Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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Archive for June 15th, 2012

The Future of Reference – #ljwikiage notes

Posted by lpearle on 15 June 2012

Yesterday I “attended” a webcast hosted by Library Journal entitled¬† Authority, Connectivity, and Discovery: The Evolving Role of Reference in the Wiki Age.¬† I was interested because over the past few years, as I rethought the layout of the “old” (aka “pre-fire”) library and how we would do things in the “new” (post-fire) at Hackley, my thoughts about reference materials have changed.¬† I’ve even presented on it:

Rethinking reference resources

View more presentations from Laura Pearle

So, what did we participants learn?

  • Reference is mostly for context: an initial point of entry/contact for that topic, helping researchers (formal and not) build keyword lists and get an overview.
  • Currency is still very important (because of the role of reference as an entry point)
  • Convenience is critical: what are the access points? how do we inform patrons what we have and how to use it?
  • We all use Wikipedia – even experienced scholars – and we all understand the risks (I’d argue that in K-12, we teachers tell students the risks but they don’t listen or care!)

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