Publishers invited to submit nominations for RUSA reference and adult reader literary awards

Contact: Liz Markel

Marketing Specialist, RUSA/ASCLA

(312) 280-4398


For Immediate Release

September 22, 2009

Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) literary awards committees are seeking outstanding published works for consideration for a variety of 2010 reference awards and prestigious lists for the adult reader.

The Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of RUSA, which is home to librarians with expertise in both collection development and readers’ advisory, offers five annual book awards—the Notable Books List, the Reading List, the Sophie Brody Medal, the Dartmouth Medal and the Outstanding Reference Sources list—designed to highlight the best in adult reading, genre fiction, Jewish literature and reference (2), respectively. The selection committees are composed of RUSA members with extensive professional experience in these areas, and publishers are encouraged to
review these awards and their comprehensive descriptions and submit their most appropriate works for consideration.

Since 1944, the
Notable Books List has annually identified 25 very good, very readable and at times very important fiction, nonfiction and poetry books for the adult reader. The
2009 winning list included 11 fiction titles, 12 non-fiction titles and two works of poetry. Publishers should submit their nominations to the
section committee chairperson.

Established in 2007,
The Reading List highlights outstanding genre fiction that merits special attention from general adult readers and the librarians who work with them. The Council, composed of 12 librarians garnering expertise in readers’ advisory and collection development, selects one book from each of eight different genres. The eight genres currently included in the council’s considerations are adrenaline titles (suspense, thrillers and action adventure); fantasy, historical fiction; horror; mystery; romance; science fiction; and women’s fiction.
Detailed submission guidelines for The Reading List and
contact information for the selection committee chairperson can be found on the RUSA website
. A list of the 2009 winners is available online at the RUSA website.

Sophie Brody Medal is given to one winner and one or more honor books for their outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. Winning titles are selected for their literary merit, their perspective-broadening presentation of the Jewish experience, their exploration of Jewish characters, settings, themes, philosophies or other identifiably Jewish aspects through a literary context and/or their success at broadening the understanding of the reader with regard to Jewish history, culture and identity. Publishers should submit their nominations to the
selection committee chairperson.

Dartmouth Medal honors the creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, including, but not limited to: writing, compiling, editing, or publishing books or electronic information. The award is given to works that have been published or made available for the first time during the calendar year preceding the presentation of the award. Publishers should submit their nominations to the
selection committee chairperson.

Since 1958, RUSA has compiled the
Outstanding Reference Sources list to recommend the best reference publications for small and medium-sized libraries. An annotated list of the winners is published annually in the May issue of
American Libraries, and the full list is also published in
Reference & User Services Quarterly, RUSA’s research journal. Publishers should contact the
selection committee chairperson for information about subject area reviewers and submission guidelines.

Winners of each of these awards will be selected and announced at the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting, Jan. 15-19, in Boston. The announcements are part of the RUSA Book and Media Awards Reception, which is held Sunday afternoon of the meeting. All meeting attendees and exhibitors’ representatives are invited to attend the celebration. Several of the year’s winning authors will appear at the 2010 Literary Tastes Breakfast, a beloved RUSA tradition where attendees enjoy a scrumptious breakfast while listening to writers ruminate on their work and the writing process, read from their current works or speak about their upcoming publications. This ticketed event will be held Sunday, June 27, 8-10 a.m., and tickets will be available for purchase when general conference registration opens Jan. 4, 2010.

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 and CODES to your ALA membership at Learn more about the association at