MARS: Update from the Emerging Technologies in Reference Section (MARS)

Chanitra Bishop, Editor


Message from the Chair of MARS


ALA Midwinter is fast approaching. MARS: Emerging Technologies section will have meetings and a great set of discussion groups. Below is a tentative schedule of events. Locations to be announced later.

I encourage you to attend one or more of our engaging discussion groups. It’s a great way to see the work of our MARS Committees. If you are interested in joining MARS, we’d love to have you! Let us know at ALA MidWinter, fill out the RUSA volunteer form located on the RUSA website, or email Donna Scanlon (


Overview of MARS Events at ALA MidWinter 2015

SATURDAY, January 31, 2015

MARS Planning Committee
8:30 – 10:00 am
MARS Executive Committee Meeting I
10:15 – 11:30 am

Virtual Reference Discussion Group: Online Chat Services
4:30 – 5:30 pm

RUSA Membership Social
5:30 – 7:00 pm

SUNDAY, February 1, 2015

MARS Discussion Group: Assessing Integration of Library Services into Course Management Systems
8:30 – 10:00 am

Hot Topics Discussion Group: Augmented Reality
1:00 – 2:30 pm

MONDAY, February 2, 2015

MARS Executive Committee Meeting II
8:30 – 11:30 am


Sessions @ Midwinter

Talking Chat: The Good, the Bad, and the “What Were We Thinking?”!
The RUSA MARS: Virtual Reference Discussion Group will be holding a forum on January 31st, 2015 from 4:30-5:30 pm in McCormick Place West w474a. The forum topics will be focused on online chat services and known issues, characteristics of successful and unsuccessful implementations, and more. Panelists will share their experiences with online chat services and participates will have an opportunity to ask questions. If you are considering implementing online chat services in your library or you would like to learn more about what has worked and not worked for other libraries, this is an opportunity to gain insight on how other libraries are implementing their online chat services. Moderators of the forum will be Jessica Cerny (Chair) and Matt Torrence (Member at Large).

Management of Electronic Resources & Services
Join the MARS Management of Electronic Resources & Services Panel Discussion at Midwinter 2015 in Chicago on Sunday, February 1, 8:30-10:00am: Assessing Integration of Library Services into Course Management Systems: Where We Stand Now

Our panel of presenters will engage the audience in a group discussion of best practices for implementing and assessing a robust library presence in the CMS environment. The attendees will benefit from an exploration of the challenges and advantages of integrating library services into university-wide systems and platforms.

Hot Topics in Emerging Tech

You’ve heard of Oculus Rift and you’ve seen Google Glass. What are libraries doing with augmented reality? It’s time to move beyond QR codes!

Join us for a Hot Topics session to learn about new and successful augmented reality projects in libraries – and bring your questions, ideas, and cool tech toys for discussion and Q&A! Hot Topics will meet on Sunday, February 1, from 1-2:30pm at Midwinter. See you there!