Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Reference Renaissance: current & future trends

While we await our own Reference seminar in May, it's worth keeping an eye on what other parts of the world are up to. Coming up in August in Denver, Colorado is a 2-day event titled: Reference Renaissance.

Rumors of the “death of reference” have been greatly exaggerated! Reference service now encompasses not just traditional forms such as telephone, email, and in-person point-of-service, but also Instant Messaging, Text Messaging (SMS), blogs, wikis, library pages on MySpace and Facebook, and virtual reference desks in Second Life.

A Reference Renaissance: Current and Future Trends conference will explore all aspects of reference service in a broad range of contexts, including libraries and information centers, in academic, public, school, corporate, and other special library environments. This two-day conference will incorporate the multitude of established, emerging, and merging types of reference service including both traditional and virtual reference. It presents an opportunity for all reference practitioners and scholars to explore the rapid growth and changing nature of reference, as an escalating array of information technologies blend with traditional reference service to create vibrant hybrids.

As we venture into exploring our own future within Reference, the ways it has changed and where we see it going from here, the results of discussing these changes/futures with each other can only lead to bigger and better things. I see our own Seminar in May as a perfect opportunity to have some of these discussions and they are conversations I'm certainly looking forward to.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

2008 Reference at the Metcalfe Seminar 21st May

Ahh how time flies, May is fast approaching and that can only mean one thing! Yes, you got it; the annual Reference at the Metcalfe seminar is just around the corner.

Reference @ the Metcalfe.
When: 21 May 2008 Where : Metcalfe Auditorium at the State Library How to book : follow this link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=zQ7uu4CvXocX0It7NwW2GQ_3d_3d and fill in the details of each person who will be attending from your library.

Program highlights:

Seb Chan from the Powerhouse Museum - he blogs at www.powerhousemuseum.com/dmsblog/

Martin Boyce with some big ideas for public libraries in the areas of reference and information services - he blogs at http://blog.sutherlandlibrary.com/

Ross Balharrie talking about collaborations already happening in NSW between reference and information staff - he blogs at http://www.nsw-risg.org/weblog/ and http://www.nsw-risg.org/newtech//

Cathy Johnston talking about Answer boards and public libraries and what they have in common

As well there will be a Dangerous ideas session during morning and afternoon tea. You will be asked to share your ideas (via post it notes) on the following Ideas for the future What I like best about being a Reference Librarian is ..... My favourite reference tool is .... Follow this link http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/using/location/index.html for information about the location of the State Library of New South Wales.

2008 Program

Suggestions of change for Library of Congress Subject Headings

Radical reference is collecting ideas (due 27 April - sorry for the short notice) for new/changed subject headings and cross references for Library of Congress Subject Headings. Information about how to submit your ideas is available from the blog. Think about ideas which would help you in the provision of reference and information services.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dangerous ideas at PLA Minneapolis

One of the sessions at PLA in Minneapolis was called Dangerous ideas. It included questions such as:

What if librarians would promote and participate in the development of Wikipedia?
What if we made decisions that are not based on scarcity?
What if libraries large and small invest together to adopt open source solutions?
What if teens in the library were our partners instead of our problem?
What if we learned to advertise the allure of libraries as successfully as soft drinks and junk food?

For more information see Webjunction.

What are some dangerous ideas for reference and information work?