Tag Archives: Reference

Episode 213: Reference

1930's - ca. - Alma Custead, Librarian, and Staff

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Reference work is what most people think of when they think about a library. Take a moment to picture it in your heads: do you see a smiling person behind the desk, maybe typing into the computer, maybe handing you a book?

That is certainly not wrong, and in addition to this type of service it also involves a lot of other work. Reference is increasingly moving away from sitting behind a desk and waiting for people to come to you with their lovely, well-thought out questions. Instead it now involves setting up a lot of material people can use on their own schedules, spending time training people in using online databases and other resources, and being present in many other locations.

Whether your work in Reference is helping advanced researchers finding material to help them win the next Nobel Prize, or if it involves the more mundane questions of “my teacher says I need to find an author born on my birthday” – it all matters to patrons. And of course, the most common Reference question has never changed: Where is the bathroom? As with so much we talk about on this podcast, there is a system to help you answer questions the best way possible!

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Want to talk with us about this topic? Do you, your staff, or your organization need training in this topic? Want to write a policy, or develop a program?  We are here for you!
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Don’t Miss Out on “Reference Policy” from Amigos Library Services

Nevins Library First Librarians

Topic Area:
Course Type:

Reference policy is the foundation upon which reference services are built. This course will take you step by step in the policy development process. Come learn how to create policy whether for face-to-face, telephone, or virtual reference services. Also, learn to write guidelines that will provide you, your co-workers, and library users with the understanding of how reference services fit within the overall vision and mission of your institution.

Learning Objectives:
  • Identify key steps in the policy development process
  • Evaluate how reference policy fits with the vision and mission of the institution
  • Create a reference policy for your organization
  • Demonstrate understanding of reference policy development with hands on examples
Target Audience:
Librarians and paraprofessionals who need to develop reference policy for their institution.
Homework Expectations and Completion Requirements:
  • There will be both in class and at home assignments to be completed.
  • It is designed for individual participation; each individual must register.
Session Duration:
This course consists of two 2-hour sessions.
Continuing Education Credit
Contact Hours:
Amigos Member Early Bird Fee:
Amigos Member Fee:
Non-member Early Bird Fee:
Non-member Fee:
Scheduled Dates

July 11 – 12, 2017, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm CDT (Register Now) — Early Bird Deadline: June 19

United for Libraries, RUSA and Chapter Relations to host ‘Crisis Communication: Who Speaks for Your Library?’

From RUSA Update, by Joseph Thompson

“Will you be attending ALA Annual 2017 in Chicago later this month? Please join United for Libraries, RUSA and ALA Chapter Relations for the timely discussion: “Crisis Communication: Who Speaks for Your Library?”. The discussion group will will take place from 1-2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 25 at McCormick Place West, W194b. Add this event to your conference schedule.

What happens when a newspaper calls the library for a quote on a Saturday morning? Is it your Library Director or Trustee who answers an elected official’s question about the library? In the event of a materials challenge, who serves as the library’s spokesperson? Stuff happens, whether you work for a public, academic, or school library. Are you ready in a crisis, whatever it may be?

This program/discussion will feature Macey Morales, Deputy Director of ALA’s Public Awareness Office; Susan Jennings, Past President of the Tennessee Library Association, and Brian Auger, Director of the Somerset County (N.J.) Public Library. Participants will use scenarios and role-playing, and learn how to prepare statements and a crisis communication plan for their libraries.

For a detailed listing of United for Libraries programs at the ALA Annual Conference, as well as information on purchasing tickets and registering, visit their website.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library Trustees, advocates, Friends, and Foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. To join, please visit United for Libraries website or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), 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. Learn more about RUSA.”

RUSA Summer Online Learning Opportunities

Direct ALL questions to Jennifer Cross, Web Services Manager at jcross@ala.org.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) is pleased to announce summer 2017 online learning opportunities:

  • July
    • “Serving those who served: Working with the Veteran and Military Communities” Webinar – 7/13/17 
      In this webinar, two librarians who are also military veterans themselves will help librarians get started working with veteran and military-affiliated patrons by sharing some crucial background information about the veteran and military communities, including common pitfalls and FAQs. They will also share ideas, strategies, and success stories related to library outreach and programming for the veteran and military communities in both public and academic libraries.
    • The Google Driver’s Manual” Webinar – 7/21/17
      Google Drive is a great option for librarians to share with their patrons. Learn all the tricks Google Drive can do for you and your patrons (and maybe even your library).
    • “Successful Outreach and Marketing for any Library” eCourse – 7/31/17
      Do you want to improve your libraries outreach and marketing activities? Do you want to attract new patrons and reach out to underserved communities? Over the course of six weeks, participants will learn how to assess marketing needs, expand the reach of outreach activities, integrate free and low-cost tools into their outreach activities, and develop an outreach and marketing plan for the library of their choice.
  • August
    • “I am Not A Robot: Using Emotional Intelligence to Humanize Virtual Reference” Webinar – 8/24/17
      This webinar will assert that improving emotional intelligence will improve our overall virtual communication. This webinar will provide librarians and staff with an emotional intelligence toolkit to improve their virtual reference experience as well as provide tips for implementing a training program that incorporates emotional intelligence principles.

About RUSA
The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, offers multiple online professional development opportunities year round that are open to the public. Whether you want to acquire new skills or sharpen your current skills, RUSA’s online courses and webinars offer convenient and flexible learning opportunities on both basic and advance topics. Basic topics may include the reference interview and readers’ advisory to name a few. For advanced topics we dive into specialty areas such as business reference, genealogy and topics related to prison libraries among others. RUSA members qualify for discounted registration rates including discounts on group registrations. RUSA 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.

Academic Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) newsletter

The spring 2017 issue (Volume 12, No. 1) of the Academic Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) newsletter is now available, courtesy of the Business Reference in Academic Libraries Committee.  

Inside this issue you will find ideas for designing websites and promotional material in “How to Stop Worrying and Start Designing: Four Books for the Novice Designer”; creating visual guides for business information literacy in “Searching as a Strategic Exploration: Using Visual Guides to Teach Business Research Strategy”; and preparing students for job interviews by researching the organization to present themselves as knowledgeable, in “Interview Intelligence: Teaching Students to Demonstrate Their Passion by Doing Their Homework.” 

BRASS represents the subject interests of reference librarians, business information specialists and others engaged in providing business reference/information services.  Learn more about BRASS. Special thanks to Annette Buckley and to the authors: Edward Kownslar, Grace Liu and Andy Spackman. We hope you enjoy this recent issue!

Janet Franks & Karen Chapman, Co-editors