The Research & Statistics Committee of the Reference Services Section of the Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) invites the submission of reference service research project proposals for presentation at the 22nd Reference Research Forum at the 2016 American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. Researchers and practitioners from all types of libraries, library school faculty and students, and other interested individuals are encouraged to submit a proposal.

The Reference Research Forum is a popular and valuable ALA Annual Conference program. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about innovative research projects conducted in reference services including user behavior, electronic services, reference effectiveness and assessment, and organizational structure and personnel.

For examples of projects presented at past Forums, please see the Committee’s website:

The Committee employs a blind review process to select three projects for 20-minute presentations, followed by open discussion. Selected submissions must be presented in person at the Forum in Orlando, FL.

Criteria for selection:

1.      Originality: Potential for research to fill a gap in reference knowledge or to build on previous studies

2.      Quality: Research design and methodologies

3.      Impact: Significance of the study for improving the quality of reference service

NOTE: Research projects may be in-progress or completed. Previously published research or research accepted for publication will not be accepted.

Important Dates:

Proposals are due by December 28th, 2015. Notification of acceptance will be made by Monday, February 8th, 2016.
The submission must not exceed two pages. Please include:

Submission Details:

PAGE 1: Cover Sheet (1 page maximum)
Include your name(s), title(s), institutional affiliation(s), mailing address(es), and email address(es).

PAGE 2: Research Description (1 page maximum)
The second page must not show your name, any personal information, or the name of your institution. Instead, it must include:

1.      Title of the project

2.      Explicit statement of the research problem

3.      Description of the research design and methodologies

4.      Findings or results if available

5.      Brief discussion of the originality, unique contribution, potential impact, and significance of the research
(if you use semi colons between itemsin a list, you need to make sure the entire list is a complete sentence.)

Proposals that exceed 2 pages or that do not follow the format described above will be automatically rejected.
Please submit your proposal as a PDF document. Thank you for your cooperation in following submission rules.

Please send submissions by email to:
Elizabeth Kocevar-Weidinger
Learning Services Librarian
Howard Community College


Exclusive and Valuable RUSA Programs at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference

Smart investing@your library®: Actively Engaging Your Audience
Smart investing@your library ® aligns with the emerging, transitional role of library services in communities. Libraries across the country are meeting the need and growing demand for financial literacy education and resources. Learn about replicable model programs and materials that take an active learning approach to personal finance.  We’ll take you beyond the workshop series and share innovative approaches that attract audiences and build sustainable financial literacy programs. Add to my schedule.


  • Tracy Delgado-La Stella, Middle Country Public Library, NY
  • Sophie Young, Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, AL
  • Ryan Stacy, Monroe County Public Library, IN
  • Ashley Barrineau, Virginia Beach Public Library, VA
  • Sheila Burnett, San Diego Public Library, CA

Moderator: Margaret Monsour

Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015. Time: 10:30 – 11:30 AM. Location: Moscone Convention Center, 3001 West

The Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Forum – Reading into the Future: Tips and Tools for Staying on Top of the Book World
The Reader’s Advisory Research and Trends Forum explores the cutting edge of Reader’s Advisory (RA) services, bringing noted experts from a wide range of fields together to explore the future of reading and the ways librarians connect readers to their next favorite books. Sponsored by the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of RUSA.


  • Stephanie Anderson, Head of Reader Services, Darien Library (CT)
  • Nora Rawlinson, Co-founder and Editorof EarlyWord
  • David Wright, Reader Services Librarian, The Seattle Public Library

Moderator: Stephen Sposato, Manager, Content Curation, Chicago Public Library

Date: Saturday, June 27, Time: 10:30 – 11:30 AM, Location: Moscone Convention Center2016 West, Add to my schedule

Whacking the Weeds in the Library: Deaccessioning Print and Digital Materials in the 21st Century and Beyond
This program will include a public, academic, and community college librarian to discuss strategies for weeding/deaccessioning materials in their libraries and how to do so in ways that make providing user services more effective. Sponsored by the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of RUSA.

