Introduction: summer projects underway
This has been a week to start digging into summer projects. Professor Williamson and I are no longer requiring the MKT 426 students to buy a thick and expensive commercial textbook on international marketing, and so I’m working on identifying alternative readings from sources like Export.gov, the SBA, WTO, and Export-Import Bank. There are also some concise, practical DRM-free ebooks regarding exporting and export promotion from our Business Expert Press package.
I also made a first pass of updating the MKT 426 Export Odyssey project manual. Except for Business & Company Resource Center becoming Business Insights, there were no major resource changes needed. But we have plans to reorganize some of the deliverables which will require rewriting and expanding some of the research instructions especially regarding use of 8-digit SIC codes in Hoovers.
This month our conversion to WorldCat Local was completed (although a lot of work still needs to be done apparently). I did some Libguide triage for links and search boxes for the new catalog and the new journal look-up system. No more Journal Finder, which was created here – two Economics professors have already asked what happened to Journal Finder. I told them the new product will eventually improve.
I worked a little on the two panel discussions I’ll be participating in at NCLA 2013 this October. One will be based on the Metrolina Information Literacy conference panel about liaison trends I mentioned last March (4th paragraph). Metrolina was last Thursday and the program went well with good attendance and plenty of discussion. I always like hearing about innovative outreach and embedded work other liaisons are doing. The second panel at NCLA will focus on “outreach to faculty in the digital age” and is being organized by the able Anders Selhorst of GTCC.
Finally Nataly Blas (Diversity Resident Librarian and future business librarian) and I are working with a favorite management instructor to get Nataly embedded into his sections of MGT 491, Business Policy and Strategy. That’s the capstone course for management; in it the students conduct a significant research project. I think I’ll get Nataly to pay me back for helping her get embedded by asking her to write a blog post here about her experience with that class!
Liaison reorganization update
Meanwhile our liaisons have begun working in our new organization framework and it seems to be going well. Each of the subject teams has met once so far. The teams had the agenda of electing a team leader (at least for the first year) and a collections coordinator, and creating summer goals and first-year goals. One of those goals is detailed curriculum-mapping. We will use that analysis to address several of weaknesses our liaisons identified last summer when we began considering a new liaison organizational model.
On Monday a Communication Studies professor who teaches and trains on teamwork provided an interactive 90-minute workshop on small group and team communication. Almost all the liaisons were able to attend, including folks based in other departments and our single branch library. It was useful and reinforced that we are trying to work together in more productive ways.
Since the initial team meetings, the team leaders have meet with Mary Krautter, our liaison department head, to further discuss the team goals and to begin working together as a leadership group.
Meanwhile the liaison reorg planning committee and the head of the Humanities team met with the head of our Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) department to discuss that department’s involvement with the Humanities and Instruction teams. Under new leadership, SCUA is prioritizing outreach and teaching. Therefore SCUA and the liaison department will be working closer together. A good development for everyone.
Biggest question mark
The biggest question mark concerns staffing the reference desk. The long-term plan is not to have liaisons on the desk anymore, but we don’t have the staffing to make that happen this year. (Eventually will we probably just have a single service desk on the first floor covering circulation and reference functions.) We are creating a Reference Service functional team to coordinate the desk and chat reference. The work of this team and its coordinator will free up time for Mary our liaison department head to focus more on managing liaison services. That development is really important to the long-term success of our liaison reorganization.
Oh, we also need a new name for the Reference & Instructional Services department. We will work on that this fall. That will be a fun discussion.
No, not really! Ugh.