RUSA Update Spring 2009

rusa update

Spring 2009 | Daniel Mack, Editor


In This Issue


Message from the President

Neal Wyatt

A snowy Denver was the site for the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting and RUSA members managed more than the cold and ice. We held our first RUSA All-Member Social, organized by Lisa Romero and the Membership Committee. It was a huge success and has set a new tradition for RUSA. We also held the first RUSA Book and Media Award Reception honoring the committees from almost every Section that work so hard to select the best books, media, and publishing related materials of the year. Check out the blog post with video to see the announcements.

And speaking of video, as part of our long-term plans, RUSA started video and audio taping events. Four discussion groups were recorded as well as the Book and Media Awards. RUSA web manager Chris Cieslak is currently working on finding the best method to post the audio recordings so everyone can learn from the discussions. Keep an eye out for even more recordings of annual conference.

Midwinter also saw a press conference about RUSA and our partnership with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation. Nearly $882,000 in grants to 12 library recipients were announced there. This marks the second year of the educational partnership that is administered by RUSA and which awarded more than $853,000 to 13 public libraries and networks in 2008. Libraries will use the funds to implement a variety of programs and create resources designed to increase patrons’ access to and understanding of financial information. You may have heard the NPR story about libraries serving as resources for financial information. It was a direct result of RUSA’s work with FINRA and increases the profile of libraries across the country. We have also partnered with ALA’s Public Programs Office and created a booklist in support of the “Let’s Talk About It” program on the theme of love and forgiveness. RUSA members suggested books such as Dive from Clausons Pier by Ann Packer and Resistance by Owen Sheers to serve as read-alikes to the program.

In Board news, the RUSA Technology Task Force submitted their report and the Board agreed to implement several of their recommendations for the coming year. We are looking carefully at electronic participation to make active committee involvement possible for anyone who wants to be involved with RUSA but cannot travel to conferences twice a year. We are also purchasing new AV equipment to record programming and make it available to those unable to attend.

Finally, we began discussions of the website during our Board meetings and carried that forward in a 15 day review period. We sought input from the entire membership of RUSA (if this is the first you are hearing about the review, please join RUSA-L to keep in the loop of RUSA happenings). Based on that input we have come up with a new design that we hope will help current and potential members find what they need — be it a committee form or one of our great resources for librarians — more easily.

More details about Annual Conference will come in the next issue of RUSA Update, but save the date for the RUSA President’s Program — Monday July 13, from 1:30-3:00 — and the RUSA Awards Reception immediately following the President’s Program. The Awards Reception will be preceded by a cocktail party where everyone is invited to mix, mingle, and congratulate the winners while prizes (such as a year’s subscription to Booklist Online and Library Journal) will be up for grabs at the President’s Program.

Finally, Liz Markel, RUSA’s marketing specialist, has started a RUSA Flickr site, check out some of the photos from Midwinter.

A message to RUSA members from the Executive Director

Recently I made the very difficult decision to resign from my position as Executive Director of RUSA.  An opportunity to do association management consulting came available and it is just right for me.  Still this was far from an easy decision.  Over the two years I have served, I have gotten to know many RUSA members and to appreciate the work you all do.  Of course, from my previous work in ALA I was aware of RUSA's commitment to reference, collection development and to resource sharing but over the past two years I've had the priviledge to learn much more about the range of services, programs and resources reference librarians provide and it is inspiring.  You do important and valuable work and I will always apprciate the opportunity I had to work with you and to assist where I could.

RUSA is in very good hands under the outstanding leadership of president Neal Wyatt and executive committee members Dave Tyckoson, Susan Beck, Naomi Lederer, Pam Sieving and the rest of the RUSA board.  I want to thank them for welcoming me and helping me learn the ropes.   I especially want to thank president Neal Wyatt, whose leadership ability,
dedication to RUSA, patience and smarts has enriched RUSA and me immeasureably.    I also want to recognize the contributions of my staff colleagues, web manager Chris Cieslak and marketing specialist Liz Markel.  They bring so much enthusiasiasm, talent and fresh perspective to the job and it has been a joy working with them.

Thank you again for all your good work and best wishes to you.

Barbara Macikas
Executive Director


RUSA Book and Media Awards Reception

More than 100 book lovers, reference aficionados and publishing representatives gathered on the Sunday afternoon of ALA Midwinter at the Grand Hyatt Denver for drinks, hors d’oeuvres and the announcement of several RUSA awards. (Check out video of the event and award winner announcements at the RUSA blog.)

