44 · Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
The majority of our librarians have limited disciplinary expertise in their liaison roles, with most holding disciplinary
degrees in English or History.
The ranking above reflects an overview of liaison service positions. These may change in importance depending on the
specific subject area. An example is language skills needed for specific subjects.
This question is ambiguous as to whether it is an entry level or experienced and very discipline specific. Another
qualification could be projecting confidence.
Undergraduate degrees are considered when appointing liaisons, especially when they do not have a second master’s
degree. For 2–3 liaison roles, language expertise is very important for selection (e.g., Humanities Subject Librarian).
Whether or not the MLS or second master’s degree is important depends on the liaison assignment. For the
bioinformatics position, MLS is not required but advanced science degree is.
While a second master’s degree or relevant undergraduate degree can absolutely contribute to the success of a
liaison’s role, we have traditionally hired for relevant library experience and excellent soft skills, which are essential for
effective liaison.
13. Please indicate whether liaison activities are a primary or secondary responsibility for each staff
category. Please make one selection in each row. N=65
Staff Category Primary Secondary Not applicable N
Librarians 61 4 0 65
Other professionals 8 12 37 57
Support staff 5 4 43 52
Other staff category 1 4 42 47
Total responses 61 18 46 65
Comments N=28
As noted above, liaison is a primary responsibility for most librarians who have it, but is indeed secondary for some.
Few liaisons have ONLY liaison responsibilities. Most balance liaison responsibilities with other duties.
For 26 of our liaison librarians, liaison work is their primary activity. Two liaison librarians split their assignments
between liaison work and cataloging.
For librarians in subject specific campus libraries (e.g., education, art, chemistry, etc.) liaison is a primary responsibility.
For those in general libraries, liaison is in most cases a secondary responsibility.
For most librarians who are liaisons, it is a primary responsibility, but for a few it is a secondary role.
For the 30 librarians and 2 staff identified as liaisons, being a liaison is their primary responsibility.
For the few librarians with smaller liaison assignments (e.g., Head of Cataloging as liaison to Judaic Studies), the liaison
responsibility is secondary.
For the librarians in question (liaisons), their liaisons activities are their primary responsibility.
I chose primary but this is very individual—for some it is primary, for some secondary. No one is just a liaison.
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