RUSA Reference and User Services Association

Genealogy 101 provides an introduction to American genealogy reference service. Utilizing case studies, the course outlines basic genealogy research sources and strategies. Topics covered include the U.S. census, vital records, immigration research, military research, and a variety of other basic genealogy sources. Students also receive instruction in reference desk strategies and tools for further professional development. The course covers archival material, print reference tools, and online sources. Designed for reference staff with little or no experience in genealogy, the course provides tools for assisting patrons with family history research, with the ultimate goal of giving students confidence and skill in assisting family history researchers.

Taught by Carla James Jackson, PhD Candidate for Instructional Design and Technology at Old Dominion University, students will learn to apply the Morrison, Ross and Kemp instructional design model for library instruction, develop task analysis and design a complete instructional unit. 

Suggested text: 

Designing Effective Instruction (any edition) by Gary R. Morrison, Steven M. Ross, Howard K. Kalman and Jerrold E. Kemp

Do you want to improve your libraries outreach and marketing activities? Do you want to attract new patrons and reach out to under-served communities? Want to develop a plan that will make your outreach and marketing more efficient and effective? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this course is for you. Over the course of six weeks, participants will learn how to assess marketing needs, expand the reach of outreach activities, integrate free and low-cost tools into their outreach activities, and develop an outreach and marketing plan for the library of their choice. In addition, participants will have numerous opportunities to interact directly with their classmates and with the instructor to learn from their experiences. By the end of the course, participants will have concrete skills to apply in their work and a portfolio of materials to use at their library.


Whether you are a newly-minted librarian or a senior administrator, communication is an essential part of your work. You communicate with library users, with your colleagues, and with your stakeholders. And chances are, you wish you could communicate more effectively.

In this course you will refine your ability to create effective professional documents and give oral presentations. This requires you to think well, write well, and design well. It also requires you to use the relevant technology effectively. Assignments and activities are designed to help you prepare for real-life situations. This course is demanding but the principles learned will help you succeed in your career and apply throughout your life.

The scope encompasses both oral and written communications, and basic visual design for written documents and presentation slides. The approach is interactive, with some instruction delivered in live sessions, and assignments including written documents and live presentations.

Students' time will be equally divided between instruction and assignments, requiring a total of between two and three hours each week. On Thursdays, instruction will be live, through Adobe Connect, while the rest of the instruction will take the form of self-paced learning modules and slidedocs, combined with online discussions through Moodle. Assignments will consist of written documents, both live and pre-recorded oral presentations, and exercises in document and slide design. Some assignments will require working in teams.