Bookending the event were the 2009 selections for the Notable Books list and The Reading List, two important readers’ advisory tools for librarians serving adult readers. The reception, sponsored by Harper Collins, also featured inaugural awarding of the Zora Neale Hurston Award, which honors a RUSA member who has demonstrated leadership in promotion African-American literature. The choices for the Dartmouth Medal, the Sophie Brody Medal and Outstanding Reference Sources, were also presented at the event. Award committee chairpersons also acknowledged the 2008 selections for Outstanding Business Reference Sources, Best Free Websites, Best Business Websites and Best Historical Materials.

The 2009 Dartmouth Medal was awarded to Greenwood’s Pop Culture Universe, an online resource presenting material from over 300 sources with a clear and fun interface and state-of-the-art interactive features. This user-centered resource includes a blog on its home page and welcomes input wiki-style. As the first electronic recipient of the Dartmouth Medal, it represents the future of reference. The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe (Yale UP) was awarded an honorable mention.

Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter (Free Press) by Peter Manseau was selected for the 2009 Sophie Brody Medal. The narrator of this book, an American Catholic translator, tells the colorful story of an elderly Yiddish poet, covering a century of events in Israel, Poland, Russia, and the United States. The interwoven stories are a tour de force of writing styles demonstrating the power of passion and commitment to Jewish culture. Beaufort, by Ron Leshem (Delacorte Press), Friendly Fire, by A.B. Yehoshua and From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books, by Arie Kaplan (Jewish Publication Society) were selected as honorable mention titles.

The literary winners announced at this event will shape the author lineup for the Literary Tastes Breakfast at ALA’s 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago. Attendees at this ticketed event enjoy a delicious breakfast while listening to author readings and participating in book signings and further discussion of the works presented.

The 2009 list award selections are as follows:

2009 Notable Books


  • Alameddine, Rabih. The Hakawati Knopf 9780307266798

  • Aslam, Nadeem. The Wasted Vigil Knopf 9780307268426

  • Bausch, Richard. Peace Knopf 9780307268334

  • Benioff, David. City of Thieves: A Novel Viking 9780670018703

  • Erdrich, Louise. The Plague of Doves HarperCollins 9780060515126

  • Galchen, Rivka. Atmospheric Disturbances Farrar Straus & Giroux 9780374200114

  • Lahiri, Jhumpa. Unaccustomed Earth Knopf 9780307265739

  • Millhauser, Steven. Dangerous Laughter: Thirteen Stories Knopf 9780307267566

  • Sheers, Owen. Resistance Doubleday/Nan A. Talese 9780385522106

  • Strout, Elizabeth. Olive Kitteridge Random House 9781400062089

  • Talarigo, Jeff. The Ginseng Hunter Doubleday/Nan A. Talese 9780385517393


  • Coll, Steve. The Bin-Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century Penguin Press 9781594201646

  • Faust, Drew Gilpin. This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War Knopf 9780375404047

  • Filkins, Dexter. The Forever War Knopf Publishing Group 9780307266392

  • Gilmore, Glenda Elizabeth. Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950 Norton 9780393062441

  • Gordon-Reed, Annette. The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family Norton 9780393064773

  • Harris, Mark. Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood Penguin 9781594201523

  • Horwitz, Tony. A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World Holt 9780805076035

  • Mayer, Jane The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals Doubleday 9780385526395

  • Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto Penguin 9781594201455

  • Taylor, Nick. American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA: When FDR Put the Nation to Work Bantam 9780553802351

  • Vanderbilt, Tom. Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says about Us) Knopf 9780307264787

  • Wickersham, Joan . The Suicide Index: Putting My Father's Death in Order Harcourt 9780151014903


  • Hirsch, Edward Special Orders: Poems Knopf 9780307266811

  • Tate, James Ghost Soldiers: Poems Ecco 9780061436949

2009 Reading List selections, highlighting the best in genre fiction

  • Adrenaline: Blue Heaven by C.J. Box, St. Martin, 9780312365707

  • Fantasy: Veil of Gold by Kim Wilkins, Tor, 9780765320063

  • Historical Fiction: The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara, Ballantine, 9780345461421

  • Horror: Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow, Harper, 9780061430220

  • Mystery: The Garden of Evil by David Hewson, Bantam Dell, 978-0385339575

  • Romance: The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne, Berkley, 9780425219607

  • Science Fiction: Hunter’s Run by George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham, Eos, 9780061373299

  • Women’s Fiction: Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy, Algonquin Books, 9781565125414

2009 Outstanding Reference Sources, identifying the best resources for small and medium-sized libraries:

  • Books and Beyond: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading. Kenneth Womack, ed. 4 vols. Greenwood, 2008.(9780313337383).

