RUSA Committees

RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee
The RUSA sections and committees will be presenting fifteen fantastic programs at Annual Conference 2013 in Chicago, as well as the Business Reference 101 preconference from BRASS on Friday, June 28. Register now at

The preliminary RUSA program schedule for Annual 2013 in Chicago:

Friday, June 28
8:00 am-4:00 pm
Preconference: Business Reference 101: Core Competencies for Business Librarianship
[Special registration required]

Saturday, June 29

  • 8:30 -10:00 A.M.
    Collection Development & Community Expectations: Managing collections and balancing resources in an era of budgetary constraints
  • 10:30 -11:30 A.M.
    Beyond Genre: Exploring the Perception, Uses, and Misuses of Genre by Readers, Writers, and Librarians
  • 10:30 -11:30 A.M.
    Smart investing@your library: Community Connector
  • 1:00 -2:30 A.M.
    19th Annual Reference Research Forum
  • 1:00 -2:30 P.M.
    Enhancing services through integration of Interlibrary Loan and Acquisitions
  • 4:00 – 5:30 P.M.
    The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The RUSA President’s Program

Sunday, June 30

  • 8:30 am-10:00 A.M.
    Library Engagement in National History Day Activities
  • 8:30 am-10:00 A.M.
    Literary Tastes
  • 10:30 am-11:30 A.M.
    Does Your Data Deliver for Decision Making?: New Directions for Resource Sharing Assessment
  • 1:00 pm-2:30 pm
    MARS Chair’s Program: Usability, the User Experience & Interface Design: The Role of Reference
  • 1:00 pm-2:30 P.M.
    Different Strokes: Serving the Health Information Needs of a Diverse Community
  • 1:00 pm-2:30 P.M.
    Digital History: New Methodologies Facilitated by New Technologies
  • 3:00 pm-4:00 P.M.
    Leveraging Open Source Software to Create Library Websites

Monday, July 1

  • 8:30 am-10:00 A.M.
    Investment Success! Building & Managing Your Retirement Portfolio
  • 10:30 am-11:30 A.M.
    Preserving Labor’s History

This year the committee has focused much of its attention on ALA Annual Conference 2014 in Las Vegas. Over the fall the committee met twice using RUSA’s Blackboard Collaborate room. We then met in-person during ALA Midwinter in Seattle.

In response to ALA’s Conference Changes Roadmap, the committee has developed a set of recommendations that will impact 2014 Annual Conference programming. Earlier decisions by RUSA Board were used as our starting point. These recommendations were approved by the RUSA Board during ALA Midwinter in Seattle:

  1. Literary Tastes will take the place of “Another RUSA Committee” as a guaranteed program slot.
  2. Each section will be allotted one guaranteed program slot (as opposed to the current guaranteed two programs) with the possibility of additional programs if RUSA receives more options from ALA.
  3. The Executive Committee and CPCC will encourage all sections to consider co-sponsoring programs.
  4. Sections may need to consider diverting program ideas to discussions (face to face or online).
  5. The CPCC will develop a rating tool to approve programs proposed by RUSA sections if additional program slots are available beyond those that are guaranteed.
  6. The RUSA office will develop a process for program organizers to submit an evaluation following every program, which will include attendance numbers. This information will thereafter be available to the CPCC and program planners.

As of this writing, we do not yet know how many programs RUSA will be able to offer at the 2014 Annual Conference. RUSA sections should proceed on developing multiple program proposals with the understanding that at least one should be able to be presented at the conference, and maybe more!

Many thanks to the committee for their teamwork and cooperation!

-Joe Thompson, chair

Just Ask: Defining and Advocating for the Reference Librarian
The Just Ask discussion group, sponsored by RSS, was intended to help the Just Ask committee create a RUSA member-influenced vision of both, which in turn will assist the organization in advocating more effectively for the support and development of quality reference services. Just Ask Committee will further discuss the results of the discussion group at a virtual meeting held after Midwinter.

The discussion was centered around three questions:

  • What do you see as the new or changing roles of reference/information librarians?
  • How might this differ by the type of library?
  • What kind of support (i.e., advocacy, tool kits) will you need to make the public aware of these changing rolls?

With forty-five people in attendance, small groups discussed these questions and then presented their ideas back to the main group.

Some of the themes brought up during the discussion (this is not an exhaustive list): Our roles haven’t changed, but the tools have; services needed to be taken directly to our communities; we need to be better advocates for ourselves and our services.

Some suggestions for what RUSA can do to help: A national marketing campaign, and webinars for library staff related to developing advocacy tools, like elevator speeches.

If you are interested in contributing to the conversation, please contribute your thoughts to the Just Ask forum.

Elizabeth Stephan, co-chair