Category: News

RUSA News/Announcements

Dear RUSA Members,

With a new year looming, I want take a moment to let all RUSA volunteers know how much we appreciate all the work, time and energy you put into RUSA. RUSA has so many wonderful things to offer members such as service on our book award committees, our beloved Literary Tastes and Book & Media Awards events, guidelines for reference and user services and online educational sessions among others. We couldn’t have done any of this without the invaluable advice and assistance of our member leaders and volunteers. I also want to thank every RUSA member for all their dedication and loyalty in helping to make our division successful; it’s a pleasure and a privilege to serve you! The entire RUSA office staff thanks you all!

The Midwinter conference will be in Chicago this year and I hope those of you who will be there will take time to visit with us at the RUSA Membership Social. It will be held Saturday, January 31, 2015, 5:30 pm 07:00 pm, at the Hilton Chicago – Williford B. Join us to mingle, meet the RUSA board members, committee chairs, and volunteer leaders, and have some fun. We’ll have a raffle with great prizes and refreshments will be available so be sure to come and bring your friends and colleagues – all members and visitors are welcome!

One other event that is always of interest to all RUSA members and book lovers is the Book & Media reception taking place Sunday, February 1, 2015, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Hilton Chicago – Williford. We are excited to announce that we have a featured guest speaker this year: Margaret Hawkins, author of Lydia’s Party and senior lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ms. Hawkins will be signing copies of her book after the reception. We’ll also unveil the winners of The Reading List, Notable Books list (which help form the long list for the Andrew Carnegie Medals of Excellence for Fiction and Nonfiction), the Listen List selections, and many more (see all of our awards here: All ALA Midwinter Meeting participants are invited to this celebration in Chicago. If you can’t attend, you will be able to track the announcements on Twitter with the hashtag #literarytastes. Don’t miss this wonderful event. We hope to see you there!

In addition, the RUSA board will meet three times in Chicago; please feel free to join us as our honored guests. The meetings will be held:

RUSA Strategic Planning Discussion
Friday, January 30, 2015
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
McCormick Place West – W192a

Board of Directors Meeting I (RUSA)
Saturday, Jan 31, 2015
01:30 pm – 03:30 pm
Hilton Chicago – Grand Tradition Room

**Don’t miss our Town Hall, where we invite all RUSA members to provide input on RUSA’s strategic path.**

Board of Directors Meeting II (RUSA)
Monday, Feb 2, 2015
02:00 pm – 04:00 pm
McCormick Place West – W195

See you in Chicago and best wishes for a happy new year!

Susan Hornung
Executive Director, ASCLA/RUSA

Book & Media Awards Ceremony and Reception:
Sunday, February 1, 2015 – 5:00pm to 6:30pm;
The highly acclaimed Chicago author, Margaret Hawkins will be our feature speaker and kick off our premier awards event for adult reading and reference.

We’ll unveil the winners of The Reading List, Listen List selections—lists that are used by readers advisory librarians nationwide, Notable Books, which forms the basis for the Carnegie Medals Longlist —as well as the winners of the Dartmouth Medal for reference, the Sophie Brody Medal for Jewish literature, the Zora Neale Hurston Award for achievement in promoting African-American literature and the Louis Shores Award for book reviewing. All ALA Midwinter Meeting participants are invited to this celebration on-site in Chicago. Can’t attend? For the most up-to-date announcements, follow us on Facebook and track us on Twitter with hashtag #literarytastes.

Membership Social:
Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 5:30pm to 7:00pm;
Kick off the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in style with the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Membership Social—an opportunity to eat, drink, network, win door prizes and learn more about RUSA. The social open to all current RUSA members, friends of RUSA and those meeting attendees interested in learning more about the association and networking with peers. All attendees will have the opportunity to win fantastic door prizes!

RUSA Leadership Development and Speed Mentoring Session:
Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 3:30pm to 5:30pm;
Join a group of experienced RUSA leaders and engage in a fun, interactive “speed mentoring” session. Similar in format to “speed dating”, MLS students, new librarians, and mid-career librarians are invited to participate in this session where they will have the opportunity to gain leadership advice from a number of senior librarians and RUSA leaders.

Genealogy Institute: Meeting the Needs of Your Family History Patrons:
Friday, January 30, 2015 – 8:30am to 4:00pm; Enjoy an interactive day of learning and networking for all librarians serving genealogists. Leaders from the library and genealogical industry will cover a variety of topics, including strategic planning, partnerships, and serving diverse populations. Luncheon provided by our sponsor, Proquest. Registration is free, but required. Limit 150 participants. Please register here:

RUSA Online Learning


Embedded Librarianship Across Disciplines.
December 9: 2:00-3:15 PM

Examine three successful models.
Read more. Register here.

GlobalEDGE: Your Free Resource for Global Business Knowledge.
December 11: 1:00-2:15 PM

Learn about globalEDGE, a free international business website.
Read more. Register here.

Online Courses:

Introduction to Economic Data on the Web.
Feb. 2 – 28, 2015

Economic concepts and terms essential to understanding economic reference questions.
Read more. Register here.

Business Reference 101.
Feb. 9 – Mar. 6, 2015

Demystify SIC and NAICS codes, ROI and 10k’s.
Read more. Register here.

Readers’ Advisory 101.
Feb. 16 – Apr. 5, 2015
(Chats on Thursdays, Time 3 p.m. CST)
Be more comfortable providing readers’ advisory (RA) services.
Read more. Register here.

Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping.
Mar. 23 – Apr. 12, 2015

Introduction to mapping tools and GIS technologies for public and academic library users.
Read more. Register here.

Genealogy 101.
Mar. 23 – Apr. 26, 2015

Introduction to American genealogy reference service and assist patrons with family history research.
Read more. Register here.

Xtreme Bibliographic Searching for Interlibrary Loan & Reference.
Apr. 20 – May 17, 2015
(Live Sessions on Thursdays, Time 1 p.m. CST)
Mansel Pre 56 to Digital Repositories, DOAJ to Trove to HathiTrust. Don’t know those terms, then this course is for you!
Read more. Register Now!

MARS: Update from the Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS)

Chanitra Bishop, Editor


Message from the Chair of MARS


ALA Midwinter is fast approaching. MARS: Emerging Technologies section will have meetings and a great set of discussion groups. Below is a tentative schedule of events. Locations to be announced later.

