From the President

Dear RUSA Members:

As the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim quickly approaches, I want to give you an update on some exciting activities that have taken place since Midwinter.

Hopefully you have heard about two new awards sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. RUSA and Booklist are co-sponsoring and administering the awards. The first winners of these new annual literary prizes will be announced at the Awards Ceremony at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim this June.

These new awards are an incredible accomplishment and it is a testament to the hard work of many people in RUSA, particularly many past CODES members, that we were the division selected to administer the grant, together with Booklist. I’d also like to convey a special thanks to our reader’s advisory stars—Joyce Saricks and Neal Wyatt—who made this possible, to Nancy Pearl who is serving as the chair of the awards committee and who will bring national recognition to this award, and to Susan Hornung and the RUSA staff who, together with others in ALA, worked incredibly hard on making this award possible.

The awards will be given to the author of the best book for adult readers in two categories—fiction and nonfiction—each year. Two additional authors will be shortlisted as finalists in each of the categories. Winning authors will receive a $5,000 cash award and finalists will each receive $1,500. The list of finalists will be announced in May. The awards are made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York on the occasion of the foundation’s centennial and in recognition of Andrew Carnegie—one of the greatest benefactors of libraries both in the United States and around the globe—who recognized libraries as indispensable to the progress of society. The fifty titles under consideration for the prize are being drawn from the annual Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA CODES Notable Books lists.

This is the first time that ALA will offer single-book awards for adult trade fiction and nonfiction. All of us at RUSA are incredibly thrilled about these new awards and we hope that you will be able to join us this June to see the first winners. The Carnegie Awards reception will be held Sunday, June 24, 2012, 8:00-10:00 PM at the Hilton Anaheim in room Pacific A. Please note that there is a greatly reduced rate of $25 for RUSA members to attend. Hope to see you there!

RUSA is in also in the process of creating its new three-year strategic plan. Members are invited to continue to send suggestions and input as we finalize the plan in the coming months. The draft of the plan is available here [insert link].

The RUSA Board met virtually on March 30 to discuss and vote on a number of issues. The Just Ask Campaign is now getting started and the RUSA office is working hard with the ASCLA/RUSA Web Conference Task Force, to bet Blackboard Collaborate up and running before the annual conference. Mary Popp, the next RUSA President, is busy planning for the next year and she outlined some of her ideas at this meeting.

I hope to see many of you in Anaheim in just a short while. In addition to the Carnegie Awards reception mentioned above, please also plan on attending:

  1. RUSA 101, Friday, June 22, 3:00-4:00 PM
  2. Literary Tastes, Sunday, June 24, 8:00-10:00 AM (Note: In response to the RUSA member survey, this event is now free to RUSA members!)
  3. RUSA President’s Program/Mars Chair’s Program: Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons, Sunday, June 24, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
  4. RUSA Awards Ceremony, Sunday, June 24, 5:00-6:30 PM

These are just a few of the many RUSA and section events and meetings taking place, so please be sure to check the complete schedule for times and locations. Thanks again to all of the RUSA volunteers who continue to make RUSA such an outstanding organization. And a huge thanks to Susan Hornung, Liz Markel and Andrea Hill for making everything work so smoothly. See you in June!

Gary White
RUSA President