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Don Boozer's picture

Virtual Reference Services Committee Goals for 2011-2012

Tags: Goals

The Virtual Reference Services Committee has adopted the following goals for 2011-2012:

  • Plan program for ALA Annual 2012
  • Explore program ideas for ALA Annual 2013 with proposals due by March 19, 2012
  • Actively foster the work of the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee
  • Conduct an annual online survey to assess the distribution and logistics of virtual reference services in libraries
    • Investigate necessity of subcommittee to implement this goal
    • Use results of survey to address professional development needs, research interests, etc.
  • Enhance accuracy and visibility of existing virtual reference content within online resources (e.g., LISWiki and Wikipedia).
    • Investigate necessity of subcommittee to implement this goal
Don Boozer's picture

  • The program for ALA Annual 2012 was accepted by RUSA. The speakers and moderator have been (tentatively) confirmed so they will be working on content. Logistics will begin to be firmed up closer to the conference time.
  • Program proposals for ALA Annual 2013 will be discussed at the upcoming Midwinter virtual meeting
  • The survey will not be posted until later in 2012, so details will also be discussed at the upcoming virtual meeting.
  • We will be thinking of ways to encourage both committee members and virtual reference-librarians-at-large to get involved in the online resource enhancement project.
Don Boozer's picture

The VR Services Committee is hosting a program at the ALA Annual 2012 entitled "Are virtual reference services worth the effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us". Panelists are confirmed, and Dr. Joe Janes has given tentative confirmation to serve as moderator.

The committee will be discussing ideas for the 2013 ALA Annual via email and other means. The focus currently under consideration is to do something with gadgets or technology since the last several Annual programs have focused on other aspects of virtual reference service.

In keeping with its goals, the MARS/RSS Virtual Reference Services Committee has created the "RUSA MARS/RSS VR Committee Survey Ad Hoc Group". Jason Coleman, an active member of the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee as well as Undergraduate & Community Services Librarian at Kansas State University, has volunteered to lead the new group. They are charged with conducting an online survey to assess the distribution and logistics of virtual reference services in libraries. Jason has asked individuals to contact him by Feb. 1, 2012.

The VR Services Committee is also exploring ways to update existing virtual reference content in online venues like Wikipedia, LISWiki, LibSuccess, etc. Options under consideration include sponsoring a Wikipedia "Edit-a-thon" at Annual Conference, creating a Twitter hashtag, inaugurating a Google Group, etc.

Don Boozer's picture

The program for Annual 2012 is well on-track. All speakers have been confirmed and the moderator plans to contact participants soon to finalize logistics on speaking order, etc.

The VR Services Committee is co-sponsoring a program for ALA Annual 2013 with the Marketing Committee: Slam the Boards:  A Model for Marketing through Action with the primary speaker being Bill Pardue (Reference Librarian and Virtual Services Librarian for Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Illinois, and founder of Slam the Boards)

Final discussions are taking place to determine if the committee will be hosting/sponsoring any other programs for ALA Annual 2013.

The VR Tutorial SubCommittee continues to move ahead with its project and is waiting for the RUSA implementation of the new website.

Jason Coleman (Undergraduate & Community Services Librarian, Kansas State Libraries) sent out another recruitment email asking for participants in the VR Survey Ad Hoc Group. Jason will be coordinating the ad hoc group to develop, distribute, and analyse the survey results with hopes of presenting their findings at an ALA venue or in a paper. In Jason's words, "Information gleaned from such a survey could greatly inform the work of our committee and other committees related to VR."

The concept of a first informal Wikipedia "edit-a-thon" for ALA 2012 is still being considered.

Don Boozer's picture

We are partnering with the RSS Marketing Committee on a webinar prior to Annual 2013 with Bill Pardue with a Discussion Forum planned for Annual 2013 itself. We will also be considering some sort of "bridge" activity between the webinar and Annual.

With the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee now having access to the Drupal installation, they are moving ahead with posting content. They have renamed the "Tutorial" as the "Virtual Reference Companion" and aim to make it applicable to both managers/supervisors of VR service but also frontline VR librarians. We are very excited about their progress and what they have planned.

We are also looking at a change in our official mission statement to fold in the charge of the now-disbanded Cooperative Reference Services Committee to "To identify and study issues relating to virtual reference services, and to evaluate and promote technological and service standards, guidelines, and 'best practices' for local and cooperative virtual reference services in all types of libraries." We will be working with MARS and RSS to accomplish this.

Jason Coleman is moving ahead with the Survey Ad Hoc Group. He has recruited 2 people to help in designing and distributing the survey to determine the current state of virtual reference services.

The committee will be considering a Wikipedia edit-a-thon for either Midwinter and/or Annual.

 

Don Boozer's picture

VRS Committee is working with RSS Marketing & Public Relations Committee for a webinar and associated discussion forum at ALA Annual 2013 featuring Bill Pardue and the marketing of virtual reference services.

We continue to foster the work of the VR Tutorial Subcommittee (who have been doing great work).

We are looking for someone to take over the coordination of the annual survey ad hoc project from Jason Coleman who has resigned his position to concentrate on other duties and assignments. We wish Jason all the best! :-) We believe the survey project could provide valuable insights and data and are looking forward to moving ahead with it.

Still looking at increasing grassroots involvement in updating and enhancing Wikipedia and other LIS wikis and resources.

 

Don Boozer's picture

Goal: Program ideas for ALA Annual 2013

The committee is partnering with the RSS Marketing and Public Relations Committee on a webinar (in May 2013) and a related discussion forum at ALA Annual 2013 featuring Bill Pardue: Slam the Boards! A Model for Marketing through Action.

Goal: Actively fostering the work of the VR Tutorial Subcommittee

The Subcommittee continues to do great work and the committee is glad to support them in any way necessary.

Goal: Conduct online survey to investigate current state of virtual reference

Partnering with the RSS Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee to form ad hoc team to construct and conduct survey.

Goal: Conduct a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon event at ALA Annual 2013

An informal event (hosted by the VRS Committee) is planned to be held in the Networking Uncommons area of ALA Annual in Chicago. Plans are on-going.