Emerging Leader

In just about one month’s time myself and the RUSA Emerging Leaders team will be presenting our “Library as Publisher” toolkit at the Emerging Leaders Poster Session during ALA Annual in Orlando. How time flies! The past few weeks have been an interesting process of finding resources, mapping out how the toolkit will look, putting together our team’s final report, and deciding on a final presentation format. As the team and myself work with the RUSA Publications and Communications Committee to get the toolkit completed and ready for use, add the “Emerging Leaders Poster Session and Reception” to your ALA Annual schedule! We will be presenting the final toolkit on Friday, June 24th from 3pm to 4pm in OCCC S320 A-C.

Look out for my next update where I will be reflecting on my time as RUSA’s Emerging Leader and be sure to connect with me on Twitter @BiblioCatherine or in-person at ALA Annual in Orlando.

Catherine Damiani

Emerging Leader

Greetings from RUSA’s 2016 Emerging Leader

I consider myself an expert email watcher. Of course in October 2015 my iPhone Mail app just about had enough of my checking and refreshing. But all for a very good reason! The phrase “Congratulations!” had never meant so much to me as it did when I opened the Emerging Leaders email with that exact phrase. I will admit I had to read that email a few times just for it to sink in and then I could celebrate.

My name is Catherine Damiani and I am honored to be RUSA’s 2016 Emerging Leader. I recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies and currently work as East Providence Public Library’s full-time Digital Services Librarian. I was introduced to RUSA when I was a library school student through ALA’s Student-to-Staff program at ALA Annual in 2014. I was very lucky to have experienced working with such a fantastic organization through the S2S program. I continued working with RUSA as a Voices blogger during ALA Annual 2015 and became very interested in serving on RUSA committees during that time. Within RUSA, I currently serve on the President’s Program Planning Committee and the ETS Hot Topics in Electronic Reference Discussion Group. My involvement with RUSA and ALA as a whole has lent an enormous amount of experience and value to my professional career. I am so excited to be serving RUSA in this capacity.

To give you a little background: the Emerging Leaders program was developed to help new librarians hone leadership skills and work with other librarians from around the country on projects for the American Library Association. This year’s fifty Emerging Leaders will be working on projects for AASL, ACRL, ALA-APA, ALCTS, ALSC, APALA, IRRT, MAGIRT, PLA, YALSA, and of course RUSA.

Last year’s RUSA Emerging Leader, Beth Boatright, worked on the RUSA “Library as Publisher” project. I am thrilled that myself and 4 other Emerging Leaders will be continuing this project and developing a toolkit for libraries interested in publishing. After our day-long workshop at ALA Midwinter in Boston I am confident when I say that the RUSA project project team is a dream team and that we are all incredibly excited to be working on this project.

Stay tuned for more updates as I will be posting to both RUSA Updates and RUSA News during my time as RUSA’s Emerging Leader. I also love to tweet and if you do too be sure to connect with me on Twitter @BiblioCatherine.

Catherine Damiani

RUSA Committee Reports

Emerging Leader

An Update from RUSA’s Emerging Leader

It has been a privilege to serve as RUSA’s Emerging Leader over the past year. Although the Emerging Leader program only runs from January through June, my experience as an “emerged” leader is ongoing. Here are a few updates:

  • RUSA’s Emerging Leader team presented our project about library publishing services at ALA Annual. (Read our report here) With the support of the RUSA board, we are developing plans for a program about publishing services in libraries for ALA Annual 2016. Many thanks to RSS for sponsoring this program! We also hope to develop a publication for RUSQ or another appropriate venue, ensuring that the insights from our research are available and discoverable in the future.
  • I have been bitten by the leadership bug! One of the biggest takeaways of my time as an Emerging Leader is the understanding that leadership is an option for everyone, whether or not you have an official administrative role in an organization. Applying leadership principles to my own career and life has helped me become a better librarian and a more satisfied, purposeful person. My research and reading about leadership in libraries and in business led to a recent publication called “How to Lead Your Library (When You’re Not In Charge)” in College and Undergraduate Libraries, and I had the opportunity to share these insights at a regional conference as well. I look forward to researching (and implementing) more insights about leadership in the future.
  • An important part of the Emerging Leaders program is helping early-career librarians find a niche in ALA. My niche is right here in RUSA! I love this organization and what we accomplish together – fostering excellent public services in every library. This year I have the opportunity to support our mission as a part of RUSA’s Professional Development Committee. Keep your eye out for some amazing webinars and courses this year! I’m also serving on ETS committees for professional development and planning, and I’m looking forward to running for office on next year’s ETS ballot.

