Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Notes from Liaison Brown Bag Meeting

Liaison Brown Bag
Brainstorming about Liaison Qualities

From Stephen Dew:

On August 20, the Library Liaisons gathered in Jackson 574 for a Brown Bag Luncheon to discuss ideas and mutual concerns as the new academic year approached. Steve Cramer facilitated the discussion, and the brainstorming session resulted in the following list of qualities that are desired for liaisons, as well as the additional lists of actions that would support four of the desired qualities.

Q: What qualities would faculty like in their liaisons?

A: The liaison should be…
  1. Proactive
  2. Able to listen
  3. Flexible
  4. Informed about the department
  5. Responds to questions promptly
  6. Involved with teaching
  7. Informed about the discipline
  8. Open to change
  9. Communicates new trends in libraries
  10. Not annoying
  11. Available but not pushy
  12. Informative

Q: What can a liaison do to exhibit each quality?

We discussed the following four qualities:

Staying informed about the discipline:
  • Get a degree in that field
  • Read professional listservs and blogs; read library specialty listservs
  • Peruse the core journals
  • Work with student groups
  • Learn what the PhD students are working on – they are often more cutting edge than the faculty
  • Read the syllabi, especially for seminar classes
  • Ask
  • Join the academic (not librarian) professional association

Informed about the department
  • Go to faculty meetings
  • Review curriculum changes we learn about through Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
  • Keep up with Information Literacy mandates and plans, and info lit ideas
  • Use the Statement of Needs forms
  • Stay in touch regularly
  • Read their publications/listen to their performances: These are often posted on the departmental web site and NCDOCKS
  • C.V.’s posted online; Research projects (don’t always become peer-reviewed articles); Web of Science
  • Research assignments: Ask about; Talk to T.A.’s about; Get added to Blackboard; Bulletin; Look for syllabi posted online

Being available but not pushy
  • Have office hours
  • Reminders of your availability
  • Leave things in the student lounge / utilize those spaces
  • Attend receptions, events, special lectures – be seen, especially outside of normal business hours
  • Cold calls to teachers
  • Short visits
  • Use the Blackboard library interface; use liaison chat widgets

Don’t be annoying:
  • Limit your communication to important things
  • Don’t go to all events
  • Ask how you should communicate
  • AA = Avoid Acronyms
  • Stress positivity (remain realistic)
  • Remain user-centered, not library-centered

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