I encourage you to attend one or more of our engaging discussion groups. It’s a great way to see the work of our MARS Committees. If you are interested in joining MARS, we’d love to have you! Let us know at ALA MidWinter, fill out the RUSA volunteer form located on the RUSA website, or email Donna Scanlon (


Overview of MARS Events at ALA MidWinter 2015

SATURDAY, January 31, 2015

MARS Planning Committee
8:30 – 10:00 am
MARS Executive Committee Meeting I
10:15 – 11:30 am

Virtual Reference Discussion Group: Online Chat Services
4:30 – 5:30 pm

RUSA Membership Social
5:30 – 7:00 pm

SUNDAY, February 1, 2015

MARS Discussion Group: Assessing Integration of Library Services into Course Management Systems
8:30 – 10:00 am

Hot Topics Discussion Group: Augmented Reality
1:00 – 2:30 pm

MONDAY, February 2, 2015

MARS Executive Committee Meeting II
8:30 – 11:30 am


Sessions @ Midwinter

Talking Chat: The Good, the Bad, and the “What Were We Thinking?”!
The RUSA MARS: Virtual Reference Discussion Group will be holding a forum on January 31st, 2015 from 4:30-5:30 pm in McCormick Place West w474a. The forum topics will be focused on online chat services and known issues, characteristics of successful and unsuccessful implementations, and more. Panelists will share their experiences with online chat services and participates will have an opportunity to ask questions. If you are considering implementing online chat services in your library or you would like to learn more about what has worked and not worked for other libraries, this is an opportunity to gain insight on how other libraries are implementing their online chat services. Moderators of the forum will be Jessica Cerny (Chair) and Matt Torrence (Member at Large).

Management of Electronic Resources & Services
Join the MARS Management of Electronic Resources & Services Panel Discussion at Midwinter 2015 in Chicago on Sunday, February 1, 8:30-10:00am: Assessing Integration of Library Services into Course Management Systems: Where We Stand Now

Our panel of presenters will engage the audience in a group discussion of best practices for implementing and assessing a robust library presence in the CMS environment. The attendees will benefit from an exploration of the challenges and advantages of integrating library services into university-wide systems and platforms.

Hot Topics in Emerging Tech

You’ve heard of Oculus Rift and you’ve seen Google Glass. What are libraries doing with augmented reality? It’s time to move beyond QR codes!

Join us for a Hot Topics session to learn about new and successful augmented reality projects in libraries – and bring your questions, ideas, and cool tech toys for discussion and Q&A! Hot Topics will meet on Sunday, February 1, from 1-2:30pm at Midwinter. See you there!

RSS Honor Roll

When you hear Honor Roll, do you have flashbacks to high school? Maybe you have happy memories of the honor roll or maybe you think could of, would of, should of…

Regardless of your experience in high school, you may be eligible for the RSS Honor Roll.

The RSS has an Honor Roll that gives recognition to active RSS members who have served the section in three different capacities since its inception.

If you have been a member of three or more committees or discussion groups since RSS was established in 2004 and have not previously been added to the honor roll, please send your name and a list of the three ways you have served RSS to Sarah Hammill at

Not only will you become a member of this esteemed group, you will also be recognized at ALA Annual in San Francisco!

Join the RSS Honor Roll today!

2015 ALA Annual Scheduling

Even though winter isn’t even quite here, the scheduling site for ALA Annual 2015 is already open! If your RSS committee would like to schedule a meeting or host a discussion forum in San Francisco this summer, you can now begin thinking about titles, descriptions, A/V needs, etc. Deadline for submissions of committee meetings and committee-hosted forums is February 11, 2015. For additional details, required information, and submitting instructions, check out

Don Boozer, RSS Scheduler/Member-at-Large

RUSA News/Announcements

Call for online learning proposals!

Proposals for webinars and online courses are being accepted through September 1! There’s a wide variety of topics. Get the scoop on what we’re looking for, and find links to the submission form here

Online Learning

Let’s get in touch, and get social!

Are you connected? Stay in touch with these RUSA communication tools:

Reference and User Services Quarterly: Accessing the journal

Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), a quarterly benefit of RUSA members, is an all-digital journal available online via Metapress; however, you will need to set up a Metapress account. Complete, detailed instructions for accessing the journal can be found on the RUSA website or visit, then float over the “Communications” button near the top left portion of the page, and scroll down to “RUSQ”. If you run into challenges with journal access, contact for assistance.

Once you’ve accessed the journal, make sure to check out the following content for volume 53, issue 4.

The Reference & User Services Association (RUSA), with the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), presents the following draft guidelines and best practices for feedback. These guidelines and best practices relating to financial literacy education in libraries are the result of a SPARKS! Grant awarded to RUSA by IMLS.

The purpose of these guidelines and best practices is to facilitate the provision of financial literacy education in libraries nationwide. It is intended that these will standardize the content and delivery of financial literacy education programming and services in libraries. This project demonstrates a commitment to ensure that patrons in libraries of all types have access to effective and efficient personal finance reference services and unbiased financial educational programming.

Please send your comments and feedback to the following email:

The deadline for comments is Friday, August 22.

Thank you for your careful consideration of these documents.

Advisory Team:

Ted Beck, National Endowment for Financial Education
Lori Burgess, Fond du Lac Public Library (WI)
Judy Chapa, Financial Services Roundtable
Kristin Eschenfelder, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Robert Ganem, FINRA Investor Education Foundation
Chris Lebeau*, RUSA/BRASS Member
Laura Levine, Jumpstart
Elizabeth Malafi*, RUSA/BRASS Member
Kerwin Pilgrim, Brooklyn Public Library
Adi Redzic, iOme Challenge
Dan Rutherford, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
John Spears, Salt Lake City Public Library (UT)
(* indicates also serving on Working Team)

Working Team:

Kit Keller, Project Director
Chris Lebeau, RUSA/BRASS Member
Elizabeth Malafi, RUSA/BRASS Member
Andy Spackman, BRASS Chair


Laura Hibbler, Editor


Congratulations to William Forsyth and Yvonne Carignan!

  • William Forsyth, director of product management for ProQuest, was awarded the Genealogical Publishing Company Award in recognition of professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research. Please contact Helen Gbala for details about this award.
  • Yvonne Carignan, of George Mason University, was awarded with the RUSA History Section/Gale Cengage Learning History Research and Innovation Award. This award is granted to an MLS degreed librarian from an ALA accredited school to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship. To learn more about the Gale Cengage Learning History Research and Innovation Award, please visit the History Section website: or contact Sara Morris,

The ALA RUSA History Section hosted a trip to the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas on Friday, June 27th, during the ALA Annual Conference. Thirty-seven people attended and, thanks to RUSA’s generous support, the attendees received a guided tour and were able to take a chartered bus.

The Historical Materials Committee met during at the Annual Conference to discuss responsibilities for the coming year and procedures for creating the annual Best Historical Materials article. On Sunday, June 29th, the committee co-sponsored a program entitled, “The Nevada Test Site Project: Bringing Primary Resources to Researchers.” Nicholas Wyant, immediate past chair of the committee, served as moderator. The program focused on the creation and curation of the project, which consists of 335 hours of transcripted and digitized material regarding the “nuclear proving ground” in Nevada. Check out the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project:

The History Librarians Discussion Group held a panel discussion, “The Role/s of Humanities Librarians in Digital Humanities”, on June 28th at the ALA Annual Conference. Panelists Thomas Padilla (Digital Humanities, Linguistics, & Philosophy Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries) and Harriett Green (English & Digital Humanities Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) each spoke about their experiences working with digital humanities and then answered questions from attendees. The panelists’ presentation slides have been posted online at the History Section’s website:

And stay tuned for the publication of Padilla’s book, co-authored with Trevor Getz:

Getz, Trevor, and Thomas Padilla. Subjecting History: Building a Relationship Between History and its Alternatives. Athens: Ohio University Press, Forthcoming Fall 2015.

