Reference walking the walk (response to talking points)

I had some great comments in this post, and I think I ended up with the start of what I was looking for here, but I need to apologize. I was asking the wrong question or I was looking for was the wrong answer.

What I was asking for was a marketing document like talking points. Here’s a little shop talk from my day  job: What do you call talking points that you can’t demostrate?


Sounds a bit harsh, but talking points that aren’t self evident are lies. So, the best talking points is just doing a good job and making sure people know about what you do.

To that end, I think Thad hit it close to the nose here:

Maybe you could post a neat digital board on the desk, and have an RSS feed, that kept displaying the most recent question Reference had received, and the answer…

The best marketing for reference services, I think, is to show reference services at work:

  • A wiki farm on local issues,
  • a blog of anonmyized and relevant on recent reference questions,
  • anything that brings reference out behind the desk and into the public. discussion.


Filed under reference

4 responses to “Reference walking the walk (response to talking points)

  1. Emmett, I sent out a note to my Ask-WA librarians to inform them of these posts and encourage them to come and discuss your points. So don’t be surprised if you get a traffic / comment spike from new visitors.

  2. I put a note in the LSW (Library Society of the World, FriendFeed room. 🙂

  3. Jonathan Betz-Zall

    Taking into consideration the earlier comments on shielding patron privacy, I’d suggest asking satisfied patrons/customers to share their stories of success enabled or facilitated by reference services. Each spot could conclude with an invitation to “share your own story” with an appropriate email link.

    • emmettoconnell

      If the name of the patron isn’t given, just the particular question and the answer/resources, how does this not shield patron privacy?

      I’m not trying to be snarky, I really think I’m not getting something here.

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