OCLC and several groups and consortia are partnering to present a series of free webinars on best practices in virtual reference. This spring Susan McGlamery, Senior Product Manager for QuestionPoint, will host four sessions focused on important topics in virtual reference today. These webinars are open and available to all at no cost.
In this challenging economy, virtual reference is often one of the first things to face the chopping block in all library types, either for lack of time or funding. When virtual reference is done right, however, it can actually give you more bang for your buck – allowing your library to be at your patrons’ point of need whenever they need you. Working within groups you’re already a part of are a key to making the most of this very public-facing service.
After participating in the webinars, partner groups and consortia are hosting viewing parties for the various sessions to give librarians a platform for discussion. Be sure to check with your local group or consortia to see what they might be doing. OCLC is working with groups all over the country. Take time to watch the webinars, participate in the question/answer time and then join your group or consortia to take the next step. Viewing parties will give you the opportunity to hear what your colleagues are doing with virtual reference, get new ideas, and find ways to work within your community to make the most of what virtual reference can be for your patrons.
Best Practices in Virtual Reference: Keeping the Virtual Lights on 24/7
March 6 – 1pm Eastern
Best Practices in Virtual Reference: Virtual Reference in Tough Times
April 24 – 1pm Eastern
Best Practices in Virtual Reference: Finding Your Virtual Users Online
May 17 – 1pm Eastern
Best Practices in Virtual Reference: What the @#$? Dealing with Rude Patrons Online
June 14 – 1pm Eastern