We held two lively discussions at ALA Annual in New Orleans!
The first, “Data Reference: Tell Us How You Really Feel,” convened by Alexa Pearce and Samantha Guss both of New York University, was attended by twenty-four people. The participants were a well-rounded mix of data librarians and generalists. The discussion was a good balance with data librarians sharing tips and generalists asking questions and expressing their concerns. Evaluations included comments such as, “I got to hear the perspective of generalists which will help me with my training of our general reference staff,” and “I learned more about approaches to data reference, resources for professional development, book, and workshops.”
The second discussion, “Come Together, Right Now, the Merging of Public Services and Changing Services,” was convened by Ava Iuliano and Lori Driver both of Florida International University. This discussion was attended by forty-two people and provided perspectives on what works, what doesn’t work, what to consider when merging service points, what you can learn from others mistakes, and much, much more! This comment from the evaluations says it all, “This was very interesting. I’m taking lots of specific ideas back and also have some bigger issues and ideas to ponder.” People walked away with food for thought and ideas on how to handle opportunities that might come up in their libraries.
Sarah J. Hammill, Chair 2010-2011