Faculty/librarian collaboration is vital for librarians to remain integral to the academy. We now have an opportunity to change how we perceive ourselves and how we are perceived by faculty and administrators. There are viable solutions for expanding the role of the librarian in ways that could lead to better faculty partnerships. First, librarians must be grounded in a shared purpose and professional identity and establish a contextual framework for our own professional ‘boundaries.’ We cannot create an intersection with the knowledge and experience of others if we do not have an understanding of our own frame. Interviews and investigation of the professional literature led to a re-discovery of communities of practice. Communities of practice (CoPs) are promising tools for librarians because they can be used to develop and sustain professional identity. Once the shared purpose and practice is identified, CoPs can facilitate collaboration between librarians and faculty and develop partnerships that will increase understanding, create meaningful connections and improve perception. Communities of practice build professional empathy, and this empathetic understanding is the essence of alignment. Once our services are aligned with the needs and expectations of our users, we will become more relevant and valuable to our institutions.
This article argues for collaboration among academic libraries, academic departments, and high schools in order to strengthen articulation between the secondary and post-secondary sectors. It features work from a year-long project made possible by an LSTA grant and involving the Colorado State University-Pueblo Library, the English Composition Program, and several southern Colorado high schools that participate in the University’s dual-credit program titled “Senior-to-Sophomore.” This article outlines the process of using information literacy (IL) instruction to foster relationships among secondary and post-secondary instructors, improve communication between instructors and library staff within both sectors, and ultimately strengthen teaching and learning. Major challenges to an ongoing successful partnership include resources and program sustainability. The ultimate benefit, however, is the cross-institutional partnerships focused on IL instruction that benefit not only secondary to post-secondary articulation, but also the entire pre-school through graduate level (P-20) educational continuum.
Collaborative Librarianship Advisory Board Member, Lourdes T. David, provides an overview of library collaboration in the Philippines and in other countries in Southeast Asia. This interview is part of a series of conversations with members of Collaborative Librarianship’s Advisory Board.
Ann L. O’Neill reviews, "Interdisciplinarity and Academic Libraries." This book examines the definition of interdisciplinarity and the related terms of multidisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity and cross-disciplinarity and how these can, and have, affected the work in academic libraries. The ten essays range from definitions and history of interdisciplinarity to the work implications in specific areas of today’s academic libraries.
Thinkers have been applying longstanding martial arts philosophies to a variety of professional genres for years, particularly in the business realm. Where these ideas find less traction, though, is in the field of education, specifically higher education, as some of the philosophies operate better in the boardroom than in academe. However, much of the experience associated with martial arts provides an alternate prism to view conflicts and difficulties within higher education and, specifically, for my purposes, in libraries. This discussion draws on my experience as a martial artist as well as my theoretical and experiential learning in higher education and academic libraries in order to expand the conversation on collaboration.
This article discusses a collaborative approach to educate college faculty about the library to encourage faculty to engage and participate in services such as library instruction, interlibrary loan, course reserves, and research desk assistance. The more faculty know about the library, the more that they use them. Well informed faculty create students who will also be interested in the library. In-servicing is recommended because it allows librarians to market the library. Creating a well-planned library in-service also creates an opportunity to highlight a librarian’s teaching and research skills.
Carol Krismann reviews Morten T. Hansen's book, "Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Create Unity, and Reap Big Results." The book focuses on collaborations within companies and organizations. However, some of the ideas can be used for collaborating with outside organizations. Based on the author’s fifteen years of research, it is a scholarly book with a practical orientation offering guidelines on collaboration that improves the organization and its goals.
Megan Tomeo reviews the book, "Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data." Editor, Nichole Engard offers a compilation of successful mashups from a variety of libraries including Yale University, Temple University, and Manchester City Library as well as companies such as LibLime. Mashups are web applications that use free and/or fee data (images, citation information, maps, etc.)—perhaps even several sets of data—and combine them to create new content.
This article highlights various collaborative efforts during the author’s career as a reference librarian at a large metropolitan public library from 1986 to 2011.
