Help patrons, your career with RUSA online courses

Contact: Liz Markel

Marketing Specialist, ASCLA



For Immediate Release

October 21, 2008

CHICAGO—The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) is offering online courses that can help librarians assist both their customers and their own careers.

With the continued downturn in the economy, a growing number of visitors to the library seek assistance with business-related questions. The economy has also affected the job market, and many librarians may wish to diversify their skill set to open doors to employment opportunities. Business Reference 101 and The Reference Interview, two of RUSA’s online professional development opportunities, provide solutions to both of these challenges.

Offered Nov. 17 – Dec. 19, Business Reference 101 will prepare reference staff to answer business reference questions with confidence. The course is designed for academic, special or public librarians and other researchers and library staff who have a basic understanding of some business resources. Students will acquire a framework for understanding the business reference process, as well as an overview of several business reference sources. Access to proprietary business reference databases such as Thomson/Gale's Business & Company Resource Center, Ebsco's Business Source Complete and Morningstar, among others, complements the learning experience.

The Reference Interview is an introductory, comprehensive course tailored for support staff, library technicians, newly hired reference librarians and librarians at all types of libraries who want to brush up on their interview skills. Using a multimedia approach to enhance learning, students will learn about methods of follow-up and reference service evaluation as well as questioning strategies to help patrons identify what they need. The course will run Dec. 8 – Jan. 16, with a week off for the Christmas holiday.

Both courses are asynchronous—there are no scheduled class meeting times. Students log into the course at their convenience throughout the week to complete assignments and quizzes and participate in discussions using message boards and similar tools. Complete descriptions of the courses, instructor biographies and registration deadlines are available at
the Professional Development section of the RUSA website.

RUSA online courses are open to the public. Registration is $130 for RUSA members, $160 for ALA members, $190 for non-ALA members, and $100 for students.
Register online, or
download the registration form to register by fax or mail. Contact ALA’s Membership and
Customer Service team with questions about registration.

Discounted group registration rates are available—contact
Liz Markel, RUSA Marketing Specialist, for more information.

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association (, 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.