At ACRL in Baltimore

For those who may not know, ACRL is the Assocation and Research Libraries Association a division of ALA.
Why? you ask, would a special librarian attend ACRL?
Because the research, contributed papers and posters done at the academic library are of sufficient interest and have some relevance to many research libraries in the special world.

The quality and calibre of the sessions is high. The work produced and delivered is thoughtful and done with key client groups in mind.

All the sessions I have attended so far have been jam packed rooms, with well prepared presenters who deliver their content with enthusiasm.. I haven't been bored or disappointed with the programmes I've attended.

What's the buzz at ACRL?

Reference librarians in academic libraries are concerned. Their stats are dropping off, yet they know students and faculty need their help? How to re-invent reference services?

Social networking tools and anything with Web 2.0 Library 2.0 and their applications to service.

To Facebook or not? Is it an intrusion or are we really doing the right thing.

Is federated searching working?

ACRL has a record breaking crowd according to the daily conference news. Over 3000 apparently though I haven't verified this fact. I see many many first timers like myself. That is, seasoned conference goers looking for something different. I see quite a few Canadians in the crowd including our colleagues from the local universities plus lots more.

From the Futre of Reference
"We are too modest in telling our stories"
"It's a major succes that people use our resources without our intervention. "
"Our students used to wander through the stacks aimlessly and now they are doing the same on the Internet."
" We need to clarify WHAT we do, and WHY?"
"We have to get from behind the reference desk and start moving around to where our students (replace students with clients in the special world) live be it in the real space or in virtual spaces.

"One on one reference services - to use business language- doesn't scale very well. We need to get into volume service delivery."

"Students are willing to use e-books for research and school work, but print still reigns for casual and reading of a heavy duty nature."
"An e-book has to have everything print has - WYIWYG - and more! "

"If you include google in your federated search box, you're more likely to have success in getting students to change over. "

This is all transferable to the work you do in your special library.

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