I will be presenting at the Library 2.011 conference, Wednesday, November 2, 2011, at 10:00am (CT). My presentation is titled Virtual Reference and Instruction: What is it really like?, and I will discuss how I interact with students via phone, chat, and email. Also, how I reach out to faculty in a completely virtual environment, where I have never met a single faculty member. I work in a fast paced environment, and would love to share it with you.
The conference is FREE, and will include presentations from all over the world.
Library 2.011 Schedule for Central Standard Time: http://www.library20.com/page/library-2-011-schedule-gmt-5
I hope to see you there!
I just posted my proposal for the Library 2.0 conference. I would like to discuss what it is like to be an online librarian. A lot of people talk about providing online reference at the reference desk, but our methods are completely different, and very dynamic. You to have a certain personality to provide reference services in the first place. Then, to be in a fast paced environment where reference is coming at you from every direction is a different story!
I am finally getting used to being an Online Reference Librarian. At first I thought it was really different from doing reference in person. It is actually very much the same. I am serving the same students as I did at the community college. In addition to the problems of understanding assignments we have computer problems. Computer and copier problems in the physical library are different. You are there and you help the student by rebooting, or turning the copier off because it is overheated. They are sitting at home and we cannot help. Call tech support! Thank you Tech Support. We love you.
think know this experience is making me a better librarian and teacher. When you have to do reference interviews through chat you have to be very clear and to the point. You have a lot of students to help. In email you have to be clear as well. You do not want to confuse a student that is already baffled by the notion of an online library. Teaching in a virtual classroom is something I never thought I would be doing, but it is cool. More to come… Image from: didatticadellamatematica.wordpress.com
I am an online reference librarian. I started a couple of weeks ago, and have been intensely learning chat and email.
Yesterday, I went live and started to answer students’ emails. Today, I got my first thank you! It made me feel really good. I was really worried about clarity in my emails, but I said,”I am a librarian, and I can rock this!.”
I miss sitting and laughing with the students at Wright. Of course, I am still helping students, and it is just as rewarding.
I emailed a student, and she decided to call me. I guess she said forget this email I need to talk to a person. Some people are like that, and others prefer to chat and email.
Last Monday, I heard on the radio Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’ presentation on the house floor of how the iPad was eliminating paper related jobs. When he said, “…librarians and all the jobs associated with paper…Well, in not too distant future such jobs will not exist.” (“Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Says Apple’s iPad Kills American Jobs,” http://tinyurl.com/44uukrv) I said, “What!” People really have no idea what librarians do, and the skills associated with librarianship. A lot of us provide services completely online. We use databases, e-books, and other electronic resources to do research and reference. We change along with technology. If books were no longer available in print we would focus on making them available electronically. Something many librarians are already working on. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. probably just remembers the librarians that helped him when he was a college student.
Several of the skills we have can be applied to other industries and businesses. Librarians work in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. The stereotypical librarian sitting at the reference and standing in the stacks re-shelving books does not apply to all of us. I love the diversity in librarianship, and the creative ways so many librarians use their skills. How do we let lawmakers and those outside the library world know what we do? This is a question we will continue to answer. Image from: http://librarianlistsandletters.blogspot.com/