[Libs-Or] Inaugural Reference Renaissance Conference Creates Buzz

Brandie Baumann bbaumann at BCR.ORG
Wed Oct 22 08:47:50 PDT 2008


Contact: Brandie Baumann, communications coordinator; 800.397.1552;
bcrpress at bcr.org <mailto:bcrpress at bcr.org> 

Inaugural Reference Renaissance Conference Creates Buzz


Aurora, Colo., October 22, 2008 - By all measures, the Reference
Renaissance: Current and Future Trends conference, held in Denver (CO)
this past August, was an unparalleled success.  Nearly 500 attendees
from five countries and 41 U.S. states participated in two days of
thought-provoking, inspiring and practical presentations and workshops
focused on established, emerging and merging areas of reference service.
Conference presentations now are available, and a print collection of
proceedings is scheduled to be published in 2009. Plans even now are
underway for a 2010 conference.


Participants across the board have raved about the variety and quality
of the topics. From subjects as wide ranging as text and instant
messaging services to marketing and merchandising tactics, predatory
reference and new models and products, attendees chose from 36 sessions
sorted into six tracks over the two-day conference.  "The number and
variety of sessions were excellent.  We got so much out of two days!"
commented one conference participant.  


Attendees also had the opportunity to attend product demos and meet with
representatives from more than 20 vendors offering a wide range of
products and services from reference databases to online tutoring to
reference software. Strong support from sponsors RUSA, tutor.com, OCLC
and others helped to make the conference possible. 


Coming from a broad cross-section of the library community including
special, academic, public and school libraries, many participants
appreciated the opportunity to network with their colleagues. Debbie
Rossman, Westlake Porter Public Library (OH) reflected the feelings of
many conference participants, saying "...this was absolutely the best
conference I have ever attended.  I feel recharged!  Wonderful ideas and
terrific enthusiasm."


The keynote address, "Reference in the Age of Wikipedia, Or Not..." was
presented by David W. Lewis, Dean of the University Library, Indiana
University Purdue University Indianapolis.  He examined how libraries
attempt to sustain innovation as related to existing values and
processes of the organization and how, by watching what customers do,
rather than asking them what they want, libraries can become more


The Plenary Session Panel on the second day created the opportunity for
participants to express many diverse opinions. Titled "Theory Meets
Practice:  Educators and Directors Talk," the panel presenters included
R. David Lankes, Ph.D., Syracuse University; Jamie LaRue, Douglas County
Libraries; Marie L. Radford, Ph.D., Rutgers University School of
Communication, and Library Studies; and Carla J. Stoffle, Dean of
Libraries and Center for Photography, University of Arizona.  The
discussion touched on the overwhelming need for organizations to budget
for continuing education for their staff, as well as the need for good
customer service skills along with repackaging information into forms
that customers really want and will use. A very good overview of the
session can be found on The Shiny Librarian blog


For anyone who was unable to get to all the sessions they wanted or
would like more information, links to presentation materials are now
available for download in the detailed schedule
<http://www.bcr.org/referencerenaissance/schedule_details.html>  on the
Reference Renaissance website. As one conference attendee pointed out,
"...there were so many great sessions that they frequently competed with
each other, so I had some tough decisions to make."  


In addition, all conference presenters have been invited to submit
research papers and reports from the field.  These will be peer reviewed
for selection for print proceedings to be published by Neal-Schuman
Publishers and edited by Marie L. Radford and R. David Lankes.
Publication is scheduled for mid-2009. 


With the success of this year's conference, BCR has committed to
sponsoring a second Reference Renaissance conference tentatively
scheduled for August, 2010.  Watch the BCR website <http://www.bcr.org/>
for date and registration announcements. 



About BCR

BCR brings libraries together for greater success by expanding their
knowledge, reach and power. They offer a broad range of solutions and
their hands-on, personal attention to each member enables them to
deliver effective and timely solutions that help libraries keep pace
with new developments in technology and services. BCR is the nation's
oldest and most established multistate library cooperative. Since 1935,
the BCR team has helped libraries learn new skills, reach patrons,
increase productivity and save money. BCR (Bibliographical Center for
Research) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit headquartered in Aurora, Colorado. For
more information, visit www.BCR.org <http://www.bcr.org/>  or e-mail
info at BCR.org.



Brandie Baumann
Communications Coordinator


14394 E. Evans Ave.
Aurora, CO 80014-1408
p: 303.751.6277 ext 110
f:  303.751.9787
e: bbaumann at bcr.org <mailto:bbaumann at bcr.org> 
www.BCR.org <http://www.BCR.org> 



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