RUSA Strategic Plan 2012-15_Jan202014

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
Updated to Identify Completed or In-Progress Activities
Activities related to the objectives appear in blue
Activities added by RUSA Sections and Committees appear in orange
Questions/Comments added by RUSA Sections and Committees appear in red
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
1a. Implement recommendations of the RUSA Structure Taskforce and the RUSA Web Conferencing Task
 Executive Committee -- RUSA Review Committee appointed.
 Membership Committee, RUSA Executive Committee -- Recruitment work with public librarians;
identify public librarians to serve in leadership positions. . [AFL/CIO/ALA - WHY LIMITED TO
“PUBLIC” LIBRARIES??] [Membership Committee – I really like that RUSA is continuing to expand
out towards public libraries]
 Learning Opportunities—Developing better ways to deliver learning—online, webinar,
publications. (ongoing)
1b. Continue to support the transition from in-person to virtual meetings and provide resources to
members to conduct business virtually
 RUSA Board, RUSA Office -- Moved to Adobe Connect (provided by ALA) and selected two support
specialists to do training and support online sessions.
 RUSA Office – Created virtual meetings web page:
 Learning Opportunities—Reviewing strategies and making recommendations to provide more
learning outside of conferences (ongoing)
1c. Offer collaborative technologies and presentation tools with appropriate training for virtual
participation, and encourage virtual participation throughout the year
 RUSA Executive Director, Adobe Connect support people – Will develop training for running
meetings, including live, PowerPoint and recorded webinar options.
1d. Build and maintain a RUSA support page linking RUSA website and ALA Connect
 RUSA Office – Pages are complete. Found at:
 During 2014 a small group of Board members will be asked to review the pages and make
suggestions for improvements. (AFL/CIO/ALA - SHOULDN’T THIS BEEN DONE ON A SCHEDULED
 RUSA Access to Information Committee – Created wiki on access issues for members of committee
and RUSA to collaborate on remotely.
1e. 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
 RUSA Executive Committee, RUSA Executive Director --Town Hall continues to be offered each
 RUSA Review Committee – Developing membership survey to be conducted in 2014
 RUSA Learning Opportunities Task Force – Surveying sections and committee chairs about
continuing education offerings and their plans as a supplement to the work of the Review
1f. Offer and support series of online chats on hot topics led by all RUSA sections
 RUSA Executive Committee – Will identify ongoing activities within RUSA and learn more about the
sponsor’s processes and procedures.
RUSA Learning Opportunities Task Force – Surveying sections and committee chairs about
continuing education offerings and their plans as a supplement to the work of the Review
 RUSA President’s Program Planning Committee – Planning online discussion series on the theme of
the 2014 Annual President’s Program
1g. Explore more no or low cost programming for members and options to offer webinars at a later date to
members free of charge [Membership Committee - The idea of free training online is really exciting]
 RUSA Executive Committee -- Extended the “one free webinar” initiative for sections and Just Ask
for an additional year.
 Learning Opportunities Task Force will evaluate the results of the free webinars.
 RUSA Board – Begin discussion of ways to make these available to non-members of RUSA based on
information from the Learning Opportunities Task Force.
 RUSA Conference Planning Coordinating Committee – recommended a program proposal that
could not be approved for Annual be offered as a webinar.
 Just Ask is working in this area as well.
 RSS- The RSS/MARS Free Pre-Conference Workshop 2014: Collaboration: Spaces & Services. We’re
excited to be having a combination of both public and academic librarians.
 RSS - Job and Career Reference Committee: November Webinar: Partnerships in Career Services
@ Your Library: A Case Study at St. Paul Public Library
 RSS:- Job and Career Reference Committee: new listserv “that addresses Job and Career
reference/public service delivery within a library setting (public, academic, corporate or special).
1h. Explore “unconference” session at the conference where members can decide on the session topic
 RUSA Conference Planning Coordinating Committee -- will explore in 2015.
1i. Expand and promote virtual membership opportunities via increased numbers on committees.
 RUSA President – This has been a priority for committee appointments this year.
 Standards & Guidelines Committee- reviews guidelines up for revision virtually via email
and virtual conferencing, using in-person meetings for additional discussion and as an
opportunity to attract new members.
1j. 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.
 Learning Opportunities Task Force -- Charged with looking at a focused program of continuing
education and publications.
 Publications Committee -- Focusing on the RUSA web site this year.
 Professional Development Committee – reviews fee-based online Webinar and Course
submissions; new project will be to seek participant and instructor feedback to help guide program
in the future.
