Liaison Services · 43
Challenge 1 Challenge 2 Challenge 3
Communicating relevant information
to faculty and students when they
need it.
Determining the best way to
get chairs, departmental library
committees, and individual faculty to
respond to our e-mail, newsletters,
offers of assistance. Some academic
units are much more responsive
than others, and so it becomes a
challenge for collection managers to
develop useful relationships with the
Defining scope of liaison role and
core service expectations for liaisons.
Balancing liaison role with other
professional responsibilities.
Getting ‘attention’ of liaison
departments and faculty on a regular
Departmental cultures vary widely.
Liaisons must delve to determine the
culture of the department and then
develop services which work within
that culture. Some departments, for
example, do not want to receive
regular communications from their
liaisons and instead prefer to contact
liaisons as needed.
Effectively marketing resources
and services to constituents who
are increasingly dispersed, and
sometimes not physically present
in departments. Departmental
culture plays into this, as does the
location of the library related to
the department. Some librarians
now offer onsite reference hours
in departments to decrease this
distance; this has been very
Resource challenges related to
supporting new programs. Some
liaison librarians who are effectively
integrated into departments/schools
are in the conversations from the
beginning, while others are not.
Attempting to redirect already
limited resources to support new
programs which often require
large expenditures for startup can
be problematic. Some schools have
begun offering startup funds for
library materials, similar to startup
resources for labs.
Discussing budget cuts. Encouraging participation. Introducing new services and
information in new formats.
Encouraging departments and
faculty to take full advantage of
Library services.
Ensuring that other responsibilities of
liaisons leave them sufficient time to
establish and cultivate relationships
with faculty and students.
Most liaisons handle multiple
departments, and occasionally
liaisons occasionally work with
fields outside their area of principal
Encouraging faculty to remember
to contact the liaison if there is a
change in the curriculum or their
research needs.
Working with the faculty to integrate
information literacy into the
Getting faculty to respond to
outreach efforts.
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