Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A little note on librarians collaborating with faculty

Citation to article I refer to in the note:

Rader, Hannelore B. "Building faculty-librarian partnerships to prepare students for information fluency." C&RL News (February 2004): 74-76,80,83,90.

Last month, shortly before the semester started, our library participated in the university's New Faculty Orientation. As part of the program, the new faculty came to visit the library, and they had the opportunity to meet with their subject specialists as well as learn about services the library has for them. For me, it was a bit of double duty since I am the Arts and Humanities specialist as well as the Instruction Librarian. Overall, it was a nice informal setting. The Director introduced the librarians and their areas, then the faculty could meet with who they wanted to learn about things like checking out journals, make purchase suggestions, and accessing the databases and online resources from their offices. The activity was productive for the instruction program as well given the good number of requests for sessions I got from faculty that mentioned attending the event.

This event, as I take a moment or two to reflect on it, made me think back to the small article I cited above. I read it last summer during the time I was looking for work. In one of the places I was invited to interview, the prompt for the oral presentation was to discuss ways to build collaboration with faculty. I suppose at some point, I should look up the powerpoint I made for it and post it someplace. For now, I just want to make a brief note on the article, which was very timely last summer.

The article mentions that technology and electronic information has a larger, more significant presence in higher education. According to the article, faculty experience pressure from this situation as they need to acquire new skills or update the skills they already have. This is where librarians have an opportunity to build collaborative relationships with faculty.

The article goes on to discuss information fluency and how it applies to teaching. It argues that professors will need to adjust their teaching to address the goals and skills of information fluency. It then offers a list of examples for establishing good information fluency and competency. The article concludes with a call for academic librarians: "it is the time for them to become aggressive and dynamic participants in the campus community's teaching, learning, and research agendas. They must share their information expertise with their campus community and build productive partnerships with teaching faculty" (80, 83). Given I have made it through my first year in an academic setting, I can testify this takes time and effort. It takes some outreach, some tact and diplomacy, and some willingness to work. Though a short article, it outlines a good philosophy for academic librarians, and it considers the needs of faculty and students, which librarians need to know in order to work with the academic community.

1 comment:

Mark said...

This post was a Ringleader's (Editor's) Choice for the Carnival of the Infosciences #6 which can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/chqkr