Library Council
University of Toronto Central Library System

Annual Report of the Reference Services Committee 1999

March 10, 1999

Chair, Marian Press

Accomplished Goals:

  • met monthly (except for August) throughout the year
  • provided a forum for discussion of problems and concerns around the provision of reference services in the central and campus libraries
  • provided a forum for committee members to report on new initiatives in reference in their libraries, or elsewhere.
  • continued to assist in the testing of potential new online databases/electronic journals and to report problems and successes with existing electronic resources to others. The REFINFO mailing list continues to prove particularly useful for this purpose.
  • continued to recommend annually a member to the Serials User Group and two members to the Electronic Selection Subcommittee. In addition, one member served on the Task Force on Brittle Books and another is serving on the Working Group on Implementation of Serials.

Highlights of the Year:

  • provided an open session where members who had attended the workshop in Washington, D.C. on "Reference Services in a Digital Age" could report on what they had learned.
  • as a result of this session, formed a subcommittee and initiated a series called "Reference and Instruction for the New Millennium" the goal of which is to bring to Library staff the opportunity to attend workshops without having to travel outside Toronto. Many thanks to the Staff Development Committee for their ongoing support and to LAUT for providing refreshments for the first workshop.

Workshops to date:

  • January 22. Brenda Dervin, "Are We Having Fun Yet? Serving Users Well in an Imploding Information/Communication Environment." Over 60 people registered. The response to the session was extremely positive.
  • April 20 & 22. Rita Vine, "Plan and Deliver Effective Training," a course for both new and experienced trainers.
  • Discussions are currently underway with York University Libraries and Ryerson Polytechnic University Library to hold a joint session in this series.

Presented a successful motion (with the Resource Sharing Services Committee) to Library Council in support of the cataloguing of electronic resources into UTLink.

Presented a successful motion to Library Council that will result in a task force or standing committee of Library Council being formed to consider issues related to the provision of information and reference services at a distance.

Met with the Steering Group focusing on Library Services in the Humanities and Social Sciences to give input on knowledge management as part of the Library's planning process for 2000-2004.

Marian Press
Chair, Reference Services Committee
March 1999

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