The old relationship of librarians serving the faculty as research assistants is long gone. The purpose of this paper is to ask, how can librarians and faculty become genuine partners in student learning and move towards the common goal of getting students to think critically? The authors discuss the need for librarians to initiate more collaborative conversations with professors in order to establish true partnerships with them and go on to describe how they did this using a strikingly and alarmingly frank approach. Building on this foundation, the authors discuss the need to shift from a service orientation to a partnership in student learning.
The authors describe their work with the New Faculty Institute, a multi‐day workshop that serves as an introduction to the university, to build upon their assertions regarding the need for instruction librarians to shift from a service orientation to a partnership with professors.
The paper offers an action plan to develop and implement a value system that can guide collaboration with faculty. The pieces of the plan include articulating a teaching philosophy, craft and clarify personal policies, develop and practice responses and have confidence in your expertise.
Developing partnerships with professors may sometimes require librarians to respond differently to requests from professors that are problematic. Doing so requires a move away from a service orientation, but towards collaborative efforts to support student learning.
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