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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Disconnect Between Librarians, Faculty

Librarians appear to have a communications problem on campus. A survey, Bridging the Librarian-Faculty Gap in the Academic Library2015, reported that while 98% of librarians wish they had better communications with faculty, just 45% of the responding faculty members had the same opinion.

The survey of 500 librarians and 500 faculty members, conducted by Library Journal and the publishing company Gale, reported that 27% of faculty members think there is no need to consult with librarians about course reserves. One faculty respondent in the survey even claimed “faculty does not view the library as an up-to-date resource,” while another said Google Scholar was more essential than the library, according to a report in eCampus News.

In addition, 57% of faculty members who engaged with librarians said they worked together to provide resources, while only 31% of librarians agreed. Two-third of librarians rated libraries as being “excellent” or “above average” at creating collections of content to support curricula, while just 54% of faculty agreed.

“As more pressure is put on higher-education institutions to measure outcomes, there needs to be greater recognition of the value the library brings to the table,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager for Gale. “From the survey, it’s clear that there is opportunity and need to ingrain the library in campus culture—which will ultimately elevate the learning experience, a common goal for all stakeholders.”

Faculty suggested dedicated library liaisons for each department could be part of the solution, while the librarians want more chances to attend faculty meetings, as well as commitments from the institution to embed library-taught research skills. 

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