RUSA 101

A “course” syllabus

June 29, 2013

“RUSA 101: Learn, Get Involved, Mingle, and Win!”

Course Meeting Time: 3– 4 p.m.

Location: McCormick Place Hyatt Regency, Chicago

Instructor: Alicia Ahlvers, RUSA Membership Chair

Office Hours: By Appointment Only

Course Website:

Course Description (from catalog)

A networking and orientation event for librarians working in adult services, reference, readers’ advisory, collection development, genealogy, resource sharing, and technology.


None. The course is designed with three different audiences in mind: new RUSA members interested in getting more involved, current members with experience to share, and nonmembers who want to learn about the division.

Course Objectives

To encourage membership and engagement in the Reference and User Services Association—and, by extension, improve reference services for users of all ages in all library settings.

Texts and Materials

None required. Optional reading: RUSA website and Reference and User Services Quarterly.


Attendees are advised to come prepared with business cards and an elevator speech for speed networking.


This is a noncredit course; however, participants have a chance to win raffle prizes and pick up RUSA badge ribbons such as “Resource Sharing SuperSTARS” and “Family Tree Hugger” before they are made available to other conference attendees.

Units of Study

The course will cover each of RUSA’s six special interest sections:

BRASS—Business Reference and Services Section

CODES—Collection Development and Evaluation Section

HS—History Section (including genealogy and archives)

MARS—Emerging Technologies in Reference Section

RSS— Reference Services Section (encompassing frontline reference, management and assessment of reference, special topics other than business, and special populations)

STARS—Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section (ILL/interlibrary loan, resource sharing, remote storage, vendor relations, etc.)


June 28 Class Schedule

RUSA member Kate Kosturski’s mid-session tweet, sent out shortly before she won a bottle of wine in the raffle.(Notes added for students who were unable to attend.)

Time / Activity

2:46–-3:21 p.m.: Find a seat. Tables representing MARS and RSS fill up first. Pick up badge ribbons and brochures from the various RUSA divisions.

3:22–3:45: Membership Chair Alicia Ahlvers introduces the division, describes its structure (six sections and their subcommittees), introduces outgoing (Mary Pagliero Popp) and incoming (M. Kathleen Kern) presidents and Executive Director Susan Hornung, promotes membership, explains how to volunteer, and previews RUSA happenings at ALA Annual 2013 (16 programs, 15 discussions, and social events).

3:46–3:56: Lots of participants leave to get to the Opening General Session. Raffle odds increase significantly. Prizes include Frango mints, Carnegie Award finalist books, and tickets to the Carnegie reception on June 29 where the winners will be announced. Class dismissed before planned speed networking activity. Lots of networking happens anyway.


BRITA ZITIN is participating in ALA’s Student-to-Staff Program 



Understanding Social Capital

Even if your library has been around the social media block a few times, here are strategies to earn, build, and cash in on your library’s online reputation