Not at your service: building genuine faculty‐librarian partnerships

Yvonne Nalani Meulemans (Information Literacy Program, CSU San Marcos, San Marcos, California, USA)
Allison Carr (Information Literacy Program, CSU San Marcos, San Marcos, California, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Publication date: 15 February 2013



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.



Nalani Meulemans, Y. and Carr, A. (2013), "Not at your service: building genuine faculty‐librarian partnerships", Reference Services Review, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 80-90.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.