Quarterly Update

Carol Schuetz, editor

Emerging Technologies Section (ETS)


Geoffrey Morse, Editor

Greetings!  In the wake of RUSA’s realignment, I’m excited to share that ETS is moving forward with a more member-focused vision. We’re the section where technology and public services meet, and everything we do is about equipping you to be confident and savvy with emerging tech, even if you’re not a tech person.  At Midwinter, we featured a fantastic discussion about the impact of AI on reference services. For Annual, we’re planning programs and discussions about project management, UX, managing emerging tech, discovery, and more! And in the meantime, watch for new webinars and online discussions like the one below.

PS: Don’t forget to vote! ETS has several positions on the ballot, as well as two important bylaws changes to approve!

Beth Boatright

Join us for an eForum on Assessing Electronic Reference Services

On March 19-21st, 2018 the MERS committee will be hosting an eforum on Assessing Electronic Reference Services. Marie L. Radford, Professor of Library and Information Science, Rutgers School of Communication and Information, will post on the best methods for assessing chat reference.  Kris Markman, Director of Digital Learning and User Experience, Harvard Library will post on how to close the assessment loop and take action on your assessment findings. The eForum is an opportunity to share what you are doing to assess chat services, online research guides, FAQs, and other virtual reference services and to increase your knowledge of assessment methods.  For more information and to join the forum listserv, please follow this link to the announcement:


Hot Topics Discussion Forum: AI is Impacting Reference!

ETS sponsored the Hot Topics discussion forum at Midwinter on the risks, benefits, and potential implications of utilizing artificial intelligence technologies for reference titled Answering the Questions Alexa Can’t: How are Digital Assistants and Artificial Intelligences Impacting Reference Services? Participants discussed topics related to Alexa and other digital assistant technologies that have the potential to impact library services and privacy. To view participant comments from the discussion, check out the #etsreftalk hashtag on Twitter. There were 63 participants in attendance.

Online discussion on Implementing and Evaluating Electronic Resources and Services

ETS sponsored an online discussion titled Implementing and Evaluating Virtual Reference services that was held January 18-19th, 2018.  Several guest moderators oversaw an asynchronous discussion focusing on  topics related to virtual reference services such as how users rate satisfaction, how to determine success, management of the service, patron privacy, planning the implementation of virtual reference, technologies, and training.

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