RUSA News/Announcements

Don’t miss out on Early Bird Registration rates, which end at 12 p.m. (CT) March 16, 2016. You can register for the conference using this link: ALA Annual Conference registration.

RUSA’s Annual Conference Line-up:

President’s Program
“Be Our Guest”:  Creating Immersive Guest Experiences in Libraries

Join RUSA for a thoughtful discussion on how to create an effective “guest experience” in your library that both teaches and inspires your users.  Keynote speaker Dave Cobb, Vice President for Creative Development of the Thinkwell Group, is an expert on designing immersive educational experiences for museums and theme parks. He’ll talk about how libraries can tell stories with space and create emotional resonance with their users–drawing on examples from the library world, as well as local Orlando theme parks.

Business Data for Librarians –
Ticket purchase required
As the business world embraces big data, so must librarians. The focus of this full-day workshop will include: conducting a data reference interview; delving into the issues of data validity and data information literacy; and, working with data tools and datasets. Participants will look in-depth at locating and manipulating financial and marketing data in particular. You’ll hear from experts through interactive sessions on data and microdata in libraries and business reference work, the types of financial data and the primary sources for obtaining it, and how to employ skepticism in assessing marketing and consumer data.  Register here.

A Spoonful of Data-Driven Sugar: Using Big Business Research to Improve Customer Satisfaction in Easy-to-Implement, Single-Serving Packets  Ticket purchase required
USAA, Amazon, Zappos, Trader Joe’s, and Starbucks are among companies ranked highest in customer service and they spend millions of dollars identifying ways to make their users happy. Learn how our panelists have tested and incorporated specific communication techniques into their workflows and patron interfaces, improving customer satisfaction and their own understanding of user needs, wants, and stress behaviors. Attendees will receive access to a digital toolkit of tips and tools. Register here.

Genealogy Preconference Free, but registration is required*
This free workshop will help librarians of all types learn techniques. This can include better understanding of genealogy research methods and sources. It can also include how libraries can leverage their unique holdings to become more relevant to genealogists, who tend to be passionate in their support of libraries that have useful materials. Register here:

Annual Conference Programs
(Dates and times have not been confirmed yet. Please stay tuned!)

The Library as Publisher: Emerging Services for Storytellers and Scholars
More information to come. Stay tuned!

Educating for the Future of Reference, sponsored by the RSS Education & Professional Development Committee
What do reference librarians need from library school coursework to best prepare them for the current marketplace? To help answer this question we have assembled a panel that includes reference/public services librarians from both academic and public libraries, a library school professor, and a library school dean, to explore whether existing coursework as currently taught meets these needs, and if not, how those working in the profession can best inform library schools as they make strategic decisions about curriculum.

Partnering for the Common Good: Libraries, and Genealogical Societies
Interest in family history (genealogy) is at an all-time high across the nation. In addition, Technology is making possible partnerships between libraries and societies that would not have been possible a few years ago. Come hear stories of successful collaboration between all types of libraries (Public, Academic, School, and Special), and genealogical societies. Learn how you can leverage these partnerships to the benefit of your library. Participants will learn how to identify opportunities for their own libraries to partner with a local genealogical society.

Not Your Average Consortia
As library partnerships and collaborations are needed more than ever, library consortias are being relied upon more as resources and tools in a library’s future. This presentation will focus on what years of consortial development and participation has taught us. The panelists provide decades of experience in consortial partnerships and will be able to touch upon the “best of” practices in these partnerships. They will also guide a discussion on future developments and opportunities for all consortial cooperation.

Emerging Technologies Librarians: Changing Roles for Changing Times
We’ll take a look at the day in the life of Emerging Technologies Librarians, the trends in job descriptions, tips for successfully juggling competing priorities, and advice and strategies for keeping up. Our panel will delve into the discussion regarding what preparation library schools should be providing for reference practitioners. The panel will bring together LIS reference educators and reference practitioners – which makes this a unique program. At the end of this program, participants will be able to describe several different variations of job descriptions and responsibilities of emerging technologies librarians.

Book and Media Awards Ceremony & Reception

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
“The Sympathizer,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen, published by Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, was selected as the winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and “Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs,” by Sally Mann, published by Little, Brown, and Company, Hachette Book Group, was selected as the winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.

This is the first time the Carnegie Medal winner announcements were made during the Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, reflecting a new calendar for the awards, with the shortlist announced in October, the winners in January and the popular celebratory event continuing at ALA Annual Conference each year. During the celebratory event, both Nguyen and Mann will receive a medal and $5,000. The four finalists will each receive $1,500. To attend the celebratory reception, purchase tickets for the event here.



