Meet RUSA Member: Melissa F. Gonzalez


Melissa F. Gonzalez, MLIS, MA
Head of Reference
University of West Florida
Pensacola, FL

Describe RUSA in three words:

Community, opportunity, representative.

How long have you been a RUSA member?

2012 (I think??)

What drew you to and continues to attract you to the RUSA Community?

The initial draw for me was (and still is) the History Section. As a History Librarian, this is where my people are. It has afforded me the opportunity to meet and work with some truly awesome colleagues, many of whom I now call friends. Also, because RUSA is one of the smaller divisions, I don't feel like I get lost in the huge sea of people. I've enjoyed being able to interact with other section and division leadership in a manageable and meaningful way.

What are you working on now that you’re excited about?

Working on a task force to redesign our library website, and finally carving out some time this summer to clean up and standardize our LibGuides (which are completely off the rails and out of control!)

What are you currently reading/ listening to/ watching/ making?

Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, by Casey Cep I'm listening to Trevor Noah narrate his Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood and binge watching The Crown on Netflix

What advice can you share to others for a fulfilling and beneficial RUSA experience?

Get involved!! RUSA has six very diverse sections, all of which have plenty of opportunities for committee service and other volunteer work. If you're new to the division or want to be more active, just reach out to someone in the section leadership and you'll most certainly be welcomed and pointed in the right direction.