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Article

Cynthia C. Ryans, Raghini S. Suresh and Wei‐Ping Zhang

Liaison programmes have been in existence in academic libraries fora number of years. A liaison programme is a co‐operative agreementbetween the library and academic units…

Abstract

Liaison programmes have been in existence in academic libraries for a number of years. A liaison programme is a co‐operative agreement between the library and academic units to foster better communication, improve services and enhance collection development. In order for it to be operated effectively such a programme needs to be assessed on an ongoing basis. Reports the findings of an assessment survey which was conducted in the spring of 1992 at Kent State University Libraries and Media Services, Kent, Ohio. The assessment of this programme offers some guidelines for assessing similar programmes at other institutions.

Details

Library Review, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

John Rodwell and Linden Fairbairn

Many university libraries are adopting a faculty liaison librarian structure as an integral part of their organization and service delivery model. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

Many university libraries are adopting a faculty liaison librarian structure as an integral part of their organization and service delivery model. This paper aims to examine, in a pragmatic way, the variations in the definition of the role of the faculty liaison librarian, the expectations of those librarians, their library managers and their clients and the impact of environmental factors. The faculty liaison librarian role is not entirely new, evolving from the traditional subject librarian and university special/branch library role. However the emerging role is characterized by a more outward‐looking perspective and complexity, emphasizing stronger involvement and partnership with the faculty and direct engagement in the University's teaching and research programs.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a review of the literature and other sources on the rationale and role of library liaison, the current developments, drivers and expectations are discussed.

Findings

The study finds that dynamic external and internal environments of universities are driving the evolution of library liaison, so the role description is still fluid. However, the breadth and weight of expectations is now such that the effectiveness and sustainability of the role has to be addressed.

Practical implications

While a dynamic, broader and more intensive role for the faculty liaison librarian is emerging, more thinking is needed about the extent of that role and its sustainability. What, for example, are the priorities for the faculty liaison librarian? What traditional activities can, and may, have to be abandoned? These considerations are necessary not only to guide the librarians, but also to help define the attributes and skills required for the position and to determine the institutional support it requires.

Originality/value

This is a contemporary critique of the well‐established, but diverse library service – the faculty liaison librarian structure.

Details

Library Management, vol. 29 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article

Raghini S. Suresh, Cynthia C. Ryans and Wei‐Ping Zhang

The primary function of an academic library is to serve as aninformation resource centre for the entire academic community. In orderto provide better service to academic…

Abstract

The primary function of an academic library is to serve as an information resource centre for the entire academic community. In order to provide better service to academic patrons, liaison programmes have been established in some colleges and universities. Very little has been written on liaison activities or the role of subject specialists in academic libraries. Focusses on how to implement a successful liaison programme in order to facilitate library collection building and improve communication with the academic units. Defines the concept of liaison librarians and library representatives in academic units, and provides suggestions for setting up such a programme.

Details

Library Review, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

Ramirose Ilene Attebury and Joshua Finnell

The purpose of this paper is to analyze job advertisements in United States academic libraries in order to determine the prevalence of jobs that contain a liaison

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze job advertisements in United States academic libraries in order to determine the prevalence of jobs that contain a liaison component. It also aims to report on a survey of current library science graduate students to assess their level of understanding of what liaison work entails and what type of preparation they have had for such work in their LIS program.

Design/methodology/approach

The study includes an analysis of 313 academic library job advertisements. It also uses a 12 question survey, which was distributed to 52 library school listservs throughout the USA. The survey announcements resulted in 516 responses from library school students nationwide.

Findings

Of the jobs surveyed more than a quarter specifically mentioned liaison activities. The survey showed that few respondents have been exposed to a discussion of liaison work in their classrooms. Those who have demonstrated greater awareness of what constitutes liaison work demonstrate greater self‐confidence in their ability to become successful liaisons.

