Quarterly Update

Carol Schuetz, editor

From the President


Greetings RUSA members!

We are rapidly approaching the end of another year which signals the major event of the year,
the Annual Conference. Our volunteers are completing their committee work. I have sat in on
many meetings this year, and I know how hard everyone is working for the association. I thank
all of you for your willingness to get involved. RUSA is full of wonderful professionals, and it has
been a great pleasure to work side by side with you. I also thank you for working above the call
of duty, for making a difference for your peers, and recognizing the importance of participating in
a national professional association.

Our profession is undergoing some stresses and strains. We are being tested by those outside
our profession (see my RUSQ column “Librarians as Target”). “All politics is local” is an
expression that aptly applies to libraries. The person who uttered this famous quote said it from
a seat at the national table of government. Libraries and librarians need a voice at the national
table, now more than ever. Associations like RUSA and ALA give us that voice. RUSA and ALA
help us grow professionally, provide needed insights into our changing environment, and thus
create the strong foundation on which we can advocate for all types of literacies and
services. We are stronger because of our professional networking and continued willingness to
educate ourselves on behalf of our patrons, customers, students and clients.

A Year of Many Firsts

At the beginning of the year, I said this will be a year of new beginnings. This was:

  • the first time in nearly a decade that we welcomed a new executive director (in October)
  • a first year for some major organizational restructuring
  • a first year for a RUSA Leadership Council
  • the first time in years that we did a comprehensive review of our policies
  • the first time in a number of years that we took a fresh, hard look at our online learning
  • a first year for the new Annual Conference remodel
  • a first year for RUSQ as an Open Access journal
  • a new year for a major upgrade of ALA Connect which meant major downtime for all of

By necessity, this was a year of reorganizing and responding. This change impacts the
productivity of the organization. Next year we will regain our momentum. Budget concerns
continue to demand our attention.

Beyond RUSA, ALA has set its sights on major organizational change over the next year and a
half. Coping with ambiguity is a required skill for any 21st century librarian.

Annual Conference Highlights

Super exciting for me is to bring to the membership our presidential program speaker, Dr. Carla
Hayden, Librarian of Congress. Dr. Hayden will be led in conversation by former ALA president
and RUSA member, Courtney Young.

I invite all members to attend our major event, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence
Ceremony and Reception on Saturday, June 23 from 8:00-10:00 pm in the Sheraton New
Orleans, Grand Ballroom. It is a ticketed event; order tickets through conference
registration. Help celebrate Jennifer Egan and her fiction work, Manhattan Beach.

Our other ticketed event is the “Literary Tastes: Celebrating the Best Reading of the Year,”
June 24, 8:00-10:00 am. We have a wonderful panel of authors lined up.

Journalist Jason Fagone added to Literary Tastes panel

360 Degrees of Thanks

I wish to thank the RUSA Board of Directors for their hard work and support. Thank you also to
the new RUSA Leadership Council and to all the committee members who serve RUSA, the
Sections and Interest Groups. I congratulate our recently elected vice president/president-elect
for 2018-2019, Beth German, and all of our newly elected RUSA leaders
(http://www.rusaupdate.org/2018/04/rusas-2018-election-results-are-in/ ). Special thanks to
everyone who ran for office this year. It has been my pleasure to work closely with vicepresident
Ann Brown, and I am grateful for her steady, informed input all year. She is well
equipped to walk into the president’s role in July. And my gratitude to the RUSA staff, Jessica
Hughes, Leighann Wood, Melissa Tracy and Ninah Moore for their tireless support in meeting
our endless needs.

With appreciation for the opportunity to serve you,

Chris LeBeau
RUSA President, 2017-2018