rusq: Vol. 51 Issue 4: p. 307
Update from the President of RUSA
Gary W. White

Gary W. White, 2011–2012 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:

The year’s ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas was a great time to see old friends and to participate in the many RUSA activities that took place there. Two of the highlights were the annual RUSA Social and the RUSA Book and Media Awards. I’d like to thank Liane Taylor and the RUSA Membership Committee for coordinating the well-attended RUSA Social on Saturday evening. I’d also like to convey a special thanks to Sharron Smith and Neal Wyatt for their great work in organizing this year’s Book and Media Awards reception held Sunday evening and also express my thanks and appreciation to all of the hardworking award committees and chairs. Please visit www.literarytastes.comfor a complete list of winners and for important updates on RUSA’s literary news.

RUSA is in the process of developing our next three-year strategic plan, which we will approve by the ALA Annual Conference. To gather ideas, we held our second annual Virtual Town Hall meeting for members who could not attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting in person. The RUSA staff created five chat rooms in which users could post questions and comments and get live feedback from the meeting. Following the Virtual Town Hall meeting was the RUSA board’s Big Think, where we focused on discussing the kind of organization that RUSA should become in the future. The work of two important committees also will greatly assist in our strategic planning. The RUSA Structure Taskforce, chaired by Kate Kosturski, provided many good ideas for the future of RUSA that we will incorporate into our future plans. The RUSA/ASCLA Web Conferencing Task Force, chaired by Liane Taylor, also completed its work, and RUSA will be implementing Blackboard Collaborate to allow more members to conduct work virtually. These are both significant accomplishments that will help RUSA grow and prosper. At the Midwinter Meeting, the RUSA board also approved the creation of one new committee, the ad hoc Resource Development Committee, which will be asked to explore and facilitate fundraising and donor relations. The work of this committee will help to identify and seek resources for new RUSA initiatives.

The RUSA board also approved two new awards. The BRASS Business Expert Press Award for Academic Librarians is a new $1,250 cash award given to an academic librarian who is new to the field of business librarianship in order to support attendance to the ALA Annual Conference. The Gale Cengage History Research and Innovation Award is a new award for up to $2500 to facilitate further research in history and history librarianship and to encourage membership in the ALA RUSA History Section. Thanks to Chris LeBeau (BRASS Chair) and Janice Shultz (History Section Chair) and members of their sections for bringing these awards to fruition. A big thanks to Business Expert Press and Gale Cengage for their support of RUSA.

RUSA also continues its role as administrator for the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulator Authority) Investor Education Foundation’s program entitled Smart investing @ your library. This grant program, in place since 2007, funds public library efforts to provide library patrons with access to effective, unbiased financial education resources. To date, sixty-four grants have been awarded, totaling $4,691,952. I also had the pleasure of attending a FINRA reception on Friday evening in order to meet many of this year’s grant recipients. For more information about Smart investing @ your library, visit For more information on the FINRA Foundation see A big thank you to FINRA for sponsoring this important program.

Last, but certainly not least, the RUSA board approved a recommendation for our new editor of Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ). The editor selection committee, chaired by current RUSQ editor Diane Zabel, has been working hard on the selection and interview process during the past year. I am pleased that our new editor is Barry Trott, past RUSA president and long-time RUSA member. Thank you Barry for taking on this important role, and thank you Diane for your years of service as editor! Under Barry’s leadership RUSQ will continue its rich tradition as RUSA’s premier publication.

Thanks again to all of the RUSA volunteers who make RUSA the outstanding organization that it is. A huge thanks to the RUSA staff for making it all work! It was great seeing many of you at the Midwinter Meeting, and I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim!

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