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Subject Librarian Community: Research Services

First year priorities and goals

The liaison program and reference services - Year 2
  • The Reference Desk - Year 2 continued much like year 1 in terms of hours covered. Regarding the deployment of personnel, graduate assistants are picking up more hours relative to the past several years.  Given increased managerial responsibilities, Nancy and David are working fewer hours at the desk. TOG members, otherwise, are covering 6-8 hours on average during the week, and librarians in other Groups continue working two 2-hour shifts. Currently, Saturdays are covered by both graduate assistants and librarians.  Going forward it will be important to revisit our "philosophy" of service as it relates to the desk. Is this model still ideal and the best use of our staff?
  • Consultations and Referrals - TOG librarians (Nancy, Greg, Laura, Terry) are posting office hours as of this fall term (2012), and they communicated this to the departments for which they serve as liaison. We have seen the early fruit of our efforts to build better faculty relationships in the form of more 1-on-1 student consultations.
  • Library research tools, resources and guides - late Summer of 2012 was spent customizing an online research tutorial (in the tradition of TILT) that was made available to others by 3 librarians at the University of California. This tutorial is being used now for BITH 111 with the aim of forming a good foundation for understanding the nature and purpose of academic research, and improving their search skills, and equipping them to evaluate information sources in terms of accuracy, relevancy, authority, etc. This fall semester we also migrated to LibAnswers, which replaces Gimlet and Libraryh3lp. LibAnswers provides several advantages, the greatest of which is its the off-hours searchable knowledge base of answers to frequently asked questions.

The liaison program and reference services - Year 1
  • The Reference Desk - Liaisons will continue to serve 3-4 hours per week at the reference desk. Gregory will make an effort to schedule librarians at the desk during peak periods of activity (between 10a-5pm), and utilize graduate student help for the lighter hours that we cover. Just like last year, we will cover 60 hours of desk coverage per week.
  • Consultations and Referrals - While desk coverage doesn't change much now, it may in the near future as librarians build relationships with the faculty and students within their assigned departments, and promote more one-on-one consultations that occur more likely in the librarian's office. One concrete step toward realizing this in the coming year will be establising office hours when the librarians are available to provide research assistance to students from their assigned departments. Doing this well will hinge also on having an effective referral system in place. All library employees, but especially those staffing the public service areas, will need to know when and how to refer to the liaison librarians. The public services units are addressing this need already.
  • Library research tools, resources and guides - To provide research assistance effectively, liaisons must stay up to date and informed on technologies that support research as well as develop their expertise in the subjects they serve. The liaison community wants to foster growth in these areas by equipping the librarians to create useful research guides for their subjects and for specific courses, and otherwise keep the library website's research-related content up to date and accurate. For example, this year all the databases by subject list will be pared to the core resources and the databases will receive fuller descriptions.