[Libs-Or] does Oregon need reference librarians?

Max Macias mmacias at pcc.edu
Wed Oct 3 11:38:18 PDT 2012


Hi everyone,


I had a reference class, and it was alright.

However, I really learned reference while working.

It would have been grand to have a reference internship--I think that would
be the way to go for library schools.

Max

On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Katie Anderson
<katie.anderson at state.or.us>wrote:

>  Reference is alive and well in youth services! Children and teens might
> not remember the details of an assignment, be embarrassed about the topic
> they want to learn more about, or know how to describe what they need in a
> way that makes sense to others. On top of that, they have wildly different
> reading and comprehension levels. Knowing reference interview techniques is
> critical to learning what kids and teens really need and identifying their
> reading/listening level all while respecting their ability level and
> privacy.
>
>  Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
> * Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
> Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
> katie.anderson at state.or.us, 503-378-2528
>     ------------------------------
> *From:* libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us [
> libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] on behalf of Emily Ford [
> fordemily at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Wednesday, October 03, 2012 10:28 AM
> *To:* libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
>
> *Subject:* [Libs-Or] does Oregon need reference librarians?
>
>  Caleb,
> I'm so glad that you posted to Libs-Or about this. I wanted to but was
> hesitant.
>
> I took a stand alone reference course in library school. Some of it seemed
> like busy work. But I go back to the I gained knowledge each time I get a
> tough reference question.
>
> But what was the greatest learning experience I had with reference as a
> student was spending 6 months serving as a reference intern and then as an
> employee in the trenches of adult services at Monroe County Public Library
> in Bloomington, IN. Had I not had a course that covered the reference
> interview, reference transactions, etc, my first few months at the public
> library would have been awful. The course I took prepared with the theory,
> armed me with resources and techniques. Translating them into practice was
> fulfilling. How many students these days do reference internships? If they
> don't, how can a small portion of a class prepare them for a future job
> without course and/or reference "in the trenches" experiences?
>
> My take: we do need reference librarians and reference is not dead. It
> looks completely different, but it still happens. Sure, lots of L-Net
> questions I answer are about library accounts, fines, etc and lots of
> questions I answer at the PSU Library desk deal with printing in our
> computer lab. But would I have been able to answer students questions about
> finding tests and measures or survey instruments without being a trained
> (in the classroom and in the trenches) reference librarian? Probably not.
>
> Maybe the problem is not that reference is dead, but that the traditional
> reference course curriculum is. How could a full on reference course
> capture the breadth of "traditional" reference practices and also what's
> happening with new technologies, new questions, and new literacies? There
> must be a way.
>
> Emily
>
>
>
> On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 10:01 AM, <
> libs-or-request at listsmart.osl.state.or.us> wrote:
>
>> Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2012 13:30:10 -0700
>> From: Caleb Tucker-Raymond <calebt at multcolib.org>
>> To: "libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us"
>>         <Libs-Or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>
>> Subject: [Libs-Or] does Oregon need reference librarians?
>> Message-ID:
>>         <CAPO-dkfzY2W0vaQahXifEw=
>> k4LiWFT+Xh6ojW8Kx_i_048cX3A at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>>
>> Hi, everybody,
>>
>> As seen on the Hack Library School blog,
>> http://hacklibschool.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/whither-reference/, some
>> library schools are no longer offering a standalone course in reference,
>> but instead making reference a smaller component of a larger course. The
>> rationale is that "reference is dead".
>>
>> My first reaction was, "oh no! not again!"
>>
>> But I'm interested to start a discussion here because what isn't mentioned
>> in this post is that the author is discussing Emporia State University,
>> which, through the Oregon cohorts of the School of Library and Information
>> Management, is our local library school.
>>
>> I attended Emporia's most recent local graduation this past August, and I
>> got to hear some great speakers contemplate the future of libraries. In
>> addition, I recall that both our state librarian, MaryKay Dahlgreen, and
>> the then-president of the Oregon Library Association, Abigail Elder, also
>> talked about how grateful we all are here in Oregon to have a library
>> school bringing new professionals into our community. I'm grateful also.
>>
>> Do we expect new professionals to begin their careers with knowledge of
>> reference services and sources?
>>
>> To fuel my own curiosity, I looked at the past three months of OLA Jobline
>> announcements shared with this list. Of 55 descriptions for positions in
>> Oregon, 11 mentioned reference service specifically - 20%. I didn't get
>> into which of those required an MLS, but from looking at the titles, only
>> one is for "reference librarian":
>>
>> Archivist for Collections Management, Eugene, OR
>> Information Resources and Instructional Librarian, Coos Bay, OR
>> Library Assistant/Branch Lead Worker, Beaverton, OR
>> Manager, Architecture and Allied Arts Library, Eugene, OR
>> Part-Time Librarian, Happy Valley, OR
>> Reference Assistant, Albany, OR
>> Reference Assistant, Tigard, OR
>> Reference Librarian, Grand Ronde, OR
>> Research/Catalog Librarian, Portland, OR
>> Special Collections Assoc., Portland, OR
>> Youth Services Associate, Prineville, OR
>>
>> I'm interested in hearing your perspective!
>>
>> Caleb Tucker-Raymond
>>
>> Statewide Reference Service Coordinator
>> Multnomah County Library
>> (503) 988-5438
>> calebt at multco.us
>> www.oregonlibraries.net
>>
>
>
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-- 
Max Macias
TSS Training Team
971-722-8151

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