32 · Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
As expectations evolve, there is continuing discussion within the Collections division. As needed, the associate director
makes statements of policy (especially for changes or in new areas). For several years, we have had a best practices-
oriented meeting series (The Art of Liaison, Instruction, and Selection), which was initiated by one of our front line
librarians: that series taps in-house expertise (and sometimes outside speakers), shares ideas, and builds consensus.
As library faculty members
Before 2014, we revised our guidelines document, in part because we were prompted and influenced by the New Roles
for New Times: Transforming Liaison Roles in Research Libraries report by Jaguszewski &Williams (2013). Our revision
process since then has been a group effort. A subject librarian steering group was created to work with the coordinator
on establishing policies and plans for training.
Coordinator input was solicited in devising documents about liaison roles, and these documents were shared with
liaisons for further comment before codification.
Determining best practices and setting general expectations
Each liaison, in conjunction with his or her supervisor, determines the various ways in which departmental or college-
based assignment require their support (teaching, research consultation sessions, collection content development,
outreach, special projects, etc.) There is no cookie-cutter approach.
Every few years, the documentation is reviewed by subject librarians and their team leaders via committee.
I’m not sure what you mean by “policies.” Liaisons in the department participate in defining liaison activities.
In 2011, a task force with liaison participation created the document “Engaging with Library Users: Sharpening Our
Vision as Subject Librarians for the Duke University Libraries.” We also have template language pertaining to the roles of
subject liaisons that are used to create liaison positions.
Liaison feedback is sought as policies are developed by the head of public services and the director of
collection management.
Liaison librarians contributed to the creation of the core competencies document, and contribute in other ways on an
as-needed basis.
Liaison representatives are members of two councils: User Services Council and Library Resources Council. Policies
developed by councils are approved by the University Librarian’s Cabinet, our senior management group.
Liaisons are consulted as colleagues in the establishment of policies.
Liaisons are dispersed throughout departments within the organizational structure.
Liaisons have various methods for serving their various disciplines. We have some core functions, but each liaison uses
their own best judgment to serve their user groups.
Liaisons participate in planning activities and goals, and provide feedback on policies such as travel funding.
Liaisons share proposals in their home departments, with a library-wide liaison group that meets monthly, and with
Leadership Council as appropriate.
Participating in review of literature, brainstorming sessions, composing and responding to draft policies.
Policy creation grows out of discussions, anecdotal evidence, etc. The details are specified in annual evaluation docs
(annual assignment, goal and objectives, etc.)
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