RUSA MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Planning Committee Update

Saturday, January 21st 2012 4:00-5:30 pm

Location: Dallas Convention Center, V304

The title of the Virtual Reference Discussion Group is “UX + VR FTW”

Courtney Greene, Head of Digital User Experience (DUX) at Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, will begin the forum by discussing what happens when user experience meets virtual reference. She will argue that libraries are in the user experience business—that our users’ needs are at the forefront of everything we do. Greene will describe a recent reorganization that has led DUX to take on a more active role in supporting and managing virtual reference (VR) tools at IUB Libraries: IM via LibraryH3lp, text reference via Google Voice, and a newly re-designed mobile site. She will share how she and her team have worked to balance the advantages of centralized management of VR services (for over a dozen service points across campus) with the importance of staying closely connected to librarians in the field, on the ground and at the desk. She will also discuss how the mobile redesign increased access to research apps and how users have responded to the changes. After Greene’s presentation we will discuss her ideas and other emerging technologies for virtual reference.

Committee News:

The Virtual Reference Discussion Planning Committee has held three online meetings since ALA Annual, 2011: July 27, 2011, August 8, 2011, September 28, 2011. With the committee’s expanded membership (from 3 members to 7 members), it is proving difficult to find meeting times and meeting platforms that work well for all members. The committee has been using MegaMeeting or Google + Hangouts for synchronous online meetings, and Google Docs for asynchronous sharing of ideas.

Jason Coleman, Chair