Library Faculty Partnership Program Best Practices

Faculty Partnership Program

The primary goal of the Faculty Partnership Program is to build relationships between faculty and librarians in support of our shared mission to educate students and create knowledge. A Librarian Partner is appointed to each academic department and serves as the primary point of contact for information about Library services, collections, events and policies. As needed, Librarian Partners will enlist functional specialists within the Library, such as librarians focused on collection development, digital humanities, assessment, and scholarly communication.

The purpose of the Faculty Partnership program is to cultivate collaboration and engagement between librarians and faculty. This user-centered program is a framework for Librarian Partners to develop a significant understanding of complex departmental needs and goals, and for “Faculty Partners” to increase their knowledge of Library services and resources.

Librarian Partners are information experts who collaborate with faculty in their assigned academic departments to advance their scholarship and teaching.  Examples may include:

  • Supporting faculty and students throughout the research lifecycle
  • Incorporating information literacy competencies into academic programs at all levels. Librarian Partners teach information literacy, develop online learning modules and guides, and administer assessments in close collaboration with faculty to achieve Library student learning outcomes and academic department goals.
  • Advocating for Library services, collections and facilities to faculty and administrators, and advocate within the Library for academic department curricular needs.
  • Developing, evaluating and promoting the Library collections and its usage in support of department academic goals and curricular needs.

For more information, contact Matt Schirano at mschirano@fairfield.edu.


Best Practices for Librarian Partners1

Teaching and Learning

  • Teaching discipline-specific classes effectively using a variety of pedagogies
  • Developing learning materials in a variety of formats for a variety of teaching situations (e.g., materials for faculty to use for class sessions, online tutorials)
  • Writing learning outcomes for information literacy appropriate to their disciplines.
  • Using appropriate assessment techniques to gather and analyze information on student learning and information needs.

Research Services

  • Providing research consultations that involve subject or other in-depth specialized areas of expertise
  • Creating and maintaining appropriate online research guides, tutorials, etc.
  • Actively seeking opportunities to foster interdisciplinary collaborations in the provision of research and information services across the campus
  • Creating new programs and services (or improving existing programs and services) that respond to identified needs and priorities of students and faculty and to strategic directions of the Library

Professional Development

  • Increasing discipline specific knowledge by attending conferences, “boot-camps”, participating in webinars, joining listservs and reading discipline’s literature
  • Participating in discipline-specific organizations and associations

Communication to Deepen Engagement

  • Communicating often with faculty, students, academic staff, and administrators in assigned areas, including attending department meetings and other events
  • Championing the library as an intellectual meeting place for programming, conversation, and inquiry

Collection Development

  • Integrating knowledge of scholarly communication patterns and trends in a discipline with local collection building and management activities.
  • Using collections as a basis for engagement to create dynamic services and innovative applications of collections to research questions or curricular goals
  • Working effectively with colleagues in the Libraries to enhance acquisition, access, discovery, and use of library collections.

Scholarly Communication

  • Knowing how scholarly communication works (including understanding a variety of publishing models) in assigned disciplines
  • Tracking emerging trends and models within disciplines
  • Working with faculty to deposit their works in institutional or disciplinary repositories and publish in open access venues.

[1] Credit to Ohio State University Libraries’ A Framework for the Engaged Librarian.