RUSA Strategic Plan 2012-2015 Final Version Approved by Board

Reference and User Services Association
A division of the American Library Association
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-4398
(800) 545-2433 x4398
Fax (312) 280-5273
Reference and User Services Association
Strategic Plan
Mission Statement:
The Reference and User Services Association is responsible for stimulating and supporting excellence in the delivery of
general library services and materials, and the provision of reference and information services, collection development,
readers’ advisory, and resource sharing for all ages, in every type of library.
RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between
people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need.
We believe in universal access to information.
We believe that reading is fundamental to quality of life and value all activities that promote it.
We value collections and information sources of the highest possible quality.
We value the provision of innovative services and programs that meet the changing information needs of
diverse populations.
We value continuous evaluation and improvement in the management and delivery of materials and services
to users.
We value the professional growth and development of librarians and library staff.
We value the role of librarians and library staff as educators in creating lifelong learners and critical thinkers.
We value the unique contributions that librarians and library staff bring to the process of connecting users
with the information they need.
We value the diversity of our members' ideas, experiences and backgrounds.
Objectives and Strategies:
Objective 1: Facilitate Member Engagement
 Implement recommendations of the RUSA Structure Taskforce and the RUSA Web Conferencing Task
 Continue to support the transition from in-person to virtual meetings and provide resources to members
to conduct business virtually
 Offer collaborative technologies and presentation tools with appropriate training for virtual
participation, and encourage virtual participation throughout the year
 Build and maintain a RUSA support page linking RUSA website and ALA Connect
 Continue virtual town hall meetings and conduct another member survey to gather information on
member needs and wants, with a special focus on continuing education and publications. Better meet
member needs and interests through these and other regular feedback processes and through
implementation of member suggestions
 Offer and support series of online chats on hot topics led by all RUSA sections
 Explore more no or low cost programming for members and options to offer webinars at a later date to
members free of charge
 Explore “unconference” session at the conference where members can decide on the session topic
 Expand and promote virtual membership opportunities via increased numbers on committees
 Develop a plan for a focused program of continuing education and useful publications for members that
encompasses RUSQ journal articles, web content, and webinars, in addition to conference activities.
Objective 2: Attract New Members
 Increase membership, particularly by attracting more public, special and school librarians to RUSA
 Survey non-academic librarians and use target marketing techniques to identify and address barriers to
 Publicize new member presentation along with suggestions for group use (with state chapters, for
 Develop and market a value-proposition statement and “elevator talks” – short statements that
members can use to market RUSA on an interpersonal basis
 Develop program of RUSA ambassadors to provide outreach to library schools, local and regional
libraries and associations, and other groups
 Target marketing to regions where conferences will be held
 Explore and offer incentives for dual-division memberships
 Explore options to offer more free content/events to RUSA members as a benefit of membership
Objective 3: Provide Leadership and Opportunities for Professional Development
 Create an ad hoc RUSA committee to identify needs and develop a curriculum for leadership
 Continue emphasis on webinars and virtual CE courses
 Explore options to offer webinar content free to members at later dates (i.e. after six months)
 Continue work on creating and promoting clearinghouse on member expertise within RUSA
 Monitor and align RUSA’s leadership opportunity efforts with broader ALA programs and goals
Objective 4: Improve Organizational Efficiencies
 Continue to improve content and currency of Web pages and improve the ability to find information and
content. RUSA staff will work closely with sections to ensure that the Web site is current and that
information is easy to find
 Explore and implement calendar applications/software
 Provide options to export/download events from Web page
 Charge and evaluate Resource Development Committee; identify annual list of fundraising priorities and
 Maintain fiscal stability, seek new revenue streams, and use reserves for the benefit of members
 Reform committee structure to reduce redundancy and to streamline the organization (re: RUSA
Structure Taskforce recommendation) while providing avenues for wide participation.
 Collaborate with other ALA Divisions to explore joint programming and joint interest groups
 Eliminate duplication across Divisions through emerging leaders project or ad hoc task force
 Continue virtual RUSA Board and RUSA Executive Committee meetings outside of conferences and
consolidate in-person meetings
 Encourage sections to create and maintain strategic plans that are in alignment with RUSA and ALA
strategic plans
Objective 5: Develop Effective Marketing and Outreach Strategies
 Charge and evaluate Just Ask Campaign
 Market and promote Andrew Carnegie Awards for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
 Continue successful marketing of high profile events including Book and Media Awards, Carnegie, Annual
RUSA awards, SmartInvesting@yourlibrary, and Literary Tastes
 Engage in early publicizing of RUSA events
 Explore new marketing strategies identified in 2012 SWOT exercises (i.e. free passes to exhibits;
sponsoring a library school student to attend a conference)
 Continue RUSA blog/emerging leaders project and seek ways to publicize, promote and encourage broad
 Continue to market and promote Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) now that it has made the
successful transition to digital format; emphasize value of journal to members and use as marketing
tool for new members
 Take the first steps to identify a RUSA “brand” and publicize it widely.
 Develop a major program at the Chicago conference as a way to promote the RUSA “brand” and make
the contents available to members who cannot attend the conference.
Rev. May 9, 2012
Approved by RUSA Board, May 24, 2012