Dorothea Salo reviews "Managing Research Data" edited by Graham Pryor. This volume aims at providing a high-level snapshot of the current state of the art in research-data policy, planning, management, and preservation. While few readers will find occasion to read every piece included, almost everyone in research libraries will find one or more articles of considerable interest.
Friends and colleagues offer words of tribute and good wishes on the August 2011 retirement of Alan Charnes, Executive Director of the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries.
Background: Over the last twenty-five years the focus of public services librarianship has migrated toward teaching. Often librarians are not aware of how neighboring institutions are managing that transition. The authors report the results from a survey of information literacy instruction and IL programs in libraries at institutions belonging to the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium in the northwestern United States. Methods: After a literature review and round of testing, a survey link was sent to a contact person at each institution. Results: 38 survey responses were obtained from a range of academic libraries in size and scope. Twenty-seven respondents have had an information literacy program for more than five years; four respondents have had a formal information literacy program for fewer than three years. Seven respondents reported that they did not have an IL program. Conclusions: Librarians vary widely in the number of sessions they teach; one-shot sessions are still the most frequent mode of instruction; over half of Alliance libraries’ institutions have a written statement of objectives for information literacy; the use of active learning and technology is increasing; and librarians continue to struggle with student learning and instructional program assessment. (Survey appended)
Teaching librarians are always seeking opportunities to improve their professional practice. Traditional forms of professional and personal development—attending workshops and conferences and reading the scholarly and practitioner literature—are valuable and useful, but often ignore the powerful personal connections we have between colleagues. Using a narrative approach, this article will provide two teacher librarians’ stories about their experiences with team teaching as a method of professional development. Turning the traditional mentorship model on its head, each librarian contributed equally to the relationship and took the risk of being vulnerable in order to learn from one another. A newer librarian, looking to expand her teaching toolkit, become acculturated to her new institution, and develop her teacher identity, taught alongside an experienced librarian looking for new teaching techniques, a way to prevent “burnout,” and a more intentional and reflective approach to teaching. In addition, the authors will discuss the theoretical underpinnings of the benefits of team teaching and will provide recommendations for others through an account of how they planned, managed the classroom, and assessed student work.
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is a discipline that emphasizes instructional development and enhanced student learning through the dissemination of practitioner theory and experience. The discipline, however, primarily considers the role and perspectives of higher education and K-12 faculty. Yet SoTL also has pragmatic implications for librarians as it promotes instructional improvement, collaborative research, networking, and professional development across the academy.
The authors describe difficulties pertaining to discipline-specific discourse and identity among collaborators during the process of revising the information literacy component of a first-year writing program. Hardesty’s term “faculty culture” offers a frame through which to understand resistance and tension among otherwise engaged faculty and situates this experience within the uncomfortable history between faculty and librarians who may be perceived as “inauthentic” faculty. The authors suggest ways to improve communication between librarians and writing program faculty when collaborating on infor-mation literacy instruction.
The volume of materials shipped between libraries and branches has grown very quickly. This growth caused service and budget problems for libraries, library networks, and commercial couriers. NISO formed a working group comprised of practitioners from various types of libraries and systems to recommend practices to improve performance and reduce costs for moving physical materials between libraries. The recommended practices include an introduction and sections related to management, automation, the physical move, and the future. In addition to describing the recommended practices, the authors briefly review the cause of the growth in library delivery volume, i.e., the development of patron-placed hold capability in integrated library systems and the issues and reactions in the library delivery community resulting from the rapid growth, as well as prospects for a future with declining delivery volume.
Supporting the active learning process of the 21st century student is one of the main goals of the Learning Commons at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Building and maintaining effective student learning spaces and academic services requires proactive assessment of University climate, pedagogical direction, and curriculum development. Increasingly instructors are using active, group, and participatory teaching methods and are offering students opportunities to opt in to more creative assignments requiring the use of advanced technologies in support of multimedia projects. The UMass Libraries aim to anticipate the needs of instructors and students by tailoring student spaces to support teaching and learning goals. Collaboration with campus partners is essential in providing a holistic approach to meeting student need; the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) is one of the strongest partners in this collaboration, helping to form the teams that work to research, implement, and assess new academic projects.
