Thursday, August 12, 2010

Library Liaisons Meet

The Library Liaisons met for a luncheon workshop on Wednesday, August 11. Prior to the luncheon, everyone reviewed four documents that concerned liaison responsibilities and policies. One document was a dated work entitled “Liaison Functions,” which was accepted by the UNCG Collection Management Committee in April 1998. The other three documents concerned liaison responsibilities and policies at three other universities—the University of Connecticut, Indiana-University-Perdue-University-Indianapolis (IUPUI), and Boise State University. Although the “Liaisons Functions” document from UNCG is dated and excludes user services responsibilities, it does provide some good information on collection management and development, as well as emphasizing the importance of communication and cooperation with teaching faculty. After discussing all four documents, the liaisons agreed that UNCG needed a new document that would summarize liaison responsibilities. The UCONN and IUPUI documents provide a good outline for such a new document—being 2-to-4 pages in length and highlighting both collections and user services responsibilities, as well as emphasizing the importance of communication and cooperation with teaching faculty. Stephen Dew and Kathy Crowe agreed to write the first draft of a new document for UNCG, which will later be shared with all liaisons for review.

The liaisons agreed that the luncheon workshop was a worthwhile event and that it was good to meet occasionally as a separate group, outside the regular monthly Collection Management Committee meetings, which include other members and focus entirely on collection responsibilities and issues. This summer, the Reference Department started a series of Round Table Meetings for liaisons to discuss instruction and user services responsibilities, and these events will be continued (probably just during interim periods). The liaisons agreed to continue the workshop luncheons (like this one) and to hold two each year, December and May, at the end of each semester.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

ASERL's summer summit

I attended the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) workshop because it was focused on the future of the government documents depository system in the southeast region. ASERL is trying to work within the system (and Title 44) to create a new model for depository libraries. The restrictions for being in the Federal Depository Library Program can be overly strict and at times archaic, but its overarching goal is valid--ensuring future access to government information.

The ASERL proposal attempts to create a regional focus for our depositories and to create Centers of Excellence (depositories that commit to collecting comprehensively in a particular agency or sub-agency). These centers would ensure that schools in the southeast have access to stronger print collections than one individual regional school could produce alone. (And I hear you asking already: "Isn't everything already online?" No, not everything is born-digital and no, not everything is being digitized. Not even all of the important stuff is being digitized. No one has the money to digitize it all, even Google). The idea is great and needed, but it will be a long process to get to that point. The group met (mostly government docs librarians and deans) to work through the report and brainstorm and collaborate on improvement. Hopefully this approach will make the FDLP system stronger! UNCG may try to become a Center of Excellence for a smaller agency or sub-agency, but more to come as we move forward.