Once again I’d like to thank the RUSA board for their sponsorship and the entire RUSA community for your support of my year as an Emerging Leader. I look forward to serving alongside you for years to come. The 2016 class of Emerging Leaders has just been announced, and I’m excited to see that RUSA will be sponsoring Catherine Damiani! Look for updates from Catherine here in RUSA Update next year.

Beth Boatright

RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee
RUSA’s Conference Program Coordinating Committee (CPCC) held an open online meeting on Oct. 28, 2015. During the meeting, the committee established four goals for the 2015-2016 year:

  1. Work with RUSA staff to revise the program submission form to ensure it: (1) provides the committee with the information it needs to make its selection decisions; and (2) provides individuals filling out the form with the information they need to bolster the chance that their submission will be approved.

Update: The committee has developed a mock-up of the previously used form. By Nov. 30, each member will provide recommended changes.

  1. Work with RUSA staff and RUSA Board to make sure the submission and approval process is clear to RUSA members and to RUSA’s sections. Pursue this by communicating clearly with RUSA Board and RUSA sections, by clarifying the call for proposals and by adding information to the proposal form itself.
  2. Work with RUSA’s Professional Development Committee and RUSA’s staff to develop a database of RUSA Learning Opportunities.

Update: RUSA’s Learning Archive Task Force has been created to meet this goal.

  1. Carefully evaluate program submissions and, when necessary, work with submitters to     improve the quality of the submissions.

Jason Coleman
RUSA CPCC Chair, 2015-2016

RUSA Membership Committee
RUSA 101 and 201 are starting up again!

  • 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.

Join us for RUSA 201 on Wednesday, November 18, and RUSA 101 on Wednesday, December 16. All will be helded at 4pm Eastern/3pm Central/2pm Mountain/1pm Pacific/12pm Alaska/11am Hawaii.

If you or your committee are interested in being featured, please drop me a line at agbrown@gwu.edu.


Ann Brown, chair

RUSA Learning Archive Task Force
In October, 2015 RUSA created a Learning Archive Task Force and charged it with creation of an archive of performance data about RUSA’s face-to-face and online learning-related programming. The task force held its first meeting on November 11, 2015 and set a tentative goal of presenting RUSA’s Board with a detailed proposal before the end of January, 2016 and completing the archive by the end of May, 2016.

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

Emerging Leader

An Update from RUSA’s Emerging Leader

What is going on with Libraries as Publishers?
Last January, I sat with a group of Emerging Leaders as we tried to figure out how to answer this question. Luckily, this particular team of librarians lacked neither ideas nor in enthusiasm. Several poster-sized sticky notes later, we had refined the question and made a plan. What are library publishing services, how are they supported, and what can RUSA do to help? We were determined to find out.

Over the next five months, RUSA’s team of Emerging Leaders met weekly to discuss our research. We developed a definition of library publishing services, found examples from around the world, and inventoried related resources and learning opportunities offered by ALA and other organizations. With this information in hand, we surveyed RUSA members and other librarians to find out what they think about library publishing services, learning opportunities, and RUSA’s involvement.

We discovered that libraries both within and outside of academia are offering many kinds of patron publishing support. Most of our survey respondents were interested in learning more about these services, especially through workshops, webinars, and standards or guidelines. Although ACRL provides ample support for academic library support of publishing, there is very little cohesive support for non-ACRL librarians. In fact, nearly 20% of our survey respondents indicated that they have never learned how to provide library publishing services. We determined that there is a need for resources and services that support library publishing beyond academia, and that RUSA could use this focus are to support its strategic agenda for recruitment, collaboration, and virtual participation. Our research culminated in an extensive report and a poster presentation at ALA Annual in San Francisco.

