RUSA Committee Reports

RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee
Proposals for programs and pre-conferences at ALA Annual 2017 in Atlanta and for pre-conference institutes at ALA-Midwinter 2017 in Chicago are due to CPCC by the end of the day on May 16, 2016. Section chairs and chairs of RUSA-level committees have access to the proposal form. Individuals who are planning programs for those conferences and who have received formal approval from a RUSA-level section or RUSA-level committee need to submit the proposal form by attaching it to an e-mail addressed to Jason Coleman, CPCC’s chair, at

CPCC and RUSA’s Office had initially planned to release the program submission form to leaders of RUSA’s sections and leaders of RUSA-level committees in early March. They had advertised a submission deadline of May 1, 2016. Unfortunately, ALA’s Conference Services encountered difficulties with the conference software they use to create the submission forms. This has resulted in a delay in their release of the draft version of RUSA’s program submission form to RUSA’s staff. As a consequence of these delays, CPCC extended the submission deadline to May 16, 2016 and worked with RUSA’s Executive Director, Susan Hornung, to develop a MS Word version of the form. RUSA’s President, Anne Houston, distributed the form to chairs of RUSA’s sections and to chairs of RUSA-level committees.

Early this year RUSA CPCC developed an extensive list of suggested modifications to the conference program submission form that was used last year. RUSA’s Office had planned to implement as many of those requested changes as the software used for the form would allow. Given the delay in the creation of the form, RUSA’s Office and RUSA CPCC have agreed to wait until next year to implement the majority of these modifications.

Jason Coleman
RUSA CPCC Chair, 2015-201

RUSA Publications and Communications Committee
The RUSA Publications and Communication Committee is currently accepting volunteer applications from RUSA members to lead the transition and future directions of the RUSA Voices ( ).
The focus of the RUSA Voices will be for contributors to share, discuss, and
promote current trends in reference and user services. The Blog will be written
by a team of columnists with a publishing schedule facilitated by a coordinator.

We are currently looking for:
●       A blog coordinator
●       A blog website coordinator
●       columnists to contribute to the blog

should be submitted no later than
June 17, 2016.  Apply online:

Available Positions:
RUSA Blog Coordinator:

●      Coordinator is responsible for recruiting and selecting
four or more columnists with a variety of perspectives and sets
publication schedule to ensure regular postings that represent a broad
spectrum of ideas relevant to RUSA members and potential members. The
coordinator establishes columnist recruitment plan, to be shared with RUSA
Publications and Communications Committee.
●      Edit articles for content, style, format and correct
grammatical usage.
●      Accepts, solicits, and selects requests for guest posts
as needed
●      Collaborates with Blog Website Coordinator,
Publications and Communications Committee, and RUSA staff to ensure Blog
meets RUSA branding standards.
●      Serves ex-officio on RUSA Publications and
Communications Committee
●      Works with RUSA Publications and Communications
Committee to create marketing plan for blog, to promote blog to readers
within RUSA and also to a general professional audience.

RUSA Blog Website Coordinator:
●      Website Coordinator is responsible for maintaining,
updating, and securing WordPress blog.
●      Provides technical support to Blog Coordinator and
●      Solicits improvements and plugin suggestions from RUSA
members for RUSA Voices
●      Coordinates with RUSA Webmaster on the technical
specifications and the integration of the RUSA Blog with RUSA News, RUSA
Website, and social media.
●      Collaborates with Blog Coordinator, Publications and
Communications Committee, and RUSA staff to ensure Blog meets RUSA
branding standards.
●      Serves ex-officio on RUSA Publications and
Communications Committee

●      Writes and posts 6+ articles per year
●      Serves as peer reviewer for other columnists as needed
●      RUSA Member

Recruitment  Process:
The committee will accept applications from RUSA members for all positions thru June 17,
2016. The committee will conduct interviews for the RUSA Blog and Website Coordinators.
Once the Blog Coordinator is selected, that individual will lead the selection
process for columnists.

In 2013, an Emerging Leader’s project created the blog “Chasing
Reference”. This blog was a great way for members and new librarians to create
content, share their experiences, and highlight trends within the profession.
The Publications and Communications committee began RUSA Voices, and would like
to see the blog continue. Additionally, the current RUSA Blog has been
rebranded as RUSA News with the RUSA office as the content creators which
allows for the opportunity for a member driven blog.

Amy E. Rustic, Chair

RUSA Learning Archive Task Force
The Learning Archive Task Force has completed an environmental scan of sources of information about those webinars, courses, programs, pre-conferences, institutes, and workshops RUSA has offered since 2011. This scan revealed that the combination of reports from RUSA’s Office, RUSA Update, RUSA News, and the conference programs for ALA Annuals and ALA Midwinter Conferences were the most fertile sources of metadata about those learning opportunities. Task Force member Stephanie Atkins has created a spreadsheet summarizing information obtained from RUSA’s Office and from the conference programs. In the near future the Task Force will augment the spreadsheet by culling information from RUSA Update and RUSA News. Once the spreadsheet is complete, they will create a Google Form to serve as the front end of the Learning Archive. They will then work with RUSA Board to develop a mechanism to share the data in the archive and to create a procedure for keeping the archive up-to-date in the future.

Jason Coleman
RUSA Learning Archive Task Force Chair, 2015-2016

RUSA Name Change Task Force
RUSA Members: Are we ready for a name change?

The word Reference is the first word in our association acronym.  For many of us with years working in library public services, the word is both meaningful and identifiable, even comforting.  Yet the very nature of reference service has changed.  In many libraries, units formerly called the “Reference Department” have been renamed, as early as fifteen years ago, “Information Services” or “Research Services.” Also, print collections once labeled “reference” have been stored and replaced by online resources for greater accessibility by all.  As pointed out in a recent article by RUSA President Anne Houston, “What’s in a Name?” (Reference and User Services Quarterly, Spring 2016) reference may be only a small part of what we do on a daily basis.  Perhaps the word is not a part of our job assignment at all. Yet, RUSA is our home within a very large national association.

In February, the RUSA Name Change Taskforce was assembled with members representing a wide variety of roles within our profession.  The crux of the charge is to both to “determine name change possibilities” and, consider “larger issues of rebranding within RUSA and library public services.”  The guidance in the charge counsels us to recognize that “reference is changing radically” and that we should think deeply about ALA’s Libraries Transform campaign as we envision transformations within RUSA itself.  Moreover, we need to re-envision a name which speaks to not only current members but to potential members whose job titles we cannot yet imagine.  In short, a new name should be relatable and recognizable, encompass the very large scope of our activities and service, and defines us among other ALA divisions.   The feedback we collect from members and non-members and a short list of name change possibilities are due to the RUSA board by the end of this year.

As our annual conference in Orlando approaches, the task force is planning to use social media (Hashtag namerusa#), flyers, email blasts, an online survey, and other onsite venues to gather as much feedback as possible before and during the conference.

How do you relate to the RUSA name and brand?  Does ‘reference’ represent what you do?  What about the word ‘service’ and ‘users’?  Should the name be a pronounceable acronym? What collection of words would speak to potential new members?  How do we represent RUSA values in a name?

Responses to these questions and more, in addition to informal conference discussions will guide the task force toward the creation of a list of name possibilities and brand issues for consideration by the RUSA board.

What do you think?  Are you ready for a name change?

Nancy Cunningham
Co-chair,RUSA Name Change Taskforce