18 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 294 2018 services were designed around a print paradigm, and need to be redesigned in light of changing contexts. The paradigm shift also comes from considering who the usable information is for—global social justice demands that we think differently than we have in the past about the people who create, share, and use knowledge and information. Discovery services provide a good example. Discovery, as all liaisons know, is mighty challenging. Difficulties include: business models in which various systems do not play well together and where users are confronted by many stand-alone search interfaces systems that have privileged only some types, sources, formats and descriptions of information relevant research spread across many languages complexity derived from storing and describing geographically dispersed physical objects and our hybrid world in which it is hard to mesh the properties of print and digital information for users. The difficulty in just finding information has made reference work, library instruction, and consultations a vital part of liaison work. Shifting liaison work toward fixing the broken or inadequate parts of the system still puts liaisons at the center of helping users find and access relevant information. Through design and the affordances of technology, liaisons can help improve future discovery in powerful ways that reach well beyond some of the limits we currently face in making liaison expertise available. Below are a few additional hypothetical examples about optimizing the use of information that begin to suggest how MIT liaisons’ work will align with future library directions:
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