  • Encyclopedia of Taoism. Fabrizio Pregadio, ed. 2 vols. Routledge, 2008. (9780700712007),

  • Encyclopedia of the First Amendment. John R. Vile, David L. Hudson Jr. and David Schultz, eds. 2 vols. CQ Press, 2009. (9780872893115).

  • Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales. Donald Haase, ed. 3 vols. Greenwood, 2008. (9780313334412).

  • Encyclopedia of Education Law. Charles J. Russo, ed. 2 vols. Sage, 2008. (9781412940795).

  • Climate Change: In Context. Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee Lerner, eds. 2 vols. Gale Cengage, 2008. (9781414436142).

  • Gale Encyclopedia of Diets: A Guide to Health and Nutrition. Jacqueline L. Longe, ed. Gale Cengage, 2008. (9781414429915).

  • New Encyclopedia of Orchids: 1500 Species in Cultivation. Isobyl la Croix. Timber Press, 2008. (9780881928761).

  • Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social and Military History. Spencer C. Tucker, ed. 4 vols. ABC-CLIO, 2008. (9781851098415).

  • African American National Biography. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelyn Brooks-Higginbotham, eds. 8 vols. Oxford University Press, 2008. (9780195160192).

  • Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Bonnie G. Smith, ed. 4 vols. Oxford University Press, 2008. (9780195148909).


Huling honored with Mudge Award for contribution to reference librarianship

Nancy Huling, head of the Reference and Research Services Division of the University of Washington Libraries, has been selected as the 2009 winner of the RUSA Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award.

The award recognizes distinguished contributions to reference librarianship. Huling, who also serves on the faculty of the University of Washington iSchool, was selected for her leadership in the field, including her past service as RUSA president (2004-05) and her current work as chair of the OCLC QuestionPoint Users Council. Her innovative approach to reference services, her scholarship and her teaching and mentoring activities were also cited as reasons for her selection.

“In her work, Nancy exhibits passion for and dedication to the field of reference that excites and motivates others,” said Teresa Omidsalar, award committee chair and education librarian at the University Library, California State University, Los Angeles. “She also leads by example, modeling professional reference service ideals, standards and behaviors.” Omidsalar said the impact of this leadership is broad: “She has advised and counseled a legion of librarians, students and staff. Students speak of her with enthusiasm and reverence. She is also a tireless advocate for better reference services for not only patrons at her university’s library, but in the greater library world.”

Huling will receive her award—a $5,000 cash prize—at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, July 13, as a part of ALA’s Annual Conference events. The exact location of this event will be announced on the RUSA web site and the RUSA blog.


Middleton, American women’s history Web site win ABC-CLIO award

Ken Middleton, reference librarian at Middle Tennessee State University, will receive the 2009 ABC-CLIO Online History Award for his professional achievement in online historical reference highlighted by his development of Discovering American Women’s History Online, a web-based historical research tool.

The purpose of the award, administered by RUSA’s History Section (HS), is to encourage, recognize and commend professional achievement in online historical reference and research. Middleton and Discovering American Women’s History Online were selected for the site’s important role as a comprehensive gateway site to more than 400 digital collections and repository websites—including Stanford’s Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls, Cornell’s Triangle Factory Fire and the Library of Congress Veterans History Project—documenting the history of women in the United States. From this centralized resource, site users are offered numerous access points such as subject headings, formats and other resource discovery features to uncover primary documents in more than 40 formats, including photographs and artifacts. The breadth of the collections available through Discovering American Women’s History Online also means that the site offers access to more than women’s history—its sources cover all 50 states and dates ranging from the 1600s to the 2000s.

Two Web sites were selected as honorable mentions. Monastic Matrix, directed by Professor Lisa Bitel, department of history, chair of women’s studies, University of Southern California, documents women’s participation in the religious and monastic culture of Europe and the Middle Ages (400-1600), using rigorously peer reviewed contributions, including images, biographies, bibliographies, and primary and secondary sources. Nuns, patrons, founders, lay sisters and saints are included.