Research limitations/implications

The anonymous survey did not require participants to indicate what school they attended, possibly resulting in a geographically biased sample. The survey also did not ask respondents at what point they were in their program, so that some respondents may have been very new to their library school studies and may not have had the opportunity to take many classes at the time of the survey.

Practical implications

This study suggests that library schools should find ways to incorporate a discussion of liaison work into some part of their curriculum, especially for students interested in academic librarianship.

Originality/value

No other studies have analyzed job descriptions in terms of liaison work, nor have any studies surveyed students to determine their knowledge of, and preparation for, this type of work.

Details

New Library World, vol. 110 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article

Tom Glynn and Connie Wu

A task force at Rutgers University Libraries was charged with exploring ways to develop more effective liaison relations with teaching departments. As a preliminary step…

Abstract

A task force at Rutgers University Libraries was charged with exploring ways to develop more effective liaison relations with teaching departments. As a preliminary step the working group surveyed Rutgers liaisons to identify preferred practices and to solicit comments on trends in liaisonship in academic libraries. Based on this survey, we examine changes in the information profession and how they have effected the reference and instruction that departmental liaisons provide to faculty and students. Particular emphasis is placed on the impact of the Internet. Generally, electronic resources have made faculty and students less reliant on liaisons for help with their research, while electronic communication, especially via e‐mail, has the potential to make liaisonship more efficient and effective. We offer a number of recommendations for effective liaisonship, including concise and purposeful e‐mail messages and making direct and personal contact with faculty and students whenever possible.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article

James Thull and Mary Anne Hansen

The purpose of this paper is to provide an updated definition of academic liaison work and examine methods for developing effective liaison relationships.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an updated definition of academic liaison work and examine methods for developing effective liaison relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed and incorporated recently published (1989‐2009) material relating to academic liaison work. In addition to published material the authors conducted a survey of faculty in their liaison areas during the fall 2008 semester in order to access their knowledge and satisfaction with liaison services.

Findings

The paper finds that liaison work is multifaceted and success is based both on administrative support and the individual liaisons efforts.

Originality/value

The originality of this work includes the definition of liaison work and requirements of academic liaisons in today's libraries. The paper is of value to current academic liaisons and librarians just entering the field of academia. The paper incorporates recent research, an author conducted survey and the authors' nearly two decades of combined liaison experience and may serve as an overview of the expectations and potential benefits of academic liaison work.

Details

New Library World, vol. 110 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article

Jo Henry

The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast four academic liaison programs.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast four academic liaison programs.

Design/methodology/approach

Areas addressed include liaison subject specialization, communication methods, duties, and program evaluation.

Findings

This paper found similarities in areas of orientation meetings, library guides, and information literacy classes. Unique concepts among the four libraries studied include physical classroom embedment, use of specialized class web pages, faculty literacy classes, and concentrated faculty information literacy assistance.

Originality/value

The results presented provide insight into current academic library liaison practices and the faculty‐liaison relationship.

Details

Library Review, vol. 61 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

Doug Goans, Guy Leach and Teri M. Vogel

To report on the content management system designed to manage the 30 web‐based research guides developed by the subject liaison librarians at the Georgia State University Library.

Abstract

Purpose

To report on the content management system designed to manage the 30 web‐based research guides developed by the subject liaison librarians at the Georgia State University Library.

Design/methodology/approach

The web development librarian, with assistance from the web programmer, designed a system using MySQL and ASP. A liaison team gave input on the system through rigorous testing and assisted with the design of the templates that control the layout of the content on the guides. A usability study and two surveys were also completed.

Findings

The new system met and exceeded the baseline expectations for content collection and management, offering a greater control over appearance and navigation while still offering customization features for liaisons. Improvements are planned for the templates in addition to better promotion of the guides on the library web site. Initial and ongoing training for the liaisons should have been more effectively addressed. Despite their observed and future potential advantages, the CMS model has not been universally adopted by academic libraries.

