It is nearly spring. That time between ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual conference when RUSA is busy offering webinars and online courses, working on revising guidelines and planning discussion groups and programs for this year and beyond. It is also a time for refreshing and renewing, so it is when committee appointments will be made. If you have questions about the volunteer process, take a look at my column in the Winter issue of RUSQ for guidance. You can also drop in during my Office Hours and talk to me or President-Elect Joe Thompson. Office Hours are also a good time for discussing your ideas about RUSA and the library profession and there is always a RUSA Executive Board member available to answer questions or just talk.
One significant change is a new face in the RUSA Office. I’d like to welcome Marianne Braverman to the role of Marketing and Programs Manager. Marianne started with RUSA at the beginning of February and brings with her years of experience in association marketing and member services. If your group is in need of marketing and publicity or support for a conference program or event, Marianne is here to help.
RUSA is launching two new initiatives in spring 2014: sponsored student memberships and the RUSA Free School. Both initiatives are focused on library school students and making connections with new professionals. Through the sponsored student memberships, you can donate $25 to cover the cost of a student membership for one year, making the first year of membership free for the student. We will be working on ways to connect the sponsored students to mentoring opportunities and ways to be involved in RUSA. If you are interested in this or have ideas, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joe Thompson at email@example.com or drop in during Office Hours.
The RUSA Free School will provide students the opportunity to present short online-presentations about topics in reference and user services. They can bring their perspectives to RUSA members through these free programs as well as gaining practical experience in presenting to a professional audience and building their portfolios. RUSA Professional Development will be working on a process to review proposals and connect the student presenters with the appropriate RUSA Sections and mentors. We plan to announce the first Free School presentations this spring as a ramp-up to Annual Conference.
Speaking of Annual Conference, if you are still making your travel and attendance plans, RUSA has a three preconferences on Friday from services to entrepreneurs, to the reference interview, to genealogical research: http://ala14.ala.org/ticketed-events#RUSA. RUSA is a welcoming division; we want to get to know you and give you opportunities to get to know each other. Many of the Sections have social events at Annual conference. In addition, RUSA has several events where members can mingle as well learn and celebrate: the Andrew Carnegie Award Ceremony, RUSA 101, and the RUSA Awards. The schedule for Annual is full of programs of interest to RUSA members and organized by your RUSA colleagues, but more about that in the next RUSA Update!
This year’s RUSA President’s Program will address the big issue of library values. As a profession we have core values and concerns which form the foundation of our services. But do we all agree on these values? From where did these valued develop and how have they changed over time? Do our patrons value the same things about libraries as librarians? Join us for a lively, thought-provoking program with Wayne Wiegand, noted library historian, educator, and author of numerous books including Main Street Public Library: Community Places and Reading Spaces in the Rural Heartland, 1876-1956; Wayne Bivens-Tatum academic librarian and author of Libraries and the Enlightenment; consultant Lisa Carlucci Thomas; and Jeanne Goodrich, executive director of the Las Vegas Public Library and the 2013 Nevada Library Association’s Librarian of the Year.
RUSA President, 2013-14