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 or call (312) 280-2522 with questions.

ALA Annual: RUSA RSS Discussion Forums

The RUSA RSS Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee invites you to attend the following discussion forums in Las Vegas:

Extreme Customer Service: Reference at Its Finest!
Sunday, June 29, 1:00-2:30 p.m., LVCC-N117

What can truly set reference apart from Google and other online information providers? What can breed patron loyalty and ensure return visits? Service! A library’s customer service can have a staggering impact on customer satisfaction and retention. Join with colleagues to share real world examples of extreme customer service – wonderful as well as woeful – and to learn practical tips for improving your service and making your reference service invaluable. Facilitator: Jeanne Holba Puacz, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Readying Reference: Training for Public Service Reference Providers
Monday, June 30, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m., LVCC-N120

The importance of interactions with users of a library’s reference services (online and in person) cannot be overstated. If the user has a good experience, she will be back when she has another question. A bad experience, and that’s the end of it. Library literature supports the idea that training of reference providers and setting standards of service is a crucial component in the process of bringing new staffers up to speed and making sure they are upholding the library’s service mission. Gather with other front-line reference providers and managers to discuss what reference training currently looks like and brainstorm new ideas for innovative training in the future. Facilitators: Geoff Johnson, University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas at Austin and Joe Dobbs, University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas at Austin.

Call for Chapters: Virtual Reference in Modern Libraries: Innovative Methods for User Interaction
Call for Chapters: Virtual Reference in Modern Libraries: Innovative Methods for User Interaction
Sonnet Ireland (University of New Orleans, USA)

Call for Chapters
Proposals Submission Deadline: April 30, 2014
Full Chapters Due: May 30, 2014


For release in the Advances in Library and Information Science (ALIS) Book

The *ALIS Book Series* aims to expand the body of library science
literature by covering a wide range of topics affecting the profession and
field at large. The series also seeks to provide readers with an essential
resource for uncovering the latest research in library and information
science management, development, and technologies.

With budget cuts and doubts about the necessity of the roles librarians
play, it may seem as if we haven’t any time to explore new ways to interact
with our users. In fact, the opposite is true. Many librarians are taking
their limitations and turning them into innovations. This surge in
creativity needs to be shared across the profession so that other libraries
and librarians can benefit.

This book will explore innovative methods for reaching and interacting with
users, especially in terms of virtual reference. The chapters in this book
will focus on various types of virtual reference that libraries have
adopted in recent years. It will also look at ways librarians are
virtually interacting with their users and be written for librarians who
want to learn techniques that can be applied at their own libraries and
enhance their own users’ experiences.

Target Audience
The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals and
researchers working in the field of information and knowledge management in
various aspects of librarianship, e.g., reference, public services,
instruction, and technology. Moreover, the book will provide insights and
support to librarians who wish to develop these skills in their own careers.

Recommended Topics

– Virtual Reference Programs
– Social Media
– SMS Reference
– Chat Reference
– Virtual Information Needs
– Email Reference
– Reference Interactions via Mobile Device

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before *April 30,
2014* a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and
concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Submissions should be made through
the link at the bottom of this page. Authors of accepted proposals will be
notified by *May 1, 2014*about the status of their proposals and sent
chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by *May 30,
2014*. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review
basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group
Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea
Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business
Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For
additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2015.

Important Dates
*April 30, 2014:*Proposal Submission Deadline*May 1, 2014:*Notification of
Acceptance*May 30, 2014:*Full chapter Submission*July 30, 2014:*Review
Results to Authors*August 30, 2014:*Revised Chapter Submission*October 15,
2014:*Submission of Final Chapters

Sonnet Ireland
Head of Federal Documents, Microforms, and Analog Media
Earl K. Long Library
University of New Orleans
Tel.: 504.280.7276 Fax: 504.280.7277

Propose a chapter for this
Sonnet Ireland
Head of Federal Documents, Microforms, and Analog Media
Business Library Liaison
Earl K. Long Library
University of New Orleans
2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148

Business Reference 101

Register now for RUSA’s online course “Business Reference 101”!
Beginning Feb. 3 – 28, 2014

The course runs Feb. 3 – 28, 2014. Course content is appropriate for librarians and library staff of all types who wish to acquire business reference expertise. Business Reference 101 will demystify such topics as SIC, NAICS codes, ROI and 10ks. Students will also have access to proprietary business reference databases. Course participants login throughout the week to complete assignments—there are no scheduled meeting times for this asynchronous course!
Instructor: Celia Ross is past chair of RUSA’s Brass section, an experienced facilitator and practitioner in the business reference field, and a newly published author!

