdom’ other than a one hour meeting once a year.

What should RISS be doing?

To that end, over the past year the leaders of RISS have been struggling to answer these questions:

  • Is art reference adequately served in the current resource universe?
  • Is there a need for cooperative art reference products?
  • What local art reference initiatives are exportable? Shareable?
  • What web tools are ripe for collective exploitation?
  • What role can ARLIS in general and RISS in particular play in providing an appropriate and viable platform for sharing ideas and resources?
  • Is ARLIS equal to the task?
  • Should we be looking elsewhere and relying on our own initiative?
  • What’s right (and what’s wrong) with ARLIS-L for art reference?

We hope to give an equally concise overview of the brainstorming and possible solutions we have identified. Joining us for these discussions will be Martha Ruddy, appointed by the Executive Board to report on extending ARLIS/NA’s technological possibilities. We eagerly solicit your reactions.

Ross Day
Moderator, RISS