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Asynchronous eCourse beginning June 3 and continuing for 3 weeks
An ALA Editions eCourse facilitated by Sarah Steiner
Please note: Your purchase at the ALA Store is only Step 1 of a 2-Step Registration process!
Upon purchase you will receive a registration PDF in the form of a digital download. This PDF contains a link to our Registration page and a password. You must download this PDF and follow the instructions in order to complete the registration. The download link can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account History. Confirmation with login instructions, reminders, and alerts will go to the email address used in the registration.
This eCourse is licensed for a single user. For pricing on bulk purchases in excess of $1,000, please contact us for more information.
Estimated Hours of Learning: 10
Certificate of Completion available upon request
Too often, chat, social media, and text-based reference services operate without standards and policies. This eCourse will guide you in writing useful, concise, legally-sound standards and guidelines for providing reference through social media. Simply establishing basic greeting, closing, and tone standards that reflect user expectations will significantly improve user satisfaction. With a solid foundation of best practices, and practical advice on implementation and ongoing assessment, you and your colleagues will communicate with library users in a consistent and reliable way.
- Adapting Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) standards and your own library’s reference standards to create guidelines for using social media in reference service
- Learning how to communicate in a human, approachable, and professional manner via social media
- Understanding key legal concepts that underlie virtual reference and social media policies
- Ability to implement organizational practices that support high-level service
Overview of Standards and External Policies
Purpose and Benefits
Protecting the library from legal repercussions
Establishing expectations for posting and responding
Coordinating social media work among staff
Training new staff
Virtual Reference Service Guidelines from RUSA
Other sources for best practices
Using assessment tools and models
Elements of an internal standards document
Legal concepts for social media and virtual reference policies
Legal disclaimers for social media
Drafting legal disclaimers
Maintaining high service levels
Gaining buy-in with an inclusive process for drafting policy or service changes
Training tips to ensure goodwill and participation
Developing a service assessment plan
How this eCourse Works
The eCourse begins on October 29, 2012. Your participation will require approximately four hours a week, at times that fit your schedule. There are no live sessions. All activities take place on the website, and you will be expected to
Instructor Sarah Steiner will monitor discussion boards regularly during the six-week period, lead group discussions, and will also answer individual questions. All interaction will take place on the eCourse site, which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's recommended that students log into the site on October 29 or within a few days for an overview of the content and to begin the first lesson.
- Read, listen to or view online content
- Post to online discussion boards
- Complete weekly assignments or activities
Participants will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message boards participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (mp3 files), and downloading and viewing PDFs and PowerPoint files. ALA Editions eCourses are fully compatible with Windows and MacOs.
At Your Service
Accommodations are offered based on user needs. For transcription or other accessibility requests, please contact us at email@example.com.
About the Instructor
Sarah Steiner is the Social Work and Virtual Services Librarian at Georgia State University Library in Atlanta. For the past six years, she has been a leader in the library’s social media outreach, coordinating, assessing, and regularly staffing the library’s chat and text-message reference service. She is cofounder of the Carterette Series Webinars, which highlight trends, innovation, and best practices in Georgia libraries. As a 2011 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, Steiner was recognized for creating networking and professional development opportunities for librarians.