Librarians from various libraries across Harvard casually came in to talk to us and share some insight on “Reference as portal”.
Interesting points from the discussion:
- Librarians as our ‘partners’ or ‘friends’
- Let’s think of the physical reference desk as a more friendly low desk rather than the high outpost station
- The security guard as a more friendly person that would greet visitors and not seem too intimidating to pass through
- Examining why students reach out to peers and faculty more than to librarians although sometimes librarians can be the source to references we don’t even know exist
- Receiving more questions from students by email with a trend for emails to come from outside the Harvard network…so what are Harvard students doing? Where do they get their reference questions answered? Do they get answered?
- The trend for students to request more personal one-on-one based meetings for reference rather than to stop at a public desk
- The importance of librarian outreach within departments (but what happens when a library is not connected to a department?)
- Parties by librarians (this included an example of a roach party – rock on!)
- Did you know Houghton library does Coffee Fridays?
- A general consensus on the idea that the role of librarians should be dynamic and that both librarians and users are shaping the changing nature of libraries
The talk was recorded and will be put up soon!
Join us for our next talk, Friday November 16 on Maintaining Value through Digitization.