6 Replies to “What does the Future Hold for Reference Services”

  1. Hi,
    I really liked your message and the exposition of the position of a librarian as an activist and a creator of a product through the “Reference” interaction, not just a pass-through. I edit a small newsletter for a target audience of California Community College librarians. Would you mind if I abstracted your presentation into the newsletter? Better yet do you have a one page abstract of the presentation which I could publish with the link to the presentation??
    Johanna Bowen
    (Webmaster and Newsletter editor)

  2. Dave, this was great.

    This and your “New Concepts in Digital Reference” has me thinking, if waiting to serve is the wrong model, isn’t the question/answer paradigm also broken?

    And if so, how are some ways we can talk about reference without using the words “sources” or “question”?

    I’ll work on it.

  3. Caleb (and Dave),

    Sources and questions are part of our concepts and language. Brenda Dervin years ago suggested that people have information gaps, in effect, problems they are looking to solve or bridge.

    If we like Dave’s approach, it is useful to recognize the importance of listening in these conversations. There we begin to understand what the need is and often can help work through to clarify. It is then that we can assist in finding solutions to the need/problem, whether that means identifying good sources, helping select the right model, analyzing data, or helping develop the tools they need. Sometimes it also means helping them look outside the box/constraints they begin with.

    The best reference for me is iterative, listening, assisting; listening more, refining and digging, discussing and listening still more, working toward solutions; etc. It is not question, answer/source. It is also the most fun – and, I think, intellectually rewarding.

    Or at least it has been for me.

Comments are closed.