The Genealogy pre-conference at the ALA Annual Conference included a panel, “Getting More Than You Pay For,” about the free resources available on Ancestry, Fold3,,, and Ancestry’s various social media outlets. The panelists Kim Harrison and Amy Johnson Crow ( have made their presentation slides available on slideshare:


Join us at ALA Annual for some exciting events. Below are some highlights to look forward to. Use the ALA Conference Scheduler to create a personal schedule and you will be alerted to any last minute location changes.

Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
Finalists: Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
The two books selected as recipients of the Medal will will be announced during the Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 29. The ceremony will be from 8:00-10:00 PM at Caesars Palace, in rooms Octavius 05-08. Tickets are available here. Cosponsored by Booklist and RUSA.

Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ)
Have you checked out the new issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) yet? There’s endless value in this issue. You can activate your digital subscription with Metapress, you can do so on the RUSA website under the “Communications” tab, at the top of the page. Questions about RUSQ, contact Andrea Hill, RUSA web manager at
Here’s an overview of the most recent issue.

RUSA’s Annual Signature Programs

  • RUSA 101
    Friday, June 27, 3:00-4:00 PM
    Las Vegas Convention Center, Room S222

Not to Be Missed RUSA Programs

Conference Programs and Forums

Upcoming Webinars
In an effort to provide greater value for RUSA members, the RUSA Board approved a plan to provide a group of high quality webinars, one sponsored by each RUSA section, free to RUSA members. The Professional Development Committee, led by Jeannette E. Pierce, has been carefully reviewing proposals and we will have several new webinars for RUSA members. They will cover such topics as: genealogy and history resources, online reference resources, reference tracking and data collection, industry research and sharing resources worldwide. Stay tuned for more details!

RUSA News/Announcements

2014 Achievement Award winners announced

The 2014 RUSA Achievement Awards have been announced. For full details on the award winners, please see the announcement at ALA News. Winners will be recognized at the RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony and Reception at ALA Annual on Sunday June 29 from 5:00-6:30 PM Sunday, June 29. Additional event details will be available on the RUSA website in April.

Achievement Award winners

Travel and Research Grant Recipients

RUSA Book and Media Awards
The following awards were announced at the RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony at the 2014 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.

Dr. Grace Jackson-Brown from the Duane G. Meyer Library at Missouri State University is the 2014 winner of the Zora Neale Hurston Award, which recognizes an individual that has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. Selected for her work with the Springfield African American Read-In and Dream Big programs, has exposed diverse audiences to authors, workshops, live readings and celebrations that incorporate African-American authors. Sponsored by Harper Perennial, the award consists of $1,250 to attend the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the FOLUSA Author tea, and a set of the Zora Neale Hurston books published by Harper Perennial at the time the award is made.

Francine Graf, former Editorial Director of Choice has been named as the 2014 winner of the Louis Shores Award, which honors an individual reviewer, group or editor for their book reviewing excellence for libraries. Graf, retired as of early 2014, was chosen for her outstanding contributions to reviewing for resources for academic audiences. Graf will receive a citation at the ALA Annual Conference.

Mammals of Africa (Bloomsbury), edited by Jonathan Kingdon, David Happold, Mike Hoffmann, Tom Butynski, Meredith Happold and Jan Kalina, was selected as the winner of the Dartmouth Medal, honoring a significant reference publication. This amazing source covers every recognized mammalian species in Africa. This resource will serve as a primary source of information and as a baseline for preserving the biodiversity of this great continent. A medal will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference.

Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation (HarperCollins) by Yossi Klein Halevi was named the winner of the 2014 Sophie Brody Award. The award encourages, recognizes and commends outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. A medal will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference.


RUSA Nominees for 2014 ALA Elections
ALA elections may not be until Spring of 2014, but RUSA already have a full slate.


  • Liane Luckman Taylor
  • Anne Beaubien


  • Danise Hoover
  • Stephanie Atkins
  • William McHugh
  • Janalyn L. Moss

For more information about ALA elections, please see ALA Election Information.

Confessions of a reference librarian: IAmRUSA launches interview series
Ever wonder exactly what kind of work members of RUSA do, or maybe which courses they would recommend for students looking for a career in reference or user services?

Each week IAmRUSA will feature a different interviewee for participants to ask questions about their professional careers, their passions and anything else involving librarianship. Hosted by ALA Connect, anyone interested may join the IAmRUSA community; participants do not need to be RUSA members.

If you are interested in participating as an interviewee, contact Kirk MacLeod or Sarah Hammill for more information.

Accepting Nominations for 2014 RUSA Achievement Awards

RUSA and RUSA sections are now accepting nominations for the following grants and awards. Please be aware of deadlines as some of them may have passed by the publication of RUSA Update.

Andrew Carnegie medal finalist named MacArthur Genius
Fiction writer, Karen Russell was named as one of 24 MacArthur “genius” fellows. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awards this annual grant to “encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.”
Russell was a finalist for the 2012 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for her first novel, Swamplandia!.

Call for RUSA Volunteers
March 1, 2014 is the planned closing date to volunteer for our RUSA, BRASS, CODES, History, MARS, RSS, and STARS committees. There’s no reason to put it off, though—volunteer today! Keep in mind that attendance at ALA Midwinter may not be required for some committees and sections. Feel free to contact the committee chair, section chair, or me if you have any questions about attendance. Links to RUSA division-level and section committees can be found here. Access the volunteer form using the same URL provided above. The menu to select section-level committees is located at the bottom of RUSA Committee Volunteer Form (requires sign-in).

Read the latest issue of RUSQ!
Reference and User Services Quarterly, Volume 53, Issue 1 is available and can be found on the RUSQsite.

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers at President Kathleen Kern’s Office Hours
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers at President Kathleen Kern’s Office Hours

Already a RUSA member but not sure where you fit in? Want to get involved? Just curious? Have a question about working with your committee and getting things down? We’ve got all the answers and more. President’s Office hours are also a good place to bring your ideas and enthusiasm.

RUSA President Kathleen Kern will hold virtual office hours via Adobe Connect every Tuesday from 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST.

Meet RUSA Board members:
From flight attendant to librarian: Q&A with Louise Feldmann, RUSA Director-at-Large

RUSA Membership Social and Trivia Contest at Midwinter!
Saturday, January 25, 5:30-7:00 PM, Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel-Liberty Ballroom B

Kick off the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in style with the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Membership Social—an opportunity to eat, drink, network, win door prizes, and learn more about RUSA. The social open to all current RUSA members, friends of RUSA and those meeting attendees interested in learning more about the association and networking with peers. All attendees will have the opportunity to play trivia to win fantastic door prizes!