I had the privilege of presenting our report to RUSA’s Executive Board at Annual. The leadership will be moving forward our recommendations. Among them are opportunities for RUSA members to learn more about successful library publishing services – look for learning opportunities both online and face-to-face in the coming year. RUSA also hopes to engage a future team of Emerging Leaders in the task of developing a toolkit for libraries that want to support patron publishing.

It was a distinct pleasure to serve RUSA both as a sponsored Emerging Leader and as the first Emerging Leader team to work on a RUSA-sponsored project. The success of this project was only possible because of the dedication and talent of my teammates: Crystal Boyce, Sarah Espinosa, Angela Kent, and Rebecca Marrall. Elizabeth German and Linda Friend provided invaluable help as project sponsors. We’re also grateful to the entire RUSA Executive Board for their support and feedback, especially as we developed our survey.

I look forward to sharing more about my Emerging Leaders experience through RUSA Voices, and I would be happy to entertain questions about the program or our project. You can reach me at Beth.Boatright@ipfw.edu. You might also look for me at an upcoming conference – I hope to continue serving RUSA as an “emerged” leader for many years to come.

Beth Boatright

Emerging Leader

Greetings from RUSA’s 2015 Emerging Leader

I confess. I behaved unprofessionally when I found out I would be representing RUSA in the 2015 class of ALA Emerging Leaders. Excited young librarians had begun tweeting about their acceptances the day before, so I began preparing myself for the inevitable “thanks but no thanks” notification. When I opened an acceptance email instead, there were several minutes of untoward shouting, cheering, and jumping up and down.

The shock has worn off, but I’m still delighted to introduce myself as a 2015 Emerging Leader. My name is Beth Boatright, and I’m a Business and Emerging Technologies librarian at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. I’ve been active in RUSA for several years, serving on committees in MARS and BRASS and eventually accepting some committee-level leadership roles. RUSA has been an important part of my growth as a professional, and I am honored to be representing our organization as an Emerging Leader this year.

The Emerging Leaders program is an ALA initiative that helps fifty librarians develop their leadership potential, collaboration skills, and volunteerism. After a one-day training session at Midwinter, groups of emerging leaders tackle service projects for the Association. This year, teams will be working on projects for AASL, APALA, ALCTS, ALSC, GODORT, HRDR, LearnRT, NMRT, PLA, and RUSA. (If you don’t know what those acronyms are, it’s okay. ALA is a confusing place.) I’m proud to be serving on the RUSA project team. We are learning about libraries that provide publishing services, with the goal of discovering how RUSA might provide meaningful support for this area of librarianship.

The Emerging Leaders program has changed over the last several years, but most alumni agree that it’s up to each participant to make the most of the experience. I am working hard to develop my leadership and project management skills while I collaborate on RUSA’s project. I’m also hoping to find and foster relationships with librarians across ALA; our profession is full of amazing mentors, and I have a lot to learn. I’m grateful to RUSA for sponsoring my participation in this program.

I’m eager to share with you the ways that Midwinter exceeded my expectations and other updates from my Emerging Leaders experience. Watch RUSA News for new posts in the coming months!

Beth Boatright
2015 RUSA Emerging Leader

Emerging Leader

This year’s ALA Annual in Las Vegas was a bittersweet experience, because although the conference was wonderful it also signaled the end of my time in the Emerging Leaders program. I made some great connections with other librarians from across the country, particularly the four people on my project team. It’s odd not to talk to them each Thursday at our weekly meeting, which we previously had done for about six months.

Thank you again to RUSA for sponsoring me as your Emerging Leader; I’m still so grateful for this opportunity, which absolutely helped me to strengthen my leadership skills and to network with librarians outside of my direct geographical community. Now that I’m an Emerging Leaders alum I’ve already begun encouraging other librarians and LIS graduate students to apply!