The second honorable mention selection, <>, was developed by Luke A. Nichter, assistant professor of history at Tarleton State University-Central Texas. The site is a comprehensive and user-friendly collection of the secretly-recorded tapes made by President Richard Nixon between 1971 and 1973. The site currently offers all of the recordings that have been de-classified and released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Transcriptions for many of the tapes are available, enabling the user to both listen and read the conversations at the same time.

The award—a $3,000 cash prize sponsored by ABC-CLIO and a citation—and honorable mentions will be presented at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, July 13, as a part of ALA’s Annual Conference events. The exact location of this event will be announced on the RUSA website and at the RUSA Blog in late spring.


Valuable learning opportunities for all types of librarians with RUSA programs at Annual

This summer, librarians and library staff from all types of libraries will find a program of interest among the Reference and User Services Association’s offerings at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference.

RUSA represents the interests of those working in reference, collection development, readers’ advisory, resource sharing and specialized reference, including historical and business reference services. Its programs provide opportunities for all conference attendees to learn about trends in these fields, to discover useful tools for providing better library services and to uncover solutions to a multitude of challenges in the workplace.

A comprehensive list of program descriptions, sponsoring groups and speakers is available on the RUSA website.

Check out the RUSA blog for information on how to register for Annual Conference and how to register for preconferences or add them to your registration.

Reference Programming

Who Cares About Privacy? Boundaries, Millennials and the MySpace Mindset

Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. — 12 p.m.

Libraries have long trumpeted their role as protectors of privacy, but what does privacy mean in an age when people share all aspects of their lives with a worldwide audience? Speakers will participate in a lively discussion on the changing definition of privacy and its impact on libraries and the research process.

15th Annual New Reference Research Forum

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. — 3 p.m.

The Research Forum is one of the most popular programs at ALA Annual, where attendees can learn about notable research projects in reference service areas such as user behavior, electronic services and reference effectiveness. This year’s Forum features three presentations, including the recipients of RUSA’s 15th Anniversary Reference Research Grant, who will present their findings on using WOREP data to build excellent reference service.

Catalog Use and Usability Studies: What Do They Show and How Should This Evidence Affect Our Decision-Making?

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. — 5:30 p.m.

How are online catalogs used? What information is sought by different levels of users? How well do OPACs support catalog functions? What role should usability studies play in the decision-making process? What improvements can be made in response to the findings of a catalog usability study? Researchers from various types of libraries who have employed catalog usability and user studies findings to improve their catalogs will share their experiences.

You Got Me, Do You Like Me? Evaluating Next Generation Catalogs

Sunday, July 12, 3:30 p.m. — 5:30 p.m.

Congratulations, you have acquired (or may soon acquire) a Next Generation, Web 2.0 catalog—now what? Hear from a panel of academic and public librarians who have been evaluating their open source and off-the-shelf next-gen catalogs. Topics will include usability testing, ongoing assessment, vendor collaboration and user expectations in the transition to next-gen products.

Resuscitating the Catalog: Next-Generation Strategies for Keeping the Catalog Relevant

Monday, July 13, 8:00 a.m. — 10:00 a.m.

In today's complex information environment, users have come to expect evaluative information and interactive capabilities when searching for information resources. A panel of experts will address various aspects of providing links to external information in library catalogs, implementing user-contributed functionality and using computational data to support bibliographic control.

Specialized Reference Programming: Historical and Business

Unleashing the Undigitized: Promoting and Accessing Traditional Historical Resources in the Age of Google

Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. — 12 p.m.

Digitization has made a vast amount of primary source material more readily available than ever. How can information professionals promote still-important print and microform collections in the age of Google? This panel will discuss the issue from a number of perspectives, including that of librarians, archivists, teachers and vendors.

Beyond ¡Hola!: Spanish Reference Resources for Non-Spanish Speakers

Monday, July 13, 8 a.m. — 10 a.m.

Do you have the right tools to help a Spanish-speaker looking for information in your library? Do you know how to purchase the right titles for your Spanish-speaking population? As Latinos become more active library users, what can libraries do to help them become more informed citizens? Join us as we discuss reference resources, Web sites and collection development for this group of patrons.

Dollars, Pounds and Yen: Libraries in a Time of Globalization

Monday, July 13, 8 a.m. — 10 a.m.

Identifying the best resources for international business information can be overwhelming. Get a grip on the best tools available with help from subject matter experts who will share best resources for locating information on emerging markets and will discuss the global economic outlook and major trends in the global economy as they effect stock, bond, commodity and currency markets around the world.

