Collaborating with Faculty Part I: A Five-Step Program

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share one of my favorite blog’s latest post, Collaborating with Faculty Part I: A Five-Step Program — a well written article by Kim Leeder, reference and instruction librarian at Boise State University in Boise.

The ideas she presents here tie into many of the staff development action groups I’m involved in at my library (Communication & Collaboration, Strengths – well all of them, really); to a recent University-wide Faculty/Staff Leadership Summit (a focus on self-reflection); and most importantly, to our Library and University Strategic Directions (connecting the libraries to teaching & research, and energizing the educational environment — particularly undergraduates).

The post was a follow-up to content that was presented very recently at ACRL. Here is an excerpt:

As Jean S. Caspers describes, we can look at librarian-faculty relationships as occurring along a continuum of  three stages: parallel work is the most basic sort of relationship in which we’re working alongside each other for similar goals; cooperative work involves basic coordination of efforts; and collaborative work is the deepest type of partnership (21).3 Sometimes having parallel goals is enough, but collaborative work is more likely to yield the greatest benefits for student learning or research.

That said, it’s time to discuss the five-step program. It begins with a little self-reflection.

Leeder makes it clear that while simple, it is not easy.  And I fully realize my place in promoting it seems all too easy since in my professional role I am not expected to have such, if any,  directly collaborative relationship with teaching faculty.  But I believe there are lessons for all of us.

So where are you along this continuum?

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