Library Liaison Efforts Make Progress
by Anna Marie Johnson, David Horvath, Mary Barbosa-Jerez and Catherine Lavalée-Welch

Perhaps you have heard about the Library Liaisons Program and wondered what it was all about, or maybe, you are a liaison looking for some fresh ideas to try with your faculty. The ideas below are certainly not all-inclusive. We just thought it would be useful to share a few ideas that have been implemented, or that we are planning on implementing in the near future. If you have other successful examples or perhaps not so successful (for we can certainly learn from those, too!), please send them to Anna Marie Johnson for a future follow-up column.

Liaison Brown Bag
by David Horvath
An example of a recent successful liaison “encounter” shows the process at work. Most of the library liaisons try to meet with their faculties at least once a year, usually at the beginning of the Fall or Spring semester. Recently, David Horvath was asked by the History faculty to meet informally for a brown bag lunch discussion. This turned out to be a refreshing change from the usual 5-10 minutes at a faculty meeting that Horvath and co-liaison Lois Severt were used to.

Eight history professors attended the almost impromptu gathering. Discussion was broad based and honest and covered a number of issues and concerns. These included:

The successful meeting ended with everyone feeling that the time was well spent and productive. There was agreement that the format worked much better than the typical faculty meeting visit.

Working with the Delphi Center
by Anna Marie Johnson

In response to a request from Associate Provost John Welsh, the Libraries are hosting a faculty development workshop for faculty participating in the Online Masters programs in Criminal Justice, Human Resource Education, and Public Administration. These new programs are being developed through the U.S. Army primarily for their constituents but non-Army students can also take these classes, as spaces are available.

The workshop, scheduled for October 9, 2001, is being offered in conjunction with the Delphi Center. Our goal for this workshop is to elicit information from the faculty participants regarding the creation of an online tutorial or module to help teach students research skills. The plan is then to create this with the expertise of the Delphi Center. Library Faculty participating in the workshop include Mary Barbosa-Jerez, Fannie Cox, Terri Holtze, Anna Marie Johnson, and Glenda Neely. Bill Meyers, Director of the Delphi Center, will also be leading one of the workshop sessions.

Information Literacy and Library Liaisons
Begin Work on Collaborative Series

A group of 15 librarians working with Anna Marie Johnson and Mary Barbosa-Jerez are planning a long-term series that will both strengthen our liaison commitments and opportunities and provide new and exciting projects with faculty. The series is unique because librarians will actually design it in collaboration with departmental teaching faculty in order to create events and projects in which each group has ownership. Our idea, in the words of David Horvath, one of the librarian participants, is to offer faculty “not a product that they can accept or decline, but instead, the opportunity to be involved in the creation of a product that will be useful to them.”

There will be three stages of collaboration, and the second and third stages will culminate in some form of collaborative event. Because this collaboration is organic, and will evolve as the members work together, we are unsure right now exactly what those events might look like. We envision something like a “show and tell luncheon” in which departmental and library faculty might present current projects and share ideas in a fun and informal setting, and later a collaborative retreat from which departmental and library faculty will emerge with plans and ideas for joint projects.

Stage one is currently underway. Our team of librarian collaborators have met and are preparing informational brochures inviting departmental faculty to join in the collaboration as planners and participants — offering ideas for the events, expressing needs they would like to have met, suggesting projects, sharing views, etc. The brochures will go out in mid-October, and we hope to have feedback and at least one meeting before the year-end. Our first event will take place sometime in mid-March, and the final workshop in May, at the end of the academic year, but before departmental faculty leave for their research travels and sabbaticals.

If you’d like to know more about the Library’s plans for the upcoming Collaborative Series, or you know a faculty member who might like to be involved, please contact Mary Barbosa-Jerez.

Kersey Library : The CHEM 320 Experience
by Catherine Lavalée-Welch

Since 1994, Jan Kulkarni, Head of Reference and Instruction at Kersey Library, is teaching a one credit hour class for the Chemistry department, CHEM 320 Chemical Information Resources. Before that, it was a regular seminar class taught three or four times a year. Through his hard efforts Jan succeeded in convincing the faculty of the Chemistry department to offer the class for a credit, which was accepted by the department and the curriculum committee of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1993. This is a required class for chemistry graduates; about 15 students are admitted each semester and most of them are seniors or juniors in Chemistry. The syllabus for the course follows the guidelines of the Education Committee of the Chemical Information Division, American Chemical Society, of which Jan is a member.

In the class, Jan reviews the various types of chemical information sources and their use, either in print or in electronic format. Students have assignments whereby they get to learn how to use handbooks, tables, Spectra sources, trade catalogs, indexes, databases in chemistry and the Internet.

Due to the success of CHEM 320, the Kersey Library has submitted a proposal to create a similar one credit hour course in “Engineering Information Literacy” for engineering students. The proposal has the backing of some departmental chairs and faculty at Speed School where Jan is already teaching subject-oriented seminars to students. Successful in his liaison activity, Jan is willing to share his secret: in order to be accepted by the faculty, you have to speak their language, know what they are doing and meet with them often.

Finding Issues that Interest Faculty
by Anna Marie Johnson

Another small but well-received liaison effort was two one-hour workshops called “Point, Click, Plagiarize: An Interactive Workshop for Composition Instructors” that I created at the request of the Composition Program directors. The workshop was for English Department faculty and staff and covered issues such as term paper websites and using software, search engines and librarians help to detect online plagiarism. It also included a hands-on exercise for participants that asked them to test their skills in finding the source for four “plagiarized” pieces. I would be happy to share the handouts I created for this workshop. It seems like it could work for other departments that also give students lengthy writing assignments. Send your ideas and feedback to me.

For more information on the entire Library Liaisons Program, visit the website at