RUSA RSS Evaluation of Reference and User Services (Reference Services Section) Committee
A group made up of members of ERUS and Virtual Reference Services Committee distributed a survey in August/September 2013 with the goal to assess the state of the profession in the provision of virtual reference services. The analysis stage was completed and initial results were reported to ERUS at our ALA Annual meeting. Results will be shared more broadly, and recommendations for regular surveys on this topic will be explored.
ERUS also conducted a survey looking at reference service models and evaluation of service. At the close of the survey, we received a very large number of responses. Initial analysis of the results has begun and the goal is to disseminate the findings broadly. The committee will submit a proposal for a discussion forum at Midwinter 2015 on the this topic, with the hope that the survey results can be incorporated or used to inform the discussion.
Update: ERUS did compile a short report based on initial survey analysis and did hold a discussion forum at Midwinter 2015 titled: “Reference Services in Transition: Changing Models and Assessing Success.”
ERUS Goals 2014-2015
Status of Goals as of November 4, 2014
1. ERUS submitted a proposal for a discussion for at ALA Midwinter 2015.
Status of Goals as of September 9, 2014
- Based on the large number of responses we received from the Reference Service Models survey, a goal for the coming year is to propose a discussion forum for ALA Midwinter 2015. This discussion will be about changing reference service models and involve the analyzed survey results. The committee will begin working on a proposal for Midwinter in September/October 2014.
- The committee will work on compiling a report on results and disseminate the findings broadly on listservs and other channels.
- Based on the results of the survey on the current state of virtual reference services, recommendations have been made for the future this survey. The survey was conducted by and ad-hoc group made up of members of ERUS and the Virtual Reference Services Committee. ERUS will work with VRS to determine next steps and the future home of this survey.
Status update for Goals as of April 10, 2015
- ERUS held a discussion session at ALA Midwinter 2015, Reference Services in Transition: Changing Models and Assessing Success. There was a great turnout and a lot of great discussion. We started the session by distributing a report based on the survey results from 2014, which we then sent out to widely over listservs. This report and the notes from the session are available on ALA Connect.
- The committee is in the process of determining if further analysis of the survey results will be done.
- Following the work of ad-hoc group made up of members of ERUS and the Virtual Reference Services Committee, work with VR to determine plans for a regular survey in the future.
Notes from Reference Services in Transition: Changing Models and Assessing Success Discussion at Midwinter 2015by Jason Kruse on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 11:26 am
Attached are the notes from the Reference Services in Transition: Changing Models and Assessing Success Discussion at Midwinter 2015. Led by the Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee (RSS)
The session was held on Saturday January 31, 2015, 3pm-4pm.
Also attached is an initial report from a survey ERUS conducted in January 2014. These results were used a a jump starter for the discussion session.
Please send any questions to
Chair, Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee (RSS)
Traditional reference service models have been moving towards combined service desks, no service desks, triaged research help, among many other models. The goal for the discussion is to explore what new models are being employed, the benefits and/or drawbacks of changed models, and how new models are being assessed. To jumpstart this discussion, we will look at some of the results from a survey on reference service models conducted by the Evaluation of Reference and User Services Committee (RSS) in January 2014. This discussion is open to anyone interested in reference services in any type of library.
Posted by previous chair Ellen Keith on July 16, 2013
Status of goals as of July 16:
- After in-person meeting at Annual, we came up with some potential questions for the survey of reference models. Incoming chair Jason Kruse is putting them in a Google doc to share with the committee.
- Terri Miller, on the ad hoc committee for the state of virtual reference, shared the draft of their survey at Annual. The committee offered suggestions and that discussion will also inform what the committee does with the reference survey.
Status of goals as of December 11, 2013
- A team made up of members from ERUS and Virtual Reference Services Committee, created a survey to assess the state of the profession in the provision of virtual reference services. The survey was sent out in September, and the analysis of results will begin soon.
- A survey looking at reference service models and evaluation of service is being finalized and will be sent out to listservs before the end of the year, or just after the first of the new year.