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Time to Meet Your New Faculty!

August 23, 2016
Audience
Adult
Budget
$2,501-5,000
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Short Title
Time to Meet Your New Faculty!

At Loyola Marymount University, the New Faculty Orientation library reception sets the stage for collaborative faculty-library relationships.

For librarians working at colleges and universities, the end of the summer signals the inevitable approach of a wave of new faces. No, not students. It's time to meet the new faculty hires!

At Loyola Marymount University, every August has brought as many as 40 to 60 new full-time faculty from across the campus's six academic colleges. Orientation for new faculty occurs during the weeks leading up to the start of the fall semester. For the past few years, this three-day event has included a tour and reception hosted by the William H. Hannon Library.

New Faculty Orientation Wine LabelPlanning for New Faculty Orientation begins two months in advance. While we won't know the names or departments of the new faculty until a few days before the event, we send digital invites to all the deans, department chairs, faculty library liaisons, and various administrators three to four weeks out. We also request that librarians save the date and plan to attend the reception, especially if (once we know) there are new faculty in their respective liaison departments.

Immediately before the reception, we offer faculty the option to attend a brief library tour. Faculty who choose not to attend the tour are encouraged to go directly to the reception room where food, drinks, and other librarians are waiting for them. Once they arrive at the reception, every new faculty member receives an information packet that includes brochures and handouts from every department within the library outlining the services and programs most applicable to faculty work: interlibrary loan, e-reserves, digital library and digital scholarship programs, special collections, instruction services and information literacy, building maps, and information about our social media channels. The information packets also include the business card of the new faculty member's subject librarian.

The reception program itself has a light agenda. The library dean offers a few remarks, but the majority of the time is dedicated to conversation and mingling. Jamie Hazlitt, librarian for collection development and evaluation and the head of our library liaison program, has created a slideshow highlighting library services and, more importantly, the faces of the librarians most likely to interact with faculty: our programming librarian, the circulation services librarian, the instruction coordinator, the head of acquisition, and the digital scholarship librarian, just to name a few of the many LMU librarians who work with faculty daily.

While new faculty will have the opportunity to learn about library departments from information presented on large posters set up around the room, our primary goal for the reception is to establish the library as a welcoming space with collegial staff. The open bar certainly helps. Speaking of which, we had some fun this year and created custom wine labels to advertise the event (pictured above). Bottles with the new labels were strategically placed on tables at the New Faculty Orientation Resources Fair earlier in the day.

The resources necessary for putting together this event are not insignificant. The reception and printing costs alone make this one of the more costly events of the year. However, setting an amiable tone for future faculty conversations — and, hopefully, collaborations! — is important to our work as academic librarians. The William H. Hannon Library is metaphorically and quite literally the center of campus for our students. We hope our new faculty will feel the same way.

glass of red wine
Library Type
Academic / College
Audience
Adult
Budget
$2,501-5,000
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