Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Register for the new ACRL e-learning course, "Virtual Reference Competencies III: Maintain and Build Reference Skills and Knowledge"

Register now for the new Association of College and Research Libraries
(ACRL) e-learning course, " Virtual Reference Competencies III: Maintain
and Build Reference Skills and Knowledge," to be offered February 18 -
March 7, 2008.

Without good communications skills a librarian will have a difficult
time being a good reference librarian. However, without solid competence
in reference skills and knowledge, a librarian is not a librarian. This
reference expertise is why information seekers-all potential and current
library users-will choose to use virtual reference services instead of
just Googling on their own. Reference competencies involve searching,
critical thinking, and information organization skills, as well as
knowledge of specific reference sources and information-finding tools.
Competent reference librarians are aware of the publication processes,
both print and electronic, and the policies, procedures, organization,
and legal environment of their specific library or library organization.
In this workshop participants will engage in learning activities,
supported by readings as well as lecture and discussion to maintain and
build on the reference competencies required by effective virtual
reference librarians.

By the end of this course, you will have:
* Ability to be approachable -- to maintain and project a welcoming and
enthusiastic reference service attitude through text-based
* Awareness of and ability to apply organizational policies relevant to
any given user of a specific virtual reference service
* Detailed functional knowledge of ready-reference sources of
information, such as encyclopedias, almanacs, indices, bibliographies
and standard reference works in print and electronic formats
* Awareness of the best or core reference sources available in print and
electronic formats, and of the range of information resources that may
be used in the delivery of reference services for selected subjects and
general reference
* Ability to conduct good reference interviews, to analyze reference
questions using knowledge of the structures, organization, and
accessibility of information in print and electronic formats
* Awareness of the need to and ability to evaluate information resources
for their appropriateness in level, scope, and format for a given user
Additional learning outcomes are detailed on the course description
page, located at

Diane Kovacs, Kovacs Consulting
The instructor has been teaching virtual reference related concepts and
skills online and in-person for more than 14 years. She is the author of
The Virtual Reference Handbook: Interview and Information Delivery
Techniques for the Chat and E-Mail Environments Neal-Schuman Publishers
(2007) published concurrently in the United Kingdom by Facet Publishers
(2007) and The Kovacs Guide to Electronic Library Collection
Development: Essential Core Subject Collections, Selection Criteria,
and Guidelines (Neal-Schuman, January 2004). Additional Biographical
Information is available at

Registration for this seminar is now open. For additional information
and a link to the online registration form, visit:
ACRL and ALA members will receive a registration discount. The seminar
is limited to 60 participants, so register early. Payment may be made by
credit card or purchase order (PO) only.
ACRL member: $135
ALA member: $175
CACUL member: Can$195 (charges will be made in U.S. dollars)
Nonmember: $195
Student: $60


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