ACRL 2015: New models for new roles: creating liaison organizational structures that support modern priorities

Johns Hopkins – Creating the “academic liaison dept”

  • Don’t need to test it down
  • Research support, instruction, reference, and collections were the common base — one thing JMU hasn’t clearly included so far is research support
  • Used talent management dept to help review the dept and rebuild the team 
  • Re-evaluate research – many students use Wikipedia, Google, etc to deal with the questions that used to come to the reference desk — instead, questions are moving to how do I do my research
  • They hired a UX person (not lib, instead urban Anthropologist)

Villanova: creating the academic integration team 

  • Librarians would apply to teams based on interested
  • From depts to teams 
  • Added more subject librarians
  • Challenges related to accountability and time division for team work
  • Minimum team assignment is 20%
  • Have a tech team to help create ideas, but need more assessment help

UNC Greensboro

  • Benchmark with other libraries
  • moved to team based model
  • Also have functional teams (collections, instruction, reference desk, scholarly communications) – choice between there and teams change each year
  • Accomplishments: more training for each other, improve collab and communication across depts, curriculum mapping for info lit
  • Have annual retreat 
  • Has a document for liaison roles and expectations 
  • Recommendations – buy-in, align with university and library goals, tell your story, engage with the community


  • Assessment: Read scale, time spent, repeat interactions  — we don’t have that documented in this way


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