Virtual Reference (VR) Services (MARS/RSS)

“Are Virtual Reference Services Worth the Effort? What ROI Analysis and User Evaluations Tell Us” will be hosted by the Virtual Reference Service Committee on Saturday, June 23, 1:30-3:30 PM in the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 201D. The moderator for this event will be Dr. Joseph Janes and speakers will from New York University, University of North Carolina, Mississippi State University, and Maryland’s virtual reference service AskUsNow! The official description reads: Are virtual reference services worth the effort? The answer to that question is a definitive “yes,” but how do we know? A panel of experts discusses ways to look at return-on-investment and evaluation of virtual reference (VR) services and various methods used to assess their effectiveness. Real-life examples of ways this has already been done will be presented as well. Panelists represent a cross-section of different libraries and each will share their unique perspectives.

The VR Tutorial Subcommittee continues to move ahead with its project and is waiting for the RUSA implementation of the new website.

Jason Coleman (Undergraduate & Community Services Librarian, Kansas State Libraries) sent out another recruitment email asking for participants in the VR Survey Ad Hoc Group. Coleman will be coordinating the ad hoc group to develop, distribute, and analyse the survey results with hopes of presenting their findings at an ALA venue or in a paper. In Coleman’s words, “Information gleaned from such a survey could greatly inform the work of our committee and other committees related to VR.” If this sounds like an interesting opportunity, feel free to contact him at .

The VR Services Committee is discussing the idea of hosting an informal Wikipedia “edit-a-thon” for ALA 2012. Stay tuned for more information on ALA Connect!

The VR Services Committee is co-sponsoring a program for ALA Annual 2013 with the Marketing Committee: “Slam the Boards: A Model for Marketing through Action,” with the primary speaker being Bill Pardue (Reference Librarian and Virtual Services Librarian for Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Illinois, and founder of Slam the Boards).

Don Boozer, Chair 2011-2012