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Sarah Hammill's picture

RSS Events at ALA Annual 2013!



Mark Your Calendars


Friday June 28th

RUSA 101

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Jackson Park 10ABC
3-4 pm

If you’re new to RUSA or are a longtime member looking for opportunities to connect with members and ways to get involved, make sure to put RUSA 101 on your calendar! Spend an hour with us on Friday from 3-4p.m. before heading off to the opening of the exhibit floor. Not joining us in Chicago? Online sessions will be offered in the weeks before Annual! Details at www.ala.org/rusa.



Saturday June 29th

RSS Open House - Meet new people, reconnect with old friends, try your hand at Trivia, enjoy refreshments!

McCormick Place Convention Center, N226
8:30-10 am

Are you looking for ways to become more involved in your profession, and to meet and network with other reference service providers? Visit the Reference Services Section (RSS) Open House to learn more about the work being accomplished in RSS. RSS officers and members will be available to answer your questions and suggest possible committees of interest, and you can visit committee tables where members will be available to talk about current projects. You are welcome to stay from 9:15am-10:00am to sit at a committee table while they conduct their meeting.

After a fun-filled morning of Trivia, please be sure to learn about the work of various RSS Committees!

Many thanks to EBSCO for providing refreshments!



19th Annual Reference Research Forum

McCormick Place Convention Center, S404bc
1-2:30 pm

The Reference Research Forum continues to be one of the most popular and valuable programs during the ALA Annual Conference, where attendees can learn about notable projects conducted in the broad area of reference services such as user behavior, electronic services, reference effectiveness and assessment, and organizational structure and personnel.

This year’s topics are: Research Guides Usability Study, Two Birds, One Stone: Using a Mixed Methods Approach to Measure Service Process and Identify Usability Pain Points in Virtual Reference, and Query Clarification in Chat Reference: A Visual Transcript Analysis.

Presenters include:Alexa Pearce, New York University Libraries; Andrew Walsh, University of West Georgia; Angela Pashia, University of West Georgia; Christine Tobias, Michigan State University Libraries.



Slam the Boards! - A Model for Marketing through Action: A Reference Services Discussion Forum

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Clark 22A-C

Attend this discussion forum for a lively discussion on actively marketing and promoting your institution's reference services (both in-person and virtual). Come ready to share ideas and learn from your colleagues! Co-sponsored by the RSS Marketing and Public Relations for Reference Services Committee and RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee.



Sunday June 30th

The New Reference Services: A Refdesk-shattering Discussion

McCormick Place Convention Center, N226McCormick Place Convention Center, N132
8:30-10 am

There is plenty of talk about the new work of "little r" reference, but little detail on how that translates into the daily work of public library reference staff. This program delves into the who/what/where/how of contemporary reference work. Panelists to kick off the discussion of this topic will be Todd Dunkelberg, (Director, Deschutes Public Library (Bend, Oregon)), Stephanie Chase (Director of Library Programs and Services, The Seattle Public Library), and Sue Banks (Deputy Director, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh). This will be a super-smart, refdesk-shattering event!


Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Why Wikipedia? For good or for ill, Wikipedia is consistently in the Top 10 most-visited websites in the world. People are using it! For librarians, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to train people on how, why, and when to use Wikipedia effectively and appropriately. The opportunity is to use it to highlight local collections and expertise. Editing the collaborative, online encyclopedia is a great way to get to understand it from behind-the-scenes and to be able to share this knowledge with patrons and students.

An edit-a-thon is a great place to start this learning process. An edit-a-thon, as described by the Wikimedia Foundation, is "an event in which people work together in person to build content on a wiki."

The Edit-a-thon at ALA Annual will be a low-key, informal affair, and those interested in learning more about becoming a "Wikipedian" (i.e., someone who edits Wikipedia articles) and trying one's hand at some actual editing are highly encouraged to drop by during the times posted above. We're also asking experienced Wikipedians to drop by to serve as mentors for the event.

There are no "themes" for this event; however, two suggestions for content to add to Wikipedia include:

  • Hyper-local content: Check out Wikipedia's new Nearby page to find landmarks in your area that could use a photo or updated text and bring that info to Chicago.
  • Take part in the Wikipedia Citation Clean-up Project (Seems tailor-made for librarians!)

If you're new to Wikipedia editing, here are some resources to look at if you're interested in getting a jump on the event on June 30:


Different Strokes: Serving the Health Information Needs of a Diverse Community Program

McCormick Place Convention Center, S102a
1-2:30 pm

Medical and health questions at the reference desk can be loaded with unspoken meanings, especially when the patron has different cultural or physical attributes than the librarians. Panelists in this program will include librarians with expertise in providing medical information to patrons who are from different cultures, speak different languages, are disabled or have literacy issues. Attendees will learn about health issues facing diverse populations, and resources to assist them in providing reference services.
Speakers include: Anna Schnitzer, University of Michigan Library (Taubman Health Sciences Library); Barbara Bibel, Oakland Public Library; Cassie Spindle, Tulsa City-County Library; Cheryl Rowan, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM SCR.



Keeping it Real in a Virtual World: Managing and Promoting Your Online Reference Collection Discussion

Hyatt Regency Chicago, Columbus KL
1-2:30 pm

As reference sources continue to migrate from print to online, librarians face challenges in managing and promoting these new online reference collections.  Increased cost, restrictive subscription models, less visibility, and increasing use of mobile devices and apps are just a few of the issues being encountered in all types of libraries.  Gather with colleagues to discuss how we can “keep it real” and acquire, manage, and promote online reference collections that provide real, valuable information for our community members.
Facilitators: Sara Memmott, Eastern Michigan University Library, and April Levy, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Columbia College Chicago Library


Arizona Libraries: Spanish Services and Community Outreach Discussion

McCormick Place Convention Center, N227a
3-4 pm

As a border state, Arizona has historically had a large Spanish-speaking/Latino community. With the recent increase in immigration from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, library services and outreach to these communities is needed more than ever. Come learn how Yuma County Library District and Pima County Public Library have used their resources, staff skills, and community-building to provide relevant services and programming to these ever-growing communities. We will share examples of successful programming and provide strategies for making connections to your own Spanish Speaking communities.
Presented by Paulina Aguirre-Clinch, Marissa Alcorta, Paula Maez, Emily Scherr, and Cecilia Tovar.



RUSA Awards Reception & Volunteer Appreciation Party 

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Prairie Room
5-6:30 pm

Celebrate the winners of RUSA's 2013 achievement awards and recognize the contributions of our valued member volunteers. All conference participants are invited to participate in this event.




Monday July 1st

Technology Competencies for Reference Librarians Discussion

Hilton Chicago, Buckingham Room
8-10:30 am

Patrons expect reference librarians to know the latest technology.  From basic computer skills and computer troubleshooting, to using the online catalog and databases, to navigating and troubleshooting mobile devices, questions run the gamut and require utilizing a variety of skills and knowledge.  What technology competencies does your library expect librarians to have?  What competencies should librarians have to help them better assist patrons?  How do you keep skills up-to-date?  Meet with colleagues to discuss these and other questions related to the ever changing technology landscape in libraries and its impact on providing quality reference services to customers.
Facilitator: Tina Chan, State University of New York at Oswego


Sarah Hammill's picture


Carolina Paula (non-member)'s picture

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