By Garrett Trott
Faculty are often known for their depth of knowledge in a particular domain. From this depth, faculty teach, introducing students to various disciplines. While it is not uncommon for librarians to have advanced degrees in specific fields along with a master’s degree in library science (or a related field), they often offer services such as information literacy instruction and reference inquiries for disciplines where they may not know much more about the topic than students. Unfortunately, a librarian’s lack of disciplinary mastery may be challenging when collaborating with faculty, individuals with expertise. Additionally, departmental silos, often made up of individuals who have mastered a specific discipline and the subsequent disciplinary jargon, are typical in many academic contexts and can easily intimidate any individual lacking expertise. While interdisciplinary work has striven to bridge departmental silos, the knowledge needed to work in almost any discipline can be provoking and challenge many interdisciplinary components of academia.
Continue reading Connecting with Faculty and Students by Taking Courses: The Role of Humility in Building Relationships
Michelle Bishop, First-Year Experience Librarian,
Nicole Westerdahl, Research, Instruction, and Outreach Librarian,
and Deborah Bauder, Research, Instruction, and Outreach Librarian,
State University of New York at Oswego
By its very nature, the traditional one-shot information literacy instruction session goes against most pedagogical best practices, yet remains a common format for instruction in academic libraries. The typical one-shot, as implied by its name, is a one-time instructional session where librarians provide varying levels of instruction on library or research related topics. The persistent struggles associated with this teaching model continue to dominate the information literacy literature. The history of this discussion has centered on debates about the instructional role of librarians, calls for better collaborations with discipline faculty, meaningful assessment, inclusive teaching practices, librarian burnout, and effective professional development. Despite the abundance of articles addressing these challenges, librarians continue to grapple with this instructional method and to explore creative approaches to mitigate the many well-documented pedagogical challenges of the one-shot.
Continue reading Negotiating the Power Dynamics of Librarian-Led Instruction: Strategies for Overcoming the Limits of One-Shot Instruction
By Kristin Hoffmann, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of Western Ontario
Emily Carlisle-Johnston, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of Western Ontario
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.
Continue reading “Just Like When I Was a Liaison”: Applying a Liaison Approach to Functional Library Models
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.
Continue reading An Analysis of Relationship-Building in Liaison Work: Defining the Importance of “Hangout Activity”