Date: Saturday, June 27, Time: 1:00 – 2:30 PM, Location: Moscone Convention Center, 2012 West, Add to my schedule

Connecting Communities: Documenting and Sharing Asian American Heritage
This program will be a panel discussion about Asian American Records and Local History. Co-sponsored by Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and the History Section (HS) of RUSA.


  • Michelle Caswell, Co-Founder of the South Asian American Digital Archive, Assistant Professor of Archival Studies at University of California– Los Angeles.
  • Florante Ibanez, Author, Manager of Library Computer Services at William M. Rains Library, Loyola Law School
  • Shelley Fisher Fishkin, The Joseph S. Atha Professor in Humanities, Stanford University, Co-Director of Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University.
Moderator: Jenna Makowski,  Asian-American Products Editor, Alexander Street Press

Date: Saturday, June 27, Time: 1:00 – 2:30 PM, Location: Moscone Convention Center, 2004 West, Add to my schedule

The Core: A Year (Or More!) In, How Does This Affect Librarians?
Find out the answers to these timely questions:

  • How has the Common Core impacted our jobs, including outreach, collection development decisions (including budgeting), information literacy strategies, and workload as a whole?
  • Has the Common Core increased information literacy/instruction portion of our jobs?
  • Have libraries developed specific working strategies as a result of the common core?
  • What are some recommendations or caveats to a new librarian not experienced in the Common Core?
  • Do teachers work differently with libraries? How has that impacted the librarian / teacher relationship?
  • How has the Common Core impacted students’ levels of information literacy?
  • Do you think the Common Core will better prepare students for college level information-based research?

Sponsored by the Reference Services Section (RSS) of RUSA.

Date: Sunday, June 28, Time: 10:30 – 11:30 AM, Location: Moscone Convention Center, 2003 West, Add to my schedule

21st Annual Reference Research Forum
The Reference Research Forum continues to be one of the most popular and valuable programs during the ALA Annual Conference, where attendees can learn about notable projects conducted in the broad area of reference services such as user behavior, electronic services, reference effectiveness and assessment, and organizational structure and personnel. Sponsored by the Reference Services Section (RSS) of RUSA.

Date: Sunday, June 28, Time: 10:30 – 11:30 AM, Location: Moscone Convention Center, 2014 WestAdd to my schedule

Acquisitions, Collection Development, Electronic Resources, and Interlibrary Loan (ILL), Oh My! Connecting Users to What They Want!
A lightning round session covering the following topics:

  • How demand driven acquisition of physical and electronic books affect interlibrary loan
  • What Occam’s Reader can do to allow interlibrary loan of electronic books
  • Outline the changes made by one Interlibrary Loan department to adapt to the current ILL environment
  • How patron ILL requests influence collection development

Sponsored by the Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources (STARS) of RUSA.


  • Jennifer Duncan, Head of Collection Development, Utah State University
  • Teresa Hazen, Technical Services Librarian, University of Arizona
  • Linda Dols, Manager, Resource Sharing and Streaming Services, University of Arizona
  • Ryan Litsey, Occam’s Reader Project Manager, Assistant Librarian, Document Delivery, Texas Tech University

Date: Sunday, June 28, Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM, Location: Moscone Convention Center, 2002 West, Add to my schedule

Not Elsewhere Classified:  Different Approaches to Researching Emerging Industries
Find out how librarians teach business students and entrepreneurs the research techniques for a budding industry or market. Learn how to help our clients get ahead of an emerging industry or with a new idea.  Experts will enlighten participants on how to locate and evaluate information on leading-edge industries, assess markets, and lead your clients in making strategic decisions when their business crosses traditional NAICS code boundaries or is part of a new or soon-to-be existing field. Sponsored by the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA.
Speaker: Laura Young, Founding Partner, and CEO of Bizologie

Date: Monday, June 29, Time: 8:00 – 10:00 AM, Location: Moscone Convention Center, 2022 WestAdd to my schedule

Advocating for a Library Future
How do we protect our libraries for future generations? Despite overwhelming community support for libraries, budget cuts have reduced hours and services; prompted layoffs, hiring freezes, and deprofessionalization; and threatened collections and locations. Learn how library workers have united with patrons and the community to preserve adequately staffed libraries and expand essential services in a “more with less” environment. Sponsored by RUSA.