Not-So-Silent Partners: Libraries and Local Economic Development

Monday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. — 12 p.m.

Public libraries and the ways they assist local businesses are the focus of this program. John Ericson, business outreach librarian at the Schaumburg Public Library will speak about ways to effectively conduct outreach within the business community. William Strauss, senior economist at the Chicago Federal Reserve will share his views about the national and Midwest economies. These presentations will be accompanied by a poster session illustrating the business partnership efforts of several libraries.

Readers’ Advisory & Collection Development Programming

RUSA President’s Program

Monday, July 13, 1:30 p.m. — 3 p.m.

RUSA President Neal Wyatt invites you to a discussion and exploration of the cutting edge of readers’ advisory (RA) services. The Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Forum is a new RUSA initiative where ideas, best practices and creative possibilities are actively engaged and deconstructed in order to contribute to the advancement of RA service. This year’s themes include the changes in genre fiction, the DNA of multimedia appeal and the RA 2.0 implications of reader-driven tagging.

Outsourcing Collection Development: Collaboration is the Key

Saturday, July 11, 10:30 a.m. — 12 p.m.

Outsourcing collection development has come a long way in the last 10 years. A panel representing public libraries, academic libraries and relevant vendors will address the evolution of outsourcing, how the traditional role of the collection development librarian has changed and the effectiveness of newly developed collaborative models illustrating library-vendor relationships.

Collection Development 2.0: The Changing Administration of Collection Development

Saturday, July 11, 3:30 p.m. — 5:30 p.m.

In the last few years, most libraries have made major changes in the way they manage collection development. This program will help clarify what new approaches some libraries have taken and why, their consequences (both intended and unintended) and what some of those thinking about these issues see on the horizon.

Things That Go Bump in the Stacks: Whole Collection Advisory for Paranormal Fiction

Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. — 12 p.m.

Come discuss best practices for helping patrons find paranormal materials they can really sink their teeth into. This program focuses on the appeal of the genre and helping fans find materials throughout the library. Neil Hollands, librarian and author of “Read On…Fantasy Fiction,” will moderate a panel of authors and experts discussing best practices, including bestselling authors Charlaine Harris (the Southern Vampire series) and Charlie Huston (Joe Pitt series).

Collection Development: Decision-Making with Data

Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. — 12 p.m.

What do materials selectors in academic, public and school libraries need to know, and where can they find data to inform their decisions? Librarians who did not take a collection development course or who have been asked to select materials in unfamiliar subject areas or formats will benefit from this overview program, which will review sources of readily-available data and provide tips on how to use it effectively for collection development.

New Selectors and Selecting in New Subjects: Meeting the Challenges

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.

Are you challenged by a new collection development assignment or responsible for training new librarians in collection development? Librarians are increasingly thrust into new roles as selectors in unfamiliar disciplines or liaisons to unrelated academic departments and community groups, yet we often assume these roles with little to no training and/or subject background. This program explores the changing environment of collection development and offers strategies for preparing for new challenges.

Resource Sharing & Collaboration Programming

The Secret Life of Our Data: Privacy in the Digital Age

Saturday, July 11, 1:30 p.m. — 3:30 p.m.

The ease with which personal information can be stored, replicated, transmitted and accessed has changed the information privacy landscape considerably. Consequently, it is difficult for libraries to guarantee the privacy of users’ information. Legal challenges resulting from the USA PATRIOT Act and employers seeking information about their staff further complicate the issue. Attendees will learn more about patron privacy issues and how to serve as effective defenders of users' rights.

Resource Sharing in the 21st Century: Beyond Books and Journals

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. — 3 p.m.

How can we share digital (streaming video, downloadable audio files, e-books, etc.) and non-print collections through traditional interlibrary loan (ILL) or cooperative sharing? What is the current state of resource sharing with regard to formats other than print, and how are we providing greater access to each other’s collections through consortia borrowing and circulation? Learn more about these topics from a variety of speakers representing ILL and library network professionals.

Moving Mountains: Latest Trends in the Physical Delivery of Library Materials

Saturday, July 11, 8:00 a.m. — 10:00 a.m.

How do you move 5, 10 or even 20 million items a year between libraries? The 2008 Moving Mountains Symposium in Cincinnati explored the best methods for delivering materials between libraries as well as new trends in home delivery. A panel will present Symposium highlights, including best practices in current delivery, future trends, home delivery, automated material handling systems and ways to collaborate.

