The Virtual Reference Desk(SM)
            3rd Annual Digital Reference Conference
           November 12-13, 2001 Orlando, Florida, USA

                        Call for Proposals

Proposals are invited for breakout session presentations and poster
sessions at the VRD 2001 Annual Digital Reference Conference. The third
annual VRD conference will highlight digital reference service in a
variety of contexts: libraries and information centers, government,
business, education, etc. This conference will explore the nature of
Internet-based question-and-answer service as well as the specific issues
involved in providing all types of digital reference service.

Proposals will be accepted until April 2, 2001 (see proposal submission
instructions below). Selected presenters will be notified by May 15, 2001.
Presenters will receive free admission to the conference. Final papers or
materials are due August 1, 2001 for inclusion in the conference

Proposals should address issues of digital reference from the following
perspectives: libraries and information centers, professional associations
and organizations, government agencies, business, K-12 education, higher
education, and other contexts involved in providing or receiving digital
reference service.

Proposals should include speaker's name, job title, institution, address,
phone, fax, e-mail, brief biographical information, and a topic related
abstract of 250-500 words. Please e-mail your proposal to VRD Conference
([log in to unmask]) by April 2, 2001.

Proposals will be considered for the concurrent breakout sessions and
poster sessions of the VRD 2001 Annual Digital Reference Conference on
November 12 and 13. Specific presentation formats are to be determined and
will depend on the nature of the proposal.

Presenters are encouraged to submit papers or related materials (e.g.,
handouts, copies of slides, etc.) for publication in the conference
proceedings. For more information, contact [log in to unmask]

Conference Themes Include:

Technology for Digital Reference
* Real-time/live reference
* Software selection issues
* Commercial vs. "home-grown" solutions
* Standards for digital reference technology
* Tools for digital reference, including:
        > Workflow software (for question/answering)
        > Question-answer archiving tools/knowledgebases
        > Web contact center software
        > Customer relationship management software
        > Networking/routing solutions

Digital Reference Service Management
* Foundations for building digital reference services
* Archiving/tracking questions and answers/FAQs
* Policies and procedures
* Evaluation/quality standards
* Required skills/knowledge and training solutions for service staff
* Models for funding/pricing
* Personnel/staffing
* Marketing services to potential users
* Reference outsourcing

General Issues in Digital Reference
* Partnerships - cooperative/collaborative networks, sharing/pooling
* Intranets
* Commercial/fee-based services
* Legal issues - privacy, ethics, copyright
* Accessibility

Case studies (experiences from practicing digital reference services in
all contexts)

Digital Reference Resources
* Search engines
* Reference meta-sites
* Online resources for ready reference
* Intermediary search services vs. end-user systems
* Locally-mounted digital resources vs. remote resources
* Evaluation of digital reference resources

For more information regarding the VRD 2001 Annual Digital Reference
Conference, please contact Marilyn Schick, [log in to unmask], 800-464-9107
or, 315- 443 -3640.  The Virtual Reference Desk(SM) is a project of the
U.S. Department of Education, operated by the Information Institute of
Syracuse, Syracuse University.  Located at:  621 Skytop Road, Suite 160,
Syracuse, New York 13244 - 5290.


Proposals Due: April 2, 2001
Notification of Acceptance: May 15, 2001
Final Papers Due: August 1, 2001