Library Liaison Program

An Overview:

The Library Liaison Program is designed to facilitate communication and foster collaboration between the Library and the Saint Michael’s College community.

Each academic department and/or major program has a library representative who provides information to faculty on library collections and services. Each liaison is available to faculty for library instruction along with collaboration on library material selection and collection evaluation. Liaisons are available to meet with faculty individually and in groups for consultation regarding new research databases, orientation to information resources, developing web-based guides for subject disciplines and senior seminars, and guidance for research projects.

Communications among liaisons and faculty may be formal or informal. Methods, content, amount and frequency of communications vary depending on the subject discipline and faculty needs.

The primary goals of the Library Liaison Program are to:

  • Acquaint students, faculty and staff with the Library's collections and services.
  • Provide Library assistance to students, faculty and staff, including, but not limited to: library instruction, individual research, interlibrary loan and assistance in the development of course assignments requiring library research.
  • Work with departments in meeting the educational mission of Saint Michael's College, including identifying academic priorities, curricular development and accreditation.
  • Build and develop the Library collection in all formats, including the selection of books, journals, electronic resources, audiovisual and digital media to ensure relevancy to the curriculum.
  • Promote new and current Library services to the Saint Michael's College community.

The Role of the Liaison:

  • The Liaison serves as the primary contact between their assigned department(s) and the Library. The departments serve as a crucial link in helping the Library staff identify curricular needs and provide Library support.
  • Library liaisons initiate contact with faculty members in their departments at least once per academic year to provide information about collections and services. Liaisons make a special effort to contact and meet with recently-appointed faculty. The Library encourages academic departments to invite library liaisons to department meetings at least once a year, preferably at a meeting early in the Fall semester.
  • Liaisons assume responsibility for a range of collection development activities associated with one or more subject areas.

Liaisons:

  • Develop and maintain a knowledge of information resources within a given subject area(s)
  • Stay current on curriculum changes and faculty changes within their subject areas
  • Provide research assistance (serve at the reference desk, schedule research consultations, answer email queries)
  • Schedule and teach library research instruction for individual courses
  • Initiate orders and are familiar with the acquisitions process
  • Maintain an awareness of library material expenditures within the confines of budget allocation
  • Develop subject pages for the Library web site
  • Notify faculty, staff and students about new library services and materials of potential interest
  • Evaluate collection strengths and weaknesses
  • Maintain on-going review of print and electronic serial subscriptions and options for alternative access
  • Assist faculty in proposing a new course offering by determining the adequacy of library holdings
  • May provide support for accreditation review processes, new academic programs, and grant proposals
  • Review gift books (when possible) that fall within a liaison’s subject area

Liaison assignments are based on several factors: academic background, subject interest, current workload and willingness to become familiar with departments and/or subject areas with which the Liaison may not have had previous experience. Occasionally, departments may be reassigned due to changes in staffing or workload, however, every attempt is made to ensure continuity and consistency.

The library liaison is expected to be generally well-informed about the Library’s collections, services, policies, and resources and skilled in interpreting and promoting these to faculty and students in his or her academic unit. The liaison is also expected to become knowledgeable of the subject matter and nature of the teaching and research conducted by the academic unit, particularly with regard to changes in teaching and scholarly communication within the discipline. Liaisons work together with teaching faculty to ensure that relevant information literacy skills and tools are incorporated into academic programs.

Library Liaisons listed by Area of Responsibility

Maintained by Laura Crain

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