Mosio Launches RefStart: Virtual Reference + Social Media + Search =)

RefStart is a web-based reference application giving librarians customizable one-click access to reference tools, search engines, web 2.0 sites and popular social networks, providing a single starting place to answer patron inquiries. Think of it as having easy access to a single web page where you can manage Facebook and Twitter, search Google, World of Congress and Librarian’s Internet Index, launch your instant messenger service(s) and receive alerts of new Text a Librarian questions. Make reference easier by having everything in one place.

Web Advisory Committee: Recommendation about the Use of ALA Connect

The Web Advisory Committee (WAC) is a standing committee of the American Library Association (ALA). One key duty of the WAC is to advise the association on priorities and strategies that promote utilization and continued development of the ALA website.

In Spring 2009, ALA introduced ALA Connect, a new section of the ALA website. Fulfilling our mission of advising the ALA on website issues, the Web Advisory Committee strongly urges all ALA organized groups and ALA members to take advantage of the ALA Connect service.

ALA Connect replaces the Online Communities service that ALA previously offered as a virtual, collaborative, workspace online. ALA Connect is a centralized space where official ALA “groups” can work together online. In addition, any member can create new “communities” (unofficial ALA groups) without any staff assistance, so the site will combine association work with communities of interest in one place.

Whether you participate in a “group” for an official committee, roundtable, section or divisional activity, or whether you engage with one of the other unofficial “communities” that become available, you have a number of tools with which to work together. By default, each one has blog posts, online documents (like wiki pages), a calendar, polls, a chat room, a discussion board, and images (logos, pictures, etc.). The group can use any or all of the tools it finds valuable.

ALA Connect should be your primary workspace for committee work, for information and for networking within the ALA organization.

All official ALA organizations and committees have a page in ALA connect. To visit yours go to and log in with your ALA website username and password. The Web Advisory Committee is committed to using the new Connect space to carry on the work of our committee and our task-oriented subgroups. Collaboration on this document has been done using ALA Connect.

You can learn more about:

* about ALA Connect at
* video tutorials are available at
* have questions? get help at
* the role of the Web Advisory Committee at

We look forward to seeing you soon on ALA Connect!

ALA Web Advisory Committee

Michael Stephens, Chair

Washington State Library releases new "Hard Times Resource Guide"

For the past few months, staff at the Washington State Library have been working hard, exhaustively scouring the web and compiling quality resources to help library users across Washington State. The result? A thorough guide detailing resources and techniques to help you and your users navigate this tough economy. We've covered numerous subjects, including health and nutrition, family and parenting, finances, job-seeking, and a whole lot more.

Have a question? Try Ask-WA!

Ask-WA is pleased to announce the launch of Washington State's first online virtual reference portal. Connecting more than 60 libraries across the state, and backed by a worldwide cooperative, Ask-WA provides 24/7 reference service to the library users of Washington State.

Ask-WA is an essential resource for students looking for citations at three in the morning, for Washington residents doing personal research, for genealogists. Washington librarians are available to help you get started on that tough research project, investigate your family roots, or even just settle a bet.

Show 'Em You Care With An Ice Cream Flavor and More

In case you've been in Casablanca or otherwise out of the librarian loop this summer (or not on facebook), you might not know about the Facebook Group People for a library-themed Ben & Jerry's flavor! But now you do know about it and there's been a 'call to action'!

Here's a message from the leader of the charge and new LISNews author Andy W, on the group's facebook page:

"4,000. It took awhile but we got there. Completely awesome. This past month and a half has been pretty different for me. Stories about the group have appeared in Library Journal (both print and online), a local newspaper, tons of tweet and retweets on Twitter, and shared on Facebook. And for all those efforts, I cannot thank you enough. I am planning this to be the penultimate message, with the last message being one announce success =D

So, here's the deal now. Time to step it up and take some action in a couple easy steps.

(1) Submit a flavor to Ben & Jerry's directly.
Appeal to the 5 Flavor Gurus directly! (Arnold, John, Eric, Peter, & Nettie) Here is the link for their Suggest a Flavor form.
And here are a couple of the flavors, easy to cut & paste into the form. Pick one and submit (or submit one of your own).

a) Name: Gooey Decimal System (birdie's recommendation)

Webinar Next Week on Google Library Project Settlement

Advance registration for the webinar scheduled Wednesday, July 29, 2 pm ET Time – 60 minutes.

