Tuesday, May 4, 2010

For this I needed an hour long session?

Lest you think I'm bellyaching, let me cut to the chase: I did need an hour long session!

Working Together for Students' Success: Collaboration among Faculty, the Library, and the Office of Learning Support Services - long title but worthy topic, don't you think? Of course. And as I sat in that little tiny room listening to Irene Ke of the University of Houston, I thought to myself, "Well I for one am all for it!" And I felt a little smug about it too. "Yes, I share the viewpoint of the speaker!" I nodded knowingly as she described her interactions with faculty; I laughed with the rest when she said she was too embarrassed to tell an instructor that he talked to much.

But at about the half way mark, I realized that I have created this total fantasy library world in my head. Because really, what collaboration do I do? And what do I do to foster collaboration? Not much, friends and colleagues, not much.

All is not lost... for myself OR for you, Dear Colleagues. Some of you are great at collaboration with faculty, but for the rest of us who just want to get started:

  • Mingle at school functions-introduce yourself! Luncheons, forums, etc.
  • Be able to explain clearly what you and the library can do for that instructor's class
  • Market your colleagues- maybe they're a better fit!
  • Meet a likely collaborator? Go to coffee or even lunch together! (They have to eat at some point!)
  • Follow up - don't let weeks go by without contacting a potential collaborator!

For this, I needed an hour long session.



  1. It sounds a lot like basic networking practice. Of course learning to network seems to me to be necessary before true collaboration can take place. Without that contact, that comfort level, you'll never be able to sit down and hammer out a better assignment, or helpful additions to a research guide. That ongoing comfort in communicating is something we all need to continually practice.

  2. Karl - I heartily agree. I'm really struggling for a foothold -- ok, a starting point -- in that contact/networking process in my own liaison areas. I'm really wanting more guidance in this area. Not hand-holding, but perhaps a walk-through for one, especially if anyone has any existing contact/relationships (professional or even personal) with someone in one of my areas. Just not sure how best to put my foot in that first door. It would be a real confidence-booster to see the process work the first time. Then I can take it and fly with it!

  3. Well I certainly am not a good liaison collaborator. Like the rest of you I'm not sure how to get going. Shoot I could use a little hand holding but I'm a "professional" and that is not going to happen. So I'll need to hit the streets in the fall to begin networking with my areas where opportunities arise. Like... college-wide kick off activites, discovering when departments will have meetings and see if I can sit in to get a feel for their agendas, professional development activies, esp. those at CTE and wellness activities (I always meet new people there for other departments), college-wide and / or divisional teams, Union meetings, lunch with colleagues from other departments, conversations with instructors who bring in their classes for library instruction, etc The list is endless, but time isn't so I plan to try one new networking activity in the fall and hope that I can shape it into a potentially new collaboration for resource info., instruction, info. on needs of dept., etc. Sometimes when I network with others from around the campus it leads to connections for my liaison areas. Thanks, Kim

  4. Kim...So many good ideas in your comment and I think you hit it on the head...because time is limited, choosing one networking activity at a time to focus on would probably be most effective.