For immediate release | October 1, 2013

RUSA online courses offer significant value

CHICAGO - The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has several upcoming online courses that will be of significant value to public, academic and special librarians, as well as library school students; topics to be covered include health literacy and reference, spatial literacy and online mapping and reference interview basics.

“The Reference Interview,” taught by reference expert Dave Tyckoson of California State University-Fresno, is a comprehensive course focusing on the methods of evaluating reference service, behavioral aspects of reference service and the different types of questions that can be used to help patrons identify what they need. Other topics include approachability, questioning and listening techniques and the reference interview environment. Chat sessions will model interviewing techniques using sample dialogues. This is an excellent course for students and support staff to get hands-on experience and feedback about the process of answering a reference question. Participants from all types of libraries will benefit from the techniques presented in this course. Learn more about the course and register now.

"Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping", which will run Oct. 14-Nov. 3, is especially relevant for public or reference librarians who want to organize information in a visual or geographic way to benefit the work of the library, to make information available to the community or any number of needs. Through podcasts and hands-on assignments, participants in this course will explore uses for geographic information systems (GIS) technology within organizations and also its social uses beyond simple cartography. The course will also cover the how-tos of online mapping tools such as Google Earth, ArcExplorer, Scribble Maps and Google Maps. Registration for this course starts at $130 for RUSA members. Learn more about the course and register now.

"Health Information 101" prepares librarians to assist their patrons with access to reliable health information resources--a valuable library service, especially for those libraries serving older adults. Participants in this course will learn how to demystify and decode medical terminology, then cover the basics of evidence-based biomedical literature searching. Systematic evaluations of health websites, a review of some the best of best sites for medical, pharmaceutical and drug information and an overview of the business of healthcare - including PPACA, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HealthIT and HITECH, Meaningful Use, Physician and Hospital Rankings & Ratings and the Personal Health Record - will be covered. The course concludes with a discussion of health literacy and how to create partnerships with hospital and academic medical librarians through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. CEU credits are available for this course, and registration starts at $150 for RUSA members. The course runs Nov. 4-Dec. 15. Learn more about the course and register now.

Registration for all of these courses remains open through the Thursday prior to the course start date. Group registrations of two or more individuals from the same library, library system or network can take advantage of 15 percent savings when registering for the same course. Visit the RUSA Online Learning page for more information, or contact the ALA Registration team at or (800) 545-2433, option 5. Register online now.

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

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Liz Markel

Marketing & Programs Manager