RUSA President Update

Cynthia Johnson

Dear RUSA Members,

This Update focuses on the October 11th RUSA Board meeting. 

First, sadly, Jennifer Wilhelm had to resign as RUSA Secretary. The Board agreed to seek a new Secretary: 

We are soliciting nominees to stand for election for the role of RUSA Secretary with a term of July 2023 through June 2025 in the upcoming Spring 2023 ballot. The Secretary is a voting member of the RUSA Board, responsible for attending Board meetings (held virtually) and taking the official minutes for the meetings.

We are looking for individuals who are passionate about the future of reference and user services, and committed to professional development and to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. While a demonstrated record of professional association participation is preferred, we also want to hear from those who are looking to take the next step in their RUSA involvement – please don’t hesitate to let us know of your interest in this opportunity, or to share the names of others you believe we should contact.

Please contact Courtney McDonald, Chair of the RUSA Nominating Committee ( with a brief statement of interest by October 31 2022 to nominate yourself, or someone else, to stand for election as RUSA Secretary for this election cycle, or with any questions. After this date, the RUSA Nominating Committee will contact individuals to confirm their interest and make selections to form the final ballot. Submissions will remain confidential.

Thank you to the Nominating Committee for their quick response to the situation!

In other Board news, the Board approved moving forward with reestablishing a peer-reviewed journal. Many of you will remember that the RUSA Publications Task Force submitted its Final Report this past summer. The Task Force provided many options about how RUSA could move forward to revive its peer reviewed journal. Now that the Board has approved reestablishing a journal an editorial group will form to work with the Board and ALA to make this a reality. Thank you to the members of the Task Force for all of their work: Jenny Bossaller, Stephanie Grave, Bill Ladewski (RUSA Executive Director), Courtney McDonald (ex officio), Carol Schuetz, and Barry Trott (chair)

The RUSA Board also approved dissolving the RUSA AFL-CIO/ALA Labor Committee so that it can be established as a committee in the ALA Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA). A request came  from ALA President-elect Emily Drabinski and ALA President Lessa Pelayo-Lozada asking RUSA to consider making this change. In order to move the committee, according to the RUSA Bylaws, RUSA first needed to dissolve the committee. It will be recreated by the ALA-APA Board. Note that while the Committee will move to ALA-APA, for the moment the John Sessions Memorial Award will stay with RUSA because we have the infrastructure in place to manage the Award. If you are interested in learning more about the Labor Committee, there is an article on its history by Arthur Meyers in Library Trends.

Meyers, A. S. (2002). A Fifty-Five Year Partnership: ALA and the AFL-CIO. Library Trends, 51(1), 36.

Melissa Walling, ALA’s Director of Membership Development and Customer Service, visited with the Board and provided an overview of proposed changes to ALA’s membership model. Many of the changes being proposed I believe will benefit our members, such as a simplified and streamlined membership pricing structure and increasing incentives for members to join a division or round table. ALA Council, in 2022, already approved some changes to ALA’s membership, which will also benefit RUSA members. See CD #44 for more information.

In other news:

The 2023 Achievement Awards nomination period opened on Monday the 17th.  Start nominating!

The RUSA Book & Media Awards will be virtual in January 2023, during LibLearnX. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, January 29th from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. CT. Registration information will be available soon. 

The 2023 RUSA Virtual Forum is coming! Stay tuned for the theme and information about submitting proposals.

Cynthia A. Johnson

RUSA President, 2022-2023