Objective 2: Attract New Members
2a. Increase membership, particularly by attracting more public, special and school librarians to RUSA
 RUSA Office -- An analysis report is being developed to determine membership by type of library. –
[Membership - This analysis is really exciting]
2b. Survey non-academic librarians and use target marketing techniques to identify and address barriers to
 RUSA Executive Committee – Priority for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
2c. Publicize new member presentation along with suggestions for group use (with state chapters, for
 Membership Committee, RUSA Office -- RUSA 101 virtual sessions were a success in the 2012-2013
fiscal year. This year we will try to revive them.
2d. Develop and market a value-proposition statement and “elevator talks” – short statements that
members can use to market RUSA on an interpersonal basis
 JUST ASK – Held a December 2013 webinar to teach members how to create “elevator talks.” The
next step is part of their charge as well. [Incorrect]
 Correct: Just Ask - Just Ask sponsored a free webinar in December “Managing Changes to
Reference Services: Keeping Reference Services Alive in a Turbulent Environment” presented by
Gail Griffith [See the RUSA Webpage for details]
 Just Ask is sponsoring a webinar on how to create a Parking Lot Speech, but it is not aimed at how
to market RUSA, it is aimed at how librarians can advocate for themselves, their libraries, and their
services. [Maybe this all goes in 2h?]
 e. Develop program of RUSA ambassadors to provide outreach to library schools, local and regional
libraries and associations, and other groups
 RUSA Executive Committee, RUSA Office – Revise the current proposal and put into practice in
2f. Target marketing to regions where conferences will be held
 RUSA Office – Concerted effort to market to conference regions.
 RSS - Routinely sends personal emails to the members to join us at RSS events and meetings
2g. Explore and offer incentives for dual-division memberships
 RUSA Office – Prepared proposal, but it was rejected by the ALA Office as something that the
current organization cannot support.
2h. Explore options to offer more free content/events to RUSA members as a benefit of membership
 RUSA Board -- Free webinars have been developed for 2012-2013 and an extension has been made
for 2013-2014.
 Learning Opportunities – Charged to evaluate free webinars.
Objective 3: Provide Leadership and Opportunities for Professional Development
3a. Create an ad hoc RUSA committee to identify needs and develop a curriculum for leadership
 Leadership subcommittee (led by Kern and White) – Assigned to review the learning from the ALSC
workshop in Chicago.
3b. Continue emphasis on webinars and virtual CE courses
 RUSA Office, RUSA Board, Sections – ongoing
 Professional Development Committee – responsible for approving new Webinar and Course
proposals -- ongoing
3c. Explore options to offer webinar content free to members at later dates (i.e. after six months)
 RUSA Board -- Free webinars have been developed for 2012-2013 and an extension has been made
for 2013-2014.
 RUSA Office – Implement RUSA Free School plan. (Professional Development Committee asked to
form a subcommittee to review proposals. LIS students will be recruited to serve on
 RUSA Board – Begin discussion of ways to make these available to non-members of RUSA based on
information from the Learning Opportunities Task Force.
 Just Ask activities may better fit here?? Future webinars may not be free.
 Just Ask Committee will be brainstorming new ideas at midwinter and in a conference call to
3d. Continue work on creating and promoting clearinghouse on member expertise within RUSA
 Just Ask - Perhaps this is an opportunity for an Emerging Leaders Project?
3e. Monitor and align RUSA’s leadership opportunity efforts with broader ALA programs and goals
The RUSA Ad-hoc Task Force on Legislative Issues was charged to help RUSA develop and maintain
an ongoing legislative agenda.
Objective 4: Improve Organizational Efficiencies
RSS working to change/update committee charges (case in point, Catalog Use and the joint VR Services
4a. 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.
 RUSA Publications, RUSA Office, RUSA Webmaster – Develop plans for revision of web pages and
work with sections and standard committees.
 Learning Opportunities—Creating a plan (in cooperation with the Publications, Conference
Program Coordinating Committee and Professional Development Committee) to provide more
online learning in a way that is easily findable.
 RUSA Awards Coordinating Committee - works with the RUSA office staff members and the awards
committee chairs to ensure that the content on the web site is current.
 Organization and Planning Committee - Start complete revision of the structure of the guide to
Policies and Procedures
4b. Explore and implement calendar applications/software
 RUSA Office – Develop a calendar that can be viewed and filtered in different ways.
4c. Provide options to export/download events from Web page
 No longer needed. This can be done via Google Calendar.
4d. Charge and evaluate Resource Development Committee; identify annual list of fundraising priorities
and needs
 Resource Development Committee – Currently working.