Customer Service & Workplace Issues

When is Nice Too Nice? Solutions for Disengaging from the Talkative Patron

Saturday, July 11, 3:30 p.m. — 5:30 p.m.

Library public services staff commonly experience overly talkative patrons. Some are homeless or mentally ill, but others may simply be lonely and seeking human contact. These "chatty" patrons can be a significant problem when there are multiple people needing assistance, when they exhibit inappropriate behaviors or when they aggressively seek out the time and attention of specific staff members. Join us to explore strategies for addressing this issue in a variety of library settings.

Love the Work, Hate the Job

Monday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. — 12 p.m.

Why do more and more Americans express dissatisfaction with their jobs while their work has become more intellectually challenging and less physically exhausting? Hear David Kusnet, author of “Love the Work, Hate the Job,” tell the stories of workers fighting less for better pay and benefits and more for respect and a say in the future of their business. He will also address his argument that indiscriminate cost-cutting and the pursuit of short-term profits prevent the best workers from doing their best work.

Participation in any of these programs is included with annual conference registration. Register for the Annual Conference using the online registration form, by calling 1 (800) 974-3084, or by downloading a printed registration form, which can then be submitted via mail or faxed per the instructions on the form.


2009 BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award winner selected

Frans Jozef Velasco Albarillo, a student of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's Library and Information Science program, has been selected as the 2009 winner of the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award.

Albarillo was selected for his demonstrated interest in business reference librarianship, most notably in his assistantship with the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's Shider College of Business and his internship with the Hawai'i Business Research Library. "In addition to his work, Frans also distinguished himself from the other nominees through his diverse background and his service involvements," said Christy Donaldson, award committee chairperson and media librarian, Utah Valley University. "We are excited to welcome him to Chicago this summer."

This award, sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, enables a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited Master's program who has demonstrated interest in a business reference librarianship career to attend ALA's Annual conference. The winner receives $1,000 cash toward travel expenses associated with conference attendance; a one year membership to RUSA, home of BRASS; the opportunity to attend BRASS events at the conference; and publication of his or her conference experience in RUSA Update.

Albarillo will receive the award at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, July 13, as a part of ALA's Annual Conference events. The exact location of this event will be announced on the RUSA website and at the RUSA Blog in late spring.


Illinois and African-American family histories to be uncovered at RUSA preconference

Piece family trees together—and celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth—at this summer’s “From Lincoln Logs to Linkin’ Families.” RUSA’s History Section invites librarians, library staff and personal family history researchers to attend this preconference held in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference. This one-day event highlights newly available Illinois-specific genealogy resources as well as resources for African American family history research. A panel of genealogy experts comprise the list of speakers, including George Morgan of "Genealogy Guys" fame and author of “How to Do Everything with Your Genealogy.” Curt Witcher, manager of the Genealogy Center of Allen County (Ind.) Public Library, will speak about African American family history research. Jack Simpson, curator of local and family history at the Newberry Library in Chicago and co-creator of, will present a basic genealogy primer, and Lorreto "Lou" Dennis Szucs, editor of the definitive genealogy tool “The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy,” will discuss conducting Chicago research locally and from afar.

The preconference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 10, in Chicago. Advance registration rates, available until May 22, are $100 for RUSA members, $145 for ALA members, $220 for non-members and $75 for students and retirees. Lunch and coffee breaks are included courtesy of sponsor ProQuest. Check out the RUSA blog for information on how to register for Annual Conference, how to register for only this preconference, and how to add a preconference to your current registration.

A comprehensive list of RUSA preconferences, program descriptions, sponsoring groups and speakers is available on the RUSA website.


Wirtz Labor Library receives John Sessions Memorial Award

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wirtz Labor Library is the recipient of the 2009 John Sessions Memorial Award, an honor presented by RUSA and named for John Sessions, former American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) co-chair of the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups.

This annual award recognizes a library or library system that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and has consequently brought recognition of the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Wirtz Labor Library was selected for its efforts in supporting the history and contribution of the labor movement in the United States. In addition to maintaining unique and historically significant collections, including rare international material, the library particularly impressed the committee with its recent efforts to make its collection more accessible to a broader audience through digitization and to increase visibility of the library through the Wirtz Labor Library Lecture Series. A statement issued by the library expressed gratitude and appreciation for the distinction: “The U.S. Department of Labor’s library, established in 1917, is one of the oldest Cabinet-level libraries. As we plan for the library’s centennial, our recent efforts have been to strengthen and revitalize the library and its services — and to provide and promote the library’s resources to a wider universe of customers. As we build upon our rich history, it is our great pleasure to accept the 2009 John Sessions Memorial Award.”

