Toolkit for Librarian Liaisons

How to be a Subject Resource Specialist

What is the Role of a Librarian Liaison?

Bringing the Information World to You

Liaisons work with faculty and students in their assigned departments, in the following ways. Refer to specific guide tabs or embedded links for more information on these roles.

  • Serve as an information resource on policies, services, and resources
  • Serve as their contact person when they have a library related question
  • Provide reliable, consistent, and timely service and responses
  • Provide discipline specific instruction
  • Provide discipline specific reference assistance
  • Provide discipline specific research consultations
  • Develop collections to support the teaching, learning, and research needs of the students and faculty
  • Serve as a resource for information on scholarly communication and copyright
  • Communicate changes in library services and resources

Overview of Librarian Liaisons

Building a Bridge

What is a Librarian Liaison?

Librarians are assigned to a department(s) on campus based on their educational background or experience. They are expected to serve as a communication bridge between the library system and their department(s) and vice versa in order to provide support for teaching, learning, and research. There are many roles for librarian liaisons in providing instruction sessions, research support, and collection development for their departments.

Working with Teams

As a liaison you will become involved with many projects as you serve your departments. Remember that there are numerous teams in the Library System and that your projects may often intersect with the scope of these teams. Collaboration and consultation with appropriate teams is encouraged. A list of existing teams and their members can be found here:

Strategies for a Librarian Liaison

Person with Book HeadLiaison Librarians have many roles in serving the library system and their assigned departments. You will find many suggested activities and lists of things to do but research has found that there is no one way to be a liaison and no one list of things to do that will make you a great liaison (see the Checklist for ideas).

The Dean suggested that we have two goals in mind when performing liaison work and then the details will be left to your professional discretion and how creative you are:

  • Be Proactive and Persistent in contacting your departments in person and virtually (remember faculty get many emails so yours might be lost please contact them in person whenever possible), and,
  • Be Engaged and Involved in the department by visiting, (attend faculty brown bags and student group meetings etc.).

The key to building a successful liaison relationship is to make yourself and your services visible and accessible! Take a look at the recommended  readings included throughout this guide to get started on working toward your liaison goals.