In its first year, AskMN: The Librarian Is In, Minnesota’s statewide cooperative digital reference service, accepted over 6,000 questions from Minnesota residents, many from K12 students. Students are heavy users of online reference services such as chat and Instant Messaging. It is 24/7, live, interactive, and they can get an instant response at their point of need. In the Fall of 2009 we began to actively promote the service to the K12 audience. We gave presentations, on-site visits, and webinars to school librarians and media specialists. We looked at ways AskMN helps students learn about many parts of the research process like how to identify a scholarly resource, perform a search that produces useful results, and how to cite a web source. We discussed ways in which media specialists and classroom teachers can introduce this online service to students to get the most use out of AskMN and to ensure that everyone has a positive experience.
In this one hour and half session we will talk about the process of promoting AskMN to the K12 audience and what we’ve learned along the way. I will also share guides we’ve created.