Supporting Change to Meet Current and Future Needs It is clear that developing the educational role for library liaisons outlined in our early discussions at Berkeley will require significant organizational support. Library administrators, not just library liaisons, must provide compelling arguments about the value of including librarians in teaching and learning initiatives. I am grateful for our administrative model, which allows one of my colleagues to provide leadership for collections and scholarly communication, another colleague to provide leadership for public services, and affords me the opportunity to focus on the full spectrum of the Library’s educational initiatives. I can attest to the crucial role of librarians with professional backgrounds and expertise related to assessment, instructional design, learning outcomes, and pedagogy as applied in traditional and e-learning environments. They are able to juxtapose the general information literacy and critical thinking issues with the disciplines and bridge conver- sations between library liaisons, faculty, and other pedagogical specialists on campus. As research libraries explore ways to impact instruction in new and systemic ways, these librarians are essential. One of the challenges of rethinking liaison roles is that the functions identified as having the potential for greatest impact were also the areas that Library’s Educational Initiatives Council members indicated that they did not feel were areas of personal strength. In 2008 the Berkeley Library launched the Instructor Development Program, designed to provide all library instructors with opportunities to improve their skills and expand their knowledge through a structured program that meets their needs and rewards their participation. Chaired by two librarians who apply for a two-year position, this program aims to create a strong community of practice within the organization which will aid us in supporting library liaisons as they take on new and enhanced roles. Many questions remain about the breadth and depth of responsibilities for library liaisons at Berkeley. For at least the next few years, campus conversations are likely to focus on approaches for operating effectively and creatively with fewer resources and fewer staff. While we can hope that the economic pressures relax, on my campus we discuss the current budgetary situation as “the new normal.” As we come to terms with the realities of “the new normal,” develop a clearer vision of the future needs of our faculty and RLI 265 13 Amplifying the Educational Role of Librarians ( C O N T I N U E D ) AUGUST 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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