RUSA Book and Media Awards Ceremony and Reception at Midwinter!
Sunday, January 26, 5:00-6:30 PM, Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel-Liberty Ballroom A

We’ll unveil the winners of the The Reading List, Notable Books and Listen List selections—lists that are used by readers advisory librarians nationwide—as well as the winners of the Dartmouth Medal for reference, the Sophie Brody Medal for Jewish literature, the Zora Neale Hurston Award for achievement in promoting African-American literature and the Louis Shores Award for book reviewing. All ALA Midwinter Meeting participants are invited to this celebration on-site in Philadelphia. Can’t attend? Track the announcements on Twitter with the hashtag #literarytastes.

Midwinter RUSA Board Meeting I, Town Hall Chat
Saturday, January 24, 1:30-3:30 PM
Midwinter RUSA Board Meeting II, Town Hall chat room, Monday, January 27, 2:00-4:00 PM, Pennsylvania Convention Center-118 A

Not able to attend Midwinter? You can still participate in RUSA planning. At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, join the RUSA Board either in person or online to participate in the annual Town Hall meeting on Saturday, January 25, at the beginning of the RUSA board meeting which begins 1:30-3:30pm. Visit these ALA Connect chat rooms on January 25 to participate online (you may be asked to login or register to comment):

Chat Room 1:
Chat Room 2:
Chat Room 3:

Here are some questions to think about:

  • What keeps you involved in RUSA?
  • What encourages you to attend RUSA meetings?
  • What additional topics would you like to see in RUSA professional development activities?
  • What affinity areas would you like to see in RUSA (such as interest groups on particular topics that cross section levels)?


Barry Trott, Editor

The CODES Board will have its 2nd virtual Midwinter Meeting meeting in 2014; CODES is testing the efficacy of virtual CODES Board meetings as part of a two-year pilot project. All are welcome to attend.

The fall is the busy time for many of the CODES awards committees. The book award committees are deep into reading titles and narrowing down the hundreds of possibilities to shortlists for consideration at Midwinter. The service award committees are issuing calls for nominations, and reviewing nominations, in preparation for making selections by Midwinter. RUSA members should be sure to keep their calendar open for the RUSA Book and Media Awards event at Midwinter when the work of these committees is announced.



Laura O’Neill Hibbler, Editor

Midwinter Institute: Genealogy Resources for Librarians Institute
Sponsored by ProQuest Friday

January 24, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
Philadelphia Free Library conference room, 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

This all-day institute addresses issues of importance to library staff and administration when serving or partnering with genealogical patrons, volunteer, scholars, or educators. Fourteen panelists and lecturers will present at the midwinter ALA RUSA Midwinter Genealogy Resources for Librarians Preconference Institute, “Future Directions for the National Archives and Records Administration.” Specialists will discuss everything from superb free resources to future directions at NARA to webinar outreach, new online offerings, webinar instruction, government documents, Quaker resources, and making the financial case for genealogical librarianship. Luncheon included.

Register now at the Midwinter Ticketed Events page. You do not need to be registered for the entire conference to participate in the ticketed events.

The History Section Genealogical Publishing Company Award
Established in 1992 and sponsored by Genealogical Publishing Company this award presents a citation and $1,500 cash to a librarian or library in recognition of their professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research. The recipient shall be selected for exceptional accomplishment in one or more of the following areas: professional association leadership and/or service and training; reference services; publication of recent, important, and highly regarded print or web based reference works; or digital projects that offer important access to genealogical or historical sources. Please visit the Genealogical Publishing Company Award page for more information.


Let’s get in touch, and get social!
Are you connected? Stay in touch with these RUSA communication tools:

Reference and User Services Quarterly: Accessing the journal
Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), a quarterly benefit of RUSA members, is an all-digital journal available online via Metapress; however, you will need to set up a Metapress account. Complete, detailed instructions for accessing the journal can be found on the RUSA website or visit, then float over the “Communications” button near the top left portion of the page, and scroll down to “RUSQ”. If you run into challenges with journal access, contact for assistance.

Once you’ve accessed the journal, make sure to check out the following content for volume 52, issue 4:

  • The library profession, and RUSA, lost an important member this winter with the death of former RUSQ editor Connie Van Fleet. In the editor’s column in this issue, Connie’s colleagues, students, and teachers remember her and her wide ranging interests.
  • Victoria Caplinger’s column on readers’ advisory (RA) from the cataloger’s perspective should provoke some useful discussion on improving RA services in libraries of all sorts.
  • Other columns and articles explore Google Scholar, the role of the reference desk, and readers’ advisory in academic libraries.

Call for online learning proposals!
Proposals for webinars and online courses are being accepted through September 1! There’s a wide variety of topics. Get the scoop on what we’re looking for, and find links to the submission form here.

MacLeod joins RUSA as Spectrum Scholar intern
RUSA welcomes its Spectrum Scholar, Kirk MacLeod from the University of Alberta! In this role, MacLeod will work with RUSA’s member leaders on various professional and association-related projects, including launching a weekly “I Am A” question-and-answer with a different RUSA member each week and revitalizing the RUSA Ambassadors outreach out to LIS programs. Details here.

Summer Reading: Andrew Carnegie Medals
There are just a few days of summer left to squeeze in some good books, and we think you should make the Andrew Carnegie Medals for fiction and nonfiction part of your lists. This year’s winners are Richard Ford’s Canada (fiction), and Timothy Egan’s Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis (nonfiction). Complete winner information is on the RUSA blog.

Student-to-staff: A snapshot of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference experience
Wayne State University MLIS candidate Michelle Scobie, along with fellow library school student Jay Ballenberger of Emporia State University, were a tremendous help in Chicago, providing logistical support at a variety of RUSA events. Read Michelle’s writeup of her experiences on the RUSA blog.

Legislative Issues Task Force
Do you have an interest in legislative issues facing libraries such as funding for libraries, access to research and government information and privacy?

If so, please consider volunteering for a RUSA ad-hoc task force that is charged with 1) identifying legislative issues of concern to RUSA and ways that sections and committees can respond to these concerns, and 2) after identifying issues of concern, making a recommendation to the RUSA Board for further action, including a recommendation for an on-going mechanism for RUSA to stay in touch with legislative issues. The ad-hoc task force will be asked to make a recommendation to the RUSA board by the ALA Annual meeting in 2014.

If you are interested in volunteering for this RUSA ad-hoc task force on legislative issues, please send a statement of interest along with information on your ALA Committee experience to Alesia McManus



Barry Trott, Editor


Mary Parker, CODES past-chair, will be serving as acting CODES chair through the early fall. Please direct any questions about CODES committees or volunteering to Mary Parker at

The CODES Readers’ Advisory committee has been hosting email forums, entitled CODES Conversations, modeled after the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) email events. The committee plans to offer CODES Conversations three times a year. The first conversation gathered close to 250 participants and over 400 participated in the second. These are free, two-day conversations. Discussions were lively, wide-ranging, and involved librarians from the U.S. and abroad. The events were very well received.

