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Wednesday, November 6 • 2:00pm - 3:10pm
I don’t want to go among mad people: adventures in establishing good communication between subject librarians and technical service departments in a large academic library.

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“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the cat: “we’re all mad here.” The first line of this quote sums up a general feeling library employee often have towards coworkers in other departments at institutions where job duties are siloed. This perspective results in poor communication and hesitancy to collaborate among departments. Long-term, this hesitancy leads to stereotyping employees of different departments as being difficult to work with, etc. The second line resonates with how the presenters view this mentality to think of colleagues – it doesn’t matter if they are “mad” because we all need to work together to succeed. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, aren’t we all a bit “mad?” Presenters are two librarians newer to the University of Tennessee Libraries who were thrown into leadership roles after a reorganization and decided to break down the siloed walls to achieve success in their departments. Presenters will describe an assessment conducted among subject librarians to determine how their roles and responsibilities for collection development shifted as a result of the reorganization and how technical service departments can best communicate with subject librarians to support their roles, as well as identify training that is needed to develop subject librarian skills related to their roles. This assessment is currently still in-process and presenters wish to conclude it before deciding how best to engage the audience. In whatever form that is, attendees will be active participants (possibly facilitated through a variety of antics to illustrate that we are all indeed “mad”). Attendees can expect to gain insight into how this process affected communication at the UT Libraries and how they can apply what was learned to similar situations in which problems occur because siloed departments create poor communication.

avatar for Jennifer Mezick

Jennifer Mezick

Head, Assessment Programs and Collection Strategies, University of Tennessee
avatar for Elyssa Gould

Elyssa Gould

Head, Acquisitions & Continuing Resources, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Wednesday November 6, 2019 2:00pm - 3:10pm EST
Carolina Ballroom A, Francis Marion Hotel 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401