Collection Development for the College of Engineering at Louisiana State University Libraries: Liaison Responsibilities and Duties

Collection Development for the College of Engineering at Louisiana State University Libraries: Liaison Responsibilities and Duties

Alice Daugherty (Louisiana State University, USA), Will E. Hires (Louisiana State University, USA) and Stephanie G. Braunstein (Louisiana State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1897-8.ch017
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Louisiana State University (LSU) is a research-intensive co-educational institution and the largest public university in the state of Louisiana. In partnership with federal agencies and private businesses, it operates some of the most important research projects in the nation. LSU Libraries support this research as well as the instructional mission of the university by means of a subject liaison system that incorporates collection development duties. Under the authority of the Collection Development Coordinator, collection development for all schools and departments is assigned to individual librarians. In this chapter, collection development is described generally, with emphasis on monograph selection and as it pertains to the LSU College of Engineering (COE).
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Louisiana State University

LSU (Baton Rouge) is the Flagship University of the LSU System and is the only public university in Louisiana designated as having very high research activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Designated as a Land, Sea, and Space Grant institution, the mission of Louisiana State University is the generation, preservation, dissemination, and application of knowledge and cultivation of the arts. LSU’s instructional programs include bachelor’s degrees in 74 major fields, master’s degrees in 73 major fields, and doctoral degrees in 47 major fields. Average undergraduate student enrollment is 26,000.

In implementing its mission, LSU is committed to offering a broad array of undergraduate degree programs and extensive graduate research opportunities designed to attract and educate highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students; employing faculty who are excellent teacher-scholars, nationally competitive in research and creative activities, and who contribute to a world-class knowledge base that is transferable to educational, professional, cultural, and economic enterprises; and using its extensive resources to solve economic, environmental, and social challenges (Louisiana State University, 2006).

LSU Libraries

The LSU Libraries provides to the university and to the surrounding community access to more than four million volumes, tens of thousands of e-books and serials, and over 400 databases. The general collections support the degrees offered by the university with a selection emphasis on scholarly research publications. The LSU Libraries is a federal regional depository library as well as a U.S. patent and trademark depository library. Reference assistance is provided in person and offered through email, online chat, and telephone services.

Through Ingenta, a document delivery service, the LSU Libraries system provides access for faculty and student patrons to articles in serials to which LSU does not subscribe. LSU also participates in the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program as part of the services of the Interlibrary Borrowing Department. Requests for monographic material not in the LSU collections are handled through the ILLiad System.

The LSU Libraries is a member of the Louisiana Academic Library Information Network Consortium (LALINC), which supports cooperative and collaborative projects, including reciprocal borrowing agreements. The LSU Libraries is also a founding member of LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, a consortium of Louisiana colleges, universities, and special libraries. LOUIS provides information technology solutions to consortium members in a cloud computing environment that includes an integrated library system, a digital library, interlibrary loan, electronic scholarly resources, consulting, authentication, training, communication, and operational support (Louisiana State University, 2011).

The Liaison Program

The subject liaison program at LSU Libraries was established through the Collection Development Department during the early 1990s when more than fifty disciplines were identified and paired with specific librarians. Currently, librarians working in all units of the LSU Libraries (e.g., cataloging, reference, archives) are assigned to academic disciplines in order to facilitate information exchanges with faculty and students in those disciplines. Having a dedicated librarian to interact with the faculty of the specific departments has served several purposes, including advising on issues related to collection development, developing library circulation policies, and assisting with serials management. Additionally, through the liaison program, librarians offer information retrieval sessions to faculty and students through a variety of venues and provide critical information updates regarding library changes of importance to patrons. Conversely, the librarians also obtain information from faculty regarding research and teaching needs that help inform the selections of new information resources.

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