RUSA online course teaches genealogy reference basics to library reference desk staff

Contact: Liz Markel

Marketing Specialist, RUSA/ASCLA

(312) 280-4398


For Immediate Release

October 13, 2009

Register now through Tuesday, Nov. 3 for the next offering of “
Genealogy 101”, an online course designed to provide librarians and library staff with confidence and skill in assisting family history researchers.

The course, which is offered Nov. 9-Dec. 23 by the
Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and taught by RUSA member and genealogy expert Jack Simpson, is a five-week online course aimed at librarians, students and general reference desk staff with little or no experience in genealogy. The course provides an introduction to American genealogy reference service and will outline basic sources and strategies, centered on a single case study. Topics covered include the U.S. Census, vital records, immigration research, military research and a variety of other basic genealogy sources. Students will also receive instruction in reference desk strategies and tools for further professional development. The course will cover archival material, print reference tools and online sources.

Simpson is an independent historical researcher based in Ann Arbor, Mich. He is the former curator of local and family history at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He holds a master’s degree in history from Wayne State and a library degree from the University of Michigan. He is the author of “Basics of Genealogy Reference: A Librarian's Guide” (Libraries Unlimited, 2008).

Registration for this course is $130 for RUSA members, $170 for ALA members, $210 for non-ALA members and $100 for students.
Register online, or
download the registration form to register by fax or mail. Online and fax registrations must be completed by Tuesday, Nov. 3; mailed registration forms must be postmarked by Monday, Oct. 26. Contact ALA’s Membership and Customer Service team at (800) 545-2433, option 5 or with questions about registration. Complete descriptions of all of RUSA’s courses, instructor biographies and registration deadlines are available at the Professional Development section of the RUSA website.

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

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