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Crystal Lentz's picture

Summary of Current Activities

The Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee sponsored 2 exciting forums at Annual:

Keeping it Real in a Virtual World: Managing and Promoting Your Online Reference Collection, was facilitated by Sara Memmott from Eastern Michigan University, and April Levy from Columbia College Chicago. The 11 attendees were from a variety of types of libraries, including academic, community college and public libraries, plus there was one non-librarian in attendance. Discussions took place in small groups, with ideas reported back to the entire group. Suggestions included: correlating recommended reference sources with events in the news, for more information, via Twitter and Facebook; featuring a “highlighted” reference resource or tool on the library’s home page; QR codes in the stacks to connect users with online resources that relate to those in print (or those recently removed and sent to storage); building on the QR codes idea, having librarians assisting users model the behavior we want to encourage by taking a smart phone or iPad/similar device to the stacks and using it to connect to and demonstrate an online resource; and using info graphics to share/summarize information for users (resources available, cost of subscriptions, etc.).

Technology Competencies for Reference Librarians, facilitated by Tina Chan from the State University of New York at Oswego, had a total of 21 attendees from academic, public, school, and other libraries.  The very lively discussion touched on topics including what to look for in interviewees, how changing technology affects staff, what should go into a staff manual, and whether resistance to change is age-related.

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