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Friday, November 6 • 12:45pm - 2:00pm
Then and Now: Re-visioning a Liaison Program in the Context of Library Restructuring

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In 2014, we led a very lively lunchtime discussion called “Managing to the Center: Balancing the Academic Library Seesaw,” in which we talked about the challenges inherent in our library’s current subject specialist/liaison program and proposed some changes for the future. A year has gone by. During that time, our library has embarked on a complete organizational restructuring and, as part of that larger effort, we are beginning a long-anticipated re-visioning of the liaison framework. In this session, we will report on progress, discuss new challenges -- including how the liaison’s role continues to shift from a focus on collection development and management to a greater emphasis on outward-facing engagement -- and share some of the models we are considering for developing, leading, and administering a new liaison program, as well as our efforts to provide relevant training and support. At the start of the session, participants will be invited to share their perspectives about liaison roles and the preparation needed to tackle related responsibilities in an ever-changing library environment. Their comments, coupled with discussion questions, will guide our conversation about attempts to define, promote, and sustain “active liaising.” What struggles do we face? What opportunities are available? What are the potential rewards and outcomes? What does success look like? And how can we adjust to the ever-shifting seesaw?


Harriet Lightman

Head, Research & Learning Services, Northwestern University Libraries
Harriet Lightman heads Research & Learning Services at Northwestern University Library, and is the library's long-time liaison for history. She was formerly the Head of Academic Liaison Services, and Head of Research & Information Services at Northwestern, and served as a liaison... Read More →

Marianne Ryan

Associate University Librarian, User Strategies, Northwestern University Libraries

Friday November 6, 2015 12:45pm - 2:00pm EST
Salon 2, Gaillard Center