MERS co-hosted a discussion forum with the Public Libraries Committee (PL) at ALA Midwinter 2011 titled Assessment and Evaluation of Virtual Reference. Twenty-five of our colleagues joined us for an open discussion of how new social networking tools such as text and Twitter are being used in a Reference environment. Lines of discussion included how such services are being staffed, managed, counted, and used. Additional consideration was given to how libraries choose to implement emerging technologies and how to advocate for including them in our service portfolio.
In the Spring, MERS is continuing to collaborate with PL in a call for Virtual Poster Sessions. Poster sessions are being solicited for topics related to the evaluation and assessment of social media for Reference Services. Virtual Posters selected by the committee will be announced at ALA Annual 2011 and will be posted online for viewing.
Valerie Boulos, MERS Chair