Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Continuing Education for Reference Services

 Are you looking to freshen up your reference skills and know-how? Check out some of these free, on-demand trainings.
  • WebJunction has a variety of webinars and self-paced courses that range from genealogy research to college applications and online reference basics. 
  • Gale: A Cengage Company has a useful blog post for providing virtual services, including considerations and key tools to use. 
  • Florida Library Webinars also has a nice array of on-demand training, including recognizing implicit biases and staying relevant in the profession. 
Do you have any resources that you recommend? Is there a webinar that you would like RASS to host? Comment below!

Friday, May 8, 2020

How to Start a Library Podcast

With social distancing and limited library services, how we connect with our colleagues and our communities has changed. If you are looking for a new and innovative way to discuss your favorite books, chat with your colleagues, and provider reader's advisory consider starting a library podcast!

Benefits to creating a podcast:
  • It's easy! Don't worry about having special sound effects and editing mixtures. Doing a short, 20-minute conversation with your colleagues about what you've been reading is all that you need.  
  • It's free! You don't need to purchase fancy software or equipment- everything you need to create a podcast is free. 
    • Anchor is essentially a podcast-in-a-box toolkit- everything you need from producing to hosting is here!
    • Free, quality stock photos for your podcast logo are available at Pexels
    • Choose intro and exit music for free from FreePD
  • You can do it from a distance! Meet with your colleagues via Zoom, Google Hangouts or Google Voice and record the session. Afterwards, download the audio as an Mp3 file for your podcast.

See examples of library podcasts in Wisconsin:
What to learn more?

Virtual Library Services

COVID-19 is no doubt impacting your life and your library somehow:
perhaps your library's physical location has closed or has limited hours, but you are still providing reference services to the public.

Below are some free tools to maintain exceptional library services.
  • Slack: Perfect for team communication, organization of  conversations, and flagging important material.
  • Zoom: For web conferencing, webinars, and video conferences, this tool is free for 45-minute sessions. 
  • Google Voice: Transfer calls to a different phone lines 
  • Teachable: This classroom platform is ideal for creating tutorials and 101 demonstrations on different topics. It's a good substitute for face-to-face classroom instruction
  • My Live Chat: A free chat service to add to your website so that you can provide virtual reference
  • Calendly: Appointments made easy! Add to your website so that patrons can easily set up virtual one-on-one reference appointments with you.
Please share any that you recommend in the comments!