The title of this post produces three possibilities, which in turn produce food for thought and worries to academic librarians. The three possibilities: a. The Librarian Liaison species will extinct; b. The Librarian Liaison role is going to be the same; and c. The Librarian Liaison species is going to mutate to something that will be able to adopt to the online environment. I find it really easy to discard the first two possibilities and go with the third, but I need to justify the choice. Let me start by saying that I am not worried about the future of the Academic Librarian Liaison, which is a role that I would like to play in the future more than anything else in the realm of Librarianship. Of course, Liaisons will have to and will adopt. In fact, they have already adopted.
Technology is part of LIS education and the technology requirements for any librarian in any type of library have increased. All librarians work in both physical and online environments. This means that technology and the online environment are not reasons for the Liaison species to extinct. To take the issue further, regardless of the type of environment (physical or online), the Liaison’s role to interact with the faculty and bring together the library and the departments cannot change. Decisions in the area of collection development and curriculum strengthening must be made by both sides in full collaboration. Finally, the Librarian Liaison provides information literacy instruction and assists the faculty in creating instructional modules for the online and physical class. The latter brings us back to the technology requirements and the mutation of the Liaison species that I mentioned earlier. Instructional Technology is the future and the Academic Librarians Liaisons are already part of this future.
Technology has brought changes in our lives, including the workplace. The way humans react to changes causes this road towards change to be a little bumpy and the attitude towards the future to be extremely negative. Let’s not forget the continues negative discussions about the survival of the library. I believe that we must set aside doubts and fears and find the most effective ways to make the road to change more smooth. On the other hand, a little bumpy is good. It helps appreciate and be prepared for what is coming.