Valuable learning opportunities for all types of librarians with RUSA programs at Annual

Contact: Liz Markel

Marketing Specialist, RUSA/ASCLA

(312) 280-4398


For Immediate Release

February 24, 2009

CHICAGO—This summer, librarians and library staff from all types of libraries will find a program of interest among the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) offerings at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference.

RUSA, a division of the American Library Association, represents the interests of those working in reference, collection development, readers’ advisory, resource sharing and specialized reference, including historical and business reference services. Its programs provide opportunities for all conference attendees to learn about trends in these fields, to discover useful tools for providing better library services and to uncover solutions to a multitude of challenges in the workplace.

A comprehensive list of program descriptions, sponsoring groups and speakers is available on the RUSA website. RUSA’s 2009 preconferences—ticketed events providing one-day or half-day intensive professional development opportunities—are also listed on the website.

Reference Programming

Who Cares About Privacy? Boundaries, Millennials and the MySpace Mindset

Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Libraries have long trumpeted their role as protectors of privacy, but what does privacy mean in an age when people share all aspects of their lives with a worldwide audience? Speakers will participate in a lively discussion on the changing definition of privacy and its impact on libraries and the research process.

15th Annual New Reference Research Forum

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

The Research Forum is one of the most popular programs at ALA Annual, where attendees can learn about notable research projects in reference service areas such as user behavior, electronic services and reference effectiveness. This year’s Forum features three presentations, including the recipients of RUSA’s 15th Anniversary Reference Research Grant, who will present their findings on using WOREP data to build excellent reference service.

Catalog Use and Usability Studies: What Do They Show and How Should This Evidence Affect Our Decision-Making?

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

How are online catalogs used? What information is sought by different levels of users? How well do OPACs support catalog functions? What role should usability studies play in the decision-making process? What improvements can be made in response to the findings of a catalog usability study? Researchers from various types of libraries who have employed catalog usability and user studies findings to improve their catalogs will share their experiences.

You Got Me, Do You Like Me? Evaluating Next Generation Catalogs

Sunday, July 12, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Congratulations, you have acquired (or may soon acquire) a Next Generation, Web 2.0 catalog—now what? Hear from a panel of academic and public librarians who have been evaluating their open source and off-the-shelf next-gen catalogs. Topics will include usability testing, ongoing assessment, vendor collaboration and user expectations in the transition to next-gen products.

Resuscitating the Catalog: Next-Generation Strategies for Keeping the Catalog Relevant

Monday, July 13, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

In today's complex information environment, users have come to expect evaluative information and interactive capabilities when searching for information resources. A panel of experts will address various aspects of providing links to external information in library catalogs, implementing user-contributed functionality and using computational data to support bibliographic control.

Specialized Reference Programming: Historical and Business

Unleashing the Undigitized: Promoting and Accessing Traditional Historical Resources in the Age of Google

Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Digitization has made a vast amount of primary source material more readily available than ever. How can information professionals promote still-important print and microform collections in the age of Google? This panel will discuss the issue from a number of perspectives, including that of librarians, archivists, teachers and vendors.

Beyond ¡Hola!: Spanish Reference Resources for Non-Spanish Speakers

Monday, July 13, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Do you have the right tools to help a Spanish-speaker looking for information in your library? Do you know how to purchase the right titles for your Spanish-speaking population? As Latinos become more active library users, what can libraries do to help them become more informed citizens? Join us as we discuss reference resources, Web sites and collection development for this group of patrons.

Dollars, Pounds and Yen: Libraries in a Time of Globalization

Monday, July 13, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Identifying the best resources for international business information can be overwhelming. Get a grip on the best tools available with help from subject matter experts who will share best resources for locating information on emerging markets and will discuss the global economic outlook and major trends in the global economy as they effect stock, bond, commodity and currency markets around the world.

Not-So-Silent Partners: Libraries and Local Economic Development

Monday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Public libraries and the ways they assist local businesses are the focus of this program. John Ericson, business outreach librarian at the Schaumburg Public Library will speak about ways to effectively conduct outreach within the business community. William Strauss, senior economist at the Chicago Federal Reserve will share his views about the national and Midwest economies. These presentations will be accompanied by a poster session illustrating the business partnership efforts of several libraries.

Readers’ Advisory & Collection Development Programming

RUSA President’s Program

Monday, July 13, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

RUSA President Neal Wyatt invites you to a discussion and exploration of the cutting edge of readers’ advisory (RA) services. The Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Forum is a new RUSA initiative where ideas, best practices and creative possibilities are actively engaged and deconstructed in order to contribute to the advancement of RA service. This year’s themes include the changes in genre fiction, the DNA of multimedia appeal and the RA 2.0 implications of reader-driven tagging.

