The Lonely Liaison


I am new to the liaison librarian business. I worked as, basically, a reference and instruction librarian at University of Illinois (I do miss all that instruction!), so collection development and course instruction for higher level classes was not on my radar.

Here at Brandeis I am learning more every day. I am finally fairly comfortable with print collection development (we’ll see about weeding, which is a…whole ‘nother issue) and I’m getting more and more comfortable with online collection development. I am teaching 5 FLIPs (first year instruction for a required freshman seminar style class) this semester, which everyone warned me would be a ton of work. I brushed this off–after all, I made it through four library instruction monster weeks at U of I, teaching like crazy and also doing all of my other work, my second job, and classes. I can do five highly course integrated classes!

(And I can–I have taught two so far and they’ve been great. They do take much more time to prep for, since they are much more course integrated, but they still follow the basics–here’s the library, here’s how to get help, here’s a search strategy, this is a keyword, here’s a database, here’s an article record, here’s a subject specific database, here’s a subject specific article record, any questions? )

But what I haven’t gotten a chance to do yet is do higher level classes–or even department classes. Thus far, even though professors recognize me and say hello, email me purchase requests or quick questions, they don’t yet feel that they need me. I’m the lonely liaison.

To be fair, my departments (Romance Languages, a historically quiet department, Philosophy, also quiet, and English, usually more needy) are all very stable. There’s no major anger directed at how the library does things, and no deep desire for change, so my job is fairly quiet. I am enjoying taking my time to become more and more comfortable with my departments’ needs and collections, but it would be nice if they needed me a bit more.

On a side note, as the social media subgroup convener I have been populating our Hootsuite feed (a twitter tweet scheduling web based software). I spend about an hour a day combing through various news sites and blogs to find some interesting tidbits to schedule into our feed to mix things up. The most useful tool so far? JSTOR Daily, a neat little site that comments on historical and current topics with well-informed articles ranging from just a few paragraphs to a couple of pages. The work is stellar, the graphics are easy on the eyes, and the sources are ready and waiting to be clicked on. I do love JSTOR.


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