Chapter 11: Interest Groups

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How to form an Interest Group?

Interest Groups (IG) were instituted to give RUSA a means to accommodate a variety of interests of members that do not fit specifically into the normal scope and coverage of Sections. Interest Groups are meant to foster more cross-divisional communication and learning. They should appeal to a wide spectrum of the membership and not draw just from one Section. Interest Groups discuss issues and provide members with informal networks to exchange ideas and solve problems. Interest Groups are more informal than Sections. Leaders are not elected using the more formal ALA and RUSA election process. Interest Groups are approved for three years and may be renewed for additional three-year periods by petitioning the RUSA Board. The RUSA Past President is the liaison between the Board and Interest Groups.


Interest Groups are organized and managed by a steering committee consisting of a convener, convener-elect and past convener. Only the steering committee will appear in the ALA Handbook of Organizations as they are the only members who will sign formal appointment acceptance forms. The leaders must be RUSA members and the IG must have 10 RUSA members at all times, although RUSA Interest Groups are open to any ALA member at no cost. Each Interest Group is responsible for determining the method by which the convener-elect is chosen. The convener-elect’s term begins following the Annual Conference. The convener-elect should be chosen by the Annual Conference preceding the beginning of their term of office.



  • Plan activities of the Interest Group. See meeting policies for deadlines regarding the scheduling of meeting space at conferences and other important dates.
  • Represent the Interest Group on RUSA Leadership Council
  • Compile bi-annual and other reports on the activities of the Interest Group for the RUSA Board and RUSA office
  • Work with the RUSA office to schedule meetings and events


  • Advise the convener
  • Assist the convener as needed


  • Take notes at meetings
  • Assist the convener as needed

Interest Group Task Forces

Each Interest Group may establish a task force as necessary to conduct any work of the Interest Group.

Virtual and Conference Programming

Interest Groups may sponsor programs for Annual or Midwinter subject to the ALA proposal submission process. Groups that plan special presentations, e.g. speakers or panel presentations, as a part of their discussion time slot may wish to use the electronic discussion list, RUSA-L, to announce them.

Membership Lists

The Interest Group will maintain a list of its members, ensuring at least 10 members are members of RUSA. The Interest Group will report its numbers in its board reports.

Evaluation of Interest Groups

From the RUSA Bylaws:

  1.      The Board of Directors or their designee may dissolve an Interest Group when, in its opinion, the usefulness of the Interest Group has ceased.
  2.      The Interest Group may disband at the request of the group leader(s) or if evidence indicates the group is no longer actively advancing the purpose of the Association.
  3.       An Interest Group must have 10 RUSA members to stay active.

(RUSA Past President is in charge of updating this page) Rev. 08/2018