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Reference Committee

Meeting Minutes—December 19, 2006


Present:  Meg Allen (BAR), Jean Anderson (SUN), Gregg Drexler (SEQ), Jack Faulkner-Becker (STP), Bev Kennedy (PAR), Eric Norton (MCM), Amy Sabo (NGL), Jaime Vaché (STO), Jim Jonas (UW-Madison CIMC), Cheryl Becker, Nichole Fromm (SCLS)

  1. September Minutes:  Approved

  2. Committee changes: 

Jess Bruckner from Wisconsin Dells resigned from the committee. Cheryl invited Bev Kennedy, Director of the Pardeeville Public Library to serve as the new Columbia County representative and she accepted.

  1. Follow up from September meeting:

    1. Promotion of databases: send Cheryl one sample reference question by January 5th. Mark Ibach needs them for the database promotion project.
    2. LibStats (the product Nancy McClements demo'ed at the September meeting):  Stef thinks we can do it somehow once SCLS is fully staffed.

  2. News and Updates:

    1. Online readers advisory group project: Cheryl reported that the paper and online forms are being “tweaked”. The group is meeting in January.

    2. Instant Messaging (IM) Reference Service: four libraries are participating in this project – Deerfield, Plain, Stoughton, and Reedsburg. Stef, Cheryl, and Nicole are working with them. Cheryl reported that the alert sound was not working on her PC, but now it is fixed. Cheryl reminded us that we can IM SCLS staff anytime just to try it out.

    3. COW Project: the committee met December 5 and they decided to use to organize the links to the databases and other websites. The goal of the COW project is to help libraries cooperatively create an online portal or research guides that highlight web sites, library databases, and other library resources.

    4. NoveList training: the publicity kits went out last week. The first training was offered on December 12. More training sessions are scheduled for January 10 and January 31. NoveList is now available for staff to try from the “Resources for public libraries” part of the SCLS website. People who have tried it say it is fun and easy to use. A question was asked about “What do I read next?” the other readers advisory database we have for free. The one feature it has that NoveList does not is coverage of nonfiction titles.

  3. Review trials suggested by vendors and libraries over the past two quarters: Cheryl reported that she had input from Mary Adler and Tana Elias to share. Mary mentioned interest in test preparation resources – Learning Express as well as Testing and Education Resource Center. She has also had people request Rosetta Stone by name. She also thought Opposing Viewpoints would be useful.

    Cheryl reported that Tana had mentioned Learning Express as well as products that offer history and homework help information were of interest.

    It was suggested that we try to eliminate those products that were too narrow in scope: PSIO (international security, terrorism), FAITS (information, technology), Eldercare, Price It!, Theater in Video, Chicago Manual of Style, Encyclopaedia Judaica, the series of ABC-CLIO products (American History, American Government, World Modern History, World Ancient History, World Geography, State Geography, US at War.)

    Discussion then identified products to look at when we re-evaluate the databases we currently purchase:

  1. Committee members’ terms and Chair:  Let Cheryl know in the next few weeks if you want to resign from the committee. We will elect a Chair at the March meeting.

  2. The committee business was completed ahead of schedule so discussion turned to what’s new. Eric from McMillan reported they have a new reference desk and a fountain! Jaime is doing blog training for the city staff at Stoughton

  3. Next meeting:  March 20, 2007

    Meg Allen, Notetaker


For more information about the Reference Committee, contact Cheryl Becker.