p. 4 new and rapidly changing technologies, an abundance of digital information in myriad formats, an increased understanding of how students learn evolving research methods, and changing practices in how scholars communicate and disseminate their research and creative work.
Engagement requires an outward focus
A liaison who understands how scholars in a particular discipline communicate and share
information with one another can inform the design and development of new publishing services, such as
digital institutional repositories.
Liaisons cannot be experts themselves in each new capability, but knowing when to call in a
colleague, or how to describe appropriate expert capabilities to faculty, will be key to the new liaison role.
an increasing focus on what users do (research, teaching, and learning) rather than on what librarians do (collections, reference, library instruction).
hybrid model, where liaisons pair their expertise with that of functional specialists, both within and outside of libraries
p. 6 Trend 1: Develop user-centered library services
Many libraries are challenged to brand such a service point, citing a “hub” or “center” to refer to services that can include circulation, reference, computer support, writing assistance, and more.
For liaisons, time at a reference desk has been replaced by anticipating recurrent needs and developing
easily accessible online materials (e.g., LibGuides, screencasts) available to anyone at any time, and
by providing more advanced one-on-one consultations with students, instructors, and researchers who
need expert help. Liaisons not only answer questions using library resources, but they also advise and
collaborate on issues of copyright, scholarly communication, data management, knowledge management,
and information literacy. The base level of knowledge that a liaison must possess is much broader than
familiarity with a reference collection or facility with online searching; instead, they must constantly keep up
with evolving pedagogies and research methods, rapidly developing tools, technologies, and ever-changing
policies that facilitate and inform teaching, learning, and research in their assigned disciplines.
Librarians at many institutions are now focusing on collaborating with faculty to develop thoughtful assignments
and provide online instructional materials that are built into key courses within a curriculum and provide
scaffolding to help students develop library research skills over the course of their academic careers
p. 7 Trend 2: A hybrid model of liaison and functional specialist is emerging.
Current specialist areas of expertise include copyright, geographic information systems (GIS), media production and integration, distributed education or e-learning, data management, emerging technologies,
user experience, instructional design, and bioinformatics.
At the University of Guelph, the liaison model was abandoned altogether in favor of a functional specialist
p. 8 Trend 3: Organizational flexibility must meet changing user needs.
p. 9 provide education and consultation services for personal information management. Tools, workshops, websites, and individual consults are offered in areas such as citation management, productivity tools, managing alerts and feeds, personal archiving, and using social networking for teaching and professional development.
p. 11 data management, knowledge management and scholarly communication
p. 12 Liaisons need to be able to provide a general level of knowledge about copyright, data management, the need for metadata and the ontologies available in their disciplines.
p. 13 Liaisons need to be able to provide a general level of knowledge about copyright, data management, the need for metadata and the ontologies available in their disciplines.
p. 16 replacing the traditional tripartite model of collections, reference, and instruction