Re-imagining Liaison: Faculty Liaison Program Assessment 2014-15

extracted email from Rita Vine April 21 2014

The ​UTL ​faculty liaison program has been in place for several years now, and many of you have done some wonderful work making strong connections with our faculty.  To build on our success​,​ and to align the program with our new Strategic Plan. ​

I’m writing to you today with information and a tentative timetable to take a fresh look the U of T Libraries’ faculty liaison program​.
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I have met with many of you during departmental meetings to get input on a process to reimagine faculty liaison, to advance both the Library’s Strategic Plan and the University’s strategic directions. I want to thank you for your contributions to those discussions ​. ​Many of your ideas have been incorporated into the process outlined below.

Starting this Spring, there will be an opportunity for all librarians to re-​think and re-​imag​ine​ our faculty engagement work in the next five years and beyond.  To ensure a process that is both transparent and effective, I’ve looked to the well-established UTQAP review process (see section 5.5, in particular) as inspiration and guidance, and I am proposing the following:

  1. Self-study activities: Facilitated librarian focus groups with analysis and report; facilitated focus groups with faculty about liaison work; identifying, gathering and reviewing of collected data that can help us understand both our reach and gaps (Spring-Summer 2014)
  2. An external review of the faculty liaison program (Fall 2014)
  3. Administrative evaluation of the self-study components and the external assessment report resulting in recommendations for program quality improvement (Winter 2015)
  4. Preparation and adoption of plans to implement the recommendations and to monitor their implementation (Winter 2015)
  5. Follow-up reporting on the principal findings of the review and the implementation of the recommendations (Spring 2015)

My intention is for reporting and follow-​up discussion to take place at every milestone in the process, and to share reports and data widely.
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In the next ​few days,  ​all ​librarians (both liaison and those in functional roles) will receive an invitation to attend one of several facilitated focus groups. These focus groups will provide an opportunity for you to reflect on your own liaison work to date, share​ with colleagues from across the UTL​ how you see the future  ​of librarian-faculty engagement, and ​collectively ​imagine how you will work alongside faculty in the  ​future. Focus groups will be scheduled for librarians at UTM and UTSC as well. There are enough spots in the focus groups to accommodate all librarians.

I hope that you will participate in the focus groups; your input will be important and your voice is critical to enhancing the liaison program.

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Update February 24 2015:

A summary version of the Report of Findings UTL Liaison Librarian Program Focus Groups is available. 

Dr. Debra Wallace and Ms. Lisa Norberg have agreed to serve as external reviewers, and will be on campus for meetings on April 15-16 2015.  The reviewers’ terms_of_reference are also available.

Update June 3 2015: The final report is now available.

Report on External Review: University of Toronto Libraries Liaison Librarian Program (May 2015) 

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How to arrange an in-class observation of your teaching

In-class observations are an effective means to gather formative feedback on one’s teaching in a low risk context as well as to explore ways to strengthen institutional practices and achieve goals for student learning. Librarians can now request an in-class observation from a team composed of a CTSI team member and a librarian seconded to CTSI’s PASS program.

In-class observations typically involve an initial consultation, a one hour class visit from the observing team members, which may include a recording of the lecture if desired, and a follow-up consultation. In-class observations are conducted for formative purposes only, and should be requested at least three to four weeks in advance.

U of T librarians interested in arranging in-class observations are asked to contact Heather Buchansky, Student Engagement Librarian, at heather.buchansky@utoronto.ca. Heather will coordinate the next steps with CTSI and the PASS librarians.

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