And now for a short update on our Liaison Collections Responsibilities Task Force. For the most part we have finished our opening tasks: defining the current mix of collections, instruction, and outreach responsibilities, and outlining the evolution of collections work at UNCG. Defining liaison responsibilities might be of interest to a wider audience, so I thought I would share that.
We still need to write a narrative introduction to this section describing how the actual work a liaison does varies by departments being served. Certainly one’s skill sets will impact what liaison work gets done, too. The breadth of this list may make more creative organizational models of achieving liaison goals necessary, as opposed to our current traditional approach of each individual liaison being expected to be able to handle all these tasks.
One of my colleagues (a particularly successful and enterprising liaison, in my opinion) reviewed a draft version of this list and responded “Are these things we should do or things we are doing? Good grief. It makes me want to go fetal just looking at all of that.”
The task force’s next step: benchmarking what organizational models other libraries are developing to handle the evolving expectations of liaison work.
Major Responsibilities of Liaisons
- Teach library & research instruction for classes, departments and other groups (ex. new graduate students) in classrooms and computer labs as well as online using distance education software.
- Work with professors on information literacy goals, instructional design and creating research assignments.
- Create and maintain class guides (ex. Libguides) and Blackboard links to library resources.
- Create digital learning objects (ex. videos) to assist with instruction.
- Assess information literacy skills.
2. Research support & consulting
- Provide consultations to students and faculty on research.
- Provide subject-specific research and reference services in person and through email, phone, chat, DE software, etc.
- Provide support of citation management tools, current awareness tools, and others.
3. Outreach & Promotion
- Provide outreach to departments, schools, Living Learning Communities (LLCs), student groups, and academic and service centers.
- Embed in classes and LLCs.
- Participate in faculty and departmental events and monitor departmental, school, and student organization developments through social media.
- Create digital objects (ex. videos) to support outreach and promotion.
- Oversee development of print book collections and approval plans; coordinate the work of faculty liaisons in firm order budget selecting; select books as needed.
- Evaluate parameters and options for patron-select ebooks.
- Evaluate databases, ebook packages, and other resources for potential purchase or subscription; advocate for subscriptions funded through the database, serials, and distance education budgets.
- Evaluate subscriptions for possible cancellations and weed physical collections to support space planning goals.
- Share news of new and updated resources with faculty.
- Analyze usage data.
5. Scholarly Communication
- Promote open access and other scholarly communication options to faculty.
- Promote submitting content to NC DOCKS and the publishing of electronic journals using Open Journal System software.
- Keep up with trends and developments and share them with faculty as needed.
6. Professional/Skills Development
- Maintain and develop skills in teaching, outreach, and technology.
- Maintain and develop subject expertise and knowledge of subject-specific research tools
- Maintain training-level knowledge of general-use scholarly tools like EndNote, Web of Science, etc.