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Crystal Lentz's picture

Summary of Current Activities

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored two poular discussion forums at Midwinter:

Just Ask: Defining and Advocating for the Reference Librarian, facilitated by Elizabeth Stephan from Western Washington University, had a total of 45 attendees from public, academic, and other types of libraries.  Lively small group discussions focused on the new or changing role of reference librarians, how it may differ by type of library, and the kind of support needed to make the public aware of the changing role.

Unhappy Campers: Coping with Job Dissatisfaction and Burnout on the Front Lines, facilitated by Virginia Cairns from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, had 48 attendees from many different types of libraries.  Discussions took place in small groups, with many great ideas and suggestions reported back to the entire group.  Topics included how to approach management for help with burnout, strategies for preventing and alleviating burnout in your peers or subordinates, and ideas for how we as individuals can cope with burnout in our own lives and careers.

We did not meet at ALA Midwinter 2013 because a meeting was held via email in October when the winning discussion forum proposals were chosen.  The committee looks forward to putting out the call for discussion forum proposals for Annual soon and selecting the two that will be held.