Category Archives: Reference

Libraries Invited to Join My Info Quest Collaborative SMS Text Messaging Project

“Libraries of all types and sizes are invited to join the My Info Quest( collaborative SMS text messaging project, which kicked off on July 20, 2009 and continues its growth into 2011.  My Info Quest, the first collaborative text message reference service, will use Mosio’s Text A Librarian ( program to provide the service as of January 2011.   Over 60 libraries of all types from across the United States participated in the program’s pilot phase, during which Altarama and Gmail were used through December 2010.  My Info Quest won the Illinois Library Association Reference Service Award in Fall 2010.

Continue reading

Collaborative Chat Reference article in Collaborative Librarianship

The Only Constant Is Change: A Narrative on Ten Years of Collaborative Chat Reference Service at San Jose Public Library
by Ronna C. Nemer
“This article documents and highlights the evolution of collaborative, web-based chat reference service at a large metropolitan public library from 2000 to 2010.”

Collaborative presentations at the Reference Renaissance Conference

Cooperative SMS: The Infoquest Journey (Panel)
PowerPoint Presentation

A panel of InfoQuest librarians will discuss how the SMS service, InfoQuest, began and continues to gain momentum.  Best practices, usage of the service by type of patron and geographic distribution and maintaining the quality of the service will be highlighted. 
Panelist: Beth Avery, University of North Texas, Denton, TX; Karen Docherty, Maricopa Community College District, Phoenix, AZ; Shaye White, Pioneer Library System, OK

Collaborate to Succeed: Implementing New Reference Services with SPLAT
PowerPoint Presentation

Libraries face shrinking budgets, increased use and user demand for trending resources. SPLAT (Special Projects Library Action Team) is supported by the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICFL), the state agency responsible for assisting libraries. The members of SPLAT are innovation representatives, comprised of library staff who search and experiment with SM trends and online tools, learn and share the best ways to integrate them into the reference services at all types of libraries. These efforts have yielded enhanced reference services throughout Idaho, encouraged policy change and increased positive user experiences.
Presenters: Amy Vecchione and Memo Cordova of Boise State University, ID

Reference Renaissance 2010

Track 5 of the 2010 Reference Renaissance Conference deals with collaboration, consortium, and etc. The conference will take place August 8-10, 2010 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, Denver, Colorado.

Reference Renaissance 2010: Inventing the Future, will explore all aspects of reference service in a broad range of contexts, including libraries and information centers, in academic, public, school, corporate, and other special library environments. This two-day conference will incorporate the multitude of established, emerging, and merging types of reference service including both traditional and virtual reference.

My Info Quest Collaborative Text Messaging Project

“We invite you to join the My Info Quest collaborative text messaging project, which kicked off on July 20, 2009 and continues its growth into 2010.  Over 60 libraries from across the United States of all types participate using Altarama and gmail and we would like more to meet our goal of 24/7 coverage. Our first Canadian partner joined several months ago, and libraries from outside the U.S. are welcome to participate, as well.  The only requirements are that you staff the desk 2 hours per week, attend online meetings and training, and participate in evaluation activities.  There is no cost  at this time to join this exciting project, which is coordinated by Lori Bell, administered by Mary-Carol Lindbloom, Executive Director of  the South Central Regional Library Council in New York State, and evaluated by Dr. Lili Luo of the School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University.   If you would like to join, please contact Project Coordinator Lori Bell at You will be sent some informational documents and an agreement form to fill out with library information and your preferred coverage hours. If you would like to join the project communications group, visit Visit the project’s website at”

Lori Bell
School of Library and Information Science
San Jose State University

Registration Now Open for Reference Renaissance 2010

Press Release

April 19, 2010 – Reference Renaissance 2010: Inventing the Future is now open for registration. The conference will be held August 9-10 in Denver, Colorado and is presented by BCR and LYRASIS. Reference Renaissance 2010: Inventing the Future will explore all aspects of reference service and will bring together reference practitioners and scholars to explore the evolving nature of reference.

Continue reading

Collaboration with an activist community

In this article, “Radical Reference: Socially Responsible Librarianship Collaborating With Community,” the authors consider the Radical Reference (RR) “evolution from a ‘street’ and online reference collective to one that provides a variety of socially conscious information services. [They] also explore examples of RR members’ forming extra-institutional bonds with activists and independent journalists.” (Subscription is required.)

My Info Quest TXT 4 ANSWERS: International Collaborative Text Reference Service Launches today

DATE:  July 20, 2009

My Info Quest TXT 4 ANSWERS: International Collaborative Text Reference  Service Launches today

It’s official!  People are now sending more text messages than they are making cell phone calls.  Librarians are aware of the popularity of texting and are ready to take their professional services to cell phones. 

Starting today, patrons of approximately 50 libraries from all over the US will be able to text a question to (309) 222-7740 and a real, live librarian will respond within minutes.  The service is free of charge, but standard text messaging rates do apply.  Staffed by librarians from around the country, answers are sent to cell phones by librarians in 320 characters or less, or the equivalent of two 160-character text messages.

Continue reading

Collaborative Workshop on Reference Solutions

Collective wisdom is a powerful thing—harness it at the upcoming Reinvented Reference V, a one-day preconference sponsored by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

This one day interactive workshop will address technology, staffing, collaboration, and assessment challenges in an interactive format. Come with your problems, barriers, hurdles and frustrations! You’ll leave with practical, concrete ideas from our expert panel—and your colleagues—that you can implement immediately at your library.

Continue reading