Get more information about this course:
** Register online now! (
We do welcome and encourage group registrations from a library, library system or network! Groups receive 15% savings on their registration rates.
Registration information for RUSA, including groups, can be found here:

Questions about registration? Contact or 1-800-545-2433, option 5.

Upcoming RUSA online courses cover reference and business reference basics

CHICAGO — Public librarians, academic librarians and library support staff are encouraged to sign up for the next offerings of Business Reference 101 and The Reference Interview, two popular online classes offered by Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), the home for reference within the American Library Association.

The next offerings include:

Business Reference 101, May 9 – June 3, 2011

Appropriate for librarians and library staff of all types who wish to acquire business reference expertise, Business Reference 101 will demystify such topics as SIC, NAICS codes, ROI and 10ks. Students will also have access to such proprietary business reference databases as Standard & Poor’s Net Advantage and Thomson/Gale’s Business &Company Resource Center. This consistently sold-out course will be taught by Celia Ross, past chair of RUSA’s Brass section and an experienced facilitator and practitioner in the business reference field.

The Reference Interview, May 2 – June 10, 2011

This comprehensive course covers such reference interview topics as cultivating an approachable reference environment, successful questioning and listening techniques and appropriate follow-up methods. Staff of all levels at all types of libraries will find this content, presented in a multi-media format, helpful in their day-to-day engagement with library patrons. Instructor David Tyckoson, associate dean at the Henry Madden Library, Cal State—Fresno and immediate past-president of RUSA, has an extensive resume in the field and was awarded the 2005 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship.

All courses will be administered using Moodle, an online course management tool. Online learning offers flexibility for busy professional schedules and facilitates interaction between instructors and students with weekly assignments, discussion boards and chat sessions.

Online registration is now open for all of these opportunities, with significant cost savings for RUSA members. VisitRUSA’s professional development information page for detailed course information, or go straight to the online registration page for these courses. Information about group registration discounts for those libraries or library systems with two or more employees participating is available from Liz Markel, RUSA marketing specialist,

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need.  For more information, visit Not a RUSA member, but  interested in discounted registration rates on conference, RUSA preconferences and other RUSA events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership

Encyclopedia Evolution

via email

Date: Tuesday, November 16

Time: 1:00 PM Central

Encyclopedias are the cornerstones of a library’s reference collection, but traditional encyclopedia publishing has been transformed over the past several years. Join Reference Books Bulletin editor Mary Ellen Quinn for an up-close look at how encyclopedias have changed. Joseph Janes from The Information School at the University of Washington will discuss why encyclopedias exist, what they do, what they tell us, and how they’ve evolved. Representatives from Encyclopædia Britannica, Grolier, and World Book will also talk about and demonstrate their newest encyclopedia models. Since general encyclopedias range from the elementary to the scholarly, there’s something here for librarians from every type of library.\

Panelists include:

  • Joseph Janes, Associate Professor, The Information School, University of Washington
  • Michael Levy, Executive Editor, Encyclopædia Britannica
  • Evan St. Lifer, Vice President, Scholastic Library Publishing
  • Sarah Bright, Director, Digital Products, World Book, Inc.

Don’t miss what is sure to be an informative session. Reserve your seat today!

This webinar will be archived and e-mailed to all registrants. If you cannot attend the live presentation, you should still register for the webinar in order to be notified when the archive is available for viewing. As a webinar registrant, you will receive follow-up correspondence from Booklist publications and may receive other special offers from our sponsors

Trendy topics digital reference online conference on September 14


TAP Information Services and the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University Announce: “Trendy Topics:  Digital Reference” Online Conference

This will be the 7th in a dynamic series of online conferences on hot topics.  Individuals and groups may participate from wherever works best – no need to travel.
Conference Date:  Tuesday, September 14, 2010, beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, 10:00 Central, 9:00 Mountain, and 8:00 Pacific.

Keynote Speakers:
·         Alison Miller from the Internet Public Library will provide the morning keynote on “Digital Reference Evolution.”  She will address user needs and expectations along with librarian responses and best practices in the digital reference environment.

·         R. David Lankes from Syracuse University will provide the afternoon keynote on “Reference in the Crowd.”  He will address creating a whole new reference unrecognizable by our predecessors and infinitely better.

Other Presenters:
·         Rose Chenoweth on “Virtual Valor”
·         Mary-Carol Lindbloom on “Days of Future Past and Digital Reference”
·         Samantha Thompson on “Virtual Reference in Virtual Worlds”
·         Lori Bell and Tom Schmidt on “Mobile Reference”
Conference Series website:
Conference schedule:
Register online:
(If you prefer to pay by check rather than online via credit card, please contact Tom Peters at

Registration Fees:
· $40 for individuals
· $100 for groups (that is, 3 or more individuals currently affiliated with the same organization.  Group registration includes participating from up to 3 locations.)
· $30 for students
· San Jose State University SLIS faculty and students may participate at no charge.  Please contact Lori Bell at for a coupon code. For more information on the Trendy Topics series of online conferences, please contact Lori Bell at or Tom Peters at TAP Information Services at

Online Learning with ALA, ASCLA and RUSA

via email

As the month of August draws to a close, we here at the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) are focused on your professional success.

