Training Library Staff for Virtual Reference

Training Library Staff for Virtual Reference

A training program created by: Mary Ross, Seattle Public Library Daria Cal, Seattle Public Library Emily Keller, University of Washington Blended Learning Face-to-face and virtual Synchronous and

asynchronous Individual and collaborative Through this training, we will: Facilitate the acquisition of skills. Support active learner participation.

Create an ongoing learning community. Encourage best practices. TARGET AUDIENCE Staff in libraries implementing LSTAfunded virtual reference projects, as well as other libraries implementing

VRS with the intention of sharing resources. Training is delivered through: Face-to-face orientation Web pages with readings and activities Online meetings

Collaborative learning and sharing Training begins with core competencies. What are the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes needed by staff providing VRS? Learning

activities include: Chat practice Multi-tasking skills Secret patron Reviewing transcripts Sharing via listserv Learning activities

include: Virtual field trips Pre- and posttraining assessments Checking out the competition In your virtual field trips, youll look at: Branding

Accessibility Scope of service Authority Privacy and data gathered Policies and procedures

In your secret patron activity, youll look at the reference interview from the users perspective. How is the chat reference interview different from an inperson transaction?

What are Model Reference Behaviors? online? Open probes Verification of question

Follow-up Citing source/authority Looking at Chat Transcripts Why are transcripts valuable? Virtual

reference lots of libraries are doing it. What are the best practices? Expectations for learners:

Commit five hours per week for five weeks. Complete readings, activities and assignments on time. Participate actively in online meetings. Share experiences via listserv. Expectations for trainers:

Provide learner support and encouragement. Assist with problems. Schedule and facilitate online meetings. Summarize and comment on assignments. Ask the right questions rather than give the right answers!

we must become pivotally involved in providing point-of-need reference service to information seekers at the place where they are when they have a question. Anne Lipow Serving the Remote User: Reference Service in the Digital Environment

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