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.

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