Tag Archives: faculty-librarian relationships

“Just Like When I Was a Liaison”: Applying a Liaison Approach to Functional Library Models

By Kristin Hoffmann, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of Western Ontario
and
Emily Carlisle-Johnston, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of Western Ontario

Abstract

In this exploratory paper we consolidate themes discussed in literature to highlight three principles of liaison librarianship: building relationships, anticipating and meeting needs, and drawing on specialized expertise. These principles capture how liaison librarians approach their professional activities and together comprise what we define as a liaison approach. Through stories of our own work as scholarly communication librarians, we explore how a liaison approach can extend beyond subject liaison models to be relevant for librarians in functional roles. In sharing our stories, we prompt academic librarians in a variety of roles to consider how the perspective of a liaison approach might be helpful in their work. We offer this perspective, too, as a new lens through which librarians and library administrators may view organizational restructures, so as to address challenges that may be reproduced or replicated when a library moves from subject liaison model to functional model.

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An Analysis of Relationship-Building in Liaison Work: Defining the Importance of “Hangout Activity”

By Ellen Hampton Filgo
and Sha Towers
Baylor University Libraries

Ellen: While waiting in line at my library’s Starbucks, I ran into a faculty member with whom I’ve had a few successful instruction sessions. He mentioned that he and his research collaborators were beginning a new project and were about to meet to talk about it, so he invited me over to discuss an aspect of their literature review that they were struggling with. Since then, every time they begin a new project, they invite me to collaborate with them on their literature search.  They call me their “secret weapon.”

Sha: Whenever I am in the art department, I pass through the hall with faculty offices, which often leads to impromptu conversations. During one of those conversations a few years ago, it became clear to me that an event displaying artists’ books that I was planning to hold at the library would really work better in the department, in a high traffic area that might draw a larger audience. The event ended up being a huge success, and several faculty members, noticing all the excitement, asked if they could bring their classes down to be a part of the experience. The interactions with faculty and students at that event generated library instruction sessions for other courses as well as students wanting to make appointments to see more of the collection at the library.

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