For immediate release | December 20, 2011

RUSA Annual Conference programs to cover cutting-edge topics relevant to all types of libraries

CHICAGO--The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) will host technology and future-focused programs at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, tackling topics such as mobile technology, e-books, readers' advisory in the digital age, international interlibrary loan and financial literacy, among other topics.

Program participation is open to any registered Annual Conference attendee. Conference registration opens Jan. 3, 2012 at In addition to these programs, RUSA will host a number of discussion groups, a business reference workshop, member receptions and association business meetings. Information about these events will be posted throughout the coming months at the RUSA website, the RUSA blog, the RUSA Facebook page and on the RUSA Twitter feed.

Here’s an overview of this year’s programs:

  • RUSA President's Program: Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons

    Sunday,10:30 a.m. – noon This program will explore and highlight the importance of libraries supporting mobile technologies for both the dissemination and acquisition of information.
  • The E-book Elephant in the Room: Determining What’s Relevant and Effective for Your Patrons, and Making Effective Decisions for Your Future E-collection

    Saturday, 8 – 10 a.m. Patron demand for e-books is growing. Hear how representatives from both public and academic libraries are measuring the success and challenges of their e-book collections.
  • Smart investing@your library: Program Models That Work

    Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – noon As more people need and want to learn how to manage their personal finances, the innovative libraries of the Smart investing@your library grant program are leading the way--learn how to implement similar financial literacy programs at your library.
  • The RA Forum: Browsing for Pleasure in the Digital Age

    Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – noon Three RA experts will explore the changing ways our patrons browse our collections and learn about titles outside our walls.
  • International ILL: A Global Perspective on Resource Sharing

    Saturday, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Join the RUSA STARS International ILL Committee as it presents its findings from a recent international survey of libraries regarding international interlibrary loan and discusses challenges and possible solutions for international interlibrary loan as revealed by the survey.
  • Are Virtual Reference Services Worth the Effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us

    Saturday, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Are virtual reference services worth the effort? A panel of experts discusses ways to look at return-on-investment and evaluation of virtual reference (VR) services and various methods used to assess their effectiveness.
  • Mining Gold from the 1940 U.S. Census

    Sunday, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. The 72-year privacy embargo on the 1940 US Census will expire in April 2012. Librarians and researchers are eager to know what these records contain and what indexes and other finding aids will help mine this vast treasure trove of information--this program will help you get started on this fact-finding adventure.
  • 18th Annual Reference Research Forum

    Sunday, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. The Reference Research Forum continues to be one of the most popular and valuable programs during the ALA Annual Conference, where attendees can learn about notable research projects conducted in the broad area of reference services such as user behavior, electronic services, reference effectiveness and assessment and organizational structure and personnel.
  • Implementing the “STAR” Checklist for High Performance Library Resource-Sharing

    Sunday, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. The STAR Checklist for library resource sharing has been released to enthusiastic reviews. We’ll review the checklist and explain its development and purpose, then hear from librarians who have implemented the checklist about the impact of these best practices on developing high performance resource-sharing policies and practices.
  • How Libraries Are Serving the Evolving Needs of Baby Boomers and Older Adults

    Sunday, 4 – 5:30 p.m. Baby Boomers and Older Americans today are the most diverse community of aging adults in history. Learn how libraries are reaching these populations, with attention to the 2008 RUSA Guidelines on Library and Information Services to Older Adults.
  • Discovery Systems: The Promise and the Reality

    Sunday, 4 – 5:30 p.m. The new era of discovery systems that launched in 2008 with products like Summon from Serials Solutions, EBSCO Discovery Service, Primo Central from ExLibris and OCLC’s WorldCat Local, promised to revolutionize how students and researchers discover, access and use library resources of all types. This program examines how well discovery systems deliver on their promises four years into their development.
  • Readers' Advisory for Town AND Gown: Academic and Public Library Partnerships for RA Services

    Monday, 10:30 a.m. – noon Long a core service of public libraries, the expectation of readers' advisory in college and university libraries is a growing trend. Come hear academic librarians describing how they have been challenged to incorporate readers' advisory techniques into their programs and to hear from public librarians that have successfully partnered with their local institutions of higher education for the mutual benefit of public library cardholders and students.
  • Business Data Sources: Librarians and Content Creators

    Monday, 8 a.m. - noon In our two-part program, we’ll show you how to help your users with free and low-cost business statistical data sources to locate business demographics, basic industry financials and much more. In the second part of our program, we’ll learn how business data vendors generate data and also the exciting future developments of GIS and data-driven business information.
  • Keep the Fight Going: Libraries Fight Back

    Monday, 10:30 a.m. – noon Libraries are at the core of our communities and at the forefront of the digital world. Library workers help preserve the past while educating for the future, and libraries can reinvigorate blighted areas while inspiring people to “be the change.” Yet when budgetary crises occur, libraries always seem to be the first resources offered up for sacrifice. This program will examine the essential services that libraries provide to their communities and, increasingly, an interconnected global community.
  • Let’s Work Together: Integrating Social Media, Online Marketing, and Outreach

    Monday, 10:30 a.m. – noon Speakers will discuss how their organizations have reinvented their online presence using social media as a way to interact with their communities. They'll also address their personal and organizational investments in the implementation of an ongoing, online, socially-interactive presence; give hints and advice regarding the implementation of new media and how these roles and responsibilities are assigned to staff; identify the criteria they used to develop their social media plan; and explain goals and measurement tools for keeping on track.

The Reference and User Services Association, 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. Not a member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, preconferences and other events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at Learn more about the association at


Elizabeth Markel