[Libs-Or] 10 years of L-net: what's next?

Caleb TUCKER-RAYMOND calebt at multco.us
Wed Mar 20 14:00:17 PDT 2013

Hello everybody

On April 16th 2013, we will celebrate L-net's 10th anniversary!

It would be impossible to thank everyone who has been involved, but let us
say that we are grateful to have had the help of hundreds of Oregon library
staff in answering over 230,000 questions since the service began.

After 10 years of letting everyone who lives, works or goes to school in
Oregon connect to a librarian by live chat, email and text messaging, now
is the perfect time to re-examine the purpose and goals of the program.

To start with:

What are Oregonian's reference and information service needs that can be
addressed by Oregon libraries working together?

We need your help to find out.

The State Librarian wishes to convene a task force on the future of
statewide cooperative reference services for Oregon libraries. The goal is
to determine how Oregon libraries, working together, can best meet the
information needs of all Oregonians with available resources.


An initial meeting will be held the week of April 15th.

The task force should report by August 16, 2013 and deliver an interim
statement May 1, 2013 in order to mesh with current planning cycles at the
Oregon State Library.

L-net (soon to be Answerland) is currently funded through June 2014 and
will continue to be hosted at Multnomah County Library through June 2014.
The future and structure of L-net and statewide cooperative reference
services after June 2014 will be strongly influenced by this statewide


To participate, contact MaryKay Dahlgreen, marykay.dahlgreen at state.or.us,
briefly stating your interest by March 29, 2013.


L-net was created in response to the collective expression of need by
Oregon’s library community.

In 2001, the Oregon Library Association’s Vision 2010 Committee wrote in “A
Call to Action” (http://www.olaweb.org/assets/documents/olaq_7no3.pdf) that
we should “Create a collaborative on-line reference service that is
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

A year later, the Oregon State Library convened the Statewide E-Reference
Task Force (
which ulimately recommended the model that L-net uses today, including the
use of LSTA funding to operate the program.

In 2010 OLA’s Vision 2020 Task Force included collaboration in their
vision, stating, “In 2020, Oregon librarians will rely on dynamic
professional networks – local, statewide and beyond – for resources,
support and expertise” (

L-net (www.oregonlibraries.net) has been successful. The service has
received over 35,000 questions by live chat, email and text messaging
annually, and over 200 people working in 45 Oregon public, academic and
special libraries contribute to the service regularly.

The Oregon State Library has a statutory responsibility to provide for
statewide cooperative reference services as outlined in ORS 357.206 and
357.005 (2)(d). This has been reflected in the former Reference LINK
program and now in L-net. Details of the current cooperative reference
services are outlined in OAR 543 Div 60.

Thank you,

Caleb Tucker-Raymond
Statewide Reference Service Coordinator
Multnomah County Library
(503) 988-5438
calebt at multco.us

MaryKay Dahlgreen
State Librarian
Oregon State Library
marykay.dahlgreen at state.or.us
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