Program: What is the future of virtual reference in Ohio? Panelists Kristen Pool (KnowItNow), Meg Spernova (OhioLINK) and Jeff Penka (OCLC) will discuss this question and more, as well as their own experiences and recommendations for change in virtual reference services. This program will be followed by another dedicated to virtual reference on March 6, 2007, featuring Lynn Connaway, Ph.D. and Co-Principal Investigator in an IMLS-funded grant project to study virtual reference services.
KRISTEN POOL is the KnowItNow AfterDark Project Coordinator for KnowItNow Online Reference Service. She is responsible for managing the librarians who staff the overnight service and for training the more than 650 librarians who staff the service during the day. She also promotes the service to libraries and schools. She has also served as Archivist/Local History Librarian at Shaker Heights Public Library, and served as KnowItNow coordinator when the service first went live in 2001.
MEG SPERNOVA began her library career at the Ohio College Library Center and there worked in various jobs related to the cataloging system and local integrated library system. She has been with OhioLINK for 13 years. Her focus is on the user service aspects of OhioLink services–interfaces, access and user assistance.
JEFF PENKA manages the QuestionPoint service platform in OCLC’s Community Services area. He began working with OCLC in 1996, contributing to OCLC services such as SiteSearch, WebExpress and QuestionPoint in a variety of development, training and management positions. Jeff sat on the NISO Committee AZ developing the standards for Networked Reference and served as a panelist on the RUSA President’s program “If We Could Start Over, What Would Reference Look Like?” He holds a Master of Education and a Master of Arts degree in English from Bowling Green State University.