Faculty are often unaware of what services are provided by the contemporary academic library. As a general manner of function, they tend to be self-reliant in their literature review searches, data management, and preservation processes. However, when aware of library services in these areas they are utilized and deeply appreciated. Both faculty and librarians note that collaborative relationships are built through one on one interactions through campus meetings and less through other communication means (emails, newsletters, library website, etc.).
Faculty believe that collaborating with librarians is important. 87% of faculty who were surveyed noted that librarian collaboration was either important or very important.
Librarians need to communicate more with faculty. 50% of faculty had librarians reach out to them about database trials, and 43% of faculty were contacted during times of collection weeding / deselection. When asked if they had collaborated with librarians to create course or program-specific Library Guides (e.g. LibGuides) at your institution, 50% responded that they had. Both the literature review and faculty survey noted how faculty were often unaware of products and services that librarians were providing.
65% of faculty surveyed do not serve on committees with librarians, although 81% of librarians reported serving on committees. While there are fewer librarians than faculty to provide institutional service, the gap appears to be larger than expected. Are there more effective ways for librarians to provide institutional service and connect with a greater number of faculty?
1. Don’t take it personal! Faculty appreciate library services, when they know about them. However, often times faculty are unaware.
2. Relationships are key. The best mode of library outreach are one on one conversations conducted over a period of time.