Chairperson Bill McHugh successfully shepherded a proposal from the Reference Publishing Advisory Committee for one of the free RUSA webinar slots through the approval process. The proposed webinar will be based on the CODES discussion forum held at Midwinter 2013 in Seattle, “Are Users Finding Our Online Reference Resources?” The four speakers at that forum have agreed to take part in the webinar.

The RSS Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee has been working with CODES Reference Publishing Advisory Committee on this project; thank you RSS!

Daniel Mack will be the CODES representative on the RUSA Ad Hoc Committee to revise Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians. Mack is the Interim Director of Collection Management & Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Maryland.


Laura O’Neill Hibbler, Editor


At ALA Annual, the RUSA History Section program “Library Engagement in National History Day Activities” featured a diverse panel of speakers: Crystal Johnson, Chicago Metro History Education Center; Gail Egbers, Pacific Lutheran University; Jennifer Hootman, Minitex, University of Minnesota; and Kris Maldre, National Archives and Records Administration. Attendees learned of creative and innovative ways for libraries of various types engage with students participating in National History Day competitions. Among the attendees there were a number of individuals interested in implementing programs at their institutions and creating relationships with their local schools. The four panelists offered great ideas for creating programs as well as enhancing existing programs. Our attendance was a small but enthusiastic thirty which we feel is pretty good considering we were competing against vendor breakfasts and Temple Grandin.

The History Section Program, “Digital History: New Methodologies Facilitated by New Technologies” sponsored by the Instruction and Research Services Committee, was held on June 30 at the McCormick Place in Chicago. The program was well attended and very well received. Speakers included Dr. Michael Kramer and Josh Honn both from Northwestern University and also Dr. Anne Flannery and Adam Strohm both from the Newberry Library. The program included discussion of digital tools available and how to use them, strides in using digital source materials and how to incorporate the new digital methodologies in the library and/or classroom.

The Genealogy and Local History Discussion Group’s conversation was kicked off by Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, which is hosted by the University of Chicago. Tamar presented on the innovative ways the consortium has worked with the community to preserve important pieces of local history that are too often overlooked by traditional repositories. There were a number of questions at the end of her presentation as well as informal discussions throughout the room after she concluded. Over fifty people attended the discussion group.

The Genealogical Preconference “Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: Chicago Style Genealogy” had about eighty attendees at the Harold Washington Library Center of the Chicago Public Library on June 28. Matt Rutherford from the Newberry Library spoke on “—Discover the Past by Address.” Curt B. Witcher of the Allen County Library System gave a wonderful account of early American history resources in “And the Rockets’ Red Glare: Sources for War of 1812 Research.” Elissa Scalise Powell, from Boston University and the Board for Certification of Genealogists, presented on “Genealogical Education Opportunities.” Chip Nilges from OCLC WorldCat and Michael J. Hall from FamilySearch discussed “OCLC WorldCat and FamilySearch; how the recent partnership can enhance the research experience from the Beginner to the Expert.” Sandy Joseph closed the preconference with “Beginning African American Research on Family Search.” All of the presenters gave a great account of themselves, and provided much needed information to the attending librarians. ProQuest provided an outstanding lunch with a presentation by William Forsyth of ProQuest.


Special Leadership Development Opportunity for RUSA Members
Participate in the “Servant Leadership at Your Library” preconference at a significantly discounted rate! Act quickly to take advantage of this special offering. More information is at the RUSA blog.

Authors Announced for RUSA Literary Tastes Author Event
We have a stellar author lineup this year! Add the event to your conference schedule, and bring your book-loving friends. More Literary Tastes event information here.

This year’s authors:

  • Peter Heller, author of 2013 RUSA Notable Book The Dog Stars (Knopf).
  • Jonathan Tropper, author of 2013 RUSA Notable Book One Last Thing Before I Go (Dutton).
  • Matti Friedman, author of The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Bible (Algonquin), which won the 2013 Sophie Brody Medal for achievement in Jewish literature.
  • Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of Gotham (Putnam), the top pick for The Reading List’s Mystery category in 2013.

Time to Celebrate!
Mark your conference schedule for the RUSA Awards Reception and Volunteer Appreciation Party, which will be held from 5:00-6:30 P.M. on Sunday, June 30 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Prairie Room. It’s always a fun event, and a great opportunity to celebrate the most outstanding people and accomplishments in our field.

Who is Joe Thompson?
Learn more about RUSA’s new Vice President/President-Elect with this fun Q&A over at the RUSA blog.

Read It: Reference & User Services Quarterly
Have you checked out the new issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) yet? Here’s an overview. There’s lots of good stuff in this issue. If you haven’t activated your digital subscription yet via Metapress, look at the RUSA website under the Communications tab at the top of the page. Questions about RUSQ? Contact Andrea Hill, RUSA web manager at

Finalists: Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
Are you on #teamjunot, or #teamerdrich? Review the finalists for this year’s medals, and join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ala_carnegie. Don’t forget to buy your event tickets!

Division News: Awards, Events and Information You Can Use

RUSA Award Nomination Period Ends December 15

There’s still time to submit your nominations for RUSA’s 2013 awards! We have a multitude of travel grants, research grants and achievement awards available to you. Many offer cash prizes! Especially noteworthy are two new awards this year:the Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award encourages submissions from MLS degreed librarians looking to further research relating to history and history librarianship, and the BRASS Business Expert Press Award for Academic Business Librarians, which recognizes a librarian new to the field of academic business librarianship to attend the ALA Annual Conference. Review the entire list.

Holiday Shopping: We’ve got a book for you!

Looking for gifts for your fellow book lovers? Look no further than the award-winning titles selected by your RUSA colleagues! Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, genre fiction, audiobooks…there truly is something for everyone among our many literary awards. We’ve compiled all of the details and links into a single blog post to make your life easier–find it here. Happy gifting!

RUSA’s Midwinter Book and Media Awards Reception: Sunday, January 27 in Seattle

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Your expert readers advisory and collection development colleagues have been hard at work for the past twelve months, devouring newly-published books and scrutinizing new reference publications to determine who will take home the honors at Midwinter. Come be a part of the excitement and celebrate with us at the Book and Media Awards Reception.Get the event details, and make sure to add the event to your Midwinter schedule so we know you’re coming. If you can’t make it, follow our updates on our Facebook page or on Twitter, @ala_rusa, with the hashtag #literarytastes.

RUSA Membership Social: Time for Friends, New and Old

The Membership Social returns for another year of outstanding Saturday night fun at Midwinter! We encourage you to bring a friend, even if they’re not a RUSA member. The Membership Social will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 PM in the Leonesa Room in the Grand Hyatt Seattle.

Great prizes will be raffled off, too. Get the event details, and add it to your Midwinter schedule. This event is generously sponsored by Thomson Reuters. See you there!

Midwinter Meeting: Schedule Posted, Registration Still Available

Everything you could possibly want to know about the upcoming ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle is available at Early Bird ends December 2, and Advance ends January 18. Come join us for intriguing conversations and fun events hosted by RUSA and ALA! Browse the Midwinter schedule.

