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Library Liaison Toolkit

Liaison job description

The Library Liaison supports the research, teaching, service, and economic development missions of assigned departments by developing and providing collections, instruction, and additional services and by cultivating and sustaining effective working relationships with faculty, staff, and students.

  • Facilitate and maintain communication between the libraries and assigned departments.
  • Maintain awareness of the research interests, curriculum, service, and economic development activities of the assigned departments.
  • Maintain awareness of trends and developments in the disciplinary area and in higher education in general, especially as they affect library resources and services.
  • Build and maintain the collection of resources and tools that support research, teaching, etc. in assigned areas.
  • Maintain awareness of and facilitate access to significant resources external to the libraries.
  • Develop and provide effective, accessible, timely research and reference services, both in-person and online.
  • Develop and provide effective, accessible, timely instruction in support of assigned disciplinary areas and as part of the general information literacy program, both in-person and online.
  • Engage in continual development of professional knowledge and skills that support the mission of the libraries and specific responsibilities.

Basic Liaison Activities

The primary function of the liaison is to engage with faculty/students/staff in assigned areas, to be aware of their needs and keep them aware of library resources/support:

  • Communication
    • Identify key people
    • Communicate at least annually with key faculty (DGS, DUS, liaison, Chair)
    • Be available to faculty/student groups/individuals
    • Periodic updates/orientations to library resources/policies
    • Monitor department listservs/newsletters, if possible
    • Attend department meetings/events, as able
  • Provide expert research support
    • Be aware of research being done, publications of departments
    • Be aware of resources used/needed to support research, both at MU and accessible elsewhere or from a distance
    • Be aware of copyright/intellectual property issues and where to refer questions
    • Be aware of publication issues: open access, journal/publisher rankings, data management, MOspace
    • Support faculty in preparing P&T dossier
    • Be aware of distinctive research methods/trends in the discipline
    • Be aware of distinctive disciplinary information-seeking/scholarly communication trends.
    • Keep subject guides up to date.
  • Provide targeted, subject-specific instruction
    • Be aware of changes in curriculum
    • Be aware of disciplinary information literacy standards
    • Identify and target strategic classes
  • Develop the collection of resources
    • Stay current with general academic publishing trends and how they impact disciplinary areas.
    • Keep current with disciplinary information resources
    • Be aware of resources external to the MU Libraries
    • Be familiar with various acquisition/access methods
    • Periodically review usage, identify gaps
    • Communicate regularly with donors/development, as called upon
    • Maintain wish lists of resources
    • Order materials in a timely fashion.