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Deadline for RUSA webinar and online proposals extended to October 31, 2016

The Reference and User Services Association, (RUSA) seeks proposals for webinars and online courses. The proposals must be submitted by October 31, 2016 for presentation November 2016 to August 2017.

Submit webinar proposals using this online proposal form; there is a separate submission form for online courses.

 Successful online learning proposals will:

  • Show plans for content and presentation strategies that will fill the allotted time: 60-75 minutes for webinars, and 4-6 weeks for courses;
  • Identify clear learning outcomes for participants;
  • Clearly illustrate the qualifications of the presenter(s)/instructor(s) with respect to the proposed topic;
  • Show how the presentation addresses a topic either of interest to RUSA members, or represents an area of RUSA’s expertise that benefits other types of librarians, and is unique from other available online learning offerings.

RUSA serves librarians in all types of libraries in reference, user services, adult readers advisory, collection development, resource sharing, genealogy and archives, business reference and reference technology.

The following topics are of great value and interest, though RUSA welcomes submissions presenting on other topics, as well:

  • advocating for reference
  • book reviewing
  • collection development
  • collection marketing
  • community partnerships
  • copyright in the digital age
  • creating a single service point (vs. multiple service points in a single facility)
  • e-books
  • embedded librarians
  • forming and leading a book discussion group
  • fundraising
  • genealogy
  • government data and related resources
  • hot topics in readers advisory
  • information literacy
  • instructional design,
  • interlibrary loan
  • job searching and related resources
  • library marketing and display ideas.
  • library programs
  • library spaces and assessing future needs
  • marketing
  • outreach
  • partnerships among different types of libraries
  • reference basics
  • reference for specialized audiences
  • research, trends in the field
  • resource development
  • special collections
  • standards and guidelines
  • technology advisory
  • tips and tutorials for relevant tech tools
  • writing annotations

Review RUSA’s current online learning offerings, including webinars and courses, at the RUSA website, and also get more information about the proposal process.

Presenters for accepted proposals will receive compensation for their time and will also receive training for Adobe Connect, RUSA’s online webinar presentation software, and support for Moodle, the online course platform.

Questions about RUSA’s online learning can be sent to Jennifer Cross, RUSA web manager at

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Call for nominations: RUSA achievement awards and grants

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Call for Nominations

Beginning September 1, 2016, RUSA will open the nomination period for its annual series of achievement awards and grants. Nominations and supporting materials for most awards must be submitted by December 9, 2016**.

RUSA encourages members to nominate their colleagues whose work has influenced their thinking and performance and whose outstanding contributions merit recognition by the profession. RUSA has, and will continue to, nominate, select and honor the very best in the field of reference and user services with the continued support of industry sponsors.

Achievement awards for individuals and groups:

Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, RUSA’s highest honor, recognizes an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of reference librarianship. $5,000* and a citation. Sponsored by Credo.

ReferenceUSA Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services is given to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons’ reference needs. $1,500* and a citation. Sponsored by ReferenceUSA.

NoveList’s Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award recognizes a librarian who has made significant contributions to library adult services. $1,250* and a citation. Sponsored by NoveList.

John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. The winner receives a plaque. Sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO,

Reference Service Press Award recognizes the most outstanding article published in Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), RUSA’s research journal, during the preceding two-volume year. $2,500* and a plaque. Sponsored by Reference Service Press.

BRASS Mergent Excellence in Business Librarianship Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business librarianship. $4,000* and a citation. Sponsored by Mergent.

Louis Shores Award recognizes an individual reviewer, group, editor, review medium or organization for excellence in book reviewing and other media for libraries. The winner receives a citation.

Zora Neale Hurston Award honors an individual ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. The winner receives $1,250* supporting travel to the ALA Annual Conference, a beautiful plaque, two tickets to the United for Libraries author events: The Gala Author Tea and The Laugh’s On Us, and two complete sets of Zora Neale Hurston’s books and audiobooks. Sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers.