Online Learning: Spring 2013 Courses Now Open for Registration

Whether you’re itching to learn new skills or need to brush up on the basics, RUSA’s online courses have got you covered! Topics include the reference interview, genealogy, ILL, business reference, readers advisory, health information and spatial literacy/online mapping. Individual and group registrations are available. Our health information course even offers CEUs! Review a full schedule.

Webinar Proposals Sought

Are you a subject matter expert or an experienced librarian with information to share? Consider submitting a webinar proposal! Presenters for approved webinars receive compensation and training on Blackboard Collaborate, our webinar presentation tool. Access a full list of topics we’re interested in and a link to the proposal form at the RUSA Blog.

Looking for a job? It’s a daunting task to sift through the excess of information about:

  • Finding a job
  • Preparing a resume and cover letter
  • Interviewing for a job
  • Discovering salary information
  • Negotiating a salary
  • Researching the job outlook for librarians
  • Identifying professional competencies for reference and user services librarians

RUSA can help! Our new Career Resources page on the RUSA website was developed specifically with reference and user services librarians in mind. Whether you’re looking for library positions in schools, academic libraries, public libraries, or special libraries, we’ve got something for everyone.

Visit the Career Resources page today and instantly make your job search easier and more productive!

[This web page is a work-in-progress and is updated frequently. If you have successful job hunting tip that you’d like to share, please contact]

Let’s be in touch! Here’s how you can stay connected to RUSA between issues of RUSA Update:

  • Bookmark the RUSA blog
  • Like RUSA on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Subscribe to RUSA-L, our division listserv, or one of our section listservs
  • Keep your membership information current so that you continue to receive communications–make updates by logging in at or by contacting the membership team at or (800) 545-2433, option 5.
  • Have an e-mail address on file with ALA. All of our member communications are done electronically, so no e-mail address means you’re missing out on important news and benefits.


Barry Trott, Editor

RUSA CODES at Midwinter

RUSA CODES will be active at Midwinter with several discussion groups and the increasingly popular Book and Media Awards. Join your fellow CODES members and bring along a potential member!

Midwinter Book and Media Awards Reception

Sunday, January 27, 5:00-6:30 PM; Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Municipal Room.

Be sure to attend the Midwinter Book and Media Awards Reception, where RUSA celebrates the best fiction, non-fiction and reference titles of the year! RUSA’s expert readers’ advisory committees will unveil their choices for the Collection Development and Evaluation Section’s

(CODES) literary awards. All Midwinter attendees and exhibitors are invited to attend.

Reference Publishing Discussion Forum: Are Users Finding Our Online Reference Resources?

Sunday, January 27, 1:00-2:30 PM; W Seattle Hotel, Great Room 1B.

Interested in online reference sources? Check out the CODES discussion forum on Reference Publishing Discussion Forum: Are Users Finding Our Online Reference Resources? Libraries spend a great deal of money on quality online online reference resources, in the hopes that they will be useful to our communities. But are they being used? How do users discover reference resources in the online environment: teaching, research guides, stand-alone vendor resources? How do we enable users to cross multiple interfaces to reach reference sources?

Join our discussions with librarians and vendors on these issues.

CODES Collection Management in Public Libraries Discussion Group

Sunday, January 27, 4:30-5:30 PM; Washington State Convention Center, Room 212.

Public librarians will want to stop by the CODES Collection Management in Public Libraries Discussion Group to share ideas and thoughts on new eBook platforms and other topics of interest in current collection management. Please email any topics you would like to see on the agenda to: Nanci Milone Hill at

Hot Topics Discussion Group

Saturday, January 26, 10:30-11:30 AM; Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Virginia.

The Hot Topics Discussion Group will be talking about the role of Subject Specialists and Selection. Collection development is one of the most rapidly changing areas of librarianship. As patron-driven acquisitions and collaborative purchasing increase, do subject specialists still play an important role in selection? Is their participation essential? Join us for a lively discussion on how collection development responsibilities are changing and what these changes mean for librarians.

History Section News

Please consider nominating a library or library system for the 2013 Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services. The award consists of $3,000 and a citation. At ALA Annual 2012, the committee honored the Richland County South Carolina Public Library Job Center. A list of previous recipients along with award criteria and the nomination form can be found on the RUSA site. The closing date for nominations is December 15, 2012.

Carolyn Larson Chosen My Favorite Martian for 2012

The MARS Achievement Recognition Certificate Committee selected Carolyn Larson, Head of the Business Reference Section, in the Science, Technology & Business Division at the Library of Congress as “My Favorite Martian” for 2012.

The Committee would also like to invite MARS members to send nominations for the 2013 Award to the Committee’s incoming chair, Stephanie Graves, at by December 1, 2012. The MARS Achievement Recognition Certificate is given annually to recognize excellence in service to MARS. This award is given to an individual who is a current member of MARS, and has been an active member for the past two years. The recipient must have made either (1) sustained contributions toward attaining the goals of MARS, or (2) a single, significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section.

Shannon Jones, Outgoing Chair MARS Achievement Recognition Certificate Committee, 2011-2012

Carolyn Larson to receive My Favorite Martian Award

Carolyn Larson, Head of the Business Reference Section, in the Science, Technology & Business Division, Library of Congress, is the 2012 recipient of the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section Recognition Certificate, also known as the “My Favorite Martian” Award. The award is given to an individual to recognize excellence in service to MARS.

An active member of MARS, Carolyn, in addition to serving on several MARS committees, has served as MARS Chair, Vice-Chair, and Past Chair. During her term as MARS Chair, Carolyn expertly led the section through transition that included an unanticipated leadership change, and a significant name and mission change for the section. Carolyn was really a stabilizing force during this period. Dianna McKellar, MARS Chair, writes, “Carolyn, your dedication to the profession and to MARS is recognized and appreciated! We thank you for your excellent service.”

The certificate will be presented at the 2012 RUSA President’s Program/MARS Chair’s Program, “Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons,” on Sunday, June 24, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, during the 2012 ALA Annual Conference held in Anaheim, California; acknowledgment also to be made at the RUSA Awards Ceremony & Reception, Sunday, June 24, 2012, 5:00-6:30 PM during the 2012 ALA Annual Conference. Larson also will be honored at the RUSA Awards program.

Shannon Jones

MARS Chair’s Program

The MARS Conference Program Planning Committee has produced a program on the use of mobile devices in libraries as communication tools between librarians and library patrons. The program, which will serve as both the RUSA President’s Program and the MARS Chair’s Program, is entitled “Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons.”

Mobile devices are increasingly being used to provide libraries with the opportunity to disperse information at the exact point of need. This program will explore the importance of libraries supporting mobile technologies for the dissemination and acquisition of information. Examples of such projects currently being implemented in libraries will be discussed by our panel of speakers. Joan Lippincott, Associate Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, will speak about why libraries should embrace communicating with patrons through mobile devices. Kristin Antelman, Associate Director for the Digital Library at NCSU Libraries, will speak about mobile initiatives at NCSU including WolfWalk, a photographic guide to the history of NCSU optimized for mobile devices. David Lee King, Digital Branch & Services Manager at the Topeka Public Library, will discuss the social media used to communicate with patrons at the Topeka Public Library.

