Loyola/Notre Dame Library is a 501(c)(3) organization supporting two Master’s Large universities in Baltimore. In 2013-2014, two project leaders comprehensively reviewed the library’s liaison program. This poster will display research and tools developed to assist liaisons and identify findings during the pilot phase of the program’s rollout in fall 2014. Special focus will be placed on liaisons’ interaction with new faculty.
During fall 2013, the project leaders performed a literature review plus conducted two online surveys, individual interviews with librarian liaisons, and over fifty individual interviews with faculty. Research findings indicated that the liaison program was too focused on collection development, that academic liaison duties are changing dramatically, and that the liaison program was only moderately successful at maintaining communication between librarians and faculty. In the “just-in-time” environment of acquisitions, liaisons are shifting from content selection and subject expertise toward functional specializations such as copyright and technology. Our program lacked structure; leadership; training; and collaboration and communication among liaisons.
The project leaders developed a working plan to prepare for program rollout in August 2014, focusing on structure and training, faculty participation, and engagement of new tenure-track faculty. One committee wrote liaison guidelines; developed a checklist of expected liaison duties; identified areas of functional expertise; and placed liaisons into working groups around broad subject areas. A second committee developed and piloted a timeline, outreach scripts, and a checklist to communicate with new faculty. Liaisons will work closely with new faculty through three semesters, at which point the faculty will be asked to provide feedback for program improvement.
Liaison program development occurred during unexpected staff turnover. Therefore, portions of the program were delayed and will be developed during the next year. These areas include creating a training program (to be tested on new library hires) and identifying additional program assessment criteria.
This poster was also prepared by Joanne Helouvry, Head of Research & Instruction Services, Loyola/Notre Dame Library, who was unable to attend the Conference.