ETS Achievement Recognition Award is a citation presented annually in recognition of excellence in service to the Emerging Technologies Section of RUSA. The winner receives a citation.

Genealogy/History Achievement Award is presented to a librarian, library or publisher who recognizes professional achievement in historical reference and research librarianship. $1,500* and a citation. Sponsored by ProQuest.

Online History Award
The Online History Award is offered every other year beginning in 2005. Awarded to a publisher of reference materials in the field of history, the award recognizes the accomplishments of a person or a group of people producing (1) a freely available online historical collection, or (2) an online tool tailored for the purpose of finding historical materials, or (3) an online teaching aid stimulating creative historical scholarship. A monetary prize* and citation are presented.

RSS Service Achievement Award is presented annually to a member of the Reference Services Section (RSS) of RUSA in recognition of exceptional contributions to the section. The winner receives a citation.

Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award is given to an individual for his or her outstanding professional achievement, leadership, and contributions to interlibrary loan and document delivery. $2,000* and a citation. Sponsored by OCLC.

Travel awards to ALA Annual Conference in Chicago :

BRASS SimplyMap Student Travel Award presents funds to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master’s degree program to fund travel the ALA Annual Conference. $1,250* and a citation. Sponsored by SimplyMap. **This award’s nomination deadline is Jan. 29, 2017.

BRASS Global Financial Data Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award is presented to a new librarian in the field of academic business librarianship in order to support attendance to the ALA Annual Conference. $1,250* and a citation. Sponsored by Global Financial Data.

Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award offers funds to a public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and who requires financial assistance to attend the ALA Annual Conference. $1,250* and a citation. Sponsored by Morningstar, Inc.

STARS Atlas Systems Mentoring Award offers ALA Annual Conference travel assistance funds to two library practitioners who are new to the field of interlibrary loan/document delivery or electronic reserves, and who has involvement in the areas of borrowing, lending, document delivery, electronic reserves, material delivery or resource sharing. $1,250* and a citation for each winner. Sponsored by Atlas Systems.

Research grants:

Gale Cengage Learning History Research and Innovation Award is granted to an MLS degreed librarian from an ALA accredited school to facilitate and further research relating to history and history librarianship. $2,500* and a citation. Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning.

BRASS Emerald Research Grant Award, is presented to an individual or group seeking support to conduct research in business librarianship. $5,000* and a citation. Sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing.

*Monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented.

Questions about these awards should be directed to Leighann Wood, Sr. Program Officer,

More information about these awards, including nominating instructions, can be found on RUSA’s awards webpage.

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#nameRUSA: Give Us Your Feedback! Today is the last day!


  • TODAY is the last day to fill out the survey:
  • Encourage others to fill it out by sharing #nameRUSA and the survey link on your favorite social media sites.

RUSA members represent a wide variety of interests and professional activities, including readers’ advisory, interlibrary loan, genealogy, user experience and all kinds of library public services.  Many of us once identified as reference librarians, but recognize that our membership is changing in addition to our professional roles. We find ourselves wondering how best to brand ourselves and the services we provide.

Our association name is important and we need your help.  We want to make sure that our association continues to support and represent our members’ needs and interests, while also speaking to potential members.  We want to also encourage participation from non-members.

Thanks to those of you who have participated in this process. Stay tuned for news in the coming months about the results of this survey and next steps in the process.

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IAMRUSA New Podcast Interview: Joe Thompson

RUSA’s next podcast in our popular series is now available! Interviewed by Patricia Valdovinos, RUSA’s Spectrum Intern, Joe Thompson, RUSA’s past-past president, has worked in libraries for 24 years. He talks about how he started and ended up where he is. From circulation assistant to Senior Administrator, Public Services, for Harford County Public Library in Belcamp MD, Joe and his staff just opened a new branch with an interactive early literacy center (Schooner Cove), and will eventually offer 3D printers to the public. Listen to more here.

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