  • Axel E. Borg, Vice President for Legislation, University Council-American Federation of Teachers
  • Miki Goral, Secretary-Treasurer, UC-AFT ; Vice-President, California Federation of Teachers, University Council – American Federation of Teachers
  • Bob Muscat, Executive Director, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21
  • Andrea Prebys-Williams, Executive Assistant, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21
  • Jennifer Dorning, Department for Professional Employees, AFLCIO
  • Aliqae Geraci, ILR Research Librarian and Assessment Coordinator , Cornell University Library

Date: Monday, June 29, Time: 10:30 – 11:30 AM, Location: Moscone Convention Center, 2002 West, Add to my schedule

Call for 2016 MW Institute, AC Program & Preconference Proposals

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) is now accepting institute, preconference and program proposals for the 2016 Midwinter Meeting in Boston and the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando.

Proposals will be accepted online through 11:59 p.m. Central on May 11, 2015. Faxed, e-mailed or mailed proposals will not be accepted.

Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate section for approval before being entered in the proposal system online (see instructions below for entering approved section proposals). For more information about how to submit a proposal to a RUSA section, please contact the section chair. Section chair contact information can be found in the Section Executive Committee rosters here.

Session topics should showcase emerging trends and examples of driving change in the areas of reference services including but not limited to: marketing library services, advocacy, special populations, collection development, evaluation, readers’ advisory, instruction, business reference, emerging technologies, interlibrary loan and resource sharing, genealogy and historical research and more!

The RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee will review, organize and recommend for final approval to the RUSA Board all submitted section-approved proposals and select sessions based on their relevance to the profession and general interest to conference attendees who work in reference services at the 2015 annual conference.

Instructions for approved section proposal submission: Once your proposal is approved by the section, it should be entered here. Once you’ve logged in, click on “Click here to begin a new Proposal.”  Note that there is an option to propose a tour; all tours must be proposed in this system.

Since this is our first year using it, we’d appreciate any constructive feedback from users about the new program proposal system set up by ALA.

For more information, contact the RUSA office at or (800) 545-2433, ext. 4395.

Don’t Be Left Out In The Cold!


RUSA Midwinter Social 
What better way to kick off the new year than having an opportunity to eat, drink, catch up with old friends, make new friends, and learn more about RUSA!  Past, present and future RUSA members are all invited to this event, which will be held Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 5:30 to 7:00 PM at the Hilton-Chicago, Williford B. Add to my Schedule.

Book and Media Awards
This year we are featuring speaker, local Chicago author, Margaret Hawkins, who wrote Lydia’s Party (Viking, 2013). The Book and Media Awards reception is one of RUSA’s signature events at Midwinter, co-sponsored with our CODES section. We will share the results of our member volunteers’ hard work selecting the best publications of the year and honor those who have won awards relating to book reviewing, promotion, or publishing. The reception is a lovely event, a great party and our way to thank member volunteers for their hard work and a celebration of the best books and resources of the year. The reception will be held on Sunday, February 1, 2015 – 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the Hilton-Chicago, Williford. Past, present and future RUSA members are invited! Add to my schedule.

RUSA Leadership Development and Speed Mentoring Session
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 on Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 3:30 to 5:30 PM at the Hilton-Chicago, Waldorf. Add to my schedule.


Strategic Planning Session
Friday, January 30, 2015; 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
McCormick Place – West 192a
Add to my Schedule

Board of Directors Meeting I and II
Board I – Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 1:30 to 3:30 PM, Hilton-Chicago – Grand Tradition
Board II – Monday, February 2, 2015 – 2:00 to 4:00 PM, MCP – W195
Add to my Schedule

Executive Committee Meeting
Friday, January 31, 2015 – 3:00 to 4:00 PM, Blackstone Renaissance Mayor’s Boardroom
Add to my Schedule

Budget and Finance Meeting
Sunday, February 1, 2015 – 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM, Hilton-Chicago Boulevard C
Add to my Schedule