MARS 2003 Preconference: Digital Reference @ Your Library II

RUSA/MARS 2003 Preconference

Digital Reference @ Your Library II: Directions and Opportunities
Toronto, Friday, June 20, 2003

Sponsored by
24/7 Reference Docutek National Library of Canada QuestionPoint RUSA

8:00 - 8:25 Registration
8:25 - 8:35 Welcome - LeiLani Freund, 2003 MARS Chair
8:35 - 9:00 Keynote Speaker - David Tyckoson, Director of Public Services, Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno

Question Technology: The Impact of Digital Reference into Reference Services ( presentation in PowerPoint)

9:00 - 10:15 Session I: Collaboration in Digital Reference

Canuck Connections: Collaborative Virtual Reference in Canada ( presentation in PowerPoint)
Presenter: Franceen Gaudet, Senior Project Officer, Virtual Reference Canada

Canadian libraries are collaborating to provide reference services to their users through a wide range of creative initiatives. Some current Canadian collaborative efforts and challenges will be discussed, and a progress report on Virtual Reference Canada, the national virtual reference network of over 200 Canadian libraries, information centres and archives.

Collaboration: From Blind Date to Happy Marriage
Presenter: Buff Hirko, Statewide Virtual Reference Project, Washington State Library

In Washington State, collaboration is being developed from the ground up. The state library has been instrumental in bringing libraries together to form several cooperative projects, most multi-type, using a variety of software applications to provide a range of services from simple email to sophisticated chat. The process, the role of the state library, and the results will all be discussed.
Q&A for session

10:15 - 10:45 Break: View the poster sessions and visit the sponsors (Salon B)
10:45 - 12:00 Session II: Providing Quality Service Through Training and Assessment

But is it good? ( presentation in PDF)
Presenters: Sara Weissman, Reference Librarian, Morris County Public Library, New Jersey and Susan McGlamery, Project Director, 24/7 Reference
The excitement of your virtual reference launch is past. How now do you dig in for the long haul, assuring that your staff stays fresh and the operation quality works for your patrons and your partners? The presentation will cover training, guiding, encouraging and monitoring cybrarians.
Q&A for session

12:00 - 1:15 Lunch
Poster sessions and sponsor's booths open (Salon B)
1:15 - 2:30 Session III: Evaluating Your Digital Reference Service

Looking at the bigger picture:
An integrated approach to evaluation of chat reference services. ( presentation in PowerPoint)
Presenter: Kathleen Kern, Assistant Reference Librarian, Central Reference Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

An integrated approach to evaluation will give a more holistic view of our reference services. While chat reference needs to be evaluated in its own right, it is perhaps most enlightening to evaluate chat in relation to other (traditional) reference services. Ways to approach both evaluation of chat and holistic reference evaluation will be addressed including the questions: What is easy to measure? What is worth measuring? What can only be measured in chat? And what aspects should be measured across all of our services?

Ontario Collaborative Virtual Reference Project Pilot Phase Evaluation:
An Emphasis on Qualitative Measures ( presentation in PowerPoint)
Presenter: Diane Granfield, Librarian, Reference Research and Instructional Services and Site Coordinator of the Ontario Collaborative Virtual Reference Service, Ryerson University Library, Toronto

Diane Granfield will describe the history, administration and operational issues of the Ontario Collaborative Virtual Reference Project (OCVRP). Her talk will focus on the evaluation of the service during its pilot phase with an emphasis on software, mining the transcripts for training and evaluation purposes, ideal number of libraries, library diversity concerns, staff and user survey results, and how to capitalize on what staff learn about other libraries in a collaborative environment.
Q&A for session

2:30 - 3:00 Break: View the poster sessions and visit the sponsors (Salon B)
3:00 - 3:30 Session IV: Marketing Your Digital Reference Service

Beyond Listservs and Powerpoint - Linking yourself and your message
Presenter: Jessamyn West, Freelance Librarian and creator of

With the advent of online reference and virtual employment, many of us are finding that a plain old resume and cover letter are not really doing it for us in terms of self-promotion. New technologies offer new avenues for getting the word out about yourself, your programming or your ideas. Learn how to reach colleagues and strangers in familiar ways but with new results.
Q&A for session

3:35 - 4:05 Closing Address - David Tyckoson, Director of Public Services, Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno
What's Next? The Future of Digital Reference ( presentation in PowerPoint)
4:05 - 4:20 Final Questions, Evaluations and Closing remarks

Speakers' Biographies

Gaudet, Franceen. Franceen Gaudet is Senior Project Officer, Virtual Reference Canada, and a member of the National Library of Canada's Government Online Task Force. During her 20 years of service at NLC, she has focused on reference services, including a stint as newspaper specialist and a later term as Director, Reference and Information Services Division. She has directed the development of VRC and has facilitated a coordinated approach to reference networking in Canada. Since 1999, Franceen has been a member of the Advisory Boards of both CDRS and QuestionPoint. In November 2002, she was honoured as one of the recipients of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, awarded to Canadians in recognition of significant achievement or outstanding contribution.

Granfield, Diane. Diane Granfield is a Librarian, Reference Research and Instructional Services at Ryerson University Library, Toronto, Canada and founding coordinator of the Ontario Collaborative Virtual Reference Project, a collaborative live virtual reference service serving the students, staff and faculty of Guelph, York and Ryerson universities in the province of Ontario.

