Getting the Most from Your Faculty Liaison Librarian

by Martha Allen, Faculty Liaison Librarian, Pius XII Memorial Library

Photograph of Martha Allen and fellow librarian Rebecca Hyde assisting sophomore Talitha H. Budi

If you do not know your department’s faculty liaison librarian or have not met with your faculty liaison librarian in a while, the beginning of the academic year is a perfect time to create new relationships and revisit old ones.

What does a faculty liaison librarian do?  At Saint Louis University, the 15 faculty liaison librarians at Pius XII Memorial Library and the Medical Center Library support and respond to the discipline specific information needs of faculty and students.  In addition to a comprehensive understanding of scholarship and research processes in a subject area, they have knowledge of program curricula and the research interests of individual faculty framed within the campus mission and culture.

While the role of faculty liaison librarians has remained relatively constant over the years, the services they offer have evolved with the changing technological, pedagogical, and research landscapes.   Below is a list of faculty liaison librarian services available to all in the Saint Louis University community.

  • Teach customized instruction sessions on the research process – an average of over 350 classes/year

Students have difficulty selecting and framing their research topic, forming effective search strategies with appropriate keywords, finding and evaluating sources, and formatting and citing sources.  Library instruction can reinforce these necessary skills.

  • Partner with teaching faculty to create WebQuests, blogs, wikis, and other interactive instructional tools and assignments.

Click here for a recent WebQuest created by Dr. Joya Uraziee and Jamie Emery, faculty liaison librarian to the English department.

  • Embed faculty liaison librarian services in course management systems

Faculty liaison librarians collaborate with teaching faculty to enhance the online learning experience on SLU Global or any other online space.

  • Meet with any member of the SLU community in one-on-one focused research consultations tailored to your needs

Starting in fall 2012 students will be able to schedule library research consultations using the online SLU Appointments tool found in Banner.

  • Utilize technology with our research services through email, chat, and text

To meet our users on their terms the faculty liaison librarians provide reference service in variety of formats.  Last year the Ask a Librarian service answered over 500 online inquiries via email, chat, and the newly implemented text service.

  • Design tutorials, web tools, FAQs, and online research guides that support self-directed learning

Faculty liaison librarians have created over 150 research guides and video tutorials ranging from course specific guides to program overviews.  When liaisons are unavailable, the LibAnswers tool has the answers for over 325 frequently asked questions.

  • Inform faculty and students about relevant copyright  and academic integrity issues

Click here for information regarding scholarly communication and intellectual property rights.  The faculty liaison librarians are dedicated to plagiarism prevention by providing proactive activities and strategies to help faculty educate their students about this important but complex topic.

  • Support for EndNote

Online tutorials, an EndNote research guide, and in-person instruction help patrons navigate this important citation management tool.

  • Select and purchase library materials and resources that support the curriculum and faculty and student research

Faculty liaison librarians purchase books, media, journal subscriptions and databases to strengthen the library collection.

  • Facilitate strategic University wide engagement of information literacy competencies and philosophies inherent in the Five Dimensions of the SLU Experience

The liaison librarians are committed to supporting student learning outcomes and empowering all members of the SLU community to foster life-long learning through advanced information discovery and management skills.

So who is your faculty liaison librarian?  Currently Pius XII Memorial Library has 11 faculty liaison librarians and there are four at the Medical Center Library .  It is never too early to call, email, or stop by the Saint Louis University Libraries.

Photo of Martha Allen

Martha Allen is a faculty liaison librarian at Pius XII Memorial Library.  Her liaison departments are African American Studies, Counseling and Family Therapy, English for Academic Purposes, and Education.

One Response to “Getting the Most from Your Faculty Liaison Librarian”

  1. Thanks for this informative post, Martha! Faculty often ask CTTL staff about many of these topics, so it’s great to remind everyone of the different units and teams across campus who can assist!