Reference Services Section Discussion Forum (RUSA)

Interested in leading a discussion about issues related to reference?  If yes, then consider submitting a proposal to the Discussion Forum Coordinating Committee of the Reference Services Section (RSS) of RUSA for ALA Midwinter in San Diego, CA. 

Submit a proposal, lead a discussion, see your name in print, and find your way to stardom!  Details are below.


Description: The RSS Discussion Forum Coordinating Committee solicits discussion topic proposals for discussion for ALA Midwinter 2011 in San Diego, CA.  The purpose of the discussion forum is to provide a venue for reference practitioners to introduce reference related topics of current importance, to promote discussion, and to encourage further exploration.


What to Include in the Proposal:

The following 5 elements need to be addressed and clearly stated in the proposal:

         A clear description of the discussion topic’s issues

         Rationale for convening a discussion on the topic

         Importance of the topic’s issues for reference librarians

         At least three sample discussion questions that may be used to facilitate group discussion

         Proposed strategies and structure to ensure a group discussion


The Potential Scope of Discussion Topics includes, but is not Limited to:

         Reference methods

         Reference and information technology

         Assessment of reference

         Management of reference

         Research in reference


The topic should be focused enough to be covered reasonably well within the allotted time. (For example “Everything about IM” would be too broad, while “Using IM to answer reference questions for Honors Students” might be just the right scope).


Expectations for Discussion Forum Conveners:

For the selected proposals, the proposal author(s) will serve as convener(s) and commit to:

         becoming up-to-date and familiar with the discussion topic;

         exploring possible discussion formats and selecting the appropriate format that allows for maximum discussion within the parameters and scope of the topic;

         drafting a summary of findings about the issue with a few key references to hand out at the discussion forum;

         facilitating a Discussion Forum at the ALA Midwinter Conference (in San Diego, C.A., January 7-11, 2011);

         maintaining communication with the Discussion Forum Coordinating Committee throughout the planning, program, and follow-up processes.


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