Course:            The changing role of the Subject Librarian

Course Code:  2016/06

Date:                Wednesday 7th December, 2016, 10:30am – 4:00pm

(Registration from 10:00am to 10:30am)

Description: Many university libraries in Ireland and internationally are currently struggling to define the role of subject librarian. The landscape for libraries and higher education is changing and the role of the subject librarian now encompasses a diverse range of new and emerging areas.

Many are asking how we can become more effective in reaching and supporting the needs of all students and academic staff while promoting the continually evolving services of the library. Some libraries, particularly in the UK, have reviewed the role of the subject librarian and shifted  from the traditional liaison model to a function based model where teams of librarians support specific activities such as teaching support, research support and academic engagement, while others have separated the collection development function from the subject librarian role. However, there appears to be no ideal model or best practice in this area.

This seminar will explore these changes and present the perceived benefits and drawbacks of both a functional and subject librarian model.

Course Objectives:

This one day seminar will:

  • Explore the current and future role of the subject librarian
  • Inform participants of research which explores the replacement of subject librarians with functional models
  • Provide insights from institutions that have moved away from a subject/liaison librarian model and those that have retained the subject librarian model
  • Explore how institutions liaise with off campus students
  • Provide a forum for discussion on how different institutions around Ireland have changed their models for subject support

Course Outline: The seminar includes keynote presentations from Dr Stephen Pinfield, Professor of Information Services Management, University of Sheffield & Rosie Jones, Director of Library Services, Open University. A number of librarians from CONUL-member libraries will share their experiences.

Audience:  This course is aimed at staff who are involved with supporting and liaising with students, researchers and academic staff including those who are currently in subject/liaison roles, those in teaching and/or research support roles and those managing academic support services

Host Library:                     Maynooth University Library

Course Location:              Whiteboard Room, JPII Library, Maynooth University

Cost:                                    €70

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