For immediate release | November 8, 2011

Nomination period open until Dec. 15 for RUSA achievement awards and travel grants

CHICAGO — There’s a little more than a month left to nominate yourself - -or someone else -- for one of the many achievement awards and conference travel grants offered by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), the division of ALA representing librarians and information service professionals in reference, collection development, readers advisory, genealogy and resource sharing.

The deadline for all nominations for RUSA’s 2012 awards is Dec. 15, 2011, with the exception of the BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, which has a deadline of Jan. 31, 2012. Award criteria, nomination forms and instructions for submissions are available at each of the award’s Web pages, which can be accessed by clicking on the award names below.

Awards for Individuals and Groups for Professional Achievement

  • The BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to business librarianship. Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning; $3,000 prize and a citation.
  • The Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Library Services is given to a library or library system for developing an imaginative and unique resource to meet patrons' reference needs. Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning; $3,000 prize and a citation.
  • The History Section Genealogical Publishing Company Award is presented to a librarian, library or publisher who is a RUSA member and recognizes professional achievement in historical reference and research librarianship. Sponsored by Genealogical Publishing Company; $1,500 prize and a citation.
  • The Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award honors an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to reference librarianship. Sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning; $5,000 prize and a citation.
  • The John Sessions Memorial Award recognizes a library or library system that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. Supported by the Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO; the winner receives a plaque.
  • The Louis Shores Award recognizes an individual reviewer, group, editor, review medium or organization for excellence in book reviewing and other media for libraries. The winner receives a citation.
  • The Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award recognizes a librarian who has made significant contributions to library adult services. The winner receives a citation.
  • The Reference Service Press Award recognizes the most outstanding article published in RUSQ during the preceding two-volume year. Sponsored by Reference Service Press; $2,500 prize and a plaque.
  • The Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award is given to an individual for his or her outstanding professional achievement, leadership and contributions to interlibrary loan and document delivery. Sponsored by OCLC; $2,000 prize and a citation.
  • The Zora Neale Hurston Award honors an individual ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. Sponsored by HarperCollins; the winner receives $1,250 supporting travel to the ALA Annual Conference, a plaque, tickets to the Literary Tastes Breakfast, tickets to the ALTAFF Author Tea and a set of Hurston’s books in print with HarperCollins at the time of the award.
  • The RSS Service Achievement Award is presented annually to a Reference Services Section (RSS) member in recognition of exceptional contributions to the section. Contact the award committee chair for more information.
  • The MARS “My Favorite Martian” Award is presented annually in recognition of excellence in service to the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section. Contact the award committee chair for more information.

Travel Grants to ALA Annual Conference

  • The BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award presents $1,000 to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master's degree program to fund travel to the ALA Annual Conference. This award’s nomination deadline is Jan. 31, 2012.
  • The Morningstar Public Librarian Support Award, sponsored by Morningstar, Inc., offers $1,000 to support the attendance at Annual Conference of a public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and who requires financial assistance to attend the conference.
  • The STARS/Atlas Systems Mentoring Award offers $1,250 to fund Annual Conference travel expenses for a library practitioner who is new to the field of interlibrary loan/document delivery or electronic reserves and who has daily, hands-on involvement in the areas of borrowing, lending, document delivery, electronic reserves, material delivery or resource sharing. Thanks to the generosity of the award’s sponsor, this award has increased from its previous amount of $1,000.

RUSA also offers the BRASS Emerald Research Grant, which consists of two $5,000 awards presented to individuals seeking support to conduct research in business librarianship. The deadline to apply for these grants is Dec. 15, 2011.

More information about these awards, including nominating instructions, can be found at the RUSA Awards Web page. Monetary award amounts are subject to change without notice and are contingent upon donor funding supplied at the time the award is presented. Questions about these awards should be directed to the committee chairperson—access committee contact information by logging in at, then accessing the RUSA roster Web page—or to the RUSA headquarters staff.

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