Hello, all. One thing that I have discovered during my year as president of RUSA is how quickly the time passes. As I am writing this, April is winding down, and before long, Annual will be here, and I will be turning over the gavel (and the responsibilities) to Gary White. It has been a productive year in RUSA, and I know that under Gary’s leadership RUSA will continue to move forward in serving its members and promoting the work of public service librarians in all types of libraries.
As always, RUSA is well-represented in the programming at ALA Annual Conference. There are four preconferences sponsored by RUSA sections—BRASS, MARS, RSS, and History. CODES is putting on its annual Literary Tastes Breakfast. There is the RUSA Awards program where we recognize outstanding practitioners in our division. RUSA sections are also putting on an additional thirteen programs covering topics from marketing reference to Ill to readers’ advisory to developing information services. The program choices reflect not only the needs of the profession but also the wide range of interests and knowledge that RUSA members can share with our colleagues. All of these programs offer opportunities for librarians, RUSA members and non-members alike, to develop and expand their skills. They are also a great opportunity for current RUSA members to encourage friends and colleagues to join RUSA. So bring a co-worker along to one of the many RUSA section offerings and see if they would be interested in being part of the great work that RUSA members do.
Over the course of the 2011-12 year, RUSA will be developing its new three-year strategic plan. This plan will help to guide the division and the sections as we move ahead. There will be a variety of opportunities for RUSA members to participate in the process. The RUSA member survey that we conducted at the end of April will give us valuable input in the planning process. I have also set up a taskforce with representation from each of the RUSA sections that is charged with drafting recommendations for structural changes that RUSA can implement that can help to: 1) Increase membership; 2) Better meet member needs and interests; 3) Facilitate member participation; and 4) Make the best use of RUSA committee and board meeting time. This taskforce will build off of the excellent work done by the RUSA Electronic Participation Taskforce. These recommendations will come to the Board at Midwinter 2012 for use in developing the RUSA strategic plan for 2012-15.
In closing, I would like to thank RUSA Past-President, Susan Beck, RUSA Vice-President/President Elect, Gary White, RUSA Councilor, Kathleen Kern, and RUSA Secretary, Theresa Mudrock for their support and their excellent work on the RUSA Executive Committee. I would also like to thank all the members of the RUSA Board whose commitment to making RUSA work for its members is evident in all that they do. I would add my thanks to the RUSA committee chairs, and the RUSA section boards for supporting RUSA members needs. And a thanks as well to all RUSA members for their passionate interest in user services. Finally, RUSA would not be able to function without the work done by our Executive Director, Susan Hornung, and the RUSA staff, Marketing Specialist, Liz Markel and Web Services Manager, Andrea Hill. I am grateful to all three for their work behind the scenes to keep RUSA running smoothly. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as RUSA President, and I thank all of you for the opportunity.