RUSA President Update

Cynthia Johnson, RUSA President 2022-23

Dear RUSA members,

First, I want to say, on behalf of RUSA, congratulations to Tracie D. Hall, ALA’s executive director, on being recognized by Time as one of 2023’s 100 most influential people. Tracie is recognized by Time for her leadership in fighting censorship and her work to protect “the democratic ideals of freedom of thought, assembly, press, public education, dissent, speech, and above all the freedom to imagine a liberated world through the word.” 

I also want to thank everyone who presented at the 2nd Annual RUSA Virtual Forum and to all of the attendees! The sessions I attended had lively Q&As, which demonstrates RUSA members’ love of sharing and learning. 

The RUSA Board met on Tuesday, April 11th. A few highlights from that meeting include the following: 

ETS has proposed a RUSA student internship program which some of the other sections felt could be an interesting model. Student interns will have their student membership dues paid for by RUSA for the year in which they are an intern.  The intern will be a member of an ETS committee and would have specific responsibilities. While this is still in the formation stage, ETS hopes to start advertising its internships in late summer/early fall. 

Joseph Yue, our President-Elect, has been working on charges for three new task forces: 

a. Communications

b. Sponsorship and Fundraising

c. RUSA Reviews 

Please stay tuned for more information and calls for volunteers. These task forces will provide opportunities to help RUSA continue to engage with our members through communications, strengthen our financial base, and determine how we can publish, under the aegis of RUSQ, timely and useful reviews of materials. 

In other exciting news, I’m happy to report that RUSA continues to strengthen its financial stability. One clear indication of this stability has been RUSA’s ability to reinvest our endowment interest the last two fiscal years.  RUSA’s endowment interest annually falls within a range of $30k – $40k.  In prior down years, RUSA had used the endowment interest to help support its operating budget.  This support has not been needed the past two fiscal years, and we are hopeful that we can continue to grow RUSA’s endowment with the goal of supporting our members in new and exciting ways.

Finally, for those of you planning to attend the Annual Conference in Chicago this June, I hope you can attend many of the RUSA programs. Two that I want to highlight in this Update, are the Coffee and Conversation with RUSA (Sunday, June 25, 11am-12noon). If you have a few minutes Sunday morning, stop by for some coffee. This is an opportunity for RUSA members to meet each other and for non-RUSA members to learn more about RUSA. The second event I hope everyone keeps on their radars is the ALA Trivia Championship, cosponsored by GameRT, RUSA and NMRT (Sunday, June 25, 7pm-9pm). Last year I sat (completely by chance) at a table with past Jeopardy contestants. We won! So come with a pre-planned team or come solo and meet other trivia lovers. You can pre-register for the Trivia Championship through the Conference Registration site, or you can pay onsite. 

Cynthia Johnson

RUSA President, 2022-2023

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