July 22, 2014

Reaching the Wikipedia Generation: Reference Roundtable Tackles Trends and Thorny Issues

On January 21, 2012, at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, LJ met with reference publishers, database aggregators, and public and academic reference librarians to discuss recent events and issues in the library world. It had been an exciting week. In protest against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect [...]

Reaching the Wikipedia Generation: Reference Roundtable Tackles Trends and Thorny Issues

ljx120402webroundtable1

On January 21, 2012, at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, LJ met with reference publishers, database aggregators, and public and academic reference librarians to discuss recent events and issues in the library world. It had been an exciting week. In protest against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), which would have effectively forced online sites to police user-generated content, online reference giant Wikipedia had “gone dark” for a day.

The blackout was fresh in everyone’s mind and inspired some soul-searching about overreliance on this resource by patrons and librarians alike. But the group covered lots of other topics, too, from debates over patron-driven acquisition (PDA) and how to get reluctant students and faculty into academic libraries, to innovative ways to measure usage and get marketing help from vendors. The following comments are highlights of the conversation.