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Chapter Topics ~ Spring 2021

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CARLDIG-S Explores Examples of Authentic Reference Work

By Norma Durian, University of La Verne & Meghan Kwast, California Lutheran University

In the world of reference services, there are a number of guidelines used by libraries nationally to ensure a uniform understanding of best practices. These guidelines define appropriate behaviors and necessary knowledge bases that any reference practitioner should follow. Reference work is portrayed as a checklist, markers of whether professionals are or are not performing their work appropriately.

The 2020 California Academic Reference Librarians Interest Group – South (CARLDIG-S) Fall Program, Authentic Reference: Advocacy and Support For Our Communities and Ourselves, sought to provide a platform for LIS professionals to highlight the reference work they engage in that goes beyond the checklist. Presenters were asked to explore questions such as:

Event poster

  • How do we bring ourselves and our experiences to the table when providing reference services?
  • How are we working to ensure equity and safety for our students?
  • How do we take care of ourselves, so that we can be fully present when helping students?
  • How do we balance our patrons’ needs with our own, especially during times of crisis?
  • How are we modifying our services to address students’ virtual needs, including needs beyond simple resources?

While the Fall Program is traditionally held in-person, this year’s program was the first to be held entirely online with attendance free to all. The program included four 20-minute feature presentations and four 5-minute lightning round presentations. To provide time for informal conversation and networking, the program “room” was opened 30 minutes early and topical breakout rooms were opened around lunch time. Attendance was roughly double that of the previous year’s program. Attendees came from institutions around the country, demonstrating that conversations on current issues and developments in reference work are of national interest.


Spring 2021

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Chapters Council Roster

Alison Larson
Alison Marie Larsen

Leslin Charles
Leslin Charles

Dawn Behrend
Dawn Behrend
Vice Chair

Lisa Nickel
Lisa T. Nickel
Past Chair

Eric Edwards
Eric Anthony Edwards

Ryan Gjerde
Ryan Gjerde
List Administrator

Amber Willenborg
LibGuide Adminstrator

Lauren Carlton
Staff Liaison

Carrie E. Dunham-LaGree
Carrie E. Dunham-LaGree
Legislation Representative