48 · SPEC Kit 301
Challenge 1 Challenge 2 Challenge 3
Sustaining connections. Managing expectations. Time management.
The primary challenge our subject
librarians face is the large number
of faculty and departments to which
they are assigned. The subject
librarians typically don’t have the
time needed to give the personalized
service desired.
The second challenge is gaining
acceptance into the departments
to which the subject librarians are
assigned. Some faculty are busy and
reluctant to meet with librarians
or fail to see the relevance of the
The third challenge is managing
time. Our subject librarians, in
addition to liaison duties, also are
responsible for a range of other
functions: collection development
and management, reference,
instruction, scholarship and creative
professional work, and management.
There is not enough money in the
acquisitions budget to acquire all the
materials the faculty and graduate
students need.
We do not have enough staff
to provide the type of in-depth
assistance the faculty really need.
We need to promote services, but
also need to stop short before
creating demand we cannot meet.
Time and competing demands.
Time and fragmentation due to
multiple assignments.
Developing partnerships with faculty
who have an antiquated view of
libraries or who don’t really care.
Continued development of expertise;
keeping up with all they need to
Time available; need to prioritize and
be selective about outreach efforts.
Uneven responsiveness from
Difficulty in establishing good
communication channels with the
department and not being limited to
working relationships with individual
Time for liaisons to perform liaison
Funding for library materials. Department’s willingness to
Time versus increased
Breadth of subject responsibility
keeps increasing; our staff availability
remains stable/stagnant.
Ageing population of liaisons,
lacking technology skills needed to
remain relevant to current faculty
and students.
To get faculty to accept librarians
into the departmental meetings.
To get faculty to allow librarians
present information to their classes.
To be accepted as colleagues.
Willingness of departments to
include the liaison in their faculty
meetings or share departmental
Some liaisons are not comfortable
with approaching departments.
Some liaisons feel that they are
bibliographers and spend a good
deal of time on collection building
and the mechanics of getting
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