Although I have graduated from the Emerging Leaders program I am still very involved with RUSA! I’m presenting interning on the RUSA Professional Development Committee. The project that I’m primarily working on is RUSA’s Free School Subcommittee, a project that aims to provide LIS graduate students opportunities to engage in professional development and to meet library practitioners.

I look forward to continuing my involvement with RUSA in the future!

Katelyn Angell
RUSA Emerging leader

Emerging Leader

A little less than a month ago I returned to New York from an amazing trip to Las Vegas for ALA Annual. It was a very enjoyable but also bittersweet experience, as the conference signaled the official end of a wonderful year in the Emerging Leaders (EL) program

My first full day at Annual was spent at an all-day EL event at the Las Vegas Hilton (where Elvis lived!). The agenda consisted of engaging talks by a variety of leaders within ALA, as well was a panel discussion featuring EL alumni. The program concluded with a poster session open to all ALA membership, in which each EL team shared a poster based upon our group projects.

I was part of Team B, a group of five tasked to work with ACRL’s Science & Technology Section (STS) to assist them in developing a virtual research collaboratory. My team was able to narrow a multitude of potential software solutions to three free collaboration tools, which we researched carefully and identified what we believed to be the optimal solution for their needs, a program called Wiggio.

It was very exciting to present a poster at ALA Annual- I’ve been in the profession for nearly five years and this was my first time presenting at Annual. I was pleased at how many people attended the poster session, and met a number of librarians outside the program who were interested in our project. I was able to share some advice and insight for other librarians looking to connect and conduct research across distance. I feel that I gained so much from participation in the EL program, in terms of both leadership skill development and introduction to over fifty other librarians committed to making a difference in the profession and the association.

Katelyn Angell
RUSA Emerging leader

Emerging Leader Update

Spring has been a very busy and productive time for me! I just returned from the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) in Sheffield, England, where I gave a presentation with a colleague, Eamon Tewell. We spoke about a library orientation program we implemented at LIU Brooklyn called The Amazing Library Race, a problem-based learning activity originating from the popular TV show The Amazing Race. LILAC was my first international library conference—it was great to meet and learn from librarians hailing from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds.

I’m presently hard at work with the other four members of my Emerging Leaders (EL) team on our poster project, which we’ll present at ALA Annual—the next conference on my horizon! We’re developing a virtual meeting space for ACRL’s Science & Technology Section (STS) and are exploring numerous proprietary and open source options. It’s exciting to reflect on how I’m part of the creation of this section’s virtual collaboratory; the hope is that it will be used to foster research connections among science and technology librarians. If you’re planning on attending ALA Annual in June please do feel free to stop by our booth at the poster session and learn more about our project’s past, present, and future!

Katelyn Angell
RUSA Emerging Leader, 2014

Emerging Leader

Last month I attended my first ever ALA Midwinter Meeting and it was an amazing experience! Although I’ve attended several ALA Annual conferences this was my first opportunity to check out Midwinter. As RUSA’s Emerging Leader (EL), it was a pleasure to meet many RUSA members and to attend one of the RUSA Board of Directors meetings. My first full day at Midwinter was spent at an EL orientation, where I met the fifty-five other ELs from around the country and was introduced to my project team. It was really inspiring to hear the wisdom and advice of numerous people involved in ALA leadership, including ALA Past-President Maureen Sullivan and current ALA President Barbara Stripling.

Upon returning home to Brooklyn after Midwinter my EL project group and I began to discuss our group project. We were selected to design a virtual collaboratory for the members of ACRL’s Science & Technology Section (STS). In brief, we will design an online meeting space where STS members can meet to collaborate on scholarly projects and share research ideas. We will be creating a poster explaining the project which we’ll present at ALA Annual in Vegas. Stay tuned for more!

