May 2016

Dear RUSA Members:

Before scrolling below to RUSA Direct, I’d like to share the details of some of RUSA’s signature events at the upcoming 2016 ALA Annual Conference. The annual conference is taking place in the home of the Magic Kingdom this summer and we hope you have an enchanting time! We have some charmed programming described here: You’ll notice the focus is on the future this year with programs like Educating for the Future of Reference (sponsored by RSS) and Resource Sharing in Tomorrowland, a discussion about the future of interlibrary loan (sponsored by STARS).

All the programming looks terrific, but I do want to make special mention of three events: our Literary Tastes Breakfast, co-sponsored by RUSA and CODES. This year, the authors Naomi Novik, Jim Shepard, James Hannaham, Joy Harjo, and Karin Slaughter are the speakers. You may remember Karin Slaughter was the featured speaker at the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction reception in Las Vegas and she was a major hit with her wit and storytelling skills. I know you’ll enjoy all these engaging authors as they speak about their works and the craft of writing. This wonderful free event takes place Sunday, June 26, 2016, 8:00am to 10:00am, Rosen Centre, Grand A.

Also, don’t miss the RUSA President’s Program with speaker Dave Cobb, Vice President for Creative Development of the Thinkwell Group. Dave is an expert on designing immersive educational experiences for museums and theme parks. Join us to discuss how to create an effective “guest experience” in your library. This event takes place Saturday, June 25, 2016, 4 – 5:30 p.m., Orange County Convention Center, OCCC-110B.

And last but not least, please join us for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction author reception. The winning titles were announced at the Book & Media Awards reception last midwinter in Boston: Fiction: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen and Nonfiction: Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann, and the authors will be the featured speakers at the reception held in Orlando. We can’t wait! Purchase tickets here. The event will be held: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m., Hilton Orlando, Florida Ballroom 1-4.

For more information on the Orlando programs and events sponsored by RUSA, click here. Have a magical time in Orlando; if you can’t make it this year, I hope to see you in Chicago in 2017!

Susan Hornung
Executive Director, RUSA


2016 Achievement Award Winners Announced

RUSA has selected the winners of the 2016 achievement awards, which provide research and travel grants in recognition of  the nation’s most exceptional librarians, libraries, and projects involving reference services today.

RUSA’s Achievement Awards are a chance to give praise to the most notable librarians, libraries and library research in reference services. These awards are of the highest honor and recognize invaluable contributions to the field.

The RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 26 at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. All conference attendees are invited to the event. Additional event details are available on the conference website.

Read about all the winners here. 

2016 ALA Annual Conference

In case you haven’t heard, the conference will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, June 23–28. Experience RUSA’s President’s Program with keynote speaker Dave Cobb, Vice President for Creative Development of the Thinkwell Group. Celebrate the honorable work of your colleagues at the RUSA Awards Reception and Volunteer Appreciation Party, attend outstanding workshops and programs, network, and cruise more than 800 vendors in the exhibit hall. Register here.

Scroll below for links to RUSA’s full Annual Conference line-up. 

RUSA President’s Program

“Be Our Guest”:  Creating Immersive Guest Experiences in Libraries
Join RUSA and keynote speaker, Dave Cobb, Vice President for Creative Development of the Thinkwell Group, for a thoughtful discussion on how to create an effective “guest experience” in your library that both teaches and inspires your users. Read more here.

RUSA Preconferences

  • Business Data for Librarians – Ticket Purchase Required
    As the business world embraces big data, so must librarians. The focus of this full-day workshop will include: conducting a data reference interview; delving into the issues of data validity and data information literacy; and, working with data tools and datasets. Read more and register here.
  • Genealogy Workshop Free, But Registration Is Required 
    This free workshop will help librarians of all types learn techniques to better understand genealogy research methods and sources. Lunch provided and sponsored by ProQuest. Read more hereRegister here.

