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Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) | The American Library Association Archives

Name: Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)


Historical Note:

In 1926, the Council established the Board of Library and Adult Education to promote interest and activities in the area of library service to adult education, to act as advisor and as an information center, and to implement and assist in library related projects of adult education (1). To accomplish these goals the Board sponsored roundtables and workshops and published reports, findings, and the quarterly magazine, Adult Education and the Library, which was incorporated into the ALA Bulletin in 1930. As the Board grew in scope, it became the Adult Education Board in 1937, the Adult Education Section of the Division of Public Libraries in 1946 (2) and the Adult Services Division in 1959 (3). In 1972, Adult Services Division joined with the Reference Division to form the Reference and Adult Services Division (RASD), establishing the new goals of "stimulating and supporting full access to library services which are user oriented. The Division seeks actively to foster the fullest use of all media in meeting the educational, research, information, recreational, and social interests and needs of users of all types of libraries in every subject field" (4).

RASD maintains standing committees and sections reflecting the scope of adult services including the Interlibrary Loan Committee, Adult Library Materials Committee, Committee to Advise Publishers of Reference Books and Indexes, Catalog Use Committee, and Machine Assisted Reference Services (MARS). RQ, RASD's quarterly journal, began in 1960 and the Division also authors annual book lists such as Notable Books and Outstanding Reference Books. The Division annually awards four different medals and citations to foster excellence in reference publication and librarianship.

Sources:

1. Stevenson, Grace T., "The ALA Adult Education Board," ALA Bulletin, April 1954, p. 226.

2. Ibid., pp. 227-228.

3. ALA Bulletin, December 1959, p. 915.

4. Hansen, Andrew M., "Reference and Adult Services Division," ALA Yearbook, 1976, p. 302.



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