Hirko, Buff. Buff Hirko is Statewide Virtual Reference Project Coordinator, Washington State Library. Since receiving her M.L.S. from U.C. Berkeley, she has worked in public, academic and special libraries in California, Germany, North Carolina and Washington State. She is a frequent speaker at library conferences and contributes articles to both state and national publications on digital reference and continuing education topics.

Kern, Kathleen. Kathleen Kern is an Assistant Reference Librarian at the Central Reference Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She co-manages the library†TM s two and a half year old chat reference service. Her primary areas of research are management of chat reference and evaluation of reference services.

McGlamery, Susan. Susan McGlamery is the project director of 24/7 Reference. In addition to spearheading the development of the 24/7 Reference software itself, she manages both the academic and public library 24 hour nationwide cooperative answering services.

Tyckoson, David. David Tyckoson is Director of Public Services at the Henry Madden Library, California State University - Fresno. Prior to coming to California in 1997, he held positions at SUNY-Albany, Iowa State University, and Miami (Ohio) University. David has an undergraduate degree in Physics and a Master's degree in Library Science, both from the University of Illinois. He has been involved with reference service for 25 years and has written extensively about reference service and the reference interview. His article in the May 1999 American Libraries, "What's Right With Reference", presents his view on the state of reference services today. This article has helped to spark a new debate on the models for and value of reference service in libraries. David was also selected as one of five reference "experts" to write about the Future of Reference Services for the ALA/RUSA forum.

Weissman, Sara. Sara Weissman led Morris County Library's launch of electronic reference service in 1997. MCL was also part of the Library of Congress CDRS (now QuestionPoint) beta rounds and provides overflow backup for Syracuse's Virtual Reference Desk. A former AOL "cyberguide", Weissman has taught reference services at Rutgers' School of Communication, Library and Information Science.

West, Jessamyn. Freelance librarian Jessamyn West has worked for public, special, and academic libraries as well as Google Answers and the Gates Foundation since graduating with a Masters in Librarianship in 1996. She runs the current-events weblog, is a frequent lecturer, writer and activist on library issues, and was recently elected to ALA Council. Her articles have appeared in American Libraries, Searcher magazine, MobyLives, and other online and print publications. She is the co-editor of Revolting Librarians Redux, recently published by McFarland.

Poster Sessions

1. "Marketing Chat @ Your Library"
Presenters: Beth Thomsett-Scott & Monika Antonelli, Reference Librarians, Science & Technology Library, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
This poster session will discuss practical and affordable ways to market a virtual reference desk on a shoestring budget. The session will demonstrate the power of targeting users using "WIIFM" (What's In It for Me). Attendees will also come away with winning strategies on how to "sell" marketing ideas to reluctant colleagues.
2. "Ask an Everglades Librarian Live! -- The Natural Evolution of a Digital Library"
Created by: Susan Weiss & Megan Waters
Presenter: Dawn Marache-Allen, Coordinator, Ask An Everglades Librarian, Florida International University Libraries, Miami, FL

The evolution of a static electronic collection on Everglades ecosystem issues to a full service virtual library complete with real-time chat reference desk. Originally created in 1996 to serve ecology students and faculty at Florida International University in Miami, FL, the rare and fugitive scientific information resources provided by the Everglades Information Network & Digital Library quickly appealed to school children, K-12 educators, tourists, and researchers worldwide.
3. "Global Librarian: Interactive 24-7 Global Reference Service"
Created by: Frances Stocker and Jennifer Hance
Presenter: Jennifer Hance, Electronic Services Coordinator, Vaughan Public Libraries, Thornhill, Ontario,

Global Librarian was the first international public library partnership to answer reference inquiries around the clock. Global Librarian was developed by Vaughan Public Libraries, located in Ontario, Canada, in partnership with Eastern Regional Libraries in Australia, Southampton Libraries in the United Kingdom, and Surrey Public Library in British Columbia. Global Librarian received the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association's Innovation Award 2003.
4. "Distance Learning Using Ask a Librarian Chat Reference"
Created by: Marcia Henry & Lynn Lampert
Presenter: Marcia Henry, Database Coordinator, University Library, California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA

Reference librarians in a virtual library setting have additional technology issues to consider when recommending and demonstrating a database. This poster session will offer illustrations that identify the key technology issues involved when using interactive virtual reference programs to teach database searching. The poster is an accumulation of learned experiences based on our University library's long history of offering Ask a Librarian services.
5. "Ask Ms. Libby -- Ask A Librarian"
Presenters: Stephanie Frontz, Nora Dimmock & Vicki Burns, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
The symbol for the live chat service at the University of Rochester is Ms Libby. She will be one of the presenters at this poster session, which will demonstrate the use of branding in publicizing the live chat service, Ask a Librarian. She has appeared at library events, on give-aways at the reference desk, on signs and bookmarks advertising live chat, on the library homepage (in costume for Halloween and Christmas, and following Spring Break with a sunburn and sunglasses).
6. "Beyond Email: Enhancing Delivery of Asynchronous Virtual Reference"
Presenter: David Bickford, University Librarian, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
Current interest in the library community is focused on the process of virtual reference. A case study at University of Phoenix shows how asynchronous virtual reference can be extended beyond email, incorporating database-driven, Web-based management and assessment features.

Program Planning Committee:


Danianne Mizzy (
Lesley Bell (
Donna Hogan (


Susan Ware
Teresa Ashley
Susan Hocker
Lisa Horowitz
Valerie Edwards
Diana Sachs
LeiLani Freund, MARS Chair (ex officio)

HTML by Jessica Patterson, June 2003