Virtual Reference 101

Upcoming ACRL Webcast – Virtual Reference 101
Join ACRL for the e-Learning webcast, “Virtual Reference 101,” on Thursday, February 19 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Central.

This interactive webcast will introduce participants to virtual reference and to the fundamentals of conducting productive virtual reference sessions. Web tools have provided extraordinary options to conduct reference service to those patrons that cannot make it to the library for whatever reason. Using tools from Google, Dropbox, JoinMe, and others, the librarian can help patrons anytime from anywhere. You and your patron need little more than a computer or mobile device and an internet connection. Virtual reference can help teach information literacy and research skills but it also can be modified for anything you want to teach a patron. That can range from demonstrating a database to showing how to write citations correctly. The interaction is unprecedented and can go light-years beyond a phone call allowing you to show and tell.
This session will go beyond others that may just emphasize chat and text service and dive deep into the realm of screensharing, VOIP, and file sharing. Not only will participants be able to learn all of these technologies and have hands-on instruction using them and practicing them with the instructor, they will also be able to apply this new knowledge to honing their reference interview skills. With time constraints that make visits to the brick and mortar library difficult, virtual reference can extend the librarians reach to serve outside clientele.
Learning Outcomes:
Gain an understanding of what virtual reference is and the tools that can facilitate virtual reference.
Be able to conduct a session using the tools.
Make a direct connection between great customer service and virtual reference’s ability to deliver that great customer service experience.
Presenter(s): John Burns, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Dixie State University
Registration materials and details on the webcast are available on the ACRL e-Learning website; group registration and other discounts are available. Contact mconahan@ala.org or call (312) 280-2522 with questions.

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