The New Reference Librarian Workshop


Read more to read about the workshop and see attached presentation slides. And thanks to all who attended!

After migrating from VALE to ACRL-NJ / NJLA CUS last year, the Reference Services Committee has regrouped and held a successful workshop on Thursday, April 6th. “The New Reference Librarian,” was held at Rutgers University’s Alexander Library and was co-sponsored by SCARLA. It consisted of five lightning talks and six round table discussions.

During the lightning talks, Berkeley College’s Dina Meky asked us to question how social media posts can be reference resources. Next, attendees were treated to talks that presented multiple perspectives on the same topic. Business reference was discussed by both Cara Berg of William Paterson University, and Christy Goodnight of Stockton University; however, the presentations complimented each other by covering different databases and reference tools. Attendees learned about virtual reference options from two different speakers. Michelle Ehrenpreis of Felician University informed the audience about “Virtual Reference via Adobe Connect,” while Audrey B. Welber of Princeton University discussed the benefits of using Skype to connect with patrons. The topic of virtual reference was further discussed in terms of a hybrid student population in a round table led by Joe Louderback of DeVry University.

Common themes continued during round tables as Zara Wilkinson of Rutgers University, Camden discussed “Outreach in Academic Libraries” and Annie Chatterjee of Essex County College talked about “Promoting Reference Services on Campus”. Attendees enjoyed hearing multiple perspectives on similar topics from presenters and colleagues. Other round tables included, “Providing Service to Community Patrons,” by Carol Nurse of Montclair University; “Graduate Reference Assistants at the Reference Desk” by Susan Buck of Monmouth University; and “ Location, Location, Location!” by Katie Cohen and Madel Tisi of Ramapo College.

Despite torrential downpours, over thirty people were in attendance, including academic librarians from around the state, and students from the Rutgers Master of Information program. One attendee commented, “This workshop provided an excellent forum for fruitful discussion on an important topic.” After receiving positive feedback from this workshop, the Reference Services Committee hopes to hold similar programs in the future. Start brainstorming about topics you might like to present, or suggest areas you would like to learn about! Contact committee co-chairs Susan Bucks at and Maria Deptula at for more information on this growing committee.

Please see presentations attached below.

~Submitted by Katie Cohen for the NJLA CUS Newsletter