rusq: Vol. 51 Issue 1: p. 2
RUSQ’s Move to Online: In Alignment with RUSA’s Strategic Objectives
Gary W. White

Gary W. White, 2011–12 President of the Reference and User Services Association, is Head, Department of Reference, Collections and Research, The Pennsylvania State University, 309 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802; e-mail:

This issue marks the move of the Reference and User Services Association’s professional journal, Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), to an online publication. This change is in alignment with two of RUSA’s strategic objectives: improving of member engagement and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of RUSA. Moving the journal online will not only provide cost savings, but also will make the journal more accessible to users. The RUSA leadership also is pursuing other ways members can participate in RUSA activities through virtual means. During the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting, RUSA will once again offer a virtual town hall meeting to encourage broad participation from the RUSA membership. This is especially important for members who are unable to attend the conference in person. RUSA also is actively pursuing the use of new technologies to enable and enhance virtual participation in committees and other activities of the association. It is my hope that RUSA can continue to seek technology solutions that enable broad participation by the membership.

One of the challenges that ALA and RUSA are facing are financial. In these tough economic times, professional associations need to seek ways to continue their services to members while maintaining financial stability. Shifting RUSQ to an online journal is one way RUSA hopes to achieve financial savings that can be shifted to support other initiatives. Another area outlined in RUSA’s strategic plan is the increased development of online continuing-education courses and section-developed webinars. These web courses will help promote member engagement and professional development while supporting RUSA’s financial strength. While RUSA continues to be a leader in the profession for all areas of reference, collection development, and readers’ advisory, RUSA leadership also is actively pursuing ways that membership can continue to engage in networking, professional development, and service activities within the profession through both in-person and virtual participation that extend beyond the ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences.

These are challenging yet exciting times as we seek new and better ways for RUSA to support its membership. The move of RUSQ to an online journal is one of these recent initiatives. I would like to thank Diane Zabel for her leadership as editor of RUSQ for the past six years, as well as for her leadership in transforming the journal to its current form. In addition, I am indebted to the members of the RUSQ taskforce that recommended the specific changes, and to the editorial board members, column editors, and authors and other contributors who all help make RUSQ the outstanding and highly ranked journal that it is. Last year, RUSQ celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Under its successful leadership, it is positioned to continue far into the future and continue to serve as an outstanding outlet for the organization and profession.

Article Categories:
  • Library Reference and User Services
    • From the President of RUSA


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