San José Public Library named winner of RUSA Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services

Thu, 03/03/2016


Leighann Wood
Membership and Awards Program Specialist
Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
American Library Association

CHICAGO—The San José Public Library is the 2016 winner of the Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services, which honors a library or library system for developing and imaginative and unique resource to patrons’ reference needs. The winner will receive $1,500 and a citation, sponsored by ReferenceUSA.

To help create confident online interactions, San José Public Library (SJPL) developed the Virtual Privacy Lab, a free, encrypted online learning tool for all libraries to share with patrons. The lab’s content has also been professionally translated in Spanish and Vietnamese to make it accessible to everyone in the community.

“In the lab’s “construction zone,” patrons can anonymously answer a few questions—such as how they use social media or what they know about their information footprint. The site dynamically generates a personalized toolkit, including links, tips, and resources tailored to a person’s preferences and needs,” said Emily Kornak, award committee chair.

The San José Public Library was selected for “meeting a community need and addressing a topic of increasing importance; for accessibility to the entire community by providing a new resource in multiple languages; for creating a resource that can be utilized by libraries across the country.”

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 will be available on the conference website in April.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a Division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. 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