January 2012 Archives

See you at ALA Midwinter

| | TrackBacks (0) | Bookmark or Share
If you're like me, you've got some absolute "gotta do's" at conferences like ALA Midwinter. And then there are the "wanna do's," where you tell yourself you'll show up if you finish the "gotta do's" in time and if you've had a chance to eat in the last 12 hours and you can find a cab or the right bus and if you don't find yourself in another one of the fabulous, ad hoc conversations that are (let's admit it) the best reason to go to conferences anyway.

Assuming your schedule hasn't been completely locked down, I'd like to suggest you consider a couple of the OCLC programs happening in Dallas next week:

  • The OCLC Americas Regional Council Annual Member Meeting and Symposium. Friday, January 20, 12:00 - 5:00 pm, Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Ballroom EFG. This one is open to all. There will be lots of cool OCLC staff people there as well as members and guests. Light lunch at noon, and a keynote from author and TechCrunch Senior Editor Sarah Lacy, who will speak on "Mining the Fault Lines: Big Collaboration on a Richter Web Scale." You'll also get a membership update (no membership necessary to listen in), some survey results and a presentation on the Cost Sharing Models Task Force's recommendations. If you're not going to be in Dallas, you can register to attend this event virtually, too.

  • The Power of Cooperation at Webscale: OCLC's Strategy for Libraries. This is about the new OCLC WorldShare brand and how it fits into a Webscale world. There will be details about the new OCLC WorldShare Platform and Management Services. Your choice of a presentation geared toward academic libraries or public libraries: Academic -- Saturday, January 21, 8:30 - 10:00 am, Dallas Convention Center, Room C155; Public - same bat place, just starting at 10:30.

  • Workflows Transformed: Librarians Share Experiences with OCLC WorldShare Management Services. Saturday, January 21, 1:30 - 3:00 pm, Dallas Convention Center, Room C141. This is a session where WorldShare members like Lynne Jacobsen (Associate University Librarian at Pepperdine University) and Stefanie Wittenbach (University Librarian at Texas A&M University-San Antonio) get a chance to share their hands-on time with WorldShare.

  • The OCLC Update Breakfast. Sunday, January 22, 7:00 - 8:00 am, Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Ballroom EFG. Your one-stop-shop for all things OCLC-news related, along with all the coffee and chow you need to get your Sunday started right. 
You can register here for any of these sessions and a bunch of others. OCLC runs on the input of its members, and meetings like these are a great way to learn a bit about what's going on with the cooperative and stay in touch with our staff and leadership.

And while we can't register to bump into each other* for one of those excellent hallway conversations... I look forward to plenty of those, too!

George Needham

* I wonder if there's an app for that...
Virtual Reference has been around for at least a decade now. Social media, cloud technologies and new technologies have transformed and expanded traditional, in-person reference services to 24/7 operations that deliver service to patrons where, when and how they need it. Because virtual reference has grown so organically, it's hard to know if you're getting the most of what virtual reference could be for your patrons.

Seeking Synchronicity: Revelations and Recommendations for Virtual Reference by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, PdD., OCLC Research, and Marie L. Radford, PhD., Rutgers, researched years of virtual reference practices and procedures, how it's being used by patrons of all ages and what librarians and users each see as a successful experience. What the authors found is that today's patrons, scholars and citizens are not just looking to libraries alone for answers to specific questions; they want to also engage other partners and guides in their lifelong information-seeking journey. Virtual reference is an opportunity to meet those needs.

On January 31, you have the opportunity to join OCLC and OCLC Partners across the country to attend a webinar on the findings of the Seeking Synchronicity report. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss virtual reference with the report's authors, and to also discuss the topic at the local level with colleagues and local consortia leaders as well.

In addition to the topics above, the webinar will cover:

  • The exaggerated death of ready reference
  • The importance of query clarification in VR
  • Ways to boost accuracy and build better interpersonal relationships in VR
  • What can be learned from VR transcripts
  • How convenience is the "hook" that draws users into VR services
  • Generational differences in how people perceive reference interactions and determine success
  • The need for more and better marketing

Current co-host consortia and groups include: Amigos, Califa, CLiC, GWLA, Lyrasis, MCLS, MLNC, OHIONET, the State Library of Florida and the Tampa Bay Library Consortia. If you would like to have your group or consortia co-host this event, please contact us at partnerships@oclc.org.

Irene Hoffman

Executive Director, OCLC Partner Program