4e. Maintain fiscal stability, seek new revenue streams, and use reserves for the benefit of members
 RUSA Office, Budget & Finance Committee – Operational. Ongoing
 The RUSA Awards Coordinating Committee - drafting a new policy for unfunded awards. At the
request of the RUSA Vice President/President-Elect, the committee will draft a “best practices”
document for the awards.
4f. Reform committee structure to reduce redundancy and to streamline the organization (re: RUSA
Structure Taskforce recommendation) while providing avenues for wide participation.
 RUSA Review Committee – RUSA review in progress.
 Organization and Planning Committee - Implement new section and committee review procedures
by furbishing complete procedures and ways to further improve the process
Organization and Planning Committee - Develop resource page for review process
4g. Collaborate with other ALA Divisions to explore joint programming and joint interest groups
 RSS – Joint committee with YALSA.
 RUSA Access to Information Committee - - Pending approval by committee and partners will
create joint committee with ACRL & PLA Intellectual Freedom Committees to echo the current joint
meetings of the AASL, ALSC and YALSA Intellectual Freedom Committees and collaborate on
 Joe Thompson - LITA has approached RUSA about forming a joint User Experience (UX) interest
group. RUSA MARS has an established UX committee. The two groups are discussing the
4h. Eliminate duplication across Divisions through emerging leaders project or ad hoc task force
 RSS has a new joint committee as of Annual 2013 on Young Adult Reference Services with YALSA
4i. Continue virtual RUSA Board and RUSA Executive Committee meetings outside of conferences and
consolidate in-person meetings
 Operational goal -- ongoing
4j. Encourage [Just Ask – Assure??] sections to create and maintain strategic plans that are in alignment
with RUSA and ALA strategic plans
 RUSA Executive Committee – Identify section strategic plans that appear on web site.
Objective 5: Develop Effective Marketing and Outreach Strategies
5a. Charge and evaluate Just Ask Campaign
 Just Ask Council -- Committee is currently working. [Just Ask - Who will evaluate??]]
o 2013 ALA Midwinter Discussion Group. Close to 50 attendees. We asked attendees to help us
develop a plan for future Just Ask initiatives. Based on small group discussions and feedback
received online, we developed the items listed below:
o Free Webinars: Managing Changes to Reference Services: Keeping Reference Services (and
Reference Librarians) Alive in a Turbulent Environment (December 2013); Got a Minute:
How to Prepare Your Parking Lot Speech (February 2014)
o Just Ask Marketing Campaign: Pilot campaign developed by Maryland AskUsNow. Details
posted in ALA Connect.
o Continue to hold meetings at ALA Meetings and Conferences. Schedule conference calls
when needed.
o Brainstorm future projects asking for membership input.
 Organization and Planning Committee – Will review the progress against the goals for the
committee at the end of the current membership year.
5b. Market and promote Andrew Carnegie Awards for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
 RUSA Office – Operational activity. Ongoing.
5c. Continue successful marketing of high profile events including Book and Media Awards, Carnegie,
Annual RUSA awards, SmartInvesting@yourlibrary, and Literary Tastes
 RUSA Office – Operational activity. Ongoing.
5d. Engage in early publicizing of RUSA events
 RUSA Office – Operational activity. Ongoing.
 The Awards Coordinating Committee - assists the RUSA Office with publicizing the awards, as well
as organizing the book and media awards ceremonies.
5e. Explore new marketing strategies identified in 2012 SWOT exercises (i.e. free passes to exhibits;
sponsoring a library school student to attend a conference)
 RUSA Marketing Staff Person – This will be done when the new person is in place. An ad hoc
committee of volunteers may be appointed as needed.
5f. Continue RUSA blog/emerging leaders project and seek ways to publicize, promote and encourage
broad participation
 Chasing Reference Blog Ad Hoc Committee – Develop a plan for maintaining the site in the longterm, for adding new bloggers, and for evaluating the blog’s impact.
5g. 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.
 RUSA Office, RUSQ Editor – Operational activity. Ongoing.
5h. Take the first steps to identify a RUSA “brand” and publicize it widely.
 RUSA Review Committee – Survey members to learn more about needs.
 RUSA Office, RUSA Marketing and Membership staff person –Identify issues.
 RUSA Executive Committee – Identify consulting help to start the process.
5i. 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.
 RUSA 2013 President’s Program Committee – Program completed. Article published in RUSQ.
Materials posted on RUSA web site.
Rev. May 9, 2012
Approved by RUSA Board, May 24, 2012
Rev. April 17, 2013: numbering and lettering added
Rev., December 23, 2013 – Notes about current activities added for further discussion