For immediate release | May 22, 2012

Kern elected vice-president/president-elect of RUSA

CHICAGO — M. Kathleen Kern, reference librarian at the University of Illinois, has won election to the post of vice-president/president-elect of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), the division of ALA representing librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, adult readers’ advisory and resource sharing.

Kern has been an active RUSA member since 2001 and has served as RUSA division councilor and a member of the RUSA Executive Committee since 2009. She also served as vice-chair, chair and past chair of RUSA’s MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section from 2004-2007. In her new role, which she will assume following the 2012 ALA Annual Conference, Kern aims to increase the value of association membership through expanded opportunities for virtual participation, with a focus on creation of relevant online and in-person content for the library community that educates librarians and cultivates leaders. She is also interested in promoting the value of reference services and sharing RUSA’s adult book awards such as the Notable Books List for fiction, non-fiction and poetry, the Reading List of genre fiction and the Listen List for outstanding audiobook narration with a broader audience.

Over the course of her 12 years as a librarian, she has supervised and mentored more than 60 graduate assistants working at the Main Library Information and Reference desk at the University of Illinois Library. She participated in the writing of the first RUSA Guidelines for Virtual Reference and subsequently authored “Virtual reference best practices: Tailoring services to your library” (ALA Editions, 2010). Kern has also shared her expertise abroad, traveling in 2006 with the Mortenson Center for International Librarianship to Nigeria to provide training for librarians in using online resources.

Professionally, Kern has served as an adjunct instructor for both the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana (2011) and the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University (2009). She is currently enrolled in the PhD program at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and earned her MSLIS from the same school in 1999. She received the 2010 RUSA MARS “My Favorite Martian” Achievement Award Certificate and participated in the 2006 Frye Leadership Institute, a program offered by the Council on Library and Information Resources and EDUCAUSE.

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. Learn more about the association at


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