The Fall 2015 issue of RUSA Update is now available!

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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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Ready to Submit a Proposal for a RUSA Webinar or Online Course?

Call for Proposals: RUSA seeks submissions for new webinars and online courses by September 18, 2015:

Access the online webinar submission form here.

Download a PDF of the webinar form to help you prepare your submission.

Access the online course submission form here.

Download a PDF of the online course form to help you prepare your submission.

RUSA invites subject matter experts and experienced librarians with knowledge to share to submit proposals for RUSA webinars and online courses to be presented between October 2015 and August 2016 as a part of RUSA’s outstanding online learning offerings.

RUSA welcomes proposals on topics that will assist our diverse membership, who work in all types of libraries, to improve service delivery and job performance. Topics should reflect RUSA’s expertise across the profession. Review RUSA’s current online learning offerings for hot topics, like instructional design for librarians, content marketing, reader’s advisory, reference interviewing and many more.

Proposals will be accepted through September 18, 2015. Webinars approved for presentation will be offered between Oct. 22, 2015 and August 31, 2016. Approved online courses will launch in November 2015 through August 2016.

Webinar presenters and online learning instructors are compensated for their work ($150 to be split among webinar presenters; a development fee and per student rate for online courses) and will receive training and support for Adobe Connect, the webinar technology platform used by the division, and Moodle, the online tool used for courses.

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

Webinars and online course proposals submitted during this open call period will

Webinars and online course proposals submitted during this open call period will be approved for presentation occurring between October 2015 and August 2016.

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.

Following are suggested topics, but by no means the only ones; we look forward to receiving innovative proposals with trending topics:

Book annotation basics

Copyright in the digital age

Developing community partnerships

Genealogy: best resources

Government data and related resources

How to lead a book group

Ideas for Library programs – best practices for developing

Information literacy

Interlibrary loan and sharing resources: best practices

Introduction to book reviewing

Library marketing and display ideas

Library spaces and assessing future needs

Reference for specialized audiences

Reference fundamentals

Research, trends and hot topics in readers advisory

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 Andrea Hill, RUSA web manager at

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RUSA Special Election Now Open

Dear RUSA Members,

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) is holding a special election this summer to elect a new RUSA president-elect/vice-president. This election will be held online in ALA Connect and is open now.  The poll to cast your vote for a new president-elect/vice-president is in the RUSA Division Group in ALA Connect here:  Please vote for no more than one candidate by Tuesday, September 8, 2015, 6:00pm CT.

To vote online, you will need to login, using your ALA login.  If you have any problems logging in, please call the ALA Member and Customer Service Center at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5.

Members with disabilities may obtain a paper ballot by contacting the RUSA office: Those without Internet access at home or at work can easily access the election site by visiting their local public library (or in many instances, academic or school). To be eligible to vote, individuals must be current members in good standing of RUSA.

Biographical information for and statements from each candidate can be found here:

The RUSA Nominating Committee nominated candidates from among the general membership for the position of president-elect/vice-president. Individuals who are not selected by the Nominating Committee, and have petitioned successfully to run, are also eligible to stand for election and appear on the ballot.

For more information on why we are holding this special election, please see the message from Anne Houston, RUSA President, here:

Please feel free to contact if you have any questions.

Best Wishes

Susan Hornung

Executive Director, ASCLA/RUSA




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