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We are talking about reference and how it is changing in UPLIFT this week: August 15 at the Utah State Library & August 17 2012 in Ephraim, at the Karen A. Hunstman Library on the Snow College campus.


Reference and Services Trends in Public Libraries, 2012:


– Traditional reference work is less relevant to the needs of users
– Rather than worrying about reference’s demise, many librarians have been energized by their newly expanded roles
– Reconfigured or eliminated reference desks
– Consolidated desks and services
– Librarian and support staff work together on the one main desk
– Librarian can handle more complicated questions
– Increased training for support staff to handle basic reference questions
– The reference interview is as pertinent as ever
– Roving reference is more important—getting out to where people are
– Expansion of self-service options (self-checkout, online group study room reservations, self-service holds, and touch screen frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) on your website/ library catalog
– Reconfiguring online reference resources for smartphones and other mobile devices
– Librarians are exploring new roles in reaching out to meet information needs
– Reference through the stacks and other indirect means
– Reduction/elimination of print reference collections
– Greater marketing and promotion of online resources and services
– Librarians will spend less time staffing desks and more time outside of library walls
– Online reference: email, chat, Instant Messaging, and SMS (short messaging services) reaches users who may not visit the library
– Online reference requires continual marketing to be successful
– Collaborating with other organizations will do as much to keep libraries alive as any project or program
– Embedded librarianship: becoming an integral part. Getting close to users by getting out into the community; being actively present with the user at the point of need.
– The big shift: we’re not doing things “for” the community, but we’re being a part “of” the community
– Libraries are shifting from the physical to the virtual facilities and media; from an individual to a community focus; from being a collection library to being a creation library; from being an archive to being a portal

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