March 2008


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Rose Nelson <[log in to unmask]>
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The Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries List ALLIANCE-L <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 4 Mar 2008 09:17:51 -0700
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Call for Participation

A Reference Renaissance: Current and Future Trends 
August 4-5, 2008, Denver, CO
Conference website:

Sponsored by BCR (Bibliographical Center for Research) and RUSA (Reference
and User Services Association), an ALA Division

Rumors of the "death of reference" have been greatly exaggerated!  Reference
and information services now encompass not just traditional forms such as
in-person point-of-service, telephone, and e-mail, but also Instant
Messaging, Text Messaging (SMS), blogs, wikis, library pages on MySpace and
Facebook, and virtual reference desks in Second Life.   

A Reference Renaissance: Current and Future Trends conference will explore
all aspects of reference service in a broad range of contexts, including
libraries and information centers, in academic, public, school, corporate,
and other special library environments.  This two-day conference will
incorporate the multitude of established, emerging, and merging types of
reference service including both traditional and virtual reference.  It
presents an opportunity for all reference practitioners and scholars to
explore the rapid growth and changing nature of reference, as an escalating
array of information technologies blend with traditional reference service
to create vibrant hybrids.  

Our theme of a "Reference Renaissance" was taken from an editorial by Diane
Zabel, in a recent issue of Reference and User Services Quarterly (winter
2007). Zabel wrote of a "resurgence of interest in reference" and that
"reference is experiencing a regeneration, a reference renaissance."  

Submissions of papers, panels, and workshop proposals are welcomed that
analyze issues, identify best practices, advance organizational and
technological systems, propose standards, and/or suggest innovative
approaches that will reveal as well as invent the future of reference in
this exciting and unfolding landscape. The conference will be organized
around the following interest tracks. Please note that the sub-bullets are
intended to be suggested topics, not to be a comprehensive listing.

*	Virtual Reference (including e-mail, chat, IM, SMS, Second Life,
o	Interpersonal aspects of reference service across different types of
o	Comparison of VR modes 
*	Innovative Service Models (including face-to-face, outreach, and Web
o	Comparison of different modes (locations, configurations, etc.) of
service delivery 
o	Social networking applications (such as blogs, wikis, Facebook,
MySpace, etc.) 
o	Case studies in virtual outreach 
o	Satellite (or outpost) reference, roving reference 
*	Managing Reference Services 
o	Assessment/Evaluation (including guidelines and best practices,
benchmarking performance, service quality, accuracy, effectiveness, and
o	Hiring, training and motivating staff in an era of rapid change
(including performance issues) 
o	Marketing initiatives 
*	Approaches, Values, & Philosophy of Reference Services 
o	Reference as teaching 
o	How much help to give (e.g., homework, course assignments) 
*	Wild Card (including, but not limited to, controversial issues,
comparisons, other innovative topics - be creative!) 
o	Sustainability and budgeting issues 
o	Reference consortia issues 
o	Software and hardware development 
*	Vendor (including demonstrations and workshops) 
o	Vendor software and hardware development 

1.	Papers (500 word abstracts): include reports and research studies on
any aspect of reference, user studies, evaluation projects, innovative
practical applications, theme papers, or theoretical developments. In
addition, works in progress and student papers are invited. Submissions
should include: 1) a cover sheet with the paper title, author(s), contact
information and affiliations(s) for each author, conference track(s) and 2)
a second page consisting of a 500 word abstract that summarizes the paper
but does NOT show your name or any contact information. Papers will be
refereed by the program committee.
2.	Panels: include proposals for 1.5 hour long sessions on topics such
as reference innovations, implementation of new technology, evaluation
projects, reports by practitioners on current initiatives, theme panels, and
contrasting viewpoints on controversial or hot issues.  Innovative formats
are sought, especially those that encourage audience participation, such as:
roundtable discussions, debates, forums, or case studies. Submissions should
include: panel title, names, affiliations, and contact information for all
participants (moderators, panelists, respondents, etc.), conference
track(s), and a brief overview (250 words) of the issues, projects or
viewpoints to be discussed. Panels will be refereed by the program
3.	Workshops, Demonstrations, and Reports from the Field: include
proposals for 30 minute sessions on working projects, new services, new
approaches to reference instruction, or to developments-in-progress. These
can be educational in nature. Submissions should include workshop of
demonstration title, names and affiliations of all participants, contact
information, conference track(s), and brief overview (250 words) of the

April 4, 2008                  Deadline for All Submissions
May 5, 2008                   Notification of Acceptance to Speakers

Submissions should be sent in electronic format (as an e-mail attachment as
a Word document or pdf) to Program Chair Marie L. Radford
([log in to unmask]).   

Information on conference registration and hotel reservations will be
forthcoming on the conference website at:

Brenda Bailey-Hainer, President and CEO
14394 E. Evans Ave.
Aurora, CO  80014-1408
[log in to unmask]
Phone:  303.751.6277 ext. 117;  Fax: 303.751.9787