RUSA President Update

Cynthia Johnson

Hello RUSA! 

I’m excited to begin my year as President. This coming year we will continue to build on the Division’s successes over the past year, as well as the contributions of everyone in RUSA over the last few years as our lives were upended by COVID. I’d like to take a moment and reflect on some of the “firsts” RUSA accomplished in 2021-2022.

The FIRST RUSA Virtual Forum, held in March 2022, and organized by the Professional Development Committee!

The FIRST Trivia Championship at the ALA Annual Conference, which RUSA co-sponsored with GameRT and NMRT

Sidenote:  I was lucky enough to join a team with three librarians who had been on Jeopardy. My team won! 

RUSA also sponsored a number of programs at the ALA Annual Conference this past June. Many of the sessions I attended were standing room only. Thank you to all of the RUSA members who proposed creative and meaningful programs. I also want to express my appreciation to the RUSA Conference Program Coordinating Committee for their work in reviewing and selecting programs that speak to the variety of user services we provide in our libraries.

For those of you in RUSA who have not met me, I also want to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about myself. I’ve been a member of RUSA for over 20 years. As a new-ish librarian looking for opportunities that matched my professional interests I originally joined CODES (Collection Development and Evaluation Section) and was active in the Material Reviewing Committee. This quickly led to being a panelist at an ALA program about reviewing books. As my professional career morphed I split my activities between ACRL and RUSA, but when I became  the Head of Langson Reference at the UC Irvine Libraries I knew RUSA would be my home division. I have served on the Standards and Guidelines Committee, chaired RSS (Reference Services Section), and participated over the years in various discussions about RUSA’s unique contributions to our profession. I look forward to continuing to explore how RUSA can help improve reference and user services in all types of libraries.

Finally, I want to send a huge thank you to a number of people:

  • Courtney McDonald, now Past-Past President of RUSA, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding RUSA.
  • Chris Pryor, stepping into the role of  Past-President, under whose leadership we accomplished our first virtual forum and the co-sponsorship of the first Trivia Championship at ALA Annual.
  • Jenny Presnell, our fearless Secretary for the past two years.
  • Ninah Moore, RUSA’s Program Office – Continuing Education, who helped launch the Virtual Forum, kept track of ALA Conference Program minutiae, and is always ready to lend a hand.
  • Bill Ladewski, RUSA’s Executive Director, willing to join any meeting and provide information at a moment’s notice.

Cynthia A. Johnson

RUSA President, 2022-2023