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Liaison Program at the Colgate University Libraries

Information for the Library faculty

  1. Academic libraries should identify and define their various constituencies (students, faculty, staff, and others) so that all can understand expectations of service.
  2. Limitations of service should be equitably enforced.
  3. Academic libraries should involve their clientele in collection management as much as possible, in order to ensure that the materials satisfy the clients' needs and that the clients are aware of the materials and services available to them.
  4. Suggested formal activities include, but are not limited to, surveys of library users, faculty, staff, and students to evaluate their satisfaction with library resources; regular meetings with faculty to ascertain planned curriculum developments and to identify new resources; and communication of available materials and services.
  5. Suggested informal activities include, but are not limited to, participation in campus organizations and activities, monitoring campus media for activities and events that affect collections, and encouraging library use and support by non-users.

[adapted from RUSA Guidelines for Liaison Work in Managing Collections and Services]

Suggested Activities for Library Faculty Liaisons


  1. Make regular contact with the Chair of your liaison departments.
  2. Get out of your office and meet the faculty on their own turf. Attend campus lectures. Lots of informal one-on-one contact often works the best.
  3. Ask for an opportunity to speak with the entire department and make everyone aware of what you have to offer.
  4. Ask to be placed on Departmental mailing lists.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the curriculum taught by your liaison departments. Identify the research and curricular interests of individual faculty.
  6. Congratulate faculty who achieve tenure or who publish books. Make sure the library acquires the latter in a timely fashion.
  7. Communicate changes in library policies and services.
  8. Make faculty aware of TOC alert services such as Ingenta's Reveal alerts, document delivery option through Science Direct, and other customizable services such as MyLibrary Account.
  9. When requested by outside accrediting agencies, work with the Head of Collection Development to draft documents which demonstrate library support of the department under review.
  10. Express interest in any perceptions Faculty might have about either the Libraries' collection or services.  Pass these comments on to the appropriate person.

Collection Development

  1. Maintain an awareness of current collection development policies.
  2. Encourage faculty to assist in the selection of materials which support the curriculum.
  3. Keep track of proposed and actual changes to the curriculum and report these to the Head of Collection Development.
  4. Remain active in collection development through the timely selection of books favorably reviewed in Library Journal, CHOICE, and other subject specific review media.
  5. Assist in the reviewing of books received on the approval plans.
  6. Monitor campus media for activities and events that affect collections. If a speaker/poet/writer/artist is invited to campus check to see if we have any or his or her books.
  7. Notify faculty of any significant new acquisitions.
  8. Inform faculty of budgetary issues.
  9. Work with Faculty to evaluate materials in the collection or re-consider high cost /low use subscriptions.
  10. Promote new digital acquisitions.

Reference & Instruction

  1. Encourage faulty to refer students to the reference librarians in both libraries.
  2. Encourage faculty to consult with you or other reference & instruction librarians in advance of formulating library related assignments.
  3. Encourage faculty to invite you or other reference/instruction librarians to teach information literacy skills to their students especially those teaching FSEMs and those requiring students to complete a research assignment. Reference/instruction librarians may welcome opportunities to team teach. You may also seek to assist the instruction program by creating web pages for specific classes.
  4. Create web based subject guides for your liaison area. Regularly check the links in these guides and update with new resources.
  5. Offer to demonstrate new databases and notify faculty of any significant changes in platform or interface.

Assist with the orientation of new faculty by offering to:

  1. Provide a tour of library facilities
  2. Answer questions about basic services such as reference, reserves, circulation, photocopiers, interlibrary loan, and LASR.
  3. Demonstrate what databases are available for locating literature in their field.
  4. Provide a list of Colgate subscriptions in their field.
  5. Provide instruction in information literacy to their classes.
  6. Encourage their active participation in book selection with an emphasis on curricular support.


Page Created Emily Hutton-Hughes & Maintained by: Mike Poulin, Head of Collection Management | Last Updated: August 26, 2014 | © 2009

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