Reference and Government Information Librarians Working Group

Working Meeting & Retreat Notes

April 23, 2009

Roles and Responsibilities

Beth W. (25 years) – 3 years Head of Reference, Information Desk Coordinator, GAs and training until a few years ago

Jo – collection development in reference David – reference, instruction, and cataloging; International documents

Mary – User Education Coordinator in Gov Docs, tech services work, head collection (doc 8, doc 9)

Merinda – Instructional Services Librarian

Jenny – digital services coordinator of IT projects, “public services voice on IT projects,” instruction

Karen –Old: reference GA supervisor and training, instruction, approval plan. Illinois documents New: some of the above, plus data services and GIS

Kathleen – GA coordinator (hire, supervise, and train), coordinate IM desk staffing



  • Job descriptions/responsibilities
  • Referral/how to bring expert in
  • How to maximize professional expertise (can fill in dead time with training)
  • Mobility
  • More flexibility or less
  • Staffing (2 ways) - double staff librarians for cross-training
  • Preserve time for consultations (gov info and generalist understudies)
  • Take more desk time, more professional time
  • Will docs staff have reference hours?


  • Referral/how to bring expert in
  • How to maximize professional expertise (can fill in dead time with training)
  • Do formal sessions in summer or just job shadow/practice questions?
  • Competency levels


  • Circulating materials - to stacks?
  • Microfiche - to HPNL?
  • Where to put CD-Rom workstation (hardware obsolescence)
    • CITRIX server (problems - ask HPNL?) - mapped to computer in ref area (Jenny)
  • New offices for gov info?
  • Web presence
  • Temporary divider in room 200

Identity/Organizational Model

  • Name - without "and" that signals cohesion
  • Job descriptions/responsibilities
  • Web presence
  • Will docs staff have reference hours?


  • Better use of staff time
  • Learn more about training
  • Enhance understanding of the room
  • More flexibility
  • Referral model that could be replicated
  • Learn from other best practices
  • Develop referral model for scholarly commons
  • Articulate basic competencies
  • Tear down walls
  • Formalize model for users on consultations
  • Learn more about new area
    • For GAs too!
  • Closer work between docs and subject librarians
  • Evaluate current practices
  • Recapture expertise
  • Cross training among subject areas
  • Understudies - shadowing = partnerships for expertise
  • Virtual reference for docs, etc.