Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) liaison librarians: Perspectives on functions and frequencies for serving academic researchers


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STEM liaison librarians' roles have broadened with new policies, data, and services stemming from the increase of data-driven research across sciences. The problem this study addresses is the lack of understanding of what tasks STEM liaison librarians do and how often. STEM liaison librarians from a sampling frame of 135 at 16 similarly Association of Research Libraries were surveyed with demographic and job analysis questions. A total of 41 participants completed the entirety of the survey. Findings indicate the majority of respondents serve 4 or more departments and continue to spend a majority of their time on traditional liaison tasks, but data-related duties are in greater demand. In these continually uncertain times with dwindling resources in academic libraries, a clearer picture of STEM liaison librarian tasks and the duration expended on each helps inform staffing of services. A better understanding of these duties and their frequency will add value to more accurate job descriptions, relevant curriculum, and training, as well as advance the understanding of what these information professionals do with their work time as well as tell us what they no longer do as much.
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Key words
Science librarian,Liaison librarian,Research data,Research support,Instruction services,Collection development,Outreach,Engagement,Job analyses,Survey,Academic libraries
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