About RUSA


The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) is a division of the American Library Association.  RUSA serves all types of libraries in reference, user services, adult readers advisory and collection development as well as resource sharing, genealogy and archives, business reference and reference technology.

RUSA has six specialty sections that are free to RUSA members: BRASS (Business Reference and Services Section), CODES (Collection Development and Evaluation Section) HS (History Section), ETS (Emerging Technologies Section), RSS (Reference Services Section) and STARS (Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section).

For more information about each of the sections, please visit their webpages.


The Reference and User Services Association is responsible for stimulating and supporting excellence in the delivery of general library services and materials to adults, and the provision of reference and information services, collection development, readers’ advisory, and resource sharing for all ages, in every type of library.


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.


  • We believe in universal access to information.
  • We believe that reading is fundamental to quality of life and value all activities that promote it.
  • We value collections and information sources of the highest possible quality.
  • We value the provision of innovative services and programs that meet the changing information needs of diverse populations.
  • We value continuous evaluation and improvement in the management and delivery of materials and services to users.
  • We value the professional growth and development of librarians and library staff.
  • We value the role of librarians and library staff as educators in creating lifelong learners and critical thinkers.
  • We value the unique contributions that librarians and library staff bring to the process of connecting users with the information they need.


  • Provide leadership and opportunities in professional development for reference, user technology, readers’ advisory, access, and computer-based research librarians and staff.
  • Work towards equity of access.
  • Seek ways to improve participation in RUSA by reference, user technology, readers’ advisory, access, and computer-based research fields librarians and library staff.
  • Ensure the effectiveness of RUSA in meeting its and ALA’s mission.
  • Increase the visibility of RUSA in the profession and promote the professional skills and services RUSA members offer to society at large.

See RUSA’s complete strategic plan for more details. (PDF format)


The division facilitates the development and conduct of direct service to library users, the development of programs and guidelines for service to meet the needs of these users, and assists libraries in reaching potential users. RUSA publishes Reference & User Services Quarterly ( RUSQ), a quarterly journal, and RUSA Update, an online quarterly newsletter. RUSA has six sections: Business Reference and Services Section, Collection Development and Evaluation Section, History Section, Machine-Assisted Reference Section, Reference Services Section, and Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (each with various committees and discussion groups). RUSA also has nineteen committees at the division level and representatives to other ALA units and outside organizations.