I. Summary of Numerical Ratings

Responses by Activity

  Rating=2 Rating=3 Rating=4 Rating=5 Number of Attendees Responding
Panel Discussion 0 10 23 16 49
Virtual Reference Breakout Group 2 16 19 2 39
Reference Measures Breakout Group 0 5 6 2 13
User Instruction Breakout Group 2 13 20 3 38
Reference Collection Development Breakout Group 3 6 5 1 15

Average Rating by Activity

  Average Rating
Panel Discussion 4.12
Virtual Reference Breakout Group 3.54
Reference Measures Breakout Group 3.77
User Instruction Breakout Group 3.63
Reference Collection Development Breakout Group 3.27

II. Comments on Panel Discussion

Excellent timing for presentations, panel Q&A and discussion.

Problem with the set-up, not the panelist - Created stage interaction/audience mentality - styled.

Bringing together so many of us who grapple with the same issues helps get us beyond the day-to-day small things and put them in a larger perspective.

Interesting views presented. I found it somewhat unrealistically gloomy.

Very interesting presentations. I would have liked for a longer amount of time for discussion after discussion panel. We really couldn't get an interactive discussion going between all present. Needed more time to talk about he future of reference in Libraries like ours.

The panelist comments and moderator in question were very good. Giving more time for audience feedback and questions may have made it even more interesting.

The remarks stated from a general undergrad perspective, and there was some (perhaps not enough) acknowledgement of subject-specific libraries.

I enjoyed it - nice and varied.

Very provocative

It raised many thought-provoking questions. (would be nice to have presentation hand-outs, Paul Constantine, powerpoint for instance).

This was the most stimulating of all the sessions IMHO

Some commentaries not focused enough - started to go to afternoon topics.

Thorough presentations highlighted major problems, good springboard for later discussions.

It was great to hear the insights of three major reference practitioners. Sessions also very well moderated, and introduction set out interesting ideas for meeting, more time for lager groups discussion would have been nice.

Kind of distressing for young libraries to hear older/supervisory libraries attitudes

Very good to hear several news of pros and cons of experience in trying new things

Thought provoking, but I thought the speakers didn't represent diverse environments. Perhaps too homogeneous in terms of library experiences and point of view.

Speakers were excellent and very informative

Very interesting, informative and thought provoking

Couldn't attend

Needed more time for audience questions.

Very provocative

III. Comments on Virtual Reference Services Breakout Groups

Very helpful to hear about what other folks were doing-especially Live Person idea.

Having some institutions' experiments described, with honest admissions of problems and successes is helpful and hopeful.

Nice to know other librarians see the problems and challenges on the virtual reference bandwagon.

Would be better to hear more about what different institutions are doing-no need to stick to questions set by moderator.

Nice flow of comments, but too many silent participants. Facilitator could have asked for each participant to contribute.


Stimulating discussion.

I think it would have been helpful to have each group address the same questions.

Too little time. I wasn't able to focus on what is new and virtual reference (especially live reference).

Good to learn about cross-institutional problems!

More time would have been more helpful and maybe more structure.

Interesting to hear about libraries using virtual reference. Both breakout sessions would have benefited from a preset agenda.

Would be helpful to have a net connection to show things being discussed.

Good info-sharing - sites to check, ideas to try, perhaps contacts for future collaboration.

Good structure for stimulating discussion and participation.

Good, but not enough time with so many people.

Interesting to hear what other schools are doing.

Useful discussion-seemed constrained by time format.

IV. Comments on Reference Measures - Statistics & Standards Breakout Group

We need to get talking about this. Good start as a symposium and now we need to do it formally as ARL.

Needed more time for discussion.

Good for sharing information, but people are looking for solutions that are not always forthcoming.

Well moderated and focused.

V. Comments on User Instruction - Close or at a Distance Breakout Group

I hope we're not telling each other how necessary we are out of a fear of becoming obsolescent. But it does seem true that real, live reference librarians still have a future.

Needed more time for discussion.

Good for sharing information. Disappointed there wasn't more enthusiasm for instruction.

Many interesting ideas-scratched the surface, really.

Participating makes a difference.

Well moderated and focused.

Supportive. Same problems faced by all attendees.

Interesting perspectives.

Interesting to hear what others are doing.

Reassuring as well as thorough discussion.

Some lively discussion of ??? (28)

Some new ideas to try - idea of future collaboration.

Good structure for discussion and participation.

Interesting to hear what other schools are doing.

See great value in sharing ideas and solutions with like institutions.

Conversation didn't flow as well as it should have. Low energy level. Facilitator tried hard to get things going.

Interesting to find that our experiences are pretty much the same regarding formal instruction.

VI. Comments on Reference Collection Development Breakout Group

I missed the user's (faculty especially) perspective throughout the day.
Great to hear what's going on elsewhere.

Needed perhaps a sharper focus - personally I would have liked a more practical discussion of particular tools/sites

Doesn't really apply to my field.

The time spent reporting on the breakout sessions was not worthwhile. This info should just be distributed to us electronically.

Nice flow of comments, but too many silent participants. Facilitator could have asked for each participant to contribute.

Not much enthusiasm from facilitators or participants.

VII. Summary of Evaluation Responses (Questions 2-5)

2. 98% of those who answered felt positively about reconvening to discuss Reference Services. A small fraction (10%) of those attendees also suggested implementing minor changes within the structure of the conference-such as organizing it in conjuncture with access services, having it "virtually" or on a smaller scale.

3. 47% of the attendees who responded were in favor of holding the conference annually, 27% preferred meeting twice a year while 10% thought that once every two years was sufficient. The other four responses were more ambiguous, stating "12-18 months", "1-2 years", and "six months to a year" as possible intervals between conferences. Meeting frequently would allow attendees to implement new projects and then report on the success of these strategies in later meetings. One respondent suggested developing a list-serv to encourage and facilitate discussion between attendees in the interim.

4. Institutions interested in hosting future meetings: Cornell University (contact Ross Atkinson), Princeton University (contact Jane Bryan), Rutgers University (contact Jeanne Boyle), New York University (contact Lucinda Covert-Vail) and Yale University (contact Alan Solomon or Barbara Rockenbach).

5. Most were in favor of formatting these meetings in a manner similar to Columbia's. Those who suggested changes were concerned with maximizing contact between attendees and felt that fewer people, less topics and smaller discussion groups would allow for productive interaction between attendees, as well as more time for delving into the various subjects. In terms of the breakout sessions, more "hands on" opportunities were desired. Other suggestions included implementing a list-serv, meeting by discipline to discuss specific reference issues, allotting more time for breakout sessions and for the panelists to talk, as well as concluding the meeting with a Q&A session.