RSS Committees

RSS Committee Rosters

ALA is sensitive to the issue of privacy for its members. For this reason, RUSA has centralized the administration of committee rosters to provide consistency in terms of fulfilling the privacy policy of ALA, as well as, working with the "live" membership database. Remember that during times of transition (usually late spring) committee membership information will be in flux.

Use the RUSA Directory of Rosters page to access rosters, member directories, and other contact information to help in your information needs or volunteer efforts for RSS and RUSA. This information is password protected and for ALA members only. You will need to log in with your ALA login and password to access roster information. If you don't know your login and password, visit the ALA Online Customer Service Center or call 1-800-545-2433, and press 5.

RSS Committee Pages

Bessie Boehm Moore/Thorndike Press Award (Temporarily Disbanded)

Discovery Services focuses on the use of catalogs in reference service, including such aspects as communicating, evaluating, improving, studying, and teaching the use of catalogs in all forms; monitors and communicates significant continuities and changes in the use of catalogs; identifies and examines critical issues and problems in catalog use; provides opportunities for librarians to propose and discuss innovative solutions to catalog use problems; joins with librarians in other specialties to produce improvements in library service.

Discussion Forum Coordinating coordinates discussion forums at Annual and Midwinter ALA meetings. (disbanded)

Cooperative Reference Service extends a library's information service capability through interaction with other libraries or information centers. It is a process through which information assistance is provided, at least in part, by referring the user or the user's question to library/information personnel at another institution according to a system of formally established protocols. The purpose of the committee is to study, promote, and support cooperative reference service at all levels.

Communication & Teaching at the Point of Need Committee offers programming, forums for discussions, and professional development opportunities focused on effective communication, teaching strategies, skills, and technologies used at all patron points-of-need. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the reference interview, teachable moments during the reference interaction, and point-of-need videos or tutorials.

Communications Committee

Education and Professional Development for Reference identifies and studies issues relating to the education and professional development of reference librarians and library support staff; encourages and promotes effective professional development and training; monitors, evaluates and promotes the development of library school curricula for the preparation of reference librarians; develops educational training opportunities for reference librarians and library support staff.

Evaluation of Reference and User Services collects, analyzes, and disseminates information to the RUSA membership and profession on qualitative evaluation and quantitative measurements of service which will be used to assist in responsible managerial planning and decision making in reference and adult services; supports research in this area.

Executive Committee provides leadership, coordination and direction for the Section and acts for and by the authority of the Section during the period between meetings of the Section.

Health and Medical Reference Committee develops guidelines and to provide educational opportunities focusing on health and medical reference. Topics that the committee addresses include legal and ethical issues, resource evaluation, health literacy, cultural differences, library programming, and health reference interview skills.

Library Services to an Aging Population explores ways of providing information and education on the subject and its problems for the profession and for the layperson who works with this group facilitating the use of library service by the aged, continually exploring ways of making library service to the aged more effective.

Library Services to the Spanish-Speaking improves library services to the Spanish-speaking and Hispanic culture groups at the local and national levels.

Management of Reference identifies and studies issues relating to the management of reference services and disseminates information on reference management in all types of libraries.

Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services identifies, studies, and recommends methods for marketing reference and information services.


Organization and Planning (inactive as of March 2013) provides leadership and facilitates communication and continuity within the section including assisting with orientations, conducting periodic formal and informal assessments, overseeing and/or conducting policies and procedures updating, and serving in an advisory capacity to the Executive Committee.

Preconference Planning (co-sponsorship with MARS)

Recognition Committee selects a recipient of the RSS Service Achievement Award. The recipient is honored for either (1) sustained contributions toward attaining the goals of RSS, or (2) a single, significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section.

Research and Statistics collects, analyzes, and disseminates information on current research needs and statistical procedures in the fields of reference and information services; to sponsor an annual reference research forum.

Services for Job Seeking Patrons offers programming, forums for discussions, and professional development opportunities focused on providing services and outreach related to patrons’ jobs and career needs.  Topics may include library resources and reference assistance; guides, tutorials, and web content; programming, promotion, and instruction; and effective community partnerships.

Virtual Reference Committee (co-sponsorship with MARS) provides a timely forum for discussion of issues related to the provision of virtual reference services.

Web Advisory Committee (inactive as of March 2013) develops, reviews, and recommends to the RSS Executive Committee policies for the RSS web site.

Young Adult Reference Services Committee provides forums for discussion, sharing, and learning relating to the provision of reference, information, and homework help services to young adults.  Generally the focus user group is age 12 to 19 years. This committee is responsible for maintaining the Guidelines for Library Services to Teens developed by a joint RUSA/YALSA task force in 2008: /