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Collaboration with Faculty: What They Don’t Teach You in Library School Sarah Jane Dooley ASEE/ELD Session 1441 June 15, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Collaboration with Faculty: What They Don’t Teach You in Library School Sarah Jane Dooley ASEE/ELD Session 1441 June 15, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collaboration with Faculty: What They Don’t Teach You in Library School Sarah Jane Dooley ASEE/ELD Session 1441 June 15, 2009

2 Outline  Introduction and background  Collaboration  Library School and networking  Workplace challenges and strategies  Recommendations  Future of collaboration  Conclusion

3 Introduction  Can be challenging making connections as a new librarian  Establishing productive relationships with faculty  Needed to succeed in liaison work  Supports career advancement  Networking and collaboration play in integral role  Library School curriculum did not sufficiently prepare me  Will offer recommendations and approaches

4 Background  Sexton Library, Dalhousie University  Engineering, Architecture & Planning  Sexton Campus started as its own institution  Approximately 1,900 of 16,000 students in total  Informal, small school/work environment  Library is in close proximity to departments

5 Librarians at Dalhousie  Librarians are faculty members  Collaboration with teaching faculty  Crucial to success on the job  Supports portfolio for promotion/tenure application  Fostering connections is important  Information literacy programs  Collection development  Professional development

6 About Me  Graduated with MLIS from Dalhousie in 2005  Interned at the Sexton Library 2003-2005  Liaison Librarian, 2005-Present  Subjects: Biological, Chemical, Environmental, Petroleum Engineering, Food Science  Coordinator Reference & Promotion/Outreach

7 Photo used under creative commons license:

8 Collaboration  Librarianship thrives on collaboration  Involves mutually beneficial outcomes for librarians and faculty  Promotion of library resources  Increased library usage  Higher quality research

9 Collaboration Collaboration outcomes will lead to:  Success in day-to-day liaison duties  Development of peer-level relationships with faculty

10 Library School and “Networking”  Curriculum did not include liaison work as topic  Disconnect with idea of networking as it relates to the job  Professional Partnering Program  Formal and informal settings arranged by the school  Networking with other librarians  Centered around the job hunt

11 Challenges in the Workplace Photo used under creative commons license:

12 Challenges in the Workplace  Unfamiliarity with how to approach faculty  No networking experience outside the library profession  Limited subject and program knowledge  Some programs had unsuccessful attempts at collaboration in the past

13 “ To be an effective collaborator, you must learn to think of yourself as a networker ” (Jeffries, 2000)

14 Overcoming Challenges and Making Connections  Informal networking experience can be a basis for a more formalized setting  Process of “learning by doing”  Demands enthusiasm for self education  Getting to know faculty and organizational culture  Some guidance from co-workers

15 “In collaboration endeavours, a librarian has to be the introducer and the catalyst, as many faculty are not aware of existing options.” (Stoddart et al., 2006)

16 Overcoming Challenges and Making Connections  Be proactive and enthusiastic  Informal approach is more effective on Sexton Campus  Maintain a high level of professionalism  Show genuine interest in students and their success  Initiate collaborative projects  Be persistent and assertive

17 Strategies for Collaboration  Start by getting to know faculty, students and research interests  Foster two-way communication  Focus on repeat customers  Present yourself as the resource expert and invite faculty to contact you directly  Become their “go-to” Photo used under creative commons license:

18 Interpersonal and Communication Strategies  Explore different avenues of communication (i.e. email, in person, etc.)  Gain credibility through liaison opportunities  Reference and research assistance  Build rapport and create peer-level relationships with faculty  Attend social events: campus events, banquets, coffee/drinks/lunch

19 Strategies Continued  Create opportunities to network  Become more visible on and offline  Create lasting partnerships

20 Creating Opportunities to Network  Develop more in-depth relationships to open doors for instruction opportunities  Assist in program development  Collaborate on library assignments for students  Never turn down an opportunity to guest lecture  Attend faculty meetings  Attend student thesis defense  Attend student conference

21 Becoming Visible  Offline  Put a face to the library  Informal communication  Face-to-face meetings  Attendance at social events and faculty meetings  Online  Send out regular emails  Facebook presence  Libguides promotion

22 Net “working” It Photo by Dalhousie University Photographer Nick Pearce

23 Creating Lasting Partnerships  Take a leadership role  Participate in campus-wide activities  Volunteer for events  Meet future collaborators Photo by Dalhousie University Photographer Nick Pearce

24 Recommendations  Workplace  Formalize a mentoring program  Provide documentation to support liaison work  Create a set of guidelines to help set goals for new librarians  Experienced librarians should set an example  Encourage involvement in other programs (ASEE-ELD, or SLA)

25 Recommendations  Library School curriculum  Devote more time to topic of liaison work  Networking outside library profession  Teaching faculty  Foster collaboration and maintain connections  Spread the word about a successful connection with liaison  Keep an open mind to collaborative web technologies

26 Future of Collaboration  Technology presents more innovative ways to collaborate  Involve and educate faculty  Collaborative web technologies  Libguides  Widgets in Blackboard Learning System (BLS)  Why not involve faculty in content creation?  Facebook  Groups for courses  Libguides Application  Library Fan Pages

27 Conclusion  Learned most on the job  Mentoring program could ease transition for new librarians  Did not realize importance of networking until on the job  Key elements to successful program of collaboration:  Maintaining your visibility  Creating opportunities  Forging lasting partnerships

28 Conclusion  Improved faculty-library relationships  Created opportunities to enhance portfolio for next promotion  Exploration into new technologies will continue  Relationships will continue to strengthen and evolve

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