Strange Bedfellows: IT and Reference Collaborations to Enhance User Experiences.

A joint preconference from the Reference Services Section (RSS) and Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

Friday, June 24, 2011, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Morial Convention Center, Room 354

Visit RUSA’s preconference page for registration information. The group registration form (PDF) can be downloaded here.

This preconference will present strategies for creating successful collaborations between Reference and IT departments. The session will open with a keynote from Char Booth that addresses the innovative technology-driven potential of meeting user needs when reference departments work in collaboration with IT. Following the keynote, a series of topics will be presented by four teams of Reference and IT staff who have worked together on successful collaborative projects. The line-up includes:

  1. Dan Suchy, User Services Technology Analyst & Matthew Critchlow, Web Technical Manager, University of California, San Diego: Mobile apps
  2. Joanne Kossuth, Technology Strategy Team Member at Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing: Technology Strategy Team Member at Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing: Sharing resources between institutions
  3. Tom Maier, Senior Director Special Projects & Catherine Murray-Rust, Dean of Libraries, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta: Strategic Planning, Implementation, and Facilities Development across multiple departments within and beyond libraries
  4. William Denton, Web Librarian & Adam Taves, Reference and Instruction Librarian, York University, Toronto: Divisiveness, communication failure, and boundary wars as tragicomedy. A staged reading.

The afternoon will include breakout sessions where attendees can work with the speakers to brainstorm on applying the strategies presented to real-world projects that they are currently involved in or would like to see realized.

This is a solutions-driven session that explores methods for effective collaboration and successfully leveraging the skill sets of multiple departments. This is a session about how to make a technology-driven reference project a success!

We hope to see you in New Orleans!

Carolyn Sheffield and Donna Scanlon, Co-Chairs