CODES Awards

Notable Books List
Reading List
Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration
Sophie Brody Medal
Dartmouth Medal
Outstanding Reference Sources
Zora Neale Hurston Award
Louis Shores Award

BRASS Awards
Outstanding Business Reference Sources
Best of the Best Business Websites

History Awards
Best Historical Materials

ETS Awards
Best Free Reference Websites

Annual Conference

Uprooted book cover Book Of Aron book cover Delicious Foods book cover Pretty Girls book cover Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings book cover

Literary Tastes: Celebrating the best reading of the year
Featured speakers include:
Naomi Novik, author of Uprooted. Published by Del Rey. Winner of the 2016 Fantasy category of RUSA’s Reading List.
Jim Shepard, author of The Book of Aron. Published by A.A.Knopf. Winner of the 2016 Sophie Brody Medal and finalist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
James Hannaham, author of Delicious Foods. Published by Little, Brown and Company. 2016 Notable Book for fiction.
Karin Slaughter, author of Pretty Girls. Published by William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins. Winner of the 2016 Adrenaline category of RUSA’s Reading List.
Joy Harjo, author of Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems. Published by W.W. Norton and Company. 2016 RUSA Notable Book for Poetry.

ALA Annual Conference
Sunday, June 27, 2015, 8:00am-10:00am, hotel TBA
Orlando, FL

Naomi Novik headshot
Naomi Novik

Jim Shepard headshot
Jim Shepard

James Hannaham headshot
James Hannaham

Karin Slaughter_headshot_Photo by Alison Rosa
Karin Slaughter

Joy Harjo headshot
Joy Harjo


RUSA Achievement Awards ceremony and reception
Sunday, June 27, 5-6:30pm, hotel TBA
Orlando, FL


Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award
This year’s winner is Cheryl LaGuardia, research librarian at the Widener Library of Harvard University.
The Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award was established in 1958. It presents a cash award of $5,000* and a citation to an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.

Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services
The 2016 winner is San Jose Public Library, San Jose, CA, for the Virtual Privacy Lab (, a free, encrypted online learning tool for all libraries to share with patrons.
Established in 1990, the Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services is a citation and $1,000* award presented to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons’ reference needs.

John Sessions Memorial Award
This year’s winner is The Center for Labor Education & Research, University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu
Established in 1980, the John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Such efforts may include outreach projects to local labor unions; establishment of, or significant expansion of, special labor collections; initiation of programs of special interest to the labor community; or other library activities that serve the labor community. The winner receives a plaque.

NoveList’s Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award
Dr. Mary K. Chelton, retired professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Queen’s College, CUNY, was selected as this year’s winner.
Established in 1985, the Margaret E. Monroe Award is $1,250* and a citation presented to a librarian who has made significant contributions to library adult services. The individual may be practicing librarian, a library and information science researcher or educator, or a retired librarian who has brought distinction to the profession’s understanding and practice or services for adults.

Reference Service Press Award
Denise Adkins, associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Information Science and Learning Technologies and C. Sean Burns, assistant professor, University of Kentucky School of Information Science, authored the winning article selected for the 2016 Reference Service Press Award. The article, “Arizona Public Libraries Serving the Spanish-Speaking Context for Changes,” was first published in Fall of 2013, (Vol. 53, No. 1) of Reference and User Services Quarterly
Established in 1985 and sponsored by Reference Service Press, this award constitutes a plaque and $2,500*. It recognizes the most outstanding article published in RUSQ during the preceding two-volume year.


Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)

BRASS Mergent Excellence in Business Librarianship Award
Jared Hoppenfeld, Business Librarian/Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University was selected as this year’s winner.
Established in 1989, the Excellence in Business Librarianship Award presents a citation and $4,000* cash award to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business librarianship.

BRASS Emerald Research Grant Award
Lisa O’Connor, associate professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of Kentucky, for her study, “Why Aren’t Millennials Taking Stock?:  Assessing the Role of Information Literacy in Market Avoidance.”
The Emerald Research Grant Award will be awarded to individuals seeking support to conduct research in business librarianship. The funds may be used at the discretion of the award recipients.

Global Financial Data Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award
This year’s winner is Ruth D. Terry, business and government information librarian, assistant professor at the University of Alaska-Anchorage
This $1,250* award recognizes a librarian new to the field of academic business librarianship in order to support attendance to the ALA Annual Conference.

BRASS Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award
Susan Wolf Neilson, librarian, Wake County Public Libraries (N.C.) was selected as the 2016 winner.
This award, $1,250*, is to support the attendance at Annual Conference of a public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and who requires financial assistance to attend the ALA Annual Conference.

