Successfully Transferring Academic Liaison Departments: Promoting Subject Area Flexibility and Cross Training
Staffing changes within academic libraries that employ the liaison librarian model, while potentially disruptive and unsettling, provide leadership opportunities to the organization. Shifts to staffing levels and subject area duties can stem from both temporary and permanent leaves, like maternity/paternity leaves, retirements, sabbaticals, and faculty early retirement programs. The liaison librarian model is predicated upon extensive subject and background expertise and the cultivation of strong relationships with departments and faculty. Given positive liaison librarian-teaching faculty relationships, shifting from one librarian to another can be a daunting experience for everyone involved. What steps, processes, and procedures are in place to facilitate successful transferences of subject departments to librarians who may be assisting on an interim basis or taking on new liaison areas? How can library organizations use these staffing changes to promote subject area flexibility, while continuing to fulfill departmental and faculty expectations? What issues must be explored and addressed to facilitate a successful transfer of institutional knowledge and work that has been performed with the department, faculty, and students? This poster will investigate these issues, particularly the management of expectations from all parties, including teaching faculty, correlating current professional skill sets and needs assessments, and developing and establishing new models for library support and cross training.