reference tools

Making Use of Government Social Media at the Reference Desk

Dog at reference desk

At this year's American Library Association Annual Conference, I strayed a bit from my usual public library path and attended a session from two academic librarians who work at Columbia University. But like many sessions at ALA, this one shared some useful tips for public librarians, particularly those who work at the reference desk.

Chubing Hong and Tara Das, both government information librarians at Columbia University, discussed how government agencies have used social media to communicate both official and unofficial government information. Hong discussed how the government in China is just starting to embrace social media as a means for communication.

There's so much information out there for librarians on how to use their own social media, but what about how to use other social media for finding and sharing information? And can you use it to answer questions at the reference desk?

Five Free Mobile Research and Reference Tools to Try at Your Library

I spend a lot of time playing with the latest and greatest mobile apps, but I'm always most impressed with reference and research apps. The fact that one little app can give you access to so much information is pretty mind-blowing. You can recommend these apps to patrons along with other trusted web tools on your website or at the reference desk. On a tight budget? No problem: these apps are completely free.