RUSA Committee Reports

Just Ask Task Force
Just Ask started in 2012 as a group to develop, among other things, advocacy tools for reference librarian. The charge of the Task Force has changed from its inception, but the one thing that remained was the desire to promote and advocate for reference librarians. After three years, the Just Ask Task Force is being discontinued. Just Ask will be meeting at ALA Annual (details below), but we wanted to highlight a few of the Task Force’s high points.

Just Ask Discussion Group, Midwinter 2013
This discussion group was interesting and informative. During the group, attendees were asked what they wanted from the Just Ask Task Force. A theme of tools to help reference librarians do their jobs, but also manage change and advocate for themselves both inside and outside of their libraries emerged. From that Discussion Group, three things emerged: Two webinars and a pilot marketing campaign. Notes and feedback from the discussion group can be found on ALA Connect.


Ask Campaign Pilot
In addition to the webinars, Cathay Keough and Julie Strange put together the Ask Campaign pilot as a way to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Maryland AskUsNow!. The pilot featured patrons of the library holding up questions asked by patrons online (via Twitter, chat, etc.) as a way to highlight the kinds of questions reference librarians can ask For more information about their Campaign, please see their post on ALA Connect.

Just Ask will be meeting at Annual on Saturday June 28 from 1:30-3:00 in the Conference Center in room 226(S). We will use this meeting to wrap up and loose ends and to begin planning the final report the co-chairs will submit to RUSA.

On a personal note, we would like to thank current and past members of the Just Ask Task Force, Susan Hornung and the current and past presidents of RUSA (Mary Popp, Kathleen Kern, and Joe Thompson), for their support. We would also like to thank Liz Markel, Andrea Hill, Marianne Braverman, and Leighann Wood for their help and support; they were invaluable. And thank you to everyone who participated in our discussion groups, webinars, or who attended the meetings.

Diana Shonrock
Elizabeth Stephan

Co-chairs, Just Ask Task Force

AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups
A name change for the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups was approved by committee members and the RUSA Executive Committee. The committee will now be known as the AFL-CIO/ALA Labor Committee.

Aliqae Geraci
Co-chair, AFL-CIO/ALA Labor Committee

RUSA Membership
Our Virtual RUSA 101’s have been an unqualified success! If you are interested in publicizing your group or would like to be a special guest, just let Ann Brown ( know. Or if you are interested in a more focused audience, sign up for a RUSA 201.

But please join us for our in-person RUSA 101: Network, Get Oriented, Get Involved!

Friday, June 26, 3-4pm Westin St. Francis, Tower Salon A & B

If you’re new to RUSA or a longtime member looking for an opportunity to connect with other members and ways to get involved, make sure to put RUSA 101 on your calendar! Sponsored by all RUSA Sections.

Ann Brown, chair

RUSA Publications and Communications Committee
Launch of RUSA Voices – Call for Bloggers!

RUSA Voices (, the official blog for RUSA, is an virtual forum for the reference and user services community. It is an opportunity to not only raise awareness of and explore practices, technology, and issues in reference and user services, but also to voice and share a diverse set of perspectives that represents the diverse community of RUSA.

If you have something to say, we want to hear it. We want to know what challenges you have faced so that we might feel like we’re not alone as librarians. We want to hear what works and what doesn’t work. We want to know about people who have made a difference not only for their patrons, but also for the profession. Write and share what you know, what you have experienced. This blog is about YOUR voice! Give breath to your hopes for the future of reference and user services. Blogging is simple, just write. Put your thoughts down in a document. Share your Voice and improve not only your own understanding, but the understanding of the rest of the profession.

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. Please email editor David Midyette ( for questions or submissions.