Thursday, August 30, 2007

Slam the Boards! Event

From Library Journal's Academic Newswire:

Now that's good marketing: on September 10, librarians are being encouraged to "Slam the Boards!" by visiting online "answer sites" such as Yahoo! Answers, Ask Metafilter, Wikipedia Reference Desk, or Amazon's Askville fielding as many questions as possible, and making it clear that the service users have just enjoyed was provided by a librarian.

What began as a word-of-mouth idea has grown into an international effort, as librarians from the U.K., New Zealand, and beyond have joined the grassroots effort in the United States to raise the profile of librarians and libraries that offer virtual reference services by doing what libraries do best--providing answers from authoritative resources. The idea originated as a conversation between Bill Pardue, virtual services librarian at Arlington Heights Memorial Library, IL, and Caleb Tucker-Raymond, Oregon statewide digital reference project coordinator, Multnomah County Library, Portland.

The idea has since gained steam on blogs, email discussion lists, and American Libraries Direct. There's also an Answer Board Librarians Wiki where librarians can register to participate and find a list of answer boards. Tips and tricks include registering beforehand and closing every answer with a library-promoting tagline, such as "Librarians--we eat questions for breakfast!" While most librarians signing up work in public libraries, several academic librarians have signed up as well.

Just in case any of you might have some extra time on your hands to answer more reference-like questions...:-). For more information on how to participate, see the Slam the Boards wiki.

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