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Reference Committee

Committee Charge

The SCLS Reference Committee, a subcommittee of PLAC, focuses on project planning and implementation related to the broad area of reference services. Specific tasks and roles include, but are not limited to:

  1. Recommend electronic databases for trial by SCLS member libraries, based on such things as information gathered from member libraries, identified needs, and already existing database subscriptions. (As a general rule, the committee will recommend three databases per year for trial.) Devise tools to evaluate electronic database trials. Based on input from member libraries on such things as content and ease of use, make recommendations on databases to purchase.

  2. Participate in evaluation of existing databases purchased by SCLS and member libraries, following agreed upon procedures. 

  3. Identify training needs and trainers for electronic products provided by SCLS, and assist member libraries with information literacy training needs. Assisted by staff from member libraries and SCLS staff, coordinate and perform the following types of activities:

    1. Create and review training materials for staff and users.
    2. Collect and review training materials created by SCLS member libraries.
    3. Create and maintain content for online online tutorials.
    4. Create and maintain lists of experts.
    5. Create and maintain lists of learning opportunities beneficial to library staff but not necessarily provided by libraries.
    6. Identify trainers of hands on workshops for library staff and users.

  4. Recommend reference-related continuing education programs (including identifying speakers, etc.) to SCLS CE Coordinator and Committee.

  5. Actively seek input of SCLS member libraries regarding reference issues.

  6. Actively assist SCLS staff in exploring and carrying out such projects as virtual reference, shared web page development, and other projects related to reference issues, as they arise.


Membership is open to any interested staff who provide reference service at SCLS member libraries. The committee will have 7-11 members, representing LINK and "unchained" (nonLINK) libraries, small and large libraries, and different geographic areas of SCLS. Special care will also be taken to include staff who can represent a specific reference point of view, such as youth services reference issues, reference to special populations, etc. The committee will always include at least one multitype member, and a representative from the following libraries: Madison Public Library, Marshfield Public Library, McMillan Public Library, and Portage County Public Library. Members will serve two-year terms with an option to renew at the end of their term. A chair will be elected annually. Responsibility for taking notes or minutes of meetings will be rotated among the members. The SCLS Public Library Consultant will serve as the primary staff liaison to the committee. Other staff liaisons will include the Library Electronic Resources Support Specialist and the Continuing Education Coordinator.

Meetings: The Committee will meet quarterly (in March, June, September, and December), with additional meetings scheduled as required.