Virtual Video Reference: Connecting with Patrons at a Distance

Wednesday, 11/7/2018
  • 1:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 12:00 PM (Central)
  • 11:00 AM (Mountain)
  • 10:00 AM (Pacific)

What is the best way to serve a patron's information need at a distance? Academic and public libraries may utilize virtual chat or email to answer reference questions, but do those reference models always serve as the best communication method? An additional means of providing virtual reference is via video conferencing platforms.

Presenters will discuss practical tips for utilizing video conferencing platforms for virtual reference, establishing rapport with patrons using this medium, and how to determine when video may be an appropriate option for conducting a reference transaction. Situated in quality reference as a whole, the presenters will explore this model of serving patrons no matter their location.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this webinar the participant will be able to:

  • Identify opportunities for the utilization of video conferencing platforms to address specific information needs.
  • Explain the essential technological functions of video conferencing and considerations that need to be made when conducting virtual video reference.
  • Evaluate various video conferencing platforms for virtual video reference use.

Who Should Attend

This course is for academic and public library personnel that provide reference and/or public services. 


Carmen Cole has served as the Information Sciences and Business Liaison Librarian for the Penn State University Libraries since January 2016, and previously served as the Reference and Instruction Librarian for the University Libraries Knowledge Commons. She supports students enrolled in the College of Information Sciences and Technology as well a the Smeal College of Business.

Victoria Raish is the Online Learning Librarian for Penn State University. In this role, she strategically increases online learning efforts to all librarians and makes external stakeholders aware of library resources and curricular integration for online courses. She has her Ph.D in Learning, Design, and Technology from Penn State University and has served as the Online Learning Librarian since January 2016. 



Individual registration rates are as follows:

RUSA members: $45

ALA members: $50

ALA student & retired members: $25

Non-members: $65

Group rate: $99 single login, $38/ per person multiple logins. (min 2 people)

How to Register

Register Online

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Zoom . Please ensure that you have internet connect. Audio for these sessions will be streamed over computer speakers and via a teleconference line. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other webinar participants via chat.


Questions about your registration should be directed to

Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Ninah Moore, RUSA Training & Events Coordinator, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!