Statewide Reference Project Update

Over the past several months, a team at the California State Library has been creating a plan for rethinking and retooling the Statewide Reference model. Our plan has been built on past surveys and studies, and is designed to gather more data to complete our understanding of information usage, and to create a process that will help us truly innovate how we can best provide information services to our communities. The plan consists of five stages:

Stage 1 Data Collection (December March 2008)

We have collected a lot of data, but one thing that seemed to be missing was information about Californians, and how they find and use information. We have been working with Zogby International to collect some snapshot data. The first poll was done via email and completed in January 2008 with 706 responses. Mid-March we launched the same survey on the web. Public libraries were invited to post the link on their websites. We hope to get more information from customers of the library in their information finding and usage behavior. We will compare this data with national trends and also use it for helping us design our new Statewide Reference model.

Stage 2 Think Tank Preparation (April 2008)

A small group of librarians from across the state will meet as our Think Tank Creators. They will work with our Futurist Facilitators Michele Bowman and Sandy Burchsted to design a Statewide Reference Think Tank process. This group will also look at all of the data gathered relating to statewide reference and develop new combinations to help the Think Tank be more informed.

Stage 3 Think Tank (Fall 2008)

In early Fall 2008, the Statewide Reference Think Tank will convene. Participants from across the state will gather for a 1 days to think about information trends and data, and create three scenarios for what statewide reference could become. The details for the Think Tank and participation will be created by the Think Tank Creators.

Stage 4 Statewide Input (Fall 2008)

The three scenarios created by the Statewide Reference Think Tank will be shared in a CLA presentation and other venues for additional input from the library community. We will want input that identifies what scenarios or pieces of the scenarios will be most beneficial to all.

Stage 5 Build New Model (2009)

A Builders group will be formed to analyze the feedback from the input sessions, and to develop an action plan for creating the new statewide reference model.

The powerful and productive new system model we will build will have a strong foundation thanks to the outreach of California's library professionals.



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