2.0 Takes on Traditional Roles I have been a liaison for my entire nine-year career as a librarian, and my responsibilities have always been divided into what one colleague refers to as the “holy trinity” of liaison librarianship: reference, instruction, and collection development. I have seen each element of the trinity reconstructed in the past decade. Newer virtual reference services are transforming the ways in which librarians reach out to their patrons—and, more importantly, the ways in which their patrons communicate with them. This change has been so striking that many libraries, including my own science reference center, are doing away with their traditional reference desks in favor of virtual service. Additionally, we have noted in science reference services at NYU that we are seeing an increase in in- depth, sometimes in-office, reference consultations even though our science reference desk statistics are trending downward. Such consultations provide a cornerstone for me as I actively build relationships with students, faculty, and researchers. Those relationships, created with thoughtful, targeted outreach programs, are at the core of our role as middleware and will be an increasingly important component of the work of liaison 2.0. For example, one outreach effort I created in our science reference center at NYU is a research salon held three times each semester. Each salon features a presentation of one graduate student’s or faculty member’s research, bringing together researchers from across the sciences. These salons allow those researchers to network in ways that might not otherwise be possible, and it allows our science librarians to interact face-to-face with researchers that they might not otherwise be reaching. The second arm of the liaison holy trinity, instructional services, has also been transformed by liaison 2.0. “Course embedded librarians,” who provide course-integrated information literacy instruction are the new norm. For the better part of the last decade, liaison librarians have been reaching out to the faculty members to partner in teaching students in new ways. My own participation in instruction has grown from an introductory library tour in an undergraduate chemistry class to a course-integrated week of instruction culminating in the completion of an assignment that I designed. What do these trends mean for liaison librarians? I now need robust continuing education to enhance the effectiveness of my teaching and expose me to smart instructional design techniques. I need to hone my skills in developing RLI 265 30 New Roles of Liaison Librarians: A Liaison’s Perspective ( C O N T I N U E D ) AUGUST 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC Like many liaison librarians, I confront the challenge of functioning in the “2.0 mode” while continuing to provide all the services I have in the past.
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