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RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © 2015
www.PosterPresentations.com
Purpose: Using qualitative data collected
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Balancing Relationships – Librarians, Instruction, and Social Capital

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Posted presented at The Innovative Library Classroom 2016 held at Radford University on May 11, 2016.

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Balancing Relationships – Librarians, Instruction, and Social Capital

  1. 1. RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © 2015 www.PosterPresentations.com Purpose: Using qualitative data collected for a forthcoming article in The Journal of Academic Librarianship, investigate the interpersonal dynamics of liaison relationships that include instruction activities. Determine the contours of the relationships around instruction and determine what role balance plays in the relationship between faculty and librarian contributions. INTRODUCTION OBJECTIVES • Social capital can be defined as “features of a social organization such as networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit” (Putnam, 2000, Bowling Alone). • Questions I asked relevant to recharging social capital:  Do you have any strong liaison- faculty relationships?  Is the Putnam dictum “them as has [social capital], gets” operative in your liaison relationships with faculty?  When can you ask something of a faculty member?  How would you characterize balance in the relationship? BACKGROUND • Librarians feel they contribute to liaison- faculty relationships:  Expertise around IL  Collegiality • Librarians feel faculty contribute:  Access to students  A sense of professionalism and purpose that the process confers on librarians • Balance in liaison-faculty relationships:  Librarians may contribute more but feel that is natural in a service- intensive role • Strong relationships are deeply meaningful for librarians and represent a new framework for engagement. • “The program gives me another reason to go and talk to them in their department meetings, communicate with them regularly, and it is really great for the instruction program. It allows us to build those relationships and pitch our instruction program to more people.” • “I think there’s already an expectation that I’m going to be a good resource for [new faculty] and hopefully one where we can work together on classes. The relationships are already established, they [existing liaison-faculty connections] make new ones happen or help to make the new ones happen.” RESULTS CONCLUSIONS • Strong relationships provide a basis for the generation and expenditure of social capital and a focal point for librarians who feel pulled in a variety of directions. • Instruction is a dominant point of exchange and provides library liaisons a role that legitimates them as liaisons and faculty when status is a relevant question. • Implications for skills and capabilities for 21st century librarianship: • Collegiality, trustworthiness, flexibility, personable. • Question: how do we address relationships that lack social capital? CONTACT Tim Schlak Robert Morris University 6001 University Boulevard Moon Township, PA 15108 412-397-6868 schlak@rmu.edu • Define social capital as operative in liaison relationships. • Determine what librarians feel they contribute to the relationship. • Determine what librarians feel that faculty contribute to the relationship. • Provide a qualitative assessment of what constitutes strong vs. weak relationships where instruction is involved. Director, University Library, Robert Morris University Tim Schlak, Ph.D. Balancing Relationships - Librarians, Instruction, and Social Capital • 7 interviews were conducted with liaison librarians identified from a listserv of directors and deans of small to medium- sized libraries. • Shared Commitment, Network Positionality, and Interrelational Dynamics posited as categories for data sorting. • Transcriptions and data processing upheld categories with minor adjustments. • Limitations: small sample size, only views one half of relationship, possible self-selection among “best” liaisons. METHODS

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