For immediate release | November 29, 2011

Emily Hamstra is 2012 RUSA Emerging Leader

CHICAGO — Emily Hamstra, learning librarian at the University of Michigan’s Shapiro Undergraduate Library, has been selected as the 2012 Emerging Leader for the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

The ALA Emerging Leaders (EL) program is a leadership development program that enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. The Emerging Leader experience begins with a daylong session during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, followed by six months of project engagement through online learning and networking environments. The program culminates with a poster session presentation to display the results of the project planning work of each group at the ALA Annual Conference. As the RUSA Emerging Leader, Hamstra will partner with other emerging leaders on the project of her choosing. She will also work with RUSA leadership in a variety of other roles throughout the year.

Hamstra received her M.S. in Information with a specialty in Community Informatics in 2009 from the University of Michigan and earned her BA in English and History from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich.

She is an active member of ALA, RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). In her current capacity at the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, Hamstra provides services in collections, reference and instruction and does so in a way that aims to build community among the students she serves. In addition to her academic credentials and professional accomplishments, she has demonstrated her passion for making library collections come alive outside the library walls. For example, in 2007, following an internship with the Grand Rapids History and Special Collection Department of the Grand Rapids Public Library (GRPL), she was inspired to create an exhibit and hold a community celebration for the 75th birthday of the Richmond Park Pool — an important fixture in the Westside neighborhood of Grand Rapids. The celebration came together thanks to successful partnerships with GRPL, the Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department, The Grand Rapids Press and other important sponsors and supporters in the community. The exhibit is now a part of the GRPL’s collection in the Grand Rapids History and Special Collections Department.

Hamstra will kick off her tenure as the 2012 RUSA Emerging Leader at the upcoming 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.

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