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Special Interest Group Archive: Reference 11/19/2019

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

November 19, 2019 meeting

The meeting was facilitated by Sharon Fetters of St. Thomas Aquinas College. Patty Sussman took notes for the group. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Reference SIG

Icebreaker with toilet paper

Review about last time –statistic tracking—little post it method,  Google Form, and LibAnswers- easy to pull data. ( Fairly detail stats , time of day, which desk, what type of question and length of time, and in-depth evaluation –MSM) Stats can help advocate for us and justify our presence.

Discussion on two articles:

First impression of the librarian

Roving and Retail Aspect—do they need help or not.  Be approachable vs. being creepy

Middle space- become familiar to people ,  

Circulation vs. reference:

Where is the service point at your library?  Does it get referred to the appropriate person.

WSJ opinion

What is the definition of a Reference Librarian from ALA :

Getting the information vs. helping them – are we more the helper?  Academic are true reference  vs public where we get the gamut of questions.

Passports at the library – Chester is doing it and MSM is having a passport day today.


Is Reference in your job title? Is that term dated?

 Some of us have it in our title while others have it in our job descriptions.   We all do reference questions but we all do many other jobs .  Research and Education similar to Reference &  Instruction.

Working the Public Desk is the common denominator  that brings up back to helping.

 Video Games and Board Games to bring back to our library.

Pretty different from Public and Academic and we wear many hats and do many jobs.

Should be a balance between innovation and traditional core services.  More study rooms and group study space, more leisure reading, faster better wi fi  not vr realty MSMC got rid of recreational reading , popup library at Dominican.

3d printing not really something – how do we get the worth out of what we bought? ( dead end technology)

 New Paltz has a good 3 d lab but not in library.

Is it applicable to our mission – sometime we stray from our mission.  

  look for what your people want – demographics plays a key. 

So very often we find a solution in search of a problem.

Shiny new idea—library becomes catchall – that person leaves-   and then the rest of the staff has to learn and the work flow

There is a Kernel of a good idea in maker space

In academic world – outreach has a more defined territory.  ( Thing big says administration when they really want comfortable chairs,  more white boards, .  Not the fun answer if we don’t have staff.

When  we design library space – we need to be thoughtful about what the students need

Ex.the two recent public library fails

Sometimes there are road blocks to innovation and change.

Ex. Pleasant Valley – new space more accessible – too expensive to pay for mall.   

Job shadowing to experience what community needs from higher ups.

Give us what we really need – more comfy chairs, more meeting rooms, mobile whiteboards, etc..

Next time: March  3rd in the morning 9:30-12:30

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065