The session will be held on Sunday, June 24 from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM at the Anaheim Convention Center in room 204B. Hope to see you there!

Matt Torrence, Chair, Chair’s Program Committee

Happy Hour 2012

Join the RUSA MARS Emerging Technologies in Reference Section for our annual Happy Hour! The MARS social event of the year, the Happy Hour is ideal for anyone interested in meeting "Martians" and learning about the work of MARS in a relaxed, festive environment. Newcomers and old friends alike: all are welcome. Eat, drink, and mingle just steps from the Convention Center.

MARS Happy Hour
Saturday, June 23, 2012
5:00 PM- 7:00 PM

Magnolia Room & Quiet Pool at the Anabella Hotel
1030 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92802
(adjacent to the Convention Center)

Complimentary appetizers and cash bar.

The 2012 MARS Happy Hour is generously sponsored by EBSCO Publishing.

Arlie Sims, Chair, Outreach

Interested in getting involved with RSS?

Hi Everyone!

As you know, it is RSS committee appointment time; many of you have volunteered for committees, filled out the forms and are just waiting for the work to start! Thank you! RSS is a fluid and robust organization because of your commitment to keeping it relevant to Frontline Reference needs.

If you emailed me and haven’t heard from me, please let me know. I may have missed the email or it got lost in my email shuffle. Or if you forgot to respond to my call for volunteers, it is not too late! Many of our committees are full but I am still looking for volunteers for a host of RSS activities.

On a different note, RSS wants to showcase the publications of its members. If you are a member of RSS and have had an article or book published, let us know! Go to and fill in the form with a complete citation preferably in APA format. We would like this to be a resource list for fellow RSS members. Share what you have done with your colleagues.

Finally, the New Chair Orientation will take place online after ALA Annual. Stay tuned to RSS-L for more information.

If you have any questions, please email me at .

I look forward to meeting many of you in June!
Sarah J. Hammill
RSS Chair Elect

RSS Review is the newsletter of the Reference Services Section of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association. Please send suggestions for future issues to Amy Rustic (, editor.

RUSA Committee Reports – Emerging Leader Report: News from Your RUSA Emerging Leader

Kate Kosturski


During one of the excessively hot days this week, my ever-entertaining morning weatherman informed me that “five months ago today, the temperature was 23 degrees with a wind chill of 17!” New York City weather swung from one extreme to another in little more than a quarter of the year. Clearly change can be sudden and extreme—and take place in a short time.

Can this be applied on a personal level? Indeed, and most definitely for me. In the six months of the Emerging Leaders program I went from part-time to full-time employment with JSTOR, now serve on several ALA committees, presented two posters (one of which was my Emerging Leaders deliverable), been published in Computers in Libraries (and soon to be in Reference and Technical Services Quarterly), and unsuccessfully ran for ALA Council. There’s been a laundry list of personal life changes, but listing them all would turn this into a twenty-page article.

The goal of all change is to learn from it, and I have learned throughout these six months. For starters, I have learned to work within a team again. Four months of unemployment and six months of working in a small consulting firm as the solo office manager render team work skills a bit rusty. There were times I did forget what it was like to work on a group project! But with patience and gentle, constructive criticism from group members and self-reflection, I was able to get back on track. It was like riding a bike—you may not get on a bike for years, but when you do, everything comes back.

Another lesson learned is the importance of reconnecting with your people. The job search, unemployment, three family crises in the latter half of 2010, and other issues led some of my involvement within ALA and librarianship slide. I made some time for certain events and projects, but lack of time and job search burnout led me to take a small sabbatical from professional development. Those who are unemployed and underemployed will agree that it’s hard to be “Yay Libraries!” when you’re spending day after day in your pajamas watching The Price is Right and living off of cereal because you’re not working. (I speak from 100 percent personal experience.) Being an Emerging Leader, surrounded by like minded peers whose ambition matched (and sometimes exceeded) my own, re-energized my passion for information. It was the kickoff workshop at Midwinter in San Diego that led me to run for ALA Council in the first place!

The third lesson on change is to accept its presence—to quote from one of my favorite movies, French Kiss, “swim in it until your fingers get all pruny.” One of my colleagues in the 2011 cohort gave the simple axiom that “life happens” as her biggest lesson from the program experience. Her group had several cases of personal and professional change affect the progress of their project (including, I think, someone affected by severe weather in the Midwest). Rather than fight it, they learned to work with it. If someone was behind on a deadline due to a family member being in the hospital or a hectic week at work, it was best to just let it go—the work will still be there when everyone returns to it, hopefully rested and in better mind. Their acceptance of crisis mode and understanding that life can intervene in critical and severe ways allowed them to adapt better. It’s nothing more than the old phrase, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

A final lesson from my project experience—perhaps the most important—has nothing to do with change at all, and is quite counter to it: Stand up for your beliefs. Anyone who attended the Emerging Leaders poster session at the Annual Conference knew that my group (Team G), had a quite different, definitely edgy and potentially controversial giveaway with our poster. I was on board with this idea…until I got a full time job in April. I wasn’t comfortable handing this particular item out to co-workers or senior colleagues that attended. I did not feel it would be appropriate for me to do so, not with such a short tenure at the company. I advocated for having the more family friendly alternative of business cards, and successfully convinced my Emerging Leader colleagues of same. I could have kept my mouth shut and gone with status quo (again, accepting change!) but decided that certain issues and concerns were worth the fight.

If you attended the Emerging Leaders poster session, I wholeheartedly thank you for coming. If you stopped by to talk with Team G about our poster, accept more thanks from me. Whether or not you visited the Emerging Leaders at Annual, allow me to highlight some of my favorite projects:

  • Team B worked with ACRL to prepare ACRL 101, a “guide to enhancing the conference experience for first time attendees.” I loved this project not just because one of the dearest friends I made from the group (Megan Hodge), served on it, but because it will be useful for me when I attend ACRL as a full-fledged attendee in 2013.
  • Team I reviewed a favorite topic of mine, library website usability, showing off the “Seven Deadly Sins of Library Websites.” Usability and design thinking are so important in our profession, and I predict that this will grow in the future.
  • Team J worked with the Information Technology and Telecommunications Division to create a “Virtual Guide to ALA Deadlines”—any and all deadlines within the organization in one interactive timeline.
  • Team K and Team L both worked on projects for the Learning Round Table (LearnRT) relating to training and staff development—Team K built a wiki for staff development day resources, and Team L looked at ways to build a webinar series. I’m a semi-frequent guest on the T is for Training podcast and have sat through more than my fair share of subpar, weak training session at previous jobs. These experiences foster my interest in ways we can harness technology to improve training and staff development.
  • Team N, working with the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) worked to review LIS student recruitment to the organization within management courses.
  • And of course, there is Team G, my team project, a set of video game collection development best practices prepared for the Games and Gaming Member Interest Group (which became GameRT at ALA Annual).

