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Friday, November 7 • 12:45pm - 2:00pm
Managing to the Center: Balancing the Academic Library Seesaw

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In many respects, librarians have for some time been living with a foot in two worlds—the past and the present -- while anticipating an ever-changing future. They’ve long pondered the evolution of materials formats, from film strips to videos to DVDs, from hard cover to paperback to microforms, agonizing over cost, space, and usability. More recently they have struggled with how to balance teaching and promotion of their services with the more classic responsibilities of collecting. Daunting tasks, to be sure. In this session, academic-library presenters will focus on the personnel side of the two-worlds conundrum. They will discuss some of the challenges faced by liaison librarians, and their supervisors, who work in an environment which is almost permanently in transition. What skills do liaison librarians need to have to select and develop collections, present them to their user communities, and help those users navigate both the traditional and the emerging information landscape? What can managers do to encourage librarians to develop and maintain an ever- broadening range of skills? How can supervisors anticipate the necessary abilities and perspectives, and ensure their teams have the right mix? How can we "manage to the center,” keeping that seat in the middle of the academic library seesaw – the one that honors the essential past while embracing present changes and future possibilities--from tipping too far in either direction?Attendees will be invited to share their thoughts and comments and engage in dialogue on this topic. Discussion questions will be distributed to the audience as they arrive.


Harriet Lightman

Head, Research & Learning Services, Northwestern University Libraries
Harriet Lightman heads Research & Learning Services at Northwestern University Library, and is the library's long-time liaison for history. She was formerly the Head of Academic Liaison Services, and Head of Research & Information Services at Northwestern, and served as a liaison... Read More →

Marianne Ryan

Associate University Librarian, User Strategies, Northwestern University Libraries

Friday November 7, 2014 12:45pm - 2:00pm EST
Ashley Room, Courtyard Marriott 125 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401