the expectations and the roles of librarians. We have also created some specialized positions to support and extend the work of liaisons. Examples of this include the Information Literacy Coordinator, the Grants Coordinator, and the Media Outreach and Learning Spaces Librarian. The institution has also supported working groups that investigate roles that are wholly new, like that of supporting e-scholarship. Our campus VP for Research, the CIO, and the University Librarian recently created a group called the Research Cyberinfrastructure Alliance and charged them with “exploring research infrastructure needs and evaluating models that might align existing and new resources for more robust and effective support.” Both liaison and technology librarians are working with this group and, to date, they have developed a conceptual map of cyberinfrastructure components. Going forward, they will be developing guiding principles, identifying resource requirements, documenting existing capacity, and evaluating budget models. What Gives? While roles for liaisons are expanding, the number of hours in a day is not. Like libraries everywhere, we face the inevitable question of what we stop doing in order to accommodate new demands on librarians’ time. We have done several things to address this so far. A process improvement project entitled “From Selection to Access” resulted in much streamlined ordering processes and a significant increase in the use of approval plans, freeing up liaison time. We have made a distinction between what patrons can expect from on-demand reference services (walk-in desks) and expert help services, available by appointment. We are consolidating service points and decreasing the amount of time that librarians spend at reference desks. These changes have helped, but there is more work to do in this arena. Parting Thoughts Libraries face an ever-changing landscape with no shortage of opportunities to enhance the research, teaching, and learning enterprise. We consider our Position Description Framework a living document that needs regular review for alignment with a constantly evolving environment in fact, some areas mentioned above are the result of a very recent revision. This working document reflects one institution’s view of new roles for liaison librarians, but there are many others who are grappling with and outlining new roles as well. In a talk at RLI 265 7 A Framework for Articulating New Library Roles ( 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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