BRASS SimplyMap Student Travel Award
The 2016 winner is Katherine Glasoe, student at the School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College.
This award consists of $1,250* and is given to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master’s degree program to fund travel to and attendance at the ALA Annual Conference and a one-year membership in the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA.

Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES)

Louis Shores Award
Multimedia & Technology Reviews
was selected as the 2016 winner.
Established in 1990, this award recognizes an individual reviewer, group, editor, review medium or organization for excellence in book reviewing and other media for libraries.

Zora Neale Hurston Award
Dr. Florita Bell Griffin, Creative Director of ARC Communications, LLC, a Texas-based Visual Art Communications and Publishing Company is the 2016 winner.
This annual award, founded in 2008, provides $1,250 for funds to travel to the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the United for Libraries’ Gala Author Tea and two sets of  Zora Neale Hurston books published by Harper Perennial, to an individual ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature.

Emerging Technologies Section (ETS)

ETS Achievement Recognition Award
Beth Boatright, information services and instruction librarian, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, was selected as the 2016 winner.
The ETS Achievement Recognition Award is given annually to recognize excellence in service to MARS. This award, presented at the annual ETS Chair’s Program, is given to an individual who is a current member of ETS, and has been an active member for the past two years.

HISTORY Section (HS)

Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award
The 2016 winner is Thomas Padilla, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Michigan State University.
Established in 2012, the Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award winner will receive a citation and up to $2,500* which may be used at the winner’s discretion.  This award will be granted to an MLS degreed librarian from an ALA accredited school to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship.

Genealogy / History Achievement Award
Michele C. McNabb, Library Manager, Genealogy Center, Museum of Danish America was selected as this year’s winner.
Established in 1992 and sponsored by ProQuest, this award presents a citation and $1,500* cash to a librarian, library or publisher and recognizes professional achievement in historical reference and research librarianship.

Reference Services Section (RSS)

RSS Service Achievement Award
The 2016 winner is Sarah J. Hammill, Business & Online Learning Librarian, Florida International University.
This annual award, founded in 2010, is given to an RSS member who has made either a sustained contribution towards attaining the goals of the Reference Services Section or a single significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section.

Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (STARS)

STARS-Atlas Systems Mentoring Award
The 2016 winner is Kimberly Steiner, interlibrary loan technician at Messiah College (Pa.).
Sponsored by Atlas Systems, Inc., this award offers $1,250* to fund travel expenses associated with attending ALA’s annual conference. The recipient will be a library practitioner who is new to the field of interlibrary loan/document delivery or electronic reserves, and who has daily, hands-on involvement in the areas of borrowing, lending, document delivery, electronic reserves, material delivery, or resource sharing.

Virginia Boucher-OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award
Tina Baich, associate librarian and head of resource sharing and delivery services, bibliographic and metadata services, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis was selected as this year’s winner.
The Virginia Boucher-OCLC Distinguished ILL (Interlibrary Loan) Librarian Award is an annual award consisting of $2,000*, sponsored by OCLC, and a citation. It recognizes a librarian for outstanding professional achievement, leadership, and contributions to interlibrary loan and document delivery through recent publication of significant professional literature, participation in professional associations, and/or innovative approaches to practice in individual libraries.


RUSA Membership
Jason Coleman, Chair of Conference Program Coordinating Committee joined RUSA 201 on January 20 for a great session. If you’re interested in knowing more about what this committee looks for, we’ve posted the session and presentation here:

RUSA 101 is an orientation to RUSA, it’s sections, and the work done across the division.

RUSA 201 provides more in-depth content for RUSA members about what is done at the division level and opportunities to get involved.

Watch the listserv for updates and meeting information!
If you or your committee are interested in being featured, please drop me a line at

Ann Brown
Chair, RUSA Membership Committee

RUSA Publications and Communications
Consider blogging for RUSA Voices, the new blog for RUSA members and those who support the mission and goals of RUSA.

We are looking for folks (RUSA members or interested parties) to blog during ALA’s Annual Conference this coming June in Orlando about interesting sessions, discussion groups, and happenings.

If you’re not attending Annual, but have other things you’d like to share, consider blogging about items or interest or things that really grind your gears throughout the year. Can’t do it then, but still interested?

Going to other library conferences and want to share what you learned? Bring it on! No topic is taboo and since this is a user generated blog, we want to hear what you think. RUSA wants to hear what you think. ALA wants to hear what you think.

Please check out RUSA Voices at

Questions?  Interest?  Contact David Midyette (

Amy Rustic
Chair, RUSA Publications and Communications Committee