SPEC Kit 349: Evolution of Library Liaisons · 99
regarding the question about goals, individual liaisons set goals as part of their overall goal setting at the beginning
of each evaluation year these are set in consultation with their director supervisor(s). The maximum number of
departments that are assigned to one liaison is approximate, as some liaisons have programs and inter-disciplinary
institutes assigned to them, others are curators of collections. Also note that this does not apply to the non-academic
portion of the answers above, as those assignments are currently with a few number of librarians.
Our liaison has been unstructured and free form. We plan this year to appoint a position to coordinate liaison services.
This individual will be responsible for creating and implementing a formal program.
Thanks for this survey. Lots of interesting questions here!! Apologies for not being able to answer so many of them!!
I think that many of the answers to these questions are somewhat nuanced, particularly given the degree of variability
across units, and across individual approaches to liaison roles.
The Associate Dean, Research Services, position coordinates the liaisons, leads twice monthly meetings, and heads the
CD Committee.
The extent to which liaisons embrace and offer expanded roles or new things (such as data management, metrics and
impact training, etc.) varies widely across the Libraries. More changes are coming, including de-emphasis of title-by-title
selection, which challenges some liaisons given that their careers and professional identities are associated with the
(largely print) collections they’ve built and maintain.
The role of the Personal Librarian (liaison) evolves as each librarian seeks ways to best meet the needs of the faculty and
students in their subject areas.
This is a very recent shift, approximately four months into organizational restructuring. It would help to have ARL
standards and guidelines and models and benchmarks for liaison work so that we could have some standardization
among the ARLs.
We are currently reviewing and recasting our liaison program to focus specifically on the scholarly engine at the
university, that is, the processes of research and knowledge creation that result in the production of, dissemination of,
preservation of, and access to our scholarly output.
We are just beginning work on formalizing expectations and evaluation of liaison services. It would be interesting to see
where we are in a year or two.
We have a number of functional specialists, not subject-based, that provide support to our faculty and other community
members. Examples are our copyright and licensing librarian and the head of our scholarly communication center.
We have found that librarians who come in with a great deal of subject expertise in the disciplines of their assigned
departments are better able to gain the trust of the faculty and to integrate and collaborate within their assigned
departments. The trend for us has been to hire liaison librarians with deep subject knowledge, and they obtain the MLS
after being hired.
We were an early adopter of liaison services, and for the most part have kept up with the changing scholarly
communication landscape in order to work effectively with faculty. Because we have a separate data management
services unit that reports to the director of our entrepreneurial library program, we have been less active in that area.
Liaisons connect faculty to that staff and provide basic information on data management.
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