RUSA Signature Events

  • RUSA 101 – Connect with other members. Read more here.
  • Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction Ceremony & Reception – Join us for this popular celebratory event. Read more and purchase your ticket here.
  • Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year – All Annual Conference registrants are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. Read more here.
  • RUSA Achievement Awards Reception – These awards recognize the profession’s most exceptional librarians, libraries, and projects involving reference services today. Read more here.

RUSA meetings can be found here.
RUSA programs can be found
RUSA discussion and interest groups can be found here. 

2016 Election Results

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 RUSA elections!
Thank you to those who stood in for election and to all the RUSA members who voted. Your votes help guide the leadership of RUSA and contribute to the success of the organization and its mission.

This year’s election results can be found here.

Online Learning


Please scroll down for pricing

Readers’ Advisory 101
(Live chats on Thursdays at 3 p.m. CST)

July 5 – August 12, 2016
Through practice sessions, participants will learn from instructor and RA expert Joyce Saricks how to use RA tools, craft annotations, read in genres, articulate appeal, and experiment with methods to offer RA services. The topics covered are introductory in nature. Read more here. Register here.

Learner-Centered Reference and Instruction: Science, Psychology, and Inclusive Pedagogy
July 18 – August 28, 2016
This course will introduce library practitioners to empirically sound approaches to learner-centered teaching that can be applied to creating effective reference and instruction services that maximally facilitate student learning. Read more here. Register here.

Introduction to Instructional Design for Librarians
(Live chats on Mondays at 5 p.m.CST)
September 12 – October 23, 2016 

Learn to use the Instructional Design Process and apply it effectively to library instruction. Read more here. Register here.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) 101
(Recorded Live Sessions on M/W, Time 1-2 p.m. CST)
October 3 – 30, 2016

The course will be separated into four separate modules that cover the ILL process from both the borrowing and lending perspectives, copyright law and licensing impacts on ILL, and ILL resources and systems. This course will cover both policies and procedures. Read more here. Register here.

Business Reference 101     
October 3 – 30, 2016 or October 31 – December 4, 2016
This four-week, Web-based professional development course is designed for academic, special or public librarians and other researchers and library staff who have a basic understanding of some business resources but who do not work with them often enough to build expertise. Read more here. Register here.

Genealogy 101
October 31 – December 4
This course is designed for reference staff with little to no experience in genealogy. Using a case study to frame the coursework, participants will learn about tools and techniques they can use to confidently assist patrons with family history research. Read more here. Register here.

Pricing for the listed courses:
$130 for RUSA members
$175 for ALA members
$210 for non-ALA members
$100 for student members and retired members


Transforming Online Reference with a Proactive Chat System

May 19, 3 – 4 p.m. (EDT), 2 – 3 p.m. (CDT), 1 – 2 p.m. (MDT), Noon – 1 p.m. (PST)
Learn about a context-sensitive chat system designed for online businesses that enable libraries to reach more users, dramatically increasing the number and complexity of chat reference questions. Read more here. Register here.

Pricing for this webinar:
$40 for RUSA members
$50 ALA members
$25 ALA student & retired members
$65 Non-members
Group rate: $99 single login, $38/person multiple logins. (min. 2 people)

“IAmRUSA” Podcast 

RUSA’s very first “IAmRUSA” podcast!

In this podcast, you will meet RUSA president, Anne Houston. Created by Patty Valdovinos, our RUSA Spectrum Intern.  View it here.

RUSQ 2016 Spring Issue

RUSQ 55(3) has a lot of great content for librarians of all sorts. Read the issue here.
RUSQ seeks column editors. Get all the details here.

Town Hall Meeting

Make your voice count! The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) is hosting a virtual Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 1 p.m. (PST) / 2 p.m. (MDT) / 3 p.m. (CDT) / 4 p.m. (EDT) to give all RUSA members (and prospective members!) a chance to ask questions about the organization and give input on our current and future directions.  We invite you to submit questions and suggestions ahead of time or ask them during the Town Hall.

You can submit your question here up until June 10:

RUSA President Anne Houston and RUSA Vice-President Alesia McManus will be present at the Town Hall to answer questions. To attend the meeting, you can either call 1-866-717-7547 with participant code: 72620830# or click on this link on June 15.

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