Going Beyond the Reference Desk: Practical Advice for Beginning Librarians about Liaison Activities and Outreach to Faculty/Campus Conference Poster uri icon



  • Upon starting their first professional reference positions in an academic library, many new librarians already know that they will provide services at a Public Services Desk within the library. However, many are also surprised to find out that they must perform outreach to the faculty and campus outside their normal Public Services Desk hours. Outreach is becoming one of the most important and unique roles of a librarian at a college campus. It involves crafting library services—collection development, bibliographic instruction, research consultations, web pages—into a customized package that meets the needs of a department or clientele. Since new academic librarians often have little background in this area, we seek to provide practical advice to these beginners from our own experiences as newcomers to the library field. We discuss serving as a liaison, building partnerships across campus, collaborating with faculty, promoting collection development, and integrating live instruction or WebCT pages into a curriculum. Creative ways of serving a department, such as helping distance education classes or offering remote reference hours, are presented. While focusing on the needs of new librarians, seasoned librarians may find new ways of enhancing their outreach through this poster.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005