Service Achievement Award Committee

RSS Service Achievement Award

Reference and Services Section of RUSA is pleased to solicit nominations for its first annual RSS Service Achievement Award. This award, which will be presented at the annual RSS Open House and the RUSA annual awards ceremony, honors an RSS member's contributions to the section. The recipient will be chosen based on either sustained contributions towards attaining the goals of RSS or a single significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section. To make a nomination please send a letter detailing specifically how the nominee has met either of these criteria to Lori Thornton (lori.thornton at, the award committee chair.


Established by the RSS Executive Committee, October 21, 2009.


The purpose of the committee is to recognize excellence in service to RSS by selecting a recipient of the RSS Service Achievement Award. The recipient is honored for either (1) sustained contributions toward attaining the goals of RSS, or (2) a single, significant contribution that has resulted in a positive impact upon the work of the section.


The Service Award Committee is composed of four to five members. The Members-at-Large form the core of the committee, with the senior Member-at-Large serving as chair, unless another designation is made. An additional member is the most recent past recipient of the award able to serve on the committee. Another member – such as a past recipient or past member of the Executive Committee -- may be added, especially to ensure continuity of membership.

Terms of Service

Members-at-Large serve on the Service Achievement Award Committee during their tenure in office. Any other appointments are for one year.

Specific Duties

A. To solicit nominations.

B. To select the recipient.

C. To inform the RSS Chair of the selection.

D. To prepare the citation text and the award certificate.

E. To obtain the vita of the recipient for use in publicity and announcements.

F. To announce the recipient’s honor:

1. Initially, to the RSS Chair – who notifies the recipient -- and to the RUSA Executive Director.

2. The RSS-L list, with posting at about the same time as announcement of ALA election results.

3. By providing a press announcement release, which includes the award citation, prior to or soon after the Annual conference to: •RUSA staff. • The RSS Review editor for the RUSA Update/RSS Review. • The RSS webmaster for inclusion on the RSS Web pages. •RSS-L.

Procedures and Timetables

A. Committee appointment At the Annual Conference, the Executive Committee confirms the committee’s membership and identifies the committee chair.

B. Solicitation of recommendations

1. The call for nominations should take place in September/October of each year. The call should go out in RUSA Update/RSS Review, RSS-L, RUSA-L, and other appropriate locations.

2. The Executive Committee of RSS and the RSS committee chairs are encouraged to help solicit nominations. The chairs should be reminded to solicit nominations from the members of their committees.

C. Selection of the recipient

1. The committee should meet in a closed session at Midwinter to evaluate the nominations and make the selection. If selection must be delayed, a decision should be finalized by March 15. Committee work, including committee voting, may be conducted by telephone and with the use of electronic technology.

2. Initially the selection should be announced only to the RSS Chair – who notifies the recipient – and to the Executive Director of RUSA. Additional announcements will be made around the time ALA elections results are announced.

3. The chair of the committee is responsible for assigning responsibilities such as: obtaining the vita of the recipient, preparing the press release, drafting the official letter that is sent to the recipient by the RSS Chair, preparing the citation and certificate, and assisting the RSS Chair with language for the presentation.

4. One award is given per year.

5. Nominations for those not selected should be carried forward for two additional years.

D. Presentation of the award

1. The honoree should be informed of his/her selection in person or by a personal phone call from the RSS Chair, to be followed by a formal letter from the RSS Chair.

2. A certificate of recognition should be presented by the RSS Chair at the Annual RSS Open House or at another appropriate event. The certificate should include a citation, to be read at the presentation. Other appropriate items may be awarded but are not required. Committee members are responsible for the wording on the certificate, which should be based on the justification for the recipient's nomination. Committee members are responsible for preparation of the certificate.

3. The honoree should be recognized at the RUSA Awards event. Committee Charge: The committee is charged with recognizing excellence in service to RSS by selecting a recipient of the RSS Service Achievement Award. Committee members solicit nominations; select the recipient; inform the RSS Chair of the selection; prepare citation text and the award certificate; and help publicize the recipient’s honor.