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Template/Menu of Core Roles and Responsibilities Subject Specilist Librarians

Template/Menu of Core Roles and Responsibilities

Subject Specialist Librarians


This template is provided to facilitate the development of position announcements in the University Library for subject specialists.  The roles and responsibilities are described in more detail in the report of the Subject Specialist Task Force.  The items noted are believed to be realistic and achievable by most of those working as subject specialists.  Other, more specific, responsibilities relating to subject assignments are not included in the list.


1.  Engagement


A.  Displays a strong commitment to the University Library working in an engaged and collegial manner.


B.  Establishes meaningful and responsive contact with other members of the campus, especially within the liaison department.


C.  Maintains effective and active involvement within the professional community, including related professional associations.


D.  Participates in fundraising and grant-seeking opportunities as well as local community activities in the area of subject expertise.


2.  Reference


A.  Provides effective, responsive reference service through all media – in-person, email, chat, phone, and other means that may be available as technology changes.


B.  Monitors and understands the most recent changes in the production of knowledge in the related subject discipline and the knowledge base as a whole.


C.  Provides reference tools in the form of written and electronic guides to the literature.


D.  Provides standardized office hours, either in the Library, the Department, or other areas that may be used by students and researchers.


E.  Documents and analyzes data concerning reference transactions with a view to defining and applying best practices in the discipline.


3.  Instruction


A.  Actively participates in Library and library information resource instruction to the campus community


B.  Displays active commitment to improving personal instructional techniques


C.  Continually works on improving subject expertise


4.  Collection Development and Management


A.  Selects material in relevant formats and languages to serve the research, teaching and learning needs of the University community.


B.  Manages collection funds effectively and in a timely manner.


C.  Develops skills with and knowledge of current technologies required for the collection development process.


D.  Analyzes collection characteristics and collection usage data to better serve users and keep up with research trends.


E.  Develops and maintains cooperative and constructive relationships and communicates when necessary.


F.  Discovers and recruits institutional scholarly output, research data, and other content for inclusion in the Library’s digital initiatives, scholarly communication programs, and special collections.


5. Professional Development


A.  Attends and actively participates in professional development events


B.  Monitors trends and initiatives in librarianship and in subject disciplines


C.  Learns about new resources and services provided by the University Library and by the University.


D.  Identifies and explores opportunities for providing new or improved services and tools to library users.


E.  Shares discoveries with interested faculty, staff and students.


F.  Gains and maintains competency with necessary tools.