Richard V. French, director of the library’s Center for Program Planning and Review, will receive the winner’s plaque on behalf of the library at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, July 13, as a part of ALA’s Annual Conference events. The exact location of this event will be announced on the RUSA website and at the RUSA Blog in late spring.


Literary Tastes Breakfast: Calling all book lovers...and breakfast lovers, too!

There is only one place for book lovers to be on the Sunday morning of ALA's Annual Conference: at the Literary Tastes Breakfast. This conference tradition is hosted by RUSA's Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES), the home of collection development and readers advisory within ALA. The event celebrates the best books of the year by bringing librarians together with award-winning authors from The Notable Books List of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, The Reading List for genre literature and the Sophie Brody Medal for outstanding Jewish literature. Authors read from their work, ruminate on writing and sign books while attendees enjoy a scrumptious breakfast.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, July 12, 8:00 a.m. — 10:00 a.m. We'll announce the exact event location on the RUSA blog later in the spring.

This is a ticketed event--you can purchase tickets when you register for Annual, add tickets to your Annual registration, or purchase tickets for this event only. Check out our blog entry on "registration how-tos" for more information. Don't wait! There are a limited number of seats, and we are already well on our way to selling out.

Ticket Prices:

Advance Registration (until May 22): RUSA member, $40; ALA member, $45; Non-member, $55; Student, $40

Regular Registration (after May 22): RUSA member, $45; ALA member, $50; Non-member, $60; Student, $45


Business know-how subject of RUSA BRASS preconference

“Mastering Business Acumen (MBA) in a Day,” a RUSA preconference at ALA's 2009 Annual Conference, will arm a wide variety of librarians with the know-how needed to address patrons' basic business questions.

Public, academic and special librarians as well as library school students new to business reference can reap the rewards of this professional development event hosted by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS). Experts representing a variety of fundamental business disciplines will share their knowledge with attendees and prepare them to support business-related reference services. Attendees will also participate in small group networking lunches at nearby restaurants organized by BRASS member ambassadors.

The program complements the consistently sold-out Business Reference 101, a RUSA online course next scheduled for May 4-May 29.

Speakers for the preconference include Elisabeth Leonard, consultant, Library Solutions, and instructor for RUSA's Marketing Basics for Libraries online course (Management); Chris LeBeau, business reference librarian, University of Missouri, Kansas City and clinical instructor, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies (Finance); Susan Klopper, executive director, Goizueta Business Library, Emory University (Accounting); and Gary White, head, Schreyer Business Library, Penn State (Marketing).

The preconference will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 10, in Chicago. Advance registration rates, available until May 22, are $135 for RUSA members, $180 for ALA members, $255 for non-members and $80 for students and retirees. Lunch is not included in the registration fee.

Check out the RUSA blog for information on how to register for Annual Conference, how to register for only this preconference, and how to add a preconference to your current registration.

A comprehensive list of RUSA preconferences, program descriptions, sponsoring groups and speakers is available on the RUSA website.


Community partnerships, older adult services featured in timely RUSA RSS preconference

The current economic downturn is prompting more older adults to turn to the library for assistance with job searching and other resource needs. Librarians looking to better serve this growing population segment should plan to attend the upcoming preconference “A Dialogue With the Aging Network and the Library Community: The New Guidelines on Library and Information Services to Older Adults” at Annual Conference.

The event, sponsored by RUSA’s Reference Services Section’s (RSS) Committee on Library Services to an Aging Population, will highlight how libraries are collaborating with national and local organizations that serve older adults. Participants will also discuss RUSA's newly revised “Guidelines on Library and Information Services to Older Adults.” Speakers include representatives from organizations such as the American Society on Aging, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and AARP, along with library professionals with expertise in services to older adults.

The preconference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 10, in Chicago. Advance registration rates, available until May 22, are $100 for RUSA members, $145 for ALA members, $220 for non-members and $60 for students and retirees.

Check out the RUSA blog for information on how to register for Annual Conference, how to register for only this preconference, and how to add a preconference to your current registration.

