Brian E. Coutts named winner of RUSA’s Isadore Gilbert Mudge award

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/28/2017


Leighann Wood

Sr. Program Officer

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

CHICAGO—Brian E. Coutts, Professor and Head of the Department of Library Public Services at Western Kentucky University, was selected as the 2017 winner of the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, RUSA’s highest honor, for his distinguished contributions to reference services and librarianship.

Sponsored by Credo Reference, the award consists of $5,000 and a citation, which will be presented to Coutts at the RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

For a career spanning over thirty years, Coutts has established a prominent legacy of reviewing and authoring reference books, essays and articles, including the annually selected, widely-read and highly valued, “Best Reference” in Library Journal.

Coutt’s research interests include reference publishing for print and web resources, history reference sources, travel on the web, the history of Spanish Louisiana, the history of Belize, and much more. A complete list of published and forthcoming works can be found at

The Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award selection committee unanimously selected Coutts “for his enthusiastic advocacy for reference, his passion for librarianship, and his superb writing and reviewing of reference sources.”

The Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award selection committee includes: Cheryl M. LaGuardia (Chair), M. Kathleen Kern, Rosemary Long Meszaros, Teresa Portilla Omidsalar, Joseph A. Thompson Jr.

The RUSA Achievement Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 25 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. All conference attendees are invited to the event. Additional event details will be available on the conference website in April.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), 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