Virtual Reference Services (MARS/RSS)

The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee held its virtual Midwinter meeting on Friday, December 16, 2011. Minutes and a recording of the meeting are available in ALA Connect.

The Committee is hosting a program at ALA Annual 2012 entitled “Are virtual reference services worth the effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us.” Panelists are confirmed and a high profile person has given tentative confirmation to serve as moderator. Stay tuned to ALA Connect for more details.

The committee will be discussing ideas for the 2013 ALA Annual via email and other means. The focus currently under consideration is to do something with gadgets or technology since the last several Annual programs have focused on other “soft” aspects of virtual reference service.

In keeping with its goals, the Committee has created the “RUSA MARS/RSS VR Committee Survey Ad Hoc Group”. Jason Coleman, an active member of the Virtual Reference Tutorial Subcommittee as well as Undergraduate & Community Services Librarian at Kansas State University, has volunteered to lead the new group. They are charged with conducting an online survey to assess the distribution and logistics of virtual reference services in libraries. Jason has asked individuals interested in working on the project to contact him at as soon as possible.

The Committee members are also exploring ways to update existing virtual reference content in online venues like Wikipedia, LISWiki, LibSuccess, etc. Options under consideration include sponsoring a Wikipedia “Edit-a-thon” at Annual Conference, creating a Twitter hashtag, inaugurating a Google Group, etc.

Don Boozer, Chair 2011-2012