Reference Service Press Award

Established in 1985 and sponsored by Reference Service Press, this award constitutes a plaque and a $2,500 monetary award. It recognizes the most outstanding article published in RUSQ during the preceding two-volume year. The article is selected on the basis of originality, timeliness, relevance to RUSA areas of interest and concern, and quality of writing. Article is defined here to include any submitted or invited article or any invited column written by one or more individuals or by a committee, organization, or other group.

*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 or to Leighann Wood, RUSA awards program coordinator, at



The award committee will review the published articles eligible for the award.

Anyone wishing to submit a signed letter of nomination on behalf of a particular article should do so no later than December 9, 2016. Letters may be submitted to the committee chair, Valerie Neylon,



2016 Arizona Public Libraries Serving the Spanish-Speaking Context for Changes,” by Denice Adkins and C. Sean Burns (RUSQ 53:1 Fall 2013)
2015 “Reading Matters in the Academic Library: Taking the Lead from Public Librarians,” by Pauline Dewan (RUSQ 52:4 Summer 2013)
2014 “Significantly Different?: Reference Services Competencies in Public and Academic Libraries,” by Laura Saunders and Mary Wilkins Jordan (RUSQ 52:3 Spring 2013)
2013 "Libraries as the spaces between us: Recognizing and valuing the third space" by James Elmborg, RUSQ, 50:4 (2011).
2012 Nancy D. Zionts, Janice H. Apter, Julianna Kuchta and Pamela K. Greenhouse for “Promoting Consumer Health Literacy: Creation of a Health Information Librarian Fellowship” (RUSQ 49:4 Summer 2009); and Marie L. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Patrick A. Confer, Susanna Sabolcsi-Boros and Hannah Kwon for “Are We Getting Warmer?: Query Clarification in Live Chat Virtual Reference” (RUSQ 50:3 Spring 2010)
2011 Jenny S. Bossaller, University of Missouri; Denice Adkins, University of Missouri; Kim Michelle Thompson, Charles Sturt University
2010 " Don't Shelve the Questions: Defining Good Customer Service for Shelvers" by Luke Vilelle and Christopher C. Peters, RUSQ, 48:1 (Fall 2008): 60-67.
2009 " Assessing User Interactions at the Desk Nearest the Front Door" by Pixey Anne Mosley, RUSQ, 47:2 (2007): 159-167.
2008 "Libraries in the Contact Zone: On the Creation of Educational Space" by Dr. James Elmborg, RUSQ, 6:1 (2006): 56-64.
2007 “Trying to Help without Getting in Their Faces: Public Library Staff Descriptions of Providing Consumer Health Information,” C. Brandi Borman and Pamela Jane McKenzie,  RUSQ, 45:133-146 (Winter 2005).
2006 “A Class Assignment Requiring Chat-Based Reference” by Denise Beaubien Bennett and Pamela S. Cenzer, RUSQ, 44:149-63, (Winter 2004).
2005 “Privacy and Confidentiality in Digital Reference” by Paul Neuhaus, RUSQ, 43:26–36 (Fall 2003).
2004 “The Accessibility of Web Pages for Mid-Sized College and University Libraries,” by Tim Spindler, RUSQ, 42:149–54, (Winter 2002).
2003 “Reference and Information Services for Young Adults: A Research Study of Public Libraries in New Jersey,” by Kimberely Lione Paone and Mark Winston, RUSQ, 41:45–50 (Fall 2001).
2002 “Has the Internet Changed Anything in Reference? The Library Visit Study, Phase 2,” by Catherine Sheldrick Ross and Kirsti Nilsen, RUSQ, 40:147-55, (Winter 2000)
2001 "The Changing Nature of Reference and Information Services: Predictions and Realities," by Donald G. Frank, Katharine L. Calhoun, W. Bruce Henson, M. Leslie Madden and Gregory K. Raschke in RUSQ, 39:151-57, (Winter 1999)
2000 "Negative Closure: Strategies and Counter-Strategies in the Reference Transaction" Catherine Sheldrick Ross and Patricia Dewdney in RUSQ 38:151–63, (Winter 1998)
1999 "Perspectives on Quality of Reference Service in an Academic Library: A Qualitative Study" by Jennifer Mendelsohn in RQ 36:544–57 (Summer 1997)
1998 "Oranges and Peaches: Understanding Communication Accidents in the Reference Interview," by Dr. Patrica Dewdney and Dr. Gillian Michell, RQ 35:520–36 (Summer 1996)
1997 "Critical Thinking: Implications for Instruction," by Craig Gibson, RQ 35:27–35 (Fall 95)
1996 "Flying a Light Aircraft: Reference Service Evaluation from a User's Viewpoint," by Patricia Dewdney and Catherine Sheldrick Ross, RQ 34:217–30 (Winter 1994)
1995 "Developing Behavioral Reference Desk Performance Standards," by Carole A. Larson and Laura K. Dickson, RQ 33:349–57 (Spring 94)
1994 "Support Services for Remote Users of Online Public Access Catalogs," by Sally W. Kalin, RQ 31:197–213 (Winter 1991)
1993 "Mistakes and Failures at the Reference Desk," by Lydia Olszak, RQ 31: 39–49 (Fall 1991).
1992 "Ensuring Quality Reference Desk Service: The Introduction of a Peer Process," by Jane P. Kleiner, RQ 30: 349–61 (Spring 1991).
1991 "In-house Databases: An Opportunity for Progressive Librarians," by A. Anneli Ahtola. RQ 29:36–47 (Fall 1989).
1990 "Labor Education and Libraries: A Survey of Current Practices," by D. Michele Cash and Jerry Parr, RQ 27:112–26 (Fall 1987).
1989 "Reference Collection Development in Academic Libraries," Mary Biggs and Victor Biggs, RQ 27: 67–79 (Fall 1987)
1988 "Opinion Leadership, Poverty, and Information Sharing" by Elfreda A. Chatman, RQ 26: 341–53 (Spring 1987).
1987 "College and University Rankings: An Annotated Bibliography of Analysis, Criticism, and Evaluation," by Lynn C. Hattendorf, RQ 25:332–47 (Spring 1986)
1986 "Learning Theory and the Self-reliant Library User," by Harold W. Tuckett and Carla J. Stoffle, RQ 24: 58–66 (Fall 1984)