Katelyn Angell
RUSA Emerging leader

Emerging Leader Report

I’m a reference and instruction librarian at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. Prior to my current position I worked at Sarah Lawrence College as a social sciences reference librarian. My research interests include games based library instruction, the organization of information, and community outreach, and recent publications include articles in Reference Services Review and Public Services Quarterly. I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree in psychology at LIU Brooklyn. I’m very excited to serve as an Emerging Leader, and look forward to representing RUSA.

Kate Angel
RUSA Emerging leader, 2014

Emerging Leader Report

Being a member of the 2013 ALA Emerging Leader Class has been a great experience. I truly appreciate this sponsorship. My group is currently preparing to present our poster session in June at the ALA Annual Conference. So far, we have been researching information about the ways adult learners learn and other issues surrounding adult education. We created a survey about adult learning and sent them out to LIRT members to complete. That information is being used to help create our four tutorials about adult learning.

Our poster session is scheduled for Friday, June 28, 2013 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. It will be held in the McCormick Place Convention Center, Room S405. We are looking forward to more leadership training and presenting our research in Chicago.

Alicia Finley
MLIS Graduate 2013
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Emerging Leader Report

As a proud participant of the 2013 ALA Emerging Leader Program I am working with my team to create adult learning tutorials. The project idea was created from the LIRT Committee. During the ALA Midwinter we met for a planning and training session that included meeting with member guides and staff liaisons. I am looking forward to transferring the skills learned for this project into other areas of my professional library work.

On Saturday, January 26th I attended the RUSA Board Meeting at Midwinter. The board members made me feel welcome at the committee meeting. That experience allowed me to observe and partake in group discussions. I am excited about working with committee members with an upcoming project.

I enjoyed attending other committee meetings such as LIRT. I also attended an informative meeting about the school media centers’ role in education. Most of the research came from Pennsylvania and Florida. The presentations highlighted the importance of having an effective school media program.

My final day at the conference started early with a sunrise program celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Jeanne Theoharis, a professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York was the keynote speaker and she discussed the life of activist, Rosa Parks, from her new book The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks. Dr. Theoharis talked about Mrs. Parks’s advocacy for justice for African Americans prior to her political stance on the bus in the days of Jim Crow south. The Call-to-Action speech came from Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. The professor urged the audience to work with male African American youth to help close the literacy achievement gap.

The finale was attending the Youth Media Awards and hearing the announcements of literary award winners. It was with great pleasure to see the committees who selected the books recognized also.

From my experience some of the themes of the conference felt to be about the growing need for advocacy for libraries, diversity, sustainability, and reaching out to disadvantaged youth. As a MLIS student I walked away feeling that much work is needed in the field of librarianship and I want to make a positive difference.

I must say that I am grateful for the RUSA sponsorship as I look forward to serving on the RUSA Committee. This experience has opened the door for new possibilities. I left the conference feeling energized and inspired about my chosen profession.

Alicia Finley
MLIS Graduate 2013
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Update from Emerging Leader

My Emerging Leaders group has been working on Chasing Reference, a blog for the members of RUSA to share ideas. We presented a poster about the blog at the Emerging Leaders poster session at 2012 Annual. Thanks to all of you who stopped by the poster. You all gave us wonderful feedback, suggestions, and encouragement. We’ll continue to post on the blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until Midwinter. After Midwinter, another group of Emerging Leaders will take over the upkeep of Chasing Reference.

We’re looking for guest writers to contribute posts for Chasing Reference. Chasing Reference covers a wide range of topics from mentorship to retraction in reference to readers advisory in academic libraries to celebrities who do research to collecting award winning books. If you have a program at your library that you want to highlight, or if there’s something related to reference or user services that’s been on your mind, Chasing Reference is a great place to share your thoughts and ideas. If you are interested in contributing, contact us at ChasingReference@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

I want to thank you all for your support during my time as the 2012 RUSA Emerging Leader. I’ve had a really wonderful experience with the Emerging Leaders program, and I’m very grateful to have become more involved in RUSA. ALA can be very overwhelming to a newcomer. I’m glad to have found my place in RUSA.

Emily Hamstra
2011-2012 Emerging leader