This is just a small sample of the projects from our cohort, the full list is available on ALA Connect. I encourage you to take time and look at what the next generation of librarians has to say about these key issues. If you or someone in your workplace is interested in the Emerging Leaders program, please get in touch with me; I would love to talk at length with you about the program.

As my reign as RUSA’s Emerging Leader is now over, this will be my last “News from Your Emerging Leader” column. Consider this my final walk across the stage with the tiara on my head; it’s now time to crown my successor. I wish to thank everyone at RUSA—President Barry Trott and the Executive Board, leadership from sections, and members—for the sponsorship, networking and professional opportunities. You’ll still be hearing from me within and outside of the organization—I will be co-chairing the RUSA Structure Task Force, and if you’re active in the New Members Round Table, I’m working on two committees there.

I hope to see you all in Dallas and Anaheim in the coming year, and continue conversations in between conferences. The dialogue is so important to keep librarianship alive. After all, to quote Doctor Who, “”You want weapons? We’re in a library. Books, best weapons in the world. This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!” I can’t think of a better calling.

Kate Kosturski is the 2011 RUSA Emerging Leader and an Outreach Specialist with JSTOR’s Outreach and Participation Services Department. Contact her with questions or comments about this article at or You can also follow her on twitter as librarian_kate, and view her portfolio of pre-and post-graduate school work at

Hot Topics – How are We Measuring up? Using New Technology to Schedule, Standardize, and Assess Reference Services

Saturday, June 25 from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; Doubletree Hotel, Madewood A

Please join us for the Hot Topics Discussion Forum (MARS): How are We Measuring up? Using New Technology to Schedule, Standardize, and Assess Reference Services. Speakers will demonstrate a variety of inventive, original, and efficient ways to study and accommodate changes in user preferences, locations, and modes of communication when seeking reference and research services. Presentations are in panel format, but are relatively informal and are intended to jumpstart discussion among the attendees.

Matt Torrence, Chair

To subscribe to MARS-L, see

MARS Chair’s Program – It’s All About Them: Developing Information Services with User Experience Design

Sunday, June 26, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, room 269

Please plan to join us in New Orleans for an exciting MARS Chair’s program. We’ll be announcing the winner of this year’s My Favorite Martian Award, followed by a thought-provoking panel on user experience design.

Applying User Experience (UX) Design to your library’s public services involves understanding your patrons’ needs and preferences. In this session, expert panelists, including Cody Hansen (University of Minnesota) and Jenny Benevento (Sears Holding Corporation), will define UX design and explain why it’s important, discuss how it can help improve patrons’ overall experience of library resources and services, and describe how it can be implemented in library and information service settings. With practical tips and examples, you’ll be well-equipped to consider UX issues in your own library.

Courtney Greene, Chair

MARS Webinars

This winter, the Education, Training and Support Committee (ETS) was officially approved by RUSA to deliver a webinar that is similar to our 2010 annual program: Screencasting Tips and Tricks. Our hard work at Midwinter paid off! MARS will be the first to deliver a RUSA sponsored webinar presentation. ETS is trailblazing the path for other committees to consider webinars for delivering professional development to ALA members. The webinar is coming up soon, on May 25 and is tentatively called "An Introduction to Screencasting Tutorials." One of our goals for Annual is to create guidelines and procedures for other committees to follow in order to create their own webinars and possibly fulfill a new role for MARS as your webinar facilitators. We have learned a lot about the steps for getting an idea approved and what RUSA expects for course development. By Annual, we will have even more experience delivering a webinar and using the GoToMeeting software and technical support from RUSA.
Van Houlson, Chair

Happy Hour

Saturday, June 25,2011; 5:00 – 7:00 pm; Location: Mulate’s Restaurant (Across from the Convention Center), 201 Julia St.

MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section invites you to mingle, chow and imbibe at the Annual MARS Happy Hour Social There will be complimentary snacks and a cash bar.

Interested in the work of MARS? Friend of a MARS member? Enjoyed a MARS program? Member of MARS? Please come and invite others!

The Annual MARS Happy Hour is your opportunity to enjoy good company, meet other MARS members, and learn about the work of the Section.

This MARS Happy Hour is generously sponsored by Serials Solutions.

Arlie Sims, Chair

Strange Bedfellows: IT and Reference Collaborations to Enhance User Experiences.

A joint preconference from the Reference Services Section (RSS) and Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

Friday, June 24, 2011, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, Room 354

Visit RUSA’s preconference page for registration information. The group registration form (PDF) can be downloaded here.

This preconference will present strategies for creating successful collaborations between Reference and IT departments. The session will open with a keynote from Char Booth that addresses the innovative technology-driven potential of meeting user needs when reference departments work in collaboration with IT. Following the keynote, a series of topics will be presented by four teams of Reference and IT staff who have worked together on successful collaborative projects. The line-up includes:

  1. Dan Suchy, User Services Technology Analyst & Matthew Critchlow, Web Technical Manager, University of California, San Diego: Mobile apps
  2. Joanne Kossuth, Technology Strategy Team Member at Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing: Technology Strategy Team Member at Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing: Sharing resources between institutions
  3. Tom Maier, Senior Director Special Projects & Catherine Murray-Rust, Dean of Libraries, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta: Strategic Planning, Implementation, and Facilities Development across multiple departments within and beyond libraries
  4. William Denton, Web Librarian & Adam Taves, Reference and Instruction Librarian, York University, Toronto: Divisiveness, communication failure, and boundary wars as tragicomedy. A staged reading.

The afternoon will include breakout sessions where attendees can work with the speakers to brainstorm on applying the strategies presented to real-world projects that they are currently involved in or would like to see realized.

This is a solutions-driven session that explores methods for effective collaboration and successfully leveraging the skill sets of multiple departments. This is a session about how to make a technology-driven reference project a success!

We hope to see you in New Orleans!

Carolyn Sheffield and Donna Scanlon, Co-Chairs

Linda S. Keiter to receive My Favorite Martian Award

Linda S. Keiter, Online Services Librarian, The University of Utah, is the 2011 recipient of the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section Recognition Certificate, also known as the My Favorite Martian Award. The award is given to an individual to recognize excellence in service to MARS.

Linda Keiter has been an active member of MARS for many years, serving on numerous MARS committees including Continuing Education, Hot Topics in Electronic Reference Discussion Group, and the Future of MARS Task Force. Linda has also served as a representative for MARS on RUSA committees. Her colleagues in MARS note, “Linda has been a role model for dynamic leadership in MARS.”

Anne Houston, MARS Chair writes, “Linda, your dedication to the profession and to MARS is recognized and appreciated! We thank you for your excellent service.”

The certificate will be presented at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans during the MARS Chair’s Program, It’s All About Them: Developing Information Services with User Experience Design Sunday, June 26, 2011, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. Keiter also will be honored at the RUSA Awards program.