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 collaborates with their bibliographer, a faculty librarian, in tailoring collections 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.

You can find out who your departmental liaison and bibliographer are at the Liaison Program Database.

The Role of the Bibliographer

Librarians at IUP generally 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, liaisons and 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. 

The Role of the Liaison

The liaison for a department is responsible for working with their bibliographer. A liaison should be familiar with their department's curriculum, the research interests of their colleagues, and the mission of their department, and be interested in helping the library craft the best collection for their discipline.

Who makes a good liaison?

Being a library liaison is an important role, since the liaison 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?

When you are your department's liaison, we ask you to do a few things to help make the liaison relationship efficient and help build our collections, without putting too much burden on you!

  • Watch for communication from your bibliographer about potential purchases or new resources
  • Keep abreast of departmental research and teaching needs, so you can tell your bibliographer about information needs
  • Forward purchase requests to your bibliographer
  • Voice any concerns about collections or services that you or your colleagues may have
  • Help us tailor the collection to the specific needs of your department

Contact Collection Development

For questions, comments, or more information about our liaison program or collection building processes, please contact Chris Clouser, Collection Development Librarian, at cclouser@iup.edu.