This SPEC Kit explores the current roles of liaisons in ARL libraries, any changes in focus in their interactions with academic departments, whether liaisons are being reactive to faculty and student needs, partners in providing teaching/library instruction, and pioneers in the new electronic world or have limited involvement with the academic departments. It documents how libraries mix the activities of traditional liaison responsibilities with the new trends that are fostered by the evolving needs of today’s library patrons.
The survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member libraries in May 2007. Sixty-six libraries—63 academic and 3 non-academic—responded by the deadline for a 54% response rate. Only one of the academic libraries does not provide liaison services to academic departments in their university; these services are not applicable to the non-academic libraries. Twenty-nine of the responding libraries (49%) began offering liaison services before 1980.
This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents in the form of descriptions of liaison roles, responsibilities, and services offered, job descriptions, and training materials for liaisons.