To that end, we have prepared an excellent lineup of professional development opportunities scheduled for the coming months. I hope you’ll consider joining us for one or more of these online events—all of which you can attend from the comfort of your office or home computer.

ASCLA Virtual Convergence

For four days—January 18-21, 2011—ASCLA will host the inaugural Virtual Convergence. The Convergence will present a multitude of webinars offered at various times throughout the day on topics relevant to your job performance. We are currently seeking topics and presenters for these webinars. Whether you are an expert in a particular topic area, or you are willing to serve as a “program planner” and recruit a speaker or panel of speakers on a topic that is of importance to the library community, we welcome your submissions! More information is at the ASCLA blog.

Potential program topics include consulting and independent librarianship; collaborative digitization; accessibility of libraries and library services; services to special populations including differently-abled library users, as well as all ages of incarcerated populations; issues affecting networks and cooperatives; and topics pertinent to state libraries. Presenters will be compensated. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, September 1, 2010. Submit a proposal now using the online proposal form.

RUSA Online Courses, Fall 2010

The schedule for RUSA’s fall online courses is in place, and registration is now open! Regardless of your job function or library type, these learning opportunities are appropriate for both seasoned professionals and those looking to expand their skill sets and build their resumes.

Register online now! All pricing and comprehensive course descriptions are available at theRUSA website.

  • Genealogy 101 Sept. 20–Oct. 22 Covering genealogy reference basics, and providing skills for confidently assisting family history researchers.
  • Reference Interview Sept. 13–Oct. 22 A comprehensive course focusing on the methods of evaluating reference service, behavioral aspects of reference service, and the different types of questions that can be used to help patrons identify what they need.
  • Business Reference 101 Oct. 4–29 Demystifies business reference while providing an overview of business reference resources and preparing you to answer basic business reference questions.
  • Readers’ Advisory 101 Oct. 4–Nov. 11 This course offers online practice sessions to increase your comfort with providing RA services.

As of Sept. 1, group discounts will only be available to organizations with current memberships with ALA. Until then, all organizations can take advantage of significant savings when two or more employees sign up for the same course. Details are in the Professional Development section of the RUSA website.

Remember, these events are open to all, but division members get the best price on registration! If your professional expertise and interests align with either ASCLA or RUSA’s areas of work, we encourage you to join! Become a member or call 1-800-545-2433, option 5.

Learn more about ASCLA at ,and RUSA at

Register Now for Online Business Research Class

via ili-l

Dear Colleagues:

There is still room in the following 4-week online course on business ethics research at Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science:
The course begins 8/2 (still time to register!)  with about 3-4 hours of work per week. It focuses on research in business ethics and covers research in: accounting, company culture, management, and sustainability, banking, finance and investments, and business law.

Weekly activities include learning about databases and references sources, and strategies useful in doing research in business ethics, exploring links to selected free websites, doing exercises and assignments to share with other students on each topic. Students  post evaluations of sources on the discussion list and do a short research project. The course provides access to Mergent Online and Plunkett’s Research databases.

It’s a great way to delve into business research!
Examples are relevant to both academic and public libraries.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
To register click here:

Free Webinar on Interactive Reference Sources

Power to the User: Interactive Online Reference Sources

Translation tools, visual searches, mobile applications—these are just a few of the features that let the user interact with reference databases in new ways. In this program for librarians in all types of libraries, a reference expert will talk about the value and potential of interactive features, and publishers will demonstrate some of their newest interactive tools and give us a preview of what’s coming next. Don’t miss this look at some of the features that are shaping the next generation of online reference sources.

Panelists include:

  • Sue Polanka, Head, Reference and Instruction, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, and Chair of the Reference Books Bulletin Editorial Board
  • Michael N. Ross, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Product Development and Technology, General Manager of Education, Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • Larissa Kozij, Manager, Digital Products, World Book, Inc.
  • Vince Burns, Executive Editorial Director, ABC-CLIO
  • Eric M. Calaluca, President and CEO, Paratext

Reserve your seat today!

This webinar will be archived and e-mailed to all registrants. If you cannot attend the live presentation, you should still register for the webinar in order to be notified when the archive is available for viewing.

*As a webinar registrant, you will receive follow-up correspondence from Booklist publications and may receive other special offers from our sponsors



Tuesday, June 1


2:00 PM Eastern
1:00 PM Central
12:00 PM Mountain
11:00 AM Pacific