Practical implications

Regardless of the technology involved, libraries preparing for a CMS transition must give at least as much attention to user issues as they do to technical issues, from the organizational buy‐in and comprehensive training to internal/external usability.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to a small but growing collection of CMS case studies. It covers the technical, functional, and managerial developments of a CMS, while also addressing the practical user factors that sometimes get lost in the process.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article

Andrew Leykam

The purpose of this paper is to explore actual interlibrary loan (ILL) usage patterns as a way to improve ILL services and assist in library liaison work.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore actual interlibrary loan (ILL) usage patterns as a way to improve ILL services and assist in library liaison work.

Design/methodology/approach

The study assesses ILL services at a mid‐size comprehensive college library in order to see who is utilizing the current service. Usage patterns are constructed and explored based on data collected over a three‐year period. The requested materials' publication date and Library of Congress subject heading, as well as the requestor's academic status (faculty, graduate student, undergraduate student) and department are addressed.

Findings

Usage patterns can accurately illustrate trends in the borrowing behavior of patrons in order to gain a better understanding of their needs. The majority of users were faculty members from a limited number of academic departments. Usage patterns can be very helpful in constructing and focusing liaison work. A thorough study of ILL usage patterns is a viable undertaking worthwhile for any institution looking to improve and expand its ILL and liaison services.

Practical implications

This paper recommends that The College of Staten Island Library utilize ILL statistics to improve and redesign Liaison activities to under‐represented departments. Assessing ILL usage patterns can enable a quick and accurate overview of actual use for improving ILL and liaison services.

Originality/value

Previous research has linked Interlibrary Loan services to collection development. The current study links the assessment of actual ILL usage patterns with liaison activities beyond collection development.

Details

Interlending & Document Supply, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-1615

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Article

Paul Bracke

Researchers and administrators have struggled to fully understand the value of library human resources for decades. There are many approaches to counting the activities of…

Abstract

Purpose

Researchers and administrators have struggled to fully understand the value of library human resources for decades. There are many approaches to counting the activities of library staffs, but less is understood about the value of developing and maintaining relationships. Given the growing importance of engagement-focussed, expertise-based service models in research libraries, the failure of library assessment models to account for the relational value of librarian activities is problematic in justifying and incentivizing new strategic activities and understanding the importance of libraries’ relationships with users and other stakeholders. The social network perspectives now commonplace in organizational studies to provide relational and contextual understandings of organizational behavior could be applied to library performance measurement and evaluation, providing a fuller picture of library impact. The purpose of this paper is to address this conceptual gap in the evaluation of library services.

Design/methodology/approach

The first part of the paper will present a content analysis of recent literature on emerging service models in academic libraries to identify relational aspects of the models. The relational elements will then be mapped to major concepts and methods from the social network analysis literature. This will include, as appropriate, basic network properties such as transactional content (e.g. exchange of power, services, etc.) of the relationship, nature (e.g. intensity, reciprocity, embeddedness) of the relationship, and structural characteristics of library networks. It will also identify more advanced areas of analysis such as the development of social capital, diffusion of innovations and contagion, and the role of networks in providing access to organizational resources. After mapping relational elements of emerging library service models to social network theory, a research agenda for better understanding library social networks and their value will be proposed.

Findings

Social network theory offers a rich conceptual and methodological framework for understanding the relational value of library services, particularly in emerging engagement-centered views of librarianship. Although activity- and outcome-based models of assessment are still important in the assessment of library activities, a social network view of library relationships is an essential complement in providing a more complete view of library value and will complement other work in this area such as human capital valuation and the relational capital components of the values scorecard.

Originality/value

This paper presents a unique theoretical and methodological viewpoint on the assessment of library services. This will contribute to the understanding of a vexing problem in library assessment, the value of library human resources, by providing a framework for the measurement and evaluation of relational aspects of librarianship that are often viewed as intangible and unmeasurable.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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