Archive for Reference Works

Two Institutes hosted by RUSA at the 2016 Midwinter Meeting.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) will host two Institutes, Reference Interview” and “History Genealogy Workshop on Friday, January 8, 2016 during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

“Reference Interview” will take place from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.on Friday, Jan. 8. RUSA’s live and in-person all day workshop will provide you with some techniques that will enable you to better assist your users-and help you figure out what it is that they really need when they ask a question. Two expert reference librarians (one public librarian and one academic librarian) will give you tips that will make you more approachable, a better communicator and help make your users more willing to return.

This event requires advance ticket purchase, but registration for the 2016 Midwinter Meeting is not required in order to purchase a ticket. Register here.

History Genealogy Workshop” will take place from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.on Friday, Jan. 8. RUSA’s *free workshop will help librarians of all types learn techniques to better serve the genealogists and family historians who use their collections. This can include better understanding of genealogy research methods and sources. It can also include how libraries can leverage their unique holdings to become more relevant to genealogists, who tend to be passionate in their support of libraries that have useful materials. Lunch provided and sponsored by ProQuest. *This is a free workshop, but you must register here:

Membership in RUSA is not required in order to participate, but RUSA members receive the best registration rates on all of these events; learn more about RUSA and join today.

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2016 RUSA Achievement Awards: Call for Nominations and Submissions

Beginning Sept. 1, 2015 the RUSA is seeking nominations for its annual series of awards and grants. Nominations and supporting materials for most awards must be submitted by Dec. 4, 2015.

RUSA encourages members to nominate their colleagues whose work has influenced their thinking and performance and whose contributions merit recognition by the profession. With over $30,000 generously donated annually by industry sponsors, RUSA has, and will continue to, nominate, select and honor the very best in the field of reference and user services.

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.

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. $3,000* and a citation.

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

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. Sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, the winner receives a plaque.

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. Sponsored by Reference Service Press; $2,500* and a plaque.

BRASS Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business librarianship. $3,000* and a citation.

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. Sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers; 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.

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

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. Sponsored by OCLC; $2,000* and a citation.

Travel awards to the ALA Annual Conference:

BRASS 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. This award’s nomination deadline is Jan. 15, 2016.

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. Sponsored by Global Financial Data; $1,250* and a citation.

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. Sponsored by Morningstar, Inc.; $1,250* and a citation.

STARS Atlas Systems Mentoring Award offers ALA Annual Conference travel assistance funds to a library practitioner who is 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. Sponsored by Atlas Systems; $1,250* and a citation.

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. Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning; $2,500* and a citation.

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

*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—access committee contact information by logging in at, then accessing the RUSA roster webpage—or to the RUSA headquarters staff.

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

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RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section selects achievement award and grant winners

The Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of RUSA has selected the winners of the 2015 achievement awards, research and travel grants that recognize the profession’s most exceptional librarians, libraries and projects involving business reference services today.

The Academic Business Librarianship Travel Award, which consists of a citation and $1,250, is awarded to an individual new to the field of academic business librarianship in order to support attendance to the ALA Annual Conference. Grace Liu, business reference librarian at the University of Maine, was selected as this year’s recipient.

The Emerald Research Grant Award, sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing, consists of one $5,000 grant awarded to an individual or team seeking funding support to conduct research in business librarianship. Jason Dewland, assistant librarian and Cindy Elliott, engineering and innovation librarian, University of Arizona were selected for their study, “Review of Research Methods Employed by Start-Ups,” which will identify networks of new businesses that can be targeted for data collection and to identify the research practices and information needs of new start-up businesses.

The Gale Cengage Learning Excellence in Business Librarianship Award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, offers $3,000 to a librarian providing outstanding business reference services. Peter Z. McKay, business librarian, University of Florida is this year’s winner for his innovative development of online business collection development, instructional resources, service to BRASS and his invaluable contributions to the profession.

The Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, offers $1,250 in travel funds to the ALA Annual Conference and a one year BRASS membership to a student in an accredited MLIS program. Sara F. Hess, MLIS candidate, University of Michigan School of Information, was named as this year’s recipient.

The Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award, sponsored by Morningstar, offers $1,250 to a public librarian providing business reference services so they may attend the ALA Annual Conference. Barbara Alvarez, business liaison librarian, Barrington Area Library (Illinois) was selected for her extensive range of activities in support of the local business community, including one-on-one appointments to assist business professionals and entrepreneurs, podcasts, as well as maintaining a business blog and a SlideShare account with business database tutorials.

“Congratulations to this year’s BRASS award winners. We look forward to celebrating with them in June at the RUSA Awards Reception. I would like to sincerely thank the members of our award committees for their hard work in selecting the winners and to all of our generous sponsors for their support,” said BRASS Chair Todd Hines. “We know that vendors have many options for spending their outreach money and we are extremely appreciative to the BRASS award sponsors: Gale Cengage Learning, Emerald Group Publishing and Morningstar.”

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RUSA’s History Section names winners of projects for excellence in historical and genealogical research

The History Section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has named the winners of three achievement awards which honor outstanding service and contributions to the fields of historical and genealogical research.

“Quality historical research takes many forms in this modern age. The History Section’s achievement awards seek to identify and promote the authors, researchers and projects of some of the best historical collections and bibliographies on the Internet and in print,” said Jenny Presnell, Chair of the History Section. “Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you to the members of the award committees for your hard work and to our sponsors, for their generous and continued support.”

The Gale Cengage Learning History Research and Innovation Award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, offers $2,500 and a citation to a librarian in need of funds to facilitate and/or further research in history or historical librarianship. David J. Gary, Kaplanoff Librarian for American History, Yale University Library was selected as this year’s winner for his project “Toward a Sociology of Knowledge: The History of Acknowledgment Pages in American History Monographs,” which will “take thousands of acknowledgement pages from e-books and hand-selected acknowledgements since 2000 and use the methodology of the digital humanities to analyze them en masse,” said Gary.

The ABC-CLIO Online History Award, a bi-annual award of $2,500 sponsored by ABC-CLIO, 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. Joanne Murray,Historian and Director, The Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine, was selected for her work as Principal Investigator of the online history project called “Doctor or Doctress?: Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians.”
The first runner up was Jason Roe for “The Civil War on the Western Frontier”; the second runner up was Robin Katz for

The Genealogical Publishing Company Award, sponsored by Genealogical Publishing Company, offers $1,500 and a citation to a librarian or library in recognition of their professional achievement in historical or genealogical reference, service or research. Michael Kirley, retired librarian from Los Angeles Public Library History & Genealogy Department after 39 years of service (1970-2009) was chosen for single-handedly building the Genealogy Collection at the Los Angeles Public Library, which consists of more than 50,000 volumes of individual family histories in addition to more than 2,500 circulating books about genealogical research, heraldry and related subjects.

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