Today, I began moving on to my next project that considered graduate student resources; however, my supervisor and I began to see that we may need to consider the overall departmental page before creating a new guide. Upon looking through our existing landing page, I realized that I couldn’t answer a fairly simple question: what is the Scholars’ Commons? What is its mission? Its motivation?? The reason for its very existence? Addressing this overarching question helps us better guide patrons to services.
This conversation got me thinking even deeper about the purpose of a reference librarian, and I began exploring what kind of professional resources exist for reference librarians. I went to the American Library Association page, and I started looking into the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) division. In addition to providing guiding principles for evaluating resources, RUSA provides webinars and online courses related to reference. Within the division, there are also subgroups related to individual interests, including BRASS (Business Reference and Services Section) and RSS (Reference Services Section). These sections often have their own publications, events, and resources; so, helpful information is not lacking within the RUSA division! I was able to access the majority of these resources without logging into my ALA account and will take a look through the site as I think more critically about the guiding purpose of the Scholars’ Commons.