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2013 Task Force for Statewide Collaborative Reference Services


The State Librarian has convened a task force on the future of statewide cooperative reference services for Oregon libraries. The goal is to determine how Oregon libraries, working together, can best meet the information needs of all Oregonians with available resources.
The task force will report by August 16, 2013 and deliver an interim statement May 1, 2013 in order to mesh with current planning cycles at the Oregon State Library.
L-net (soon to be Answerland) is currently funded through June 2014 and will continue to be hosted at Multnomah County Library through June 2014. The future and structure of L-net and statewide cooperative reference services after June 2014 will be strongly influenced by this statewide conversation. 
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L-net was created in response to the collective expression of need by Oregon’s library community.

In 2001, the Oregon Library Association’s Vision 2010 Committee wrote in "A Call to Actionthat we should "Create a collaborative on-line reference service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." 
A year later, the Oregon State Library convened the Statewide E-Reference Task Force, which ulimately recommended the model that L-net uses today, including the use of LSTA funding to operate the program. 
In 2010, OLA’s Vision 2020 Task Force included collaboration in their vision, stating, “In 2020, Oregon librarians will rely on dynamic professional networks – local,statewide and beyond –  for resources, support and expertise".
L-net has been successful. The service has received over 35,000 questions by live chat, email and text messaging annually, and over 200 people working in 45 Oregon public, academic and special libraries contribute to the service regularly.
The Oregon State Library has a statutory responsibility to provide for statewide cooperative reference services as outlined in ORS 357.206 and 357.005 (2)(d). This has been reflected in the former Reference LINK program and now in L-net. Details of the current cooperative reference services are outlined in OAR 543 Div 60.

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Jenny Berg, Director, McMinnville Public Library (Task Force Chair)

Mary Forst, Principal Trainer, Confluence Center for Mediation & Training (Facillitator)

Marie Baldo, Director, Hermiston Public Library

Bonnie Brzozowski, Reference Librarian, Corvallis-Bendton County Public Library

Sue Burkholder, Oregon State Library Board Trustee, Eugene

Cathy, Campter, Evolving Homework Grant Coordinator-Librarian, Multnomah County Library

Darci Hanning, Technology Development Consultant, Oregon State Library

Valery King, Government Information Librarian, Oregon State University

Stuart Levy, Teacher-Librarian, Inza R. Wood Middle School, West Linn-Wilsonville School District

Jennifer Maurer, School Library Consultant, Oregon State Library

Emily Miller-Francisco, e-Resource Systems & Web Coordinator, Southern Oregon University

Laura Orr, Law Librarian, Washington County Law Library

Perri Parise, Program Advisor, SLIM Oregon Program, Emporia State University

Donna Reed, Director, Portland Community College

Caleb Tucker-Raymond, L-net/Answerland Service Coordinator, Multnomah County Library (Technical Consultant)

MaryKay Dahlgreen, State Librarian, Oregon State Library (Advisor)

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Objectives and Deliverables

The task force should consider and answer the following questions:
  • What are the needs of Oregonians in regards to reference and information services?
  • Which needs are most important to be addressed on a statewide level?
  • How can Oregon libraries, working together, best meet the most important needs, using available resources?
May 6, 2013 - A brief interim report to the Oregon State Library and the State Library LSTA Council, summarizing the need and budget, if any, for statewide cooperative reference services.
  • Letter to the LSTA Council (PDF) presented on May 8.
August 16, 2013 - A complete report recommending a model for collaborative reference services in Oregon, including answers to the above questions.
The future and structure of L-net and statewide cooperative reference services after June 2014 will be strongly influenced by the report of this task force.
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Meetings and Documents

May 1, Oregon State Library, Salem

June 19, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

  • Document: Oregon Reference Needs: Summary of Community Feedback (PDF)

July 3, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

August 7, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

August 21, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus

  • Document: Recommendation by the 2013 Task Force on Statewide Collaborative Reference Service (PDF)
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