For immediate release | April 9, 2013

Reference through social media eCourse back by popular demand

CHICAGO - ALA Editions announces a new facilitated eCourse on Reference Through Social Media: Developing Standards, Guidelines, and Policies eCourse. Sarah Steiner will serve as instructor for this three-week facilitated eCourse, which starts on June 3.

Too often chat, social media and text-based reference services operate without standards and policies. This eCourse will guide you in writing useful, concise, legally-sound standards and guidelines for providing reference through social media. Simply establishing basic greeting, closing and tone standards that reflect user expectations will significantly improve user satisfaction. With a solid foundation of best practices, and practical advice on implementation and ongoing assessment, you and your colleagues will communicate with library users in a consistent and reliable way.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Adapting Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) standards and your own library’s reference standards to create guidelines for using social media in reference service.
  • Learning how to communicate in a human, approachable and professional manner via social media.
  • Understanding key legal concepts that underlie virtual reference and social media policies.
  • Ability to implement organizational practices that support high-level service

Sarah Steiner is the social work and virtual services librarian at Georgia State University Library in Atlanta. For the past six years, she has been a leader in the library’s social media outreach, coordinating, assessing and regularly staffing the library’s chat and text-message reference service. She is cofounder of the Carterette Series Webinars, which highlight trends, innovation, and best practices in Georgia libraries. As a 2011 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, Steiner was recognized for creating networking and professional development opportunities for librarians.

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on June 3, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.


Dan Freeman


ALA Online Resources (AOR)

(800) 545-2433 ext.5413