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

Emily Ford fordemily at gmail.com
Thu Mar 21 12:27:01 PDT 2013

Happy happy birthday to L-Net/Answerland! I would also like to chime in and
say what a fantastic job that both Emily and Caleb do to run this service.
Caleb and Emily, you are both incredibly dedicated to this community that
you have built, and you are both much too humble about the phenomenal work
that you do. I thank you sincerely. I thank you not only for helping to
building our Oregon library community, providing support, and advocating
mercilessly for patrons, but also for being exemplary human beings and
colleagues. I cannot sing enough praises from a high enough mountain to
express how essential your work and you as people are to the Oregon library

At this time I also have a question.

>From the email I noticed that Answerland would *no longer be housed by
Multnomah County Library after June 2014.* In a time when the State Library
is also re-envisioning itself and faces budgetary challenges, what will
happen to Answerland? Will, in June 2014, L-Net disappear because, although
funds are through LSTA, the State Library cannot take over because of
additional costs and responsibilities?

While I would like to celebrate this momentous birthday, Caleb's and
Emily's great leadership, and the volunteer work and partnering that has
happened all over Oregon, I am very fearful for the future of Answerland
after June 2014. Reading through the Vision 2020 statement I feel
passionately that Answerland speaks to its every element: collaboration,
people, community and place.

So, Oregon librarians, what do you think?


On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM, Caleb TUCKER-RAYMOND <calebt at multco.us>wrote:

> 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
> conversation.
> 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 (
> http://web.archive.org/web/20041210213421/http://www.osl.state.or.us/home/libdev/eref/eref.htm),
> 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” (
> http://www.olaweb.org/assets/documents/Vision_2020_FINAL.pdf)
> 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
> 503-378-4367
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