New issue published: Reference and User Services Quarterly, Volume 53, Issue 1

Read the new issue now

Need to activate your subscription to RUSQ? Access information is on the RUSA website.

In this issue…


From the Editor, Barry Trott
       Suggestions for Authors Considering Publishing in RUSQ
From the President of RUSA, M. Kathleen Kern
       I’m a Chair, but I Feel Like a Folding Chair.
Taking Issues, eds Karen Antell and Molly Strothmann
       Should Librarians Friend Their Patrons?
       Nedda H. Ahmed and Adriana Edwards-Johnson
Accidental Technologist, ed. Eric Phetteplace
      Know Thy Users
      Amanda Etches, Guest Columnist
Readers’ Advisory, ed. Laurel Tarulli
       Social Media and Readers’ Advisory: A Win-Win Combination?
       Rebecca Anwyll and Brenda Chawner, Guest Columnists
The Alert Collector, ed. Kelly Myer Polacek
       The World at 1200: A Guide to Introductory Sources
       Amanda Qualls, Guest Columnist
Management, ed. Marianne Ryan
      Access Services–Check Us Out!
      Beth E. Clausen, Guest Columnist
Information Literacy and Instruction, ed. Lisa O’ Connor
Establishing Twenty-First Century Information Literacy
Jennifer Sharkey, guest Columnist


Information Literacy Skills of Humanities, Arts and Social Science Tertiary Students in Singapore
      Schubert Foo, xue Zhang, yun-Ke Chang, Shaheen Majid,
Intan Azura Mokhtar, Joanna Sin, and yin-Leng Theng
Arcane Magic: Hal Hall and the Creation and Transformation of Science Fiction Indexing
      Sarah Potvin and Catherine Coker
Arizona Public Libraries Serving the Spanish-Speaking: Context for Changes
      Denice Adkins and C. Sean Burns

From the Committees of RUSA

MARS Best Free Reference Websites, 15th Annual List


Professional Materials, ed. Karen Antell Reference
Book Reviews, ed. Tammy Eschedor Voelker

How is BRASS like the Oscars?

Call for Nominations – Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship

(A message from award committee member, Bobray Bordelon)

Dear Colleagues,

For those of us in BRASS and/or the field of business librarianship—the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship is like the BRASS Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars!  We honor an individual who has made significant contributions in the field business librarianship.

So please take a look around your professional life and reflect on what contribution to business librarianship has made an impact on your professional career.  Now is the time to honor this person for their important contribution with a nomination for this prestigious award. Our sponsor is Gale Cengage Learning.

The recipient will receive a $3000 cash award and a citation. The award and citation will be presented at the RUSA Awards ceremony at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas June 26-July 1, 2014!

Applicants for this award will be evaluated based on their contribution to the field of business librarianship. These contributions may include, but are not limited to: authorship of a seminal book or articles in business librarianship; development of an imaginative and successful program centered around business within a library; teaching business librarianship in a particularly creative and substantive manner; and displaying strong leadership in a professional association geared to business librarianship.


To submit a nomination, please download and complete the nomination form, and follow the submission instructions therein.  For more information, please visit the award page at

Please email or mail the nomination packet by DECEMBER 15, 2013, to the Committee Chair, Mark E Andersen.

Mark E Andersen
Division Chief
Business Science Technology
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street, 4N-7A
Chicago, IL  60605
(p) 312.747.4470

(Drum roll)…  And the Oscar Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship goes to…stay tuned!

Remember, if you don’t nominate that significant contributor in our field, they can’t be considered for this award!

More information about these awards, including nominating instructions, can be found at the RUSA Awards Web page. 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 the committee chairperson or to Leighann Wood, RUSA awards program coordinator at

Read it Now: RSS Review from Reference Services Section

Check out the most recent issue of RSS Review, news from RUSA’s Reference Services Section!
Download the PDF of the most recent issue.

In this issue…

  • A new partnership: YARS (Young Adult Reference Services) is a brand new joint committee with YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association).

  • Stay tuned: The RSS Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee is co-sponsoring a webinar on promoting reference products!

  • For today’s reference librarian’s toolkit: The Job and Career Reference Committee is moving forward with a wiki open to interested librarians and a list-serv for librarians interested in Job & Career reference.
  • Members have spoken: Library Services to an Aging Population committee agrees to update Guidelines to reflect current best practices.
  • Se habla español en la biblioteca? Guidelines for Library Services to Spanish-Speaking Library Users may be due for an update.
  • Get involved! See how you can volunteer and make a difference.

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.

The largest section of RUSA, RSS represents the interests of frontline librarians, information specialists, and library support staff engaged in all aspects of reference and information service across all types of libraries. Learn more about the section at

RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at

Librarian by day, backup for Gorbachev by night: Q&A with Barry Trott

Over the next several weeks we will be highlighting members of RUSA’s Board of Directors. Take a minute and get to know our fantastic leaders!

Meet Barry, RUSA Ex-Officio member. He’s a lean, mean, guitar/banjo/mandolin/-playing machine! If you’d like to reach Barry and discuss RUSA and/or bluegrass, you may reach him at the email address listed at the end of this post.

Barry Trott
Digital Services Director
Williamsburg (VA) Regional Library
Editor, Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ)

Barry Trott
Barry Trott

What are you currently reading or listening to?
Re-reading Fred Chappell’s Brighten the Corner Where You Are; Listening to John Reischman’s Walk Along John.

What is the most interesting “reference” question you’ve ever been asked? (reference in quotes to allow for some flexibility in answering the question)
For me it is always the next question to come along. One thing I love about reference work in the public library is the wide variety of fascinating questions that come along over the course of a day on the desk. Everything that you read or learn about will at some point be useful to you in responding to a user query.

Tell us about your current role at your library, and maybe a little bit about your career path, too.
I have worked as a reference librarian, readers’ services librarian, and Adult Services Director before coming to my current role. Now, I coordinate library-wide projects dealing with the intersection of people and technology, including social media, library website, digital collections from ebooks to magazines to databases, and digital marketing tools. And I oversee Technical Services. Before going to library school, I worked for 12 years as a musician, and prior to that got my BA in Biology, so a typical reference librarian career.

Describe a particularly rewarding experience in your library career.
Being involved in RUSA has been one of the most rewarding things for me. I have been able to meet and work with librarians from all sort of libraries–public, academic, special, and school–and have learned a lot from all of them. That would not have been possible without RUSA.

Give one fun fact about yourself—can be personal or professional.
I have played music for and shaken hands with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Any hobbies?
Music, woodworking.

Why did you join RUSA (and/or sections)?
To have the chance to meet and work with other librarians who are passionate about what they do.

How has RUSA helped you in your career?
Membership in RUSA has given me great ideas, a place to share concerns and new thoughts on the profession, and introduced me to many folks who I count not only as colleagues but as friends.

What are some of the RUSA activities you’ve participated in?
CODES Readers’ advisory committee, several award committees, CODES Board, RUSA Board, RUSA President, RUSQ Editor, RUSA membership committee.

If you’re open to having RUSA members connecting with you directly, provide an e-mail address and/or phone number where they can reach you.
I am happy to talk to RUSA members, email at