Becoming a trusted advisor: Building relationships with research staff through personalised services

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera


The University of Western Australia (UWA) Medical and Dental Library has a longstanding partnership with UWA Research Centres that ensures engagement and consultation in library programmes and instructional sessions. The relationship with one Centre in particular, has involved an experienced librarian spending regular time at the Centre (located off-campus) with pre-scheduled individual training and support sessions held at researchers‟ desks. This research service has been successfully operating for six years. Five years after the inception of the program, the author, as a new graduate, was asked to take over the service from a very experienced Librarian with a high profile in the faculty.

At first, the idea of this was quite daunting; conducting solo meetings with experienced researchers and academics who expected and were used to a high level of service and had in-depth queries, with no immediate back-up from experienced librarians such as was available when working in the Library building. Whilst at times a big learning curve, the author‟s experience has been extremely rewarding. She has had the opportunity to quickly increase her subject area knowledge, expand upon the Library‟s knowledge of researchers and their topics of interest, cater services to their needs, provide personalised service to individual researchers and research groups, raise her profile throughout the Faculty, and form a network of useful contacts. Over the last year the program has grown in profile and additional services have been requested and provided on a regular basis.

This paper will discuss the research service and provide other new graduates with ideas for providing more personalised services to researchers, stripping away the intimidation factor that many librarians feel when dealing with established university staff members and becoming a trusted advisor in their new capacity as an academic librarian.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011
EventALIA 5th New Librarians Symposium - Pan Pacific Perth, Perth, Australia
Duration: 16 Sept 201118 Sept 2011


ConferenceALIA 5th New Librarians Symposium


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