RUSA Spring and Summer Online Course Schedule

A full slate of online professional development opportunities awaits you this summer, thanks to RUSA, the home for reference and readers’ advisory within the American Library Association.

RUSA’s online courses are scheduled for the following dates this summer:

Genealogy 101, May 17 – June 18

This new course is designed for reference staff with little to no experience in genealogy. Using a case study to frame the coursework, participants will learn about tools and techniques they can use to confidently assist patrons with family history research. A review of archival material, print reference tools and online sources is included in the curriculum. Jack Simpson, curator of Local and Family History at the Newberry Library in Chicago and co-creator of, will teach the course.

Business Reference 101, May 10 – June 4

Appropriate for librarians and library staff of all types who wish to acquire business reference expertise, Business Reference 101 will demystify such topics as SIC, NAICS codes, ROI and 10ks. Students will also have access to such proprietary business reference databases as Standard & Poor’s Net Advantage and Gale Cengage’s Business & Company Resource Center. This consistently sold-out course will be taught by Celia Ross, chair of RUSA’s Brass section and an experienced facilitator and practitioner in the business reference field.

The Reference Interview, April 19 – May 21

This comprehensive course covers such reference interview topics  as cultivating an approachable reference environment, successful questioning and listening techniques and appropriate follow-up methods. Staff of all levels at all types of libraries will find this content, presented in a multi-media format, helpful in their day-to-day engagement with library patrons. Instructor David Tyckoson, associate dean at the Henry Madden Library, Cal State—Fresno and immediate past-president of RUSA, has an extensive resume in the field and was awarded the 2005 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.

Readers’ Advisory 101, June 28 – Aug. 14

Through practice sessions, participants learn how to use RA tools, craft annotations, read in genres, articulate appeal and experiment with methods to offer RA services. Readers’ Advisory 101 is tailored for those at all types of libraries—support staff, library technicians, newly hired reference librarians and those librarians who want to brush up on their skills. The topics covered are introductory in nature. Course instructor Joyce Saricks is the author of “Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library (3rd ed., ALA, 2005) and “Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction (2nd ed., ALA, 2009), and is active in sharing her RA expertise with others through workshops, her monthly Booklist column and teaching courses at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library Science.

All courses will be administered using Moodle, an online course management tool. Online learning offers flexibility for busy professional schedules and facilitates interaction between instructors and students with weekly assignments, discussion boards and chat sessions.

Online registration is now open for all of these opportunities, with significant cost savings for RUSA members. Registration is $130 for RUSA members; $175 for ALA members; $210 for non-members and $100 for student/retiree members of ALA. Visit RUSA’s professional development information page for detailed course information, or go straight to the online registration page for these courses. Information about group registration discounts for those libraries or library systems with two or more employees participating in the same course is available from Liz Markel, RUSA marketing specialist, at

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.