Future of Reference


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  • The Future of Reference at Your Library Kris Johnson Brief:  In this session the presenter will discuss 5 factors that affect the future of reference at any library. Attendees will  learn what other libraries across the globe are doing related to reference services, will discuss reference futures in a 2.0 world, and will leave the workshop with a minimum of one concrete idea to pursue regarding reference services at their library or for themselves as professional reference librarians. More details: Reference services may look different at your library than at mine. Depending on the size of your library and your service population you may offer reference in-person, via phone, by e-mail, virtually, or not at all. You may have a reference desk but maybe not. You may feel qualified to answered reference questions or feel you need training.   Reference services can and should be a vital offering in your suite of library services. According to the 2005 OCLC Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources report http://www.oclc.org/reports/2005perceptions.htm, the first thing people think of when they think of libraries is books. However, many citizens, even very educated adults with librarians for friends don't know you can go to (or sign-in virtually!) a local library to ask questions and get help finding information (aka Reference Services.) Why is this and what is your library doing to change this perception?   This session will discuss the future of reference services in a 2.0 world. Attendees will gain ideas and resources from one another as well as the presenter in order to learn about and improve reference services and skills at their library. The idea is to not compete with the big guys, but to do the best you can with the resources you have available to you, and to improve upon what you are currently doing. Participants will leave the workshop with a minimum of one concrete idea to implement in their library, be it staff training, singe, or a completely new service.  
  • Future of Reference

    1. 1. The Future of Reference @ Your Library Kris Johnson Virtual Reference Consultant, Colorado State Library September 19, 2008 Aurora Public Library Staff Training Day
    2. 2. What Does Reference Look Like @ Your Library?
    3. 3. Mary Walsh
    4. 4. Mary Walsh
    5. 6. Mary Walsh
    6. 7. Why is Reference Important? <ul><li>Joseph Janes’ book: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Introduction to Reference Work in the Digital Age” </li></ul>
    7. 8. Session Goal <ul><li>Participants will think creatively and deeply about reference services. </li></ul><ul><li>Importance – Need - Future </li></ul>
    8. 9. Session Goal <ul><li>Participants will leave the session with a minimum of one concrete idea to implement in their library related to reference services. </li></ul>
    9. 10. Presentation Attribution <ul><li>Much of this PowerPoint was used with permission from Eileen  Abels ,  Ph.D., from a presentation she created in April 2005 on the future of reference. </li></ul>
    10. 11. The Future of Reference Depends Upon… <ul><li>Information Users </li></ul><ul><li>Information Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians </li></ul>
    11. 12. 1. Information Users
    12. 13. Information Users <ul><li>Users are influenced by (and influence) social trends. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>24 X 7 expectations : any time any place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-help : banking; gas stations; airline kiosks; supermarket checkout; library self-check </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information creators : wikis, blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choice : cereals, automobiles, computers, video games, search engines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media savvy : newspapers, magazines, direct mail, billboards, bus signs, radio, television, radio, internet… </li></ul></ul>
    13. 14. Information Users <ul><li>“ The user is not broken .” </li></ul>
    14. 15. Library Users (as Information Users) <ul><li>3 Types of Library Users: </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiastic Users </li></ul><ul><li>Worker Bees </li></ul><ul><li>Drive-In Users </li></ul><ul><li>Lorcan Dempsy, OCLC </li></ul>
    15. 16. 2. Information Sources
    16. 17. Information Sources <ul><li>Users have options </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Print </li></ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul><ul><li>TV </li></ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>more… </li></ul>
    17. 18. Library Information Sources <ul><li>Libraries have many information options </li></ul><ul><li>but… </li></ul><ul><li>*“For most people, in most situations, Google is fine. How do you beat free , easy , quick, and good enough ?” </li></ul><ul><li>*Joe Janes </li></ul>
    18. 19. Library Information Sources…Where we Win <ul><li>Where the librarians win is at good enough. We do much better than good enough and we need to market that.* </li></ul><ul><li>“ We save you time and money and find information that you can not find on your own.” </li></ul><ul><li>*Joe Janes </li></ul>
