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Iowa State University

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Liaison & subject librarian responsibilities

The work of the faculty liaisons is vital to the success of the University Library in supporting Iowa State University's goals for learning, discovery, engagement, and professional practice.

In order to achieve an optimal level of communication, coordination, and informed decision making between the library and faculty, it would be beneficial to establish a set of agreed upon general responsibilities.

Faculty Liaisons

Faculty liaisons are appointed by the chairs of their respective academic departments or programs to serve as the primary representatives between the Library and departments or programs. Their responsibilities include:

  1. Keep your subject librarian informed about future academic directions, programmatic needs, and changes in courses and/or degrees that may impact how the library supports teaching and learning through library collections, instructional services and/or other library services.
  2. Keep your subject librarian informed about new, evolving, or diminishing research focuses that may impact how the Library supports research and creative activities through library collections and/or services.
  3. Communicate regularly with your department/program's designated subject librarian and encourage your colleagues to communicate with their subject librarian regarding individual information, purchase, instruction, or research needs.
  4. Distribute to your colleagues the communications you receive as the liaison from your subject librarian, the Library, or the University Library Committee.
  5. Coordinate faculty recommendations for the acquisition of new library books and journals. Generally, a recommendation to purchase a new journal requires the canceling of one or more other journals to pay for the new subscription.
  6. Coordinate the participation of your department in special projects, such as journal cancellation projects, a major purchase decision, or a major withdrawal/transfer project of bound journal volumes or books.
Subject librarians

The subject librarian is the primary contact for department/program faculty for questions and information regarding library collections, instructional support, and reference services. Their responsibilities include:

  1. Communicate regularly with the faculty liaison concerning acquisitions of new electronic journals, new research or teaching tools, instructional support services, and other new library initiatives.
  2. Collaborate with the faculty liaison to build and sustain a collection appropriate for the department/program needs.
  3. Consult with the faculty liaison and other academic administrators concerning future academic directions, programmatic needs, and changes in course offerings that may impact how the Library supports the department/program.
  4. Work closely with the faculty liaison during special projects, such as a journal cancellation project, a large purchase decision, or a major withdrawal/transfer project of bound journal volumes or books.
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