Association of Research Libraries
Research Library Issues 291 — 2017
of services and collections will lend itself to greater advocacy for
and recognition of the role of the librarian in the research process.
All academic librarians should seek out ways to deliberately intersect
areas of expertise, to try new services, events, projects, or programs
that combine these intersections, bringing forth high levels of expertise
in different areas into juxtaposition. Implementing these practices can
facilitate the discovery and production of more scholarly output and
projects with greater impact on the university community: “In fact,
many times there is a pivotal moment in our encounters with library
patrons or colleagues that hinges on the possibilities that are opened
by this collaborative moment.”11 It is in these moments that librarians
build further connections and improve the work everyone does.
Administrators, supervisors, and department heads should
work together in synchronizing and sharing their departmental
goals, examining how these goals complement and intersect
with each other. This will facilitate more collaborative work
in a meaningful way that feels sanctioned, and will help move
departments, and hence the entire organization forward.
Shaping departmental goals that are both aligned with the larger
library and the academic institution as a whole, as well as across
departments, will also help cultivate this holistic environment.
Naturally, there are times when there is no need to collaborate but,
even in recognizing this, it is beneficial to observe and listen to the
type of request or work that needs to be done and what might make
it more complete and helpful for all stakeholders. Drawing upon
and using connections between what liaison and special collections
librarians do and what they have, regardless of budgetary constraints,
helps fortify how they assist and partner with their community.