Outsourcing Collection Development: Collaboration is the Key

Saturday, July 11, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Outsourcing collection development has come a long way in the last 10 years. A panel representing public libraries, academic libraries and relevant vendors will address the evolution of outsourcing, how the traditional role of the collection development librarian has changed and the effectiveness of newly developed collaborative models illustrating library-vendor relationships.

Collection Development 2.0: The Changing Administration of Collection Development

Saturday, July 11, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

In the last few years, most libraries have made major changes in the way they manage collection development. This program will help clarify what new approaches some libraries have taken and why, their consequences (both intended and unintended) and what some of those thinking about these issues see on the horizon.

Things That Go Bump in the Stacks: Whole Collection Advisory for Paranormal Fiction

Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Come discuss best practices for helping patrons find paranormal materials they can really sink their teeth into. This program focuses on the appeal of the genre and helping fans find materials throughout the library. Neil Hollands, librarian and author of “Read On…Fantasy Fiction,” will moderate a panel of authors and experts discussing best practices, including bestselling authors Charlaine Harris (the Southern Vampire series) and Charlie Huston (Joe Pitt series).

Collection Development: Decision-Making with Data

Sunday, July 12, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

What do materials selectors in academic, public and school libraries need to know, and where can they find data to inform their decisions? Librarians who did not take a collection development course or who have been asked to select materials in unfamiliar subject areas or formats will benefit from this overview program, which will review sources of readily-available data and provide tips on how to use it effectively for collection development.

New Selectors and Selecting in New Subjects: Meeting the Challenges

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Are you challenged by a new collection development assignment or responsible for training new librarians in collection development? Librarians are increasingly thrust into new roles as selectors in unfamiliar disciplines or liaisons to unrelated academic departments and community groups, yet we often assume these roles with little to no training and/or subject background. This program explores the changing environment of collection development and offers strategies for preparing for new challenges.

Resource Sharing & Collaboration Programming

The Secret Life of Our Data: Privacy in the Digital Age

Saturday, July 11, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The ease with which personal information can be stored, replicated, transmitted and accessed has changed the information privacy landscape considerably. Consequently, it is difficult for libraries to guarantee the privacy of users’ information. Legal challenges resulting from the USA PATRIOT Act and employers seeking information about their staff further complicate the issue. Attendees will learn more about patron privacy issues and how to serve as effective defenders of users' rights.

Resource Sharing in the 21st Century: Beyond Books and Journals

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

How can we share digital (streaming video, downloadable audio files, e-books, etc.) and non-print collections through traditional interlibrary loan (ILL) or cooperative sharing? What is the current state of resource sharing with regard to formats other than print, and how are we providing greater access to each other’s collections through consortia borrowing and circulation? Learn more about these topics from a variety of speakers representing ILL and library network professionals.

Moving Mountains: Latest Trends in the Physical Delivery of Library Materials

Saturday, July 11, 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

How do you move 5, 10 or even 20 million items a year between libraries? The 2008 Moving Mountains Symposium in Cincinnati explored the best methods for delivering materials between libraries as well as new trends in home delivery. A panel will present Symposium highlights, including best practices in current delivery, future trends, home delivery, automated material handling systems and ways to collaborate.

Customer Service & Workplace Issues

When is Nice Too Nice? Solutions for Disengaging from the Talkative Patron

Saturday, July 11, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Library public services staff commonly experience overly talkative patrons. Some are homeless or mentally ill, but others may simply be lonely and seeking human contact. These "chatty" patrons can be a significant problem when there are multiple people needing assistance, when they exhibit inappropriate behaviors or when they aggressively seek out the time and attention of specific staff members. Join us to explore strategies for addressing this issue in a variety of library settings.

Love the Work, Hate the Job

Monday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Why do more and more Americans express dissatisfaction with their jobs while their work has become more intellectually challenging and less physically exhausting? Hear David Kusnet, author of “Love the Work, Hate the Job,” tell the stories of workers fighting less for better pay and benefits and more for respect and a say in the future of their business. He will also address his argument that indiscriminate cost-cutting and the pursuit of short-term profits prevent the best workers from doing their best work.


Participation in any of these programs is included with annual conference registration. Register for the Annual Conference using the
online registration form, by calling 1 (800) 974-3084, or by downloading a
printed registration form, which can then be submitted via mail or faxed per the instructions on the form.

Not a RUSA member, but interested in discounted registration rates on conference, RUSA preconferences and other RUSA events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at

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. For more information, visit