A comprehensive list of RUSA preconferences, program descriptions, sponsoring groups and speakers is available on the RUSA website.


Overcome reference services challenges at Reinvented Reference V

Reference librarians and managers of reference services interested in discovering solutions to challenges facing a reference services staff will reap huge rewards from Reinvented Reference V, a preconference co-sponsored by the Reference Services Section (RSS) and the Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and held in conjunction with Annual Conference.

Attendees will select two out of four topic areas—technology, assessment, collaboration and reference staffing models—to participate in roundtable discussions where workplace challenges are shared and solution discussed. Using this format, the event is focused on sharing practical, concrete ideas from both our expert panel and peers that you can implement at your library.

The event features a group of presenters with extensive experiences and success in the field, including Bill Pardue, virtual services librarian at Arlington Heights Memorial Library; Char Booth, e-learning librarian at UC Berkeley; Lisa Ennis, systems librarian and assistant professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Brian Matthews, user experience librarian, Georgia Tech Libraries.

The preconference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 10, in Chicago. Advance registration rates, available until May 22, are $195 for RUSA members, $240 for ALA members, $315 for non-members and $90 for students and retirees. Lunch is included.

Check out the RUSA blog for information on how to register for Annual Conference, how to register for only this preconference, and how to add a preconference to your current registration.

A comprehensive list of RUSA preconferences, program descriptions, sponsoring groups and speakers is available on the RUSA website.


“Future of book reviewing” honored with 2009 RUSA Shores/Greenwood Award

Blogging for a Good Book, a book-reviewing tool created and managed by the Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library, was selected as the winner of the 2009 Louis Shores/Greenwood Publishing Group Award.

The award, administered by RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES), recognizes excellence in book and media reviewing. The library has achieved this distinction through the blog, which uses 2.0 technology such as subject tagging, online catalog integration, RSS feeds and the blog’s commenting feature to encourage conversations between readers and reviewers. This interaction, unlike traditional book review sources and formats, opens up new channels for library communications with a broader number of users and user groups. The result is collection development and readers’ advisory services with impacts resounding far beyond the library stacks.

Blogging for a Good Book serves as a model for book reviewing of the future,” said Vicki Bloom, award committee chairperson and head of reference services, Rivera Library, University of California-Riverside. “By adapting new technology and involving more staff participation, the library has created a service that is immediate, interactive, informative and fun. They have successfully demonstrated that the reviewing process can be used beyond collection development and readers’ service; it also can serve as a conduit for deepening staff involvement, reaching new users, facilitating discussions between library staff and users, building communities of readers and highlighting the overall importance of the library in the community.”

The award, a citation and $3,000 cash prize sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, will be formally presented at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, July 13, as a part of ALA’s Annual Conference events. The exact location of this event will be announced on the RUSA website and at the RUSA Blog in late spring.

New Editor for RUSA Update Sought—Application Deadline May 22, 2009

RUSA invites applications for editor for the RUSA Update electronic newsletter. The editor will serve a two-year term beginning in July 2009, with the possibility of reappointment for a second two-year term. This is an unpaid position, but the editor receives complimentary press registration for the ALA Midwinter Meetings and the ALA Annual Conferences.
RUSA Update contains news and reports from committees and sections of the division, draft guidelines, conference and other information of interest to its members.   The newsletter is undergoing a revision in content and format, and the new editor will have input into its future direction.

Applicants should demonstrate experience in writing, editing and publications management, as well as familiarity with the needs of and issues facing reference and user services librarians, collection developers, and information specialists. This position would be an excellent opportunity for someone seeking editing, web development and web publishing experience. At the time of appointment the editor must be a member of RUSA and remain a member of RUSA while serving as editor.
In addition to a resume and cover letter, a statement outlining reasons for seeking the editorship, and the names and contact information of two references should be submitted.  The committee will review applications, interview finalists by conference call, and submit recommendations to the RUSA Board of Directors for approval at the ALA 2009 Annual Conference. Applicants will be informed of the Board’s decision as soon as possible following the Board meetings and will begin immediately.

Co-editors will be considered by the RUSA Board of Directors. Those interested in serving as co-editors may apply individually, stating that they are willing to serve with another co-editor of the Board’s choosing.  Pairs of co-editors interested in serving together may also apply as a team.

Applications may be submitted by May 22, 2009 via email to Daniel Mack, Editor, RUSA Update, at  Please put “RUSA Update Editor” in subject line.