Sharing new ideas, resources, knowledge and technology to keep abreast of new development in reference service field

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Regional Reference Blog Workshop

If you are interested in becoming a contributor to the Regional Reference Blog and if you are curious about how the blog works, please sign up for the Regional Reference Center Blog workshop which will be held on Wednesday, September 12, 10:00 am to 12:00 at the Worcester Public Library Computer Lab.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Blog's Purpose and Guidelines

This blog provides an opportunity for real-time sharing of information, news, ideas and concerns related the reference service among the 251 multi-type libraries that make up the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System. Anyone involved in providing reference service within CMRLS is encouraged to participate in this support tool, created by and for librarians. Let's take advantage of our collective knowledge and experience.

Suggested subjects include but certainly are not limited to:

  • Workshop information: upcoming offerings, tips from workshops you attended
  • New products: the good, the bad and the really ugly
  • Questions and concerns: share yours or offer your suggestions and solutions
  • Reference finds: websites, titles, databases, handouts
  • Professional resources: books, tutorials, links
  • Programming and PR: successes and failures
  • Reference questions: new tough ones and perennials, along with answers and suggested answers
  • News appointments and departures
  • Ideas: trial balloons and proven winners

The Regional Reference Blog's focus is reference service within the Central Massachusetts Regional Library system community. This includes reference service for both youth and adults provided by public, school, special and academic libraries that are members of CMRLS. All staff are encouraged to participate, to share news, ideas, and tips as well as solicit help or suggestions related to reference service.

The Regional Reference Blog is not the tool for communicating confidential information or for discussions unrelated to reference service.

  • All postings and comments should be written in courteous, business-like language.
  • The use of discriminator, insulting, offensive, disrespectful, demeaning language is prohibited.

Jane Peck, the Head of Reference Service at the Worcester Public Library, will serve as the Regional Reference Blog monitor and moderate all comments. Concerns or suggestions should be sent by email to

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New to the World of Blog

I just signed up to blog. This is very exciting for me as I have never done this before. See you at the Blog workshop.

School Libraries

I'm a Director of a school library and we just went back - staff only - this week. Another year begins! I'm new to this blog and hope to discuss school libraries and issues that pertain to them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Member Cards" Expand Access to E-resources

Starting this fall CMRLS member libraries will have a Worcester Public Library "member card". This card will enable member libraries to access the remote databases that are available to all our card holders. These databases cover many subjects, from health to history, from geography to genealogy and include databases for children as well as adults . Several databases are also available in Spanish. For a complete list of the remote databases please go to WPL's homepage and click on "Online Databases", then select "Databases Outside the Library".

These "member cards" are only for use on your computers and should not be given out to patrons. We hope this service will make it possible for you, as our member libraries, to expand your patrons' access to current information sources. Two training workshops on these databases are planned for this fall (two more in the Spring). The fall workshops will be held in Groton and Blackstone. Check the Continuing Education listing on the CMRLS website for more details and to sign up.

Library Cards

I was at a training for new staff a few months ago. I vaguely remember something about cards being issued so we could access some of the reference resources that are specific to Worcester Public Library. Did I understand correctly? If so, how do we obtain a card?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How to Join the Blog

1. Send your email address to
2. You will receive an email invitation from the Blog.
3. Follow the link in the invitation to create a blog account.
4. If you already have a account, log in with your username and password.
5. If you don't have one, click on Create a Google Account.
6. If you want to use your cwmars email account or other existing email account, you go ahead to fill out the blanks and accept the Terms of Service.
7. After clicking on Continue, you are in the working area of the blog. You should be able to create your posts.
8. If you have any questions regarding the process, please call Ping at 508-799-1633 or email her at

CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608