2009 Midwinter Minutes

COMMITTEE: Education & Professional Development for Reference

SECTION: Reference Services

CHAIRPERSON: Kate Mossman, Anne Behler

DATES: January 24, 2009


MEMBERSPRESENT: Members present: Anne Behler (co-chair), Charlotte Dugan, Kristen Mastel (intern), Rosalyn Metz, Kate Mossman (co-chair), Lynn Thitchener, Julienne Wood

MEMBERSABSENT: Members absent: Alex Rosen-Gagne, Lynn Westbrook, Lise Snyder, Theresa Omidsalar, Shelby Anfenson-Comeau

VISITORS: Visitors: Dave Tyckoson

OBJECTIVES: Complete quantitative and qualitative data analysis of national survey results; turn results into published work, training tools, pre-conferences and/or programs.

SUMMARY: Review of where we are: Kate Mossman (co-chair) summarized the work of the committee thus far. To identify reference orientation and training needs, the committee designed a survey of reference practioners and reference supervisors. Anne Behler created the survey in Survey Monkey. The survey was sent out last spring and we are now analyzing the data. The committee would like to publish the results of the survey and use the information as a basis for programs, online resources, etc. Lise Snyder and Teresa Omidsalar will describe the methodology. Charlotte Dugan has been analyzing the closed responses, Julienne Wood will assist her in this effort. Lynn Westbrooke has been coding the open-ended questions. Kate Mossman has begun work on consolidating the responses. Lynn Thitchener and Shelby Anfenson-Comeau have been working on the literature review. Literature Review: Initial review focused on orientation practices. More research will be done to identify literature focusing on reference skills training, both intial training and ongoing skills development. An ACRL survey on Reference Training in Academic Libraries, conducted in 1996, may provide a useful comparison with our data. Analysis of data: We want separate categories for academic and public libraries. We would also like to see if there are differences between practioner and supervisor responses and differences between ALA and non-ALA (although, this may not possible). There will be separate totals for ALA, listserv, and Combined responses. We will use the open-ended responses to highlight conclusions drawn from the data and possibly to bring other ideas that were not covered in the survey to light. It may not be possible to distinquish between ALA and non-ALA libraries because the responses are part of an open-ended question. Kate will send out a call for volunteers to help with consolidating and analyzing the open-ended responses. A preliminary sorting by category has already been done. Volunteers will take a category, organize the responses by practioner and supervisor, and look for trends, such as the frequency of a certain type of response, to produce a summary. Kate will provide more detailed instructions for the volunteers. Anne suggested that we accomplish this work prior to the Annual meeting in Chicago, and then meet on the Sunday of Annual for a writing workshop. RUSQ identified as a possible publishing venue. Once the study is complete, and training needs have been identified, Dave (liaison) suggested that the committee recruit volunteers to teach online courses for the RUSA Professional Development online courses. The committee may also consider developing programs or pre-conferences and an online "pathfinder" to various training tools (both free and fee-based). Since our target audience includes reference librarians and support staff with front-line reference responsibilities, Dave suggested we might also consider pointing to the Library Support Staff Certification Program (ALA/APA). New Agenda Item: Committee Web Page Michelle Roubal, currently responsible for our committee web page, will be rotating off the committee. Kate asked for a volunteer to take over this task. Rosalyn volunteered. Information on ALA Connect: Dave indicated that a "soft launch" of the ALA Connect is scheduled for February. Kate will keep us apprised of developments. RSS Section Review: This is the first review of RSS. Kate and Anne will send out a questionnaire to committee members for their input. Call for 2010 Chair(s) Anne said she would be willing to stay on as co-chair. Kate will send out a call for another Chair, prior to Annual.

EVALUATION: The committee is making excellent progress--there is a large amount of survey data to get through and we expect to start writing drafts for publication near Annual 2009.