Reference Service in a Constantly Changing World
The REFolution , a conference by LYRASIS, a regional organization consisting of SOLINET and PALINET members, successfully took place April 6 and 7, 2009. The fabulous Marie Radford was the keynote speaker and she spoke of the changes in Reference already taking place, as well as what the future may bring to Reference Services. During the keynote, she talked about "screenagers" in the context of reference and at the conclusion. reminded us of the launch of the Virtual Reference Bibliography by a team of faculty and students at Rutgers.
Some topics of this conference included:
The READ Scale
The Challenges of Instant Messaging
Marketing Library Services (MTV, VH1, Bravo and the Cartoon Network)
Redefining Reference Services
Meeting User needs
SMS Text Messaging in libraries
Student Perspectives on Libraries
There were a variety of notable speakers on these topics. Listed below are brief recaps of the sessions that I attended:
Sam Stormont shared information on how Penn State set up and uses Instant Messaging and shared how lessons learned helped in creating an IM service based on best practice. He shared the goals of adding IM, implementation, challenges, strategies and concerns.
Russel Palmer shared information on Google Gems: knowing when to use Google, choosing the appropriate Google tool and using that tool efficiently and effectively.
Rebekah Kilzer shared information on using Library H3lp: implementation, reasons for changing to this, implementation steps, resolutions, usability and future steps.
Adriana Popescu and Patricia Gaspari-Bridges shared information on their use and implementation of Reftracker. They spoke of the relevance of Reference Librarians, the morphing of the Circulation Desk into an Information Desk and their pilot project that began in September 2008.
Joe Murphy spoke about reference via text messaging with mobile devices as the trend in libraries. He talked about where SMS fits, evaluation and assessment, staffing and other issues and what is expected in the mobile culture.
There were of course other relevant and important sessions and speakers, but I haven't quite figured out how to physically be in two places (something I am quite good at virtually!).
The conference also offered something quite unique: A Reference Recess. During this time, attendees were able to roll up their sleeves and play with products and technologies from sponsors.
I enjoyed this conference, not only for the content, but for the opportunity to network with some wonderful people. The size allowed for many opportunities of professional networking and information sharing - perhaps one of the most important features of a conference.
Additional notes and information can be found on Twitter using #ref2009 or #Refolution2009