At the end of last year I was given the amazing opportunity to back fill one of my QUT colleagues and become a Liaison Librarian for the Faculty of Law. This was awesome (if temporary) and I have learnt a lot about myself and added a few new skills to my portfolio of things I can do.
So what skills have I learnt acting as an Liaison Librarian for the past 7 months? Here is a quick list in no particular order-
- Liasioning – I have always felt I have strong interpersonal skills, particularly with those I know relatively well. This role was challenging as I had to reach out to academics I had never met before and almost sell my services to them. As a naturally awkward person this was difficult for me. But I used the great form of email to break the ice as I could spend time crafting the perfect email and send it to the academic I wanted to contact without having to come up with content on the spot and sound stilted or unqualified (one of my biggest worries!) Using email and then following it up with a face to face meeting really helped me to connect with my academics and improved my liaisoning skills #likeaboss
- Teaching – Again my teaching skills coming into this role were not too bad but one new thing I had to learn was speaking in front of hundreds of students by myself in a lecture. This was very daunting but like any other teaching event very manageable when I did my prep work. I crafted lesson plans and powerpoint presentations, made sure I knew what I was talking about and (handy tip coming!) made sure I new what technology I would be dealing with ahead of time. By liaison (there’s that skills again :D) with my academic I felt confident that the content I was delivering was on point and most importantly new what recording software was being used. Luckily, it all ran smoothly and a couple of students even approached me after to say how useful it was #thosefeels
- Autonomy – Working in this role meant I did not have desk or chat shifts so I had a whole bunch of extra time. I also was in the role that I usually went to to get assigned tasks to do. This meant I had to actually step up, think strategically, and at times create my own work. I joined working groups and started to really think about what things I wanted to do in this role. In the end I have several positive outputs including creating faculty wide newsletter to connect with our clients and promote library services and creating an Articulate Storyline learning object for the School of Justice that shows how to find different types of quality information and where the best resources to look at. Working more autonomously was really good as it gave me a sense of ownership and culpability and pushed me to really think about how I can best spend my time to benefit my clients and myself professionally #professionaldevelopment
I have really enjoyed my time working as an Liaison Librarian at QUT. You are able to do some great work and have a real impact on students through liaising with academics and creating workshops and resources. I have learnt a lot from my work colleagues and managers and will hopefully take what I have learnt and continue to apply it as a Library and Information Professional. It has made me more confident as a librarian in general which has led me to accept a full time position at another library (how did this even happen)!
As sad as it is, after 6 years of working at QUT Library I will be moving on to work full time at Crown Law Library. I hope this new opportunity will allow me to continually develop more skills, give me some grounding and allow me to really sink my teeth into worthwhile projects as I get to spend 5 days a week at the same place #success!