Business Cards – locked and loaded.

Today, I attended my first major library conference as a bonafide librarian – not a library student or a librarian-in-training or even a library-less librarian (that’s what I referred to myself while I was out of work). Instead, I was a functioning, real, honest to goodness librarian, engaging with peers, chatting with other members of the profession, sharing my ideas and even collecting literature about databases and resources to recommend to my library.

Plus, i got to present my ideas about virtual reference, evaluation metrics and information literacy.

I felt like a big shot.

The opportunity to present at the OLA super conference this year came out of an internship I did with askON over the last six months of my Masters of Information, where I absolutely fell in love with the world of virtual reference and knew that I wanted to do more with askON, so when the chance to do so research with askON and present a poster at OLA came up – I jumped at the chance. In the initial stages of the program, I teamed up a colleague and we decided to look at some of the evaluative metrics of the service – looking at where askON excels in evaluating the service, and where it needs improvement. We opted to do a comparison with other virtual reference services and see how askON shapes up.

In order to narrow our scope, we then decided to limit our discussion to just the exit survey that users are presented with at the end of their reference encounter.

After a lot of number crunching, chart creation, poster design, the leaving of above mentioned colleague and many many edits – a poster was born! (You can see download it here). Many questions were asked. Lots of hands out were taken. And I gave out A LOT of business cards (felt like a networking guru).

Tomorrow will be second day at the OLA…I’ll post a longer post with a round-up of the conference after tomorrow, I just wanted to express my excitement over today!

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