If Gaetz interprets correctly the views of Jason Epstein, elder statesman of the publishing world, Collaborative Librarianship in fact takes its place in the rebirthing of a cottage industry. The Random House College Dictionary defines “cottage industry” as, “an industry in which the product is made in a self-employed worker’s home (in contrast with a factory).” Beginning in the 1450's in homes and shops, printing and publishing progressed through the centuries to become enormous, multinational corporate empires. Now, all that is changing. With the emergence of the internet, social networking and mobile technologies of one kind or another, a new paradigm comes into play, a new model described by Epstein as a cottage industry long forgotten in the big business of publishing—and you are invited to be a part of it! Collaborative Librarianship invites you to become directly involved in this new cottage industry as authors, editors, reviewers, readers, responders—working where you are, anywhere in the world, creatively, autonomously, and exhibiting much diversity—interacting with information and knowledge. You have an opportunity to participate in meaningful ways in this new world of publishing anticipated by Jason Epstein.
Collaborative Librarianship is honored to have Jamie LaRue write the “Guest Editorial” for this issue. Jamie has appeared on NPR, been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the Denver Post, was a newspaper columnist for over 20 years, and authored, The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges (Libraries Unlimited, 2007). From 1990 to 2014, he was director of the Douglas County (Colorado) Libraries, widely known as one of the most successful and innovative public libraries in the U.S.A. He has received numerous honors and recognitions for his contributions to libraries and communities spanning several decades. Today, Jamie LaRue writes, speaks and consults about the future of libraries. He is a candidate for the presidency of the American Library Association, the election to be held early in 2015.
Megan Welsh reviews Voyant Tools. Voyant Tools (http://voyant-tools.org/), a text analysis tool through which the written word can be understood in new ways. Voyant Tools is a free, versatile suite of web-based, text analysis and visualization tools.
Traditional views of librarianship, and of academic libraries, have focused on the library’s role as a collector of external resources for student and faculty use. As this role is increasingly challenged by the explosion of openly available online content, however, academic libraries must move beyond this limited perception of our utility and expand our role to become partners in a broader range of scholarly activities at our institutions. At Pacific University (Oregon), the University Library has developed a series of partnerships and services (many supported by our institutional repository platform) that extend the Library’s reach and that lend needed support to our faculty and students’ scholarly pursuits. In taking on a much more active role in the creation, dissemination and preservation of internally produced scholarship, the Library has demonstrated its value to faculty and administrators and has opened the door to new partnerships which will not only strengthen the University, but also the Library’s place within it.
This case study explores the implementation of La Cuna, an online mentoring forum in a small, subject-based professional association, the Seminar for the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM). Designed using the social network software Ning, the forum functioned as an informal learning community for 38 members and was an innovative response to geographical challenges and changing technological skills. Using participation data and a questionnaire to analyze the implementation and development of the hybrid e-mentoring community, this study reveals challenges and benefits that should be considered when managing similar professional development activities. While the forum failed to maintain sustained participation, findings revealed the need to assess professional association member needs regularly and highlighted the importance of continued exploration of online learning tools. Through the description of this project, professional associations and other learning communities will gain insights into the creation and implementation of an online e-mentoring learning community, which will be useful as librarians and groups attempt to meet member professional development needs.
In 2008, seven Michigan public libraries migrated to Evergreen, an open source integrated library system developed by the George Public Library Service. The Michigan Library Consortium and Grand Rapids Public Library provided the support, training, networking, and system administration for the system. This article examines the reasons for implementing an open source system and the challenges to running and sustaining it.
David Stewart, past President of the American Theological Library Association, reflects on various collaborative initiatives of ATLA. Collaborative Librarianship interviewed David Stewart, Director of Libraries, Bethel University, Saint Paul, MN, and a member of CL’s Advisory Board, on the nature, challenges and opportunities for collaboration in a subject-focused, special academic library organization. This interview is part of a series of conversations with members of Collaborative Librarianship’s Advisory Board.