From the President

Hello RUSA members! I’m very excited to start my year as President of RUSA and to build on all the wonderful work that was accomplished in the past year under the leadership of 2015-16 RUSA President Anne Houston. Thank you to the committees, sections, members and RUSA staff for a successful conference in Orlando, FL. We offered a variety of section sponsored programs, pre-conferences, and socials. The Membership Committee, chaired by Ann Brown, offered RUSA 101 to a full room of library professionals interested in all that RUSA has to offer in the way of engagement, service, and community. The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Fiction and Nonfiction celebration, sponsored by Novelist, was both moving and joyous. Duncan Smith, Co-founder & General Manager of Novelist, has let RUSA know that Novelist will continue to support the Medals by donating $15,000 over a 3 year period for the event which celebrates the best in adult literature. I was unable to attend but I heard that the Literary Tastes Breakfast had an unmatched author’s panel which Leighann Wood, RUSA Senior Program Officer, has written about in this issue of RUSA Update. It was also my great honor to help recognize the recipients of the RUSA Achievement Awards at our annual reception. I appreciate the continued support and sponsorship of the awards reception by Credo Reference and a big thank you to all of RUSA vendor sponsors and supporters. Lastly, there was a full house for the RUSA President’s Program with energetic speaker, Dave Cobb of the Thinkwell Group, who spoke about creating immersive guest experiences in the library through storytelling. There is a great write-up in RUSA News
There were other key accomplishments this past year:

  • Under the leadership of the Organization and Planning (O&P) Committee, chaired by Beth German, RUSA successfully piloted interest groups and three out of the four interest groups will continue as part of RUSA. O&P will make a recommendation to RUSA Board regarding how to integrate interest groups into the RUSA organization on a permanent basis. The interest groups are: Copyright (Faithe Ruiz, First Year Experience (Douglas Hasty, and Shared Collections (Tina Baich The Entrepreneurship IG (Steve Cramer) decided to sunset at the end of the pilot.
  • Anne Houston, RUSA Past President, created the Name Change Task Force, co-chaired by Ed Garcia and Nancy Cunningham, which surveyed RUSA members about their views on the RUSA name and brand. We’re expecting a report from the Task Force by Midwinter 2017.
    The Learning Opportunities and Knowledge Coordination (LOKCS) task force, co-chaired by Mary Popp and Shannon Jones, issued an excellent report on RUSA Learning and Publishing which includes a vision and value statement for RUSA Learning. I will be working closely with the Chairs of Publications & Communications, Professional Development, and Standards & Guidelines to begin implementing the recommendations
  • Under the leadership of Susan Hornung, RUSA Executive Director, the Executive Committee and Membership Committee brainstormed a value proposition statement for RUSA members as we consider a dues increase to stabilize the RUSA budget.
  • RUSA’s ALA Emerging Leaders project led by Catherine Damiani, Digital Services Librarian at East Providence Public Library and RUSA’s Emerging Leader, developed a library publishing services toolkit which will be stewarded by the Publications & Communications Committee
  • Patty Valdovinos, RUSA’s Spectrum Scholar, worked with Kirk McLeod, incoming chair of the Publications & Communications, to create and host the IAMRUSA podcast series which, so far, has featured interviews with Anne Houston and Joe Thompson, now RUSA past-past president.
  • The RUSA Trends Team was formed and will blog about trends in library user services

Turning to the year ahead, in collaboration with the RUSA Executive Committee and Board, I will continue to work on the strategic goals and objectives of RUSA as outlined in our strategic plan with a particular focus on the following:

  • Working with Organization & Planning as the they review the structure of RUSA and the RUSA review process
  • Adopting a more flexible pathway for volunteer member engagement (i.e. streamlining ways to get involved with RUSA)
  • Implementing the recommendations of the LOKCS task force
  • Continuing to develop and deliver timely and engaging conference programming, professional development offerings and a variety of publication channels and venues
  • Consider proposal to make RUSQ open access
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of RUSA Awards events working closely with the Celia Ross, our new Vendor Relations liaison.
  • Offering the successful RUSA 101 and 201 programs and hold more online Town Hall meetings

Please feel free to contact me any time at I welcome your questions and comments.
Alesia McManus
RUSA President 2016-17