?Creating a Reference Renaissance: Current & Future Trends (title tentative)?

Edited by Marie L. Radford & R. David Lankes
To be published in 2009 by: Neal-Schuman Publishers

?This book will include the best research papers and reports from the field which have originated in presentations from the Reference Renaissance: Current & Future Trends conference, held August 4-5, 2008 in Denver, CO (

All conference presenters are invited to submit research papers and reports from the field which will be peer reviewed for selection by the book’s two editors (Radford and Lankes) with the help of a selection committee recruited from members of the conference program planning committee.

Contributed papers of two types are sought.

  1. Current Research in Reference. The first section of the print proceedings will be composed of chapters on recent research in reference. These will be drawn from the best of the submissions from the conference research papers and will be peer reviewed. Submissions for these chapters should be approximately 20-25 pages in length (12 pt type, double spaced) and should include the following:

    Abstract (250 words)
    Research Problem
    Significance of Problem
    Literature Review
    Method of Data Collection
    Method of Analysis
    Discussion of Results
    Implications for Practice
    Bibliography of Cited References
    Biographical sketches for each author (Approximately 300 words each)

  2. Current Reference Initiatives – Reports from the Field. The second section of the print proceedings will feature “Reports from the Field” that describe innovative approaches to traditional as well as virtual reference initiatives. Submissions for these chapters should be approximately 10-15 pages in length (12 pt type, double spaced) and should include the following:

    Abstract (250 words)
    Description of library context (e.g., type of library, users, any relevant history, etc.)
    Detailed description of reference initiative. Sufficient detail so that others can replicate the initiative at their institution if desired.
    Assessment of initiative (or planned assessment)
    Bibliography of Cited References, Websites & Publications that discuss similar initiatives.
    Biographical sketches for each author (Approximately 300 words each)

Paper Submission Instructions

All contributed papers for both types of chapters should include author(s) name, job title, institution, address, phone, fax, and e-mail address. Contributions should be in Word doc or docx format. Please indicate whether you are submitting a type 1 (Research Paper) or type 2 (Report from the Field) contribution. E-mail all submissions to: Marie L. Radford (


?Completed Papers Due: November 7, 2008?Notification of Acceptance (with suggested revisions): February 1, 2009
Final Revisions Due Back to Editors: March 15, 2009?Book to be published in 2009???

If They Build It They Will Come

“If They Build It They Will Come” Rethinking Access to Information IFLA Satellite Conference, Boston, MA.

Abstract: No matter how many users one talks to in designing a system, there will be a gulf between what a user wants and what a system can do. The belief that users even know what they want, or that somehow a library can correctly interpret the needs of users is at best presumptuous. To truly build systems that met the needs of users, we must let them build these systems directly. By transforming our library systems into participatory systems, not only do we better meet the needs of our patrons, we also build systems that reflect the core principles of librarianship — getting away from simply adopting new technologies
developed in other fields. This presentation will explore the concept of participatory systems, and talk about what from the Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 world is durable, and how to avoid the latest fads.


Theory Meets Practice: Educators and Directors Talk

“Theory Meets Practice: Educators and Directors Talk” Reference Renaissance Conference, Denver, CO.

Abstract: Audio from a panel moderated by Gillian Harrison

Panel members were
R. David Lankes, Ph.D., Syracuse University
Jamie LaRue, Douglas County Libraries
Marie L. Radford, Ph.D., Rutgers University School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies
Carla J. Stoffle, Dean of Libraries and Center for Photography, University of Arizona


Reference Renaissance

I’m in Denver at the Reference Renaissance Conference (hopefully the first of many). They have great attendance with over 500 attendees. That’s right at the levels of VRD at its biggest (in Chicago). The conference started out with a great keynote. Hopefully the presentation will be available online, because it is well worth a listen. While a bit on the utopian social side, it is rich with ideas to think about (and books to read).

It is great to see the return of a national reference conference. I think these kinds of events are still important to create cohorts, and push ahead the field as a whole.

Good job BCR and everyone!

The Dewey-Level Shift

“The Dewey-Level Shift” WiLSWorld Conference, Madison, WI.

Abstract: The world is changing radically — just like it always has. It does no good to pretend that the field of librarianship has never encountered change at the magnitude offered by the current Internet age. Nor does it help to believe that past success in meeting the demands of a changing society was automatic or did not involve radical change. Lankes will present a discussion of current forces precipitating radical change in the field, and what shape that change might look like.