Discussion Forums Coordinating Committee

Mark your calendar for two discussions you don’t want to miss!

Data Reference: Tell Us How You Really Feel
Sunday, June 26, from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, Room 242

While reference transactions involving numeric data and statistics are not entirely new to libraries, they are increasingly frequent as many disciplines become more data-driven. Libraries are hearing from patrons at all levels who articulate a need to find, access, and use data in their research. While some libraries have begun to provide specialized services in response to this "data deluge," the role of the general reference librarian or subject specialist remains to be clarified in many cases. Accordingly, data reference will be the main focus of this discussion, designed to bring generalists and specialists together to talk about strategies for better serving our data-seeking patrons. All reference librarians with an interest in data are welcome to contribute. The goal is not to reach a consensus on best practices but to facilitate an open forum for discussing this important and often anxiety-inducing topic.

Discussion Conveners: Alexa Pearce & Samantha Guss, New York University

Come Together, Right Now: The Merging of Public Cervices and Changing Service Models in Academic Libraries
Monday, June 27, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, Room 241

The on-going trend of merging service points into ‘one-stop’ reference or public service points has been a common answer to the pressures of shrinking budgets. As a result, many specialized services, such as government documents assistance, writing services, and tutoring, have been merged to a single location. The purpose of this discussion topic is to explore the merging of public services in practice and theory as well as to provide a forum for the evaluation and critique of a unified and effective service point. The Information Commons set-up is the current and popular iteration of service point models for providing reference and research services. As the ‘one-stop shopping’ approach requires us to blend previously separate or specialized services, it is both relevant and revealing to discuss issues and challenges of blending services for our patrons. Issues such as quality and training as well as staffing are in the spotlight for discussion.

Discussion Conveners: Ava Iuliano and Lori Driver, Florida International University

Sarah Hammill, Chair