The webinar is being promoted for publishers, but hey, why shouldn't librarians attend too...sponsors are Google (of course), AAP and PW.
Here's Google's blurb about it:

"In a webinar first, the leaders involved with the crafting of the Google Library Project Settlement will share with the publishing industry the benefits of the agreement for publishers and authors. If approved by the Court in October, the agreement will create one of the most far-reaching intellectual, cultural, and commercial platforms for access to digital books for the reading public, while granting publishers unprecedented opportunities and protections. Presented in collaboration with Google, The Association of American Publishers, and Publishers Weekly, the web session is a must-attend event for publishers everywhere."

Virtual Reference Conference in Ithaca, New York - Sept. 24th & 25th

The Western New York Library Resources Council presents a conference in Ithaca for New York State Librarians...

Revved up for Reference: Virtual Reference in New York State

Holiday Inn Ithaca Downtown
225 South Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY
September 24th & 25th, 2009

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Barbara Genco Joins Library Journal as Editor, Collection Management

Library Journal is delighted to announce that Barbara Genco has been named Editor, Collection Management, effective July 1. Genco brings with her over 25 years in collection development and management at Brooklyn Public Library, NY, with a special focus on creating and managing centralized selection models, value-added vendor relationships, and technical services process reengineering.

In her new role, she will oversee all of LJ’s collection development activities from print to online, including BookSmack!, the publication’s twice-monthly e-newsletter.

“Librarians are under more pressure than ever in terms of time and making their collection dollars work for them,” said LJ editor-in-chief Francine Fialkoff. “As someone deeply enmeshed in the field who has generously shared her expertise with both librarians and vendors, Barbara can bring their dual perspective to LJ.”

LJ group publisher/VP Ron Shank noted, “I’ve known and admired Barbara for years. Her rich background will enable LJ, a leader in collection development, to further enhance its coverage and develop tools to make librarians’ jobs easier.”

Before her retirement from Brooklyn PL, Genco was Coordinator of Special Projects and Strategic Planning, leading the library’s Community Needs Assessment initiative. Her distinguished career includes a stint as president of the Association for Library Service to Children (American Library Association [ALA]) and on the Caldecott, Newbery, Boston Globe Horn Book, Theodore Seuss Geisel, Ezra Jack Keats New Authors/Illustrators, Science Books and Films, and Society of Illustrators Award juries. She currently serves on the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Libraries for Children and Young Adults Standing Committee, BookExpo America’s Conference Advisory Board, and the ALA governing Council.

Genco continues to review children’s books and has authored over a dozen articles for professional journals, including "20 Maxims for Collection Building (LJ 9/15/07) and "A Reading List for Barak—And the Rest of Us" (School Library Journal 1/09) .

In 2000, Genco was the recipient of the prestigious ALA/Public Library Association Allie Beth Martin Award, which acknowledged her "extraordinary…depth of knowledge about books and (the) distinguished ability to share that knowledge."

Genco has an MLS from Pratt Institute and a BA in English. She is a Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute School of Library and Information Science.

About Library Journal

Founded in 1876, Library Journal, published by Reed Business Information, is the oldest and most respected publication covering the library field, read by over 100,000 library directors, administrators, and staff.

Text-A-Librarian at ALA

From Library Journal: It's coming up soon, and those attending the American Library Association's (ALA) annual conference in Chicago in less than two weeks will have a new service to help them navigate their way around—Text a Librarian.

ALA has partnered with Mosio to maximize the conference experience by offering mobile information through a service called “Text an ALA Ambassador.” And with an estimated 25,000 librarians and information professionals expected to show up, there are bound to be lots of questions about the conference's many seminars, committee meetings, educational programs, exhibitor locations, the registration process—yes, and even fun things to do in the windy city.

Attendees to the July 9–15 conference at the McCormick Place Convention Center can text questions from their mobile phones and receive an answer from one of 250 volunteer ALA Ambassadors who will use Mosio's Text a Librarian technology to respond quickly.

Join us for the First Handheld Librarian Conference

More people than ever are using mobile devices for a wide variety of purposes including communication, internet access, text messaging, and entertainment. It is important that libraries provide services on these devices as use increases.


Subscribe to Announcements