Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Southeastern Library Association/Georgia Council of Media Organizations Conference

Kathy Bradshaw

Last week, I attended the GaCOMO Conference, which is a joint conference of the Southeastern Library

Association and the Georgia Council of Media Organizations (which is made up of the Georgia Library

Association and the Georgia Association for Instructional Technology), in Augusta, Georgia. The

conference is directed at all types of libraries, although academic and public libraries seem to dominate.

There are also programs that are directed at school media specialists. I presented two sessions at the

conference, both with a colleague from another university library. The first “Will You Be My Mentor?”

was on the various types of mentoring in the profession and my co-presenter was the mentee I was

assigned through the Southeastern Library Association. This session allowed my mentee and me to

“meet” in person after spending approximately 18 months contacting each other by phone and email.

My second session was titled “Leading from the Middle: Are You Ready?” which was about preparing

librarians for middle managers roles in libraries.

The most interesting session I attended was the session on eliminating the reference desk in an academic

library. In this library, that supports about 11,000 students (they are not open 24/5) they went from

having reference librarians do “desk time” to using a basic pager system at the Circulation desk when

assistance from a reference librarian was needed. While this might not be a solution that could be used at

all academic libraries, it seems to be successful for their library. Another positive outcome of the change

was their ability to gather better statistics about the kinds of reference they are answering and the amount

of time they need when they are helping patrons.


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