Liaison Program

  • Collection development at the IUP Libraries requires coordination and cooperation across the university. The expertise of faculty is recognized and honored through the Libraries’ liaison program. One faculty member from each department is designated as the liaison who communicates with their bibliographer, a faculty librarian, as to their department’s needs. Specifically, liaisons advise bibliographers on what resources will best support scholarship and learning in their discipline. The bibliographer-liaison relationship has successfully fostered relationships and conversations across campus for many years. It is the backbone for purchase requests and provides a streamlined communication process.

    The Role of the Bibliographer

    Librarians at IUP may act as the bibliographer for several departments. Their job is to review incoming materials and to identify those that are high quality and suitable for the collection. Both the Libraries’ mission and goals and the goals of the department which the librarian serves are considered in this process. Working together with the liaisons, the bibliographers identify resources that meet those two sets of goals. Bibliographers also give their liaisons clarity as to how the Libraries may align the collection to better support academic programs. Further criteria that bibliographers may also consider involve the resource’s publication date, anticipated costs, and the strength of the existing collection in same or similar subject areas.

    The Role of the Liaison

    The liaison for a department is responsible for working with their bibliographer. This requires a liaison to be familiar with their department’s curriculum, the research interests of their colleagues, and an understanding of the overall goals of the department.

    Who makes a good liaison?

    Being a library liaison is an important duty which requires commitment on the part of the liaison who will be involved with the selection process for library materials.

    We look for liaisons who:

    • Have a strong understanding of the research and curricular needs of the academic department
    • Are familiar with the Libraries’ collection and services
    • Are dedicated to enhancing the IUP Libraries’ information resources for their department
    • Will work collaboratively to meet deadlines for ordering and selection of resources

    What does a library liaison do?

    There are a few tasks that library liaisons are asked to do as part of the library liaison role. These activities help make the liaison relationship work efficiently and keep the Libraries’ collections and services relevant to the information needs of the university. Liaisons are charged with the following tasks:

    • Communicate regularly with their bibliographer to discuss departmental goals and concerns
    • Convey departmental research and teaching interests to their bibliographer to help identify new resources for the department
    • Communicate regularly with their colleagues to collect feedback about the IUP Libraries
    • Forward purchase requests to the bibliographer, possibly through the GOBI website
    • Voice concerns from their colleagues within the department
    • Help their bibliographer tailor the collection to the specific needs of the university’s academic departments

    Visit the Liaison Program Database to find out who the bibliographers are and who your liaison is. 

    Contact Collection Development

    For questions, comments, or more information about our liaison program or collection building processes, please contact Emily Szitas, collection development librarian, at