    19. 20. 3. Technology
    20. 21. Technology <ul><li>The World Wide Web </li></ul><ul><li>The Cell Phone </li></ul><ul><li>Text Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Wireless Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Search </li></ul><ul><li>Something else in the future? </li></ul>
    21. 22. Libraries & Technology <ul><li>“ We do such a good job for people who walk across the threshold. We need to do a better job with people who come to the library digitally.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We have to be even better online than in person” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s simply wrong to provide access without service, and librarians should know better.” </li></ul><ul><li>--Joe Janes-- </li></ul>
    22. 23. Libraries & Technology <ul><li>Does your library have reference services that are easily available to patrons via: </li></ul><ul><li>Every page of your website? </li></ul><ul><li>The Library Catalog? </li></ul><ul><li>Cell Phones? </li></ul><ul><li>Text Messaging? </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Search? </li></ul>
    23. 24. 4. Libraries
    24. 25. 4. Libraries
    25. 26. 4. Libraries
    26. 27. 4. Libraries
    27. 28. Libraries <ul><li>Factors that affect reference offerings: </li></ul><ul><li>Size – Population - Budget </li></ul><ul><li>Access to Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Library Director’s Philosophy Towards Reference Services </li></ul><ul><li>Skills of library staff </li></ul>
    28. 29. Libraries <ul><li>Let’s Look at Some Examples </li></ul>
    29. 30. Canton Public Library (MI) Reference Rover Mary Walsh Used with permission from Canton Public Library (MI)'s photostream on Flickr
    30. 31. Poster at Dickinson College Library – Carlisle, Pennsylvania Used with permission from DickinsonLibrary's photostream on Flickr
    31. 32. Westminster Law Library’s Old Website
    32. 33. Westminster Law Library’s New Website
    33. 34. Yale Librarian’s Business Card Mary Walsh Used with permission from Joey Digits' photostream on Flickr
    34. 36. Hours Sign at the Edmund Stanley Library, Friends University - Wichita, KS   Used with permission from Travelin' Librarian's photostream on Flickr
    35. 38. London, Ontario bus shelter advertisement for Askipedia Used with permission from djfiander's photostream on Flickr
    36. 39. Mary Walsh CSU Library Website
    37. 40. CSU Library Ask a Librarian Webpage
    38. 41. Mabee Library, Washburn University – Topeka, Kansas Mary Walsh Used with permission from Mabee Library's photostream on Flickr
    39. 42. Mary Walsh Weld Library District Webpage
    40. 43. Maybee Library, Washburn University, Kansas Mary Walsh
    41. 44. Seattle Public Library Used with permission from vacekrae's photostream on Flickr
    42. 45. Jennifer Murrell - Mesa County Library “ Jennifer works on correct posture while staffing AskColorado.”
    43. 46. East Carolina University Library Screensaver Used with permission from hblowers' photostream on Flickr
    44. 47. Nice Sign – Library Unknown Used with permission from stivab's photostream on Flickr
    45. 48. Bookcart Magnet – Library Unknown Used with permission from stivab's photostream on Flickr
    46. 49. Table Tent – Keene State College Library New Hampshire Used with permission from Keene State College Mason Library on Flickr
    47. 50. Portable Tablet - Ivanhoe Library Melbourne Australia Used with permission from yarraplentylibrary 's photostream on Flickr
    48. 51. University of Texas Libraries Used with permission from Flaxbart Family's photostream on Flickr
    49. 52. Libraries <ul><li>Let’s Share Some Ideas </li></ul>
    50. 53. 5. Librarians <ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to embrace change </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to think outside the box, the library, and the reference desk </li></ul><ul><li>CE opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>LIS Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare librarians for the future </li></ul></ul>
    51. 54. Future Reference Services Must: <ul><li>Evolve with social trends </li></ul><ul><li>Be easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Be readily available </li></ul><ul><li>Provide choices </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to information needs </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize appropriate technology </li></ul><ul><li>Be cost effective </li></ul>
    52. 55. Possible Menu of Future Reference Services <ul><li>1. </li></ul><ul><li>2. </li></ul><ul><li>3. </li></ul><ul><li>4. </li></ul><ul><li>5. </li></ul><ul><li>6. </li></ul><ul><li>7. </li></ul><ul><li>8. </li></ul>
    53. 56. Again, Why is Reference Important? <ul><li>Joseph Janes’ book: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Introduction to Reference Work in the Digital Age” </li></ul>
    54. 57. The Future of Reference @ Your Library? <ul><li>Questions/Comments? </li></ul>