A View from the Top: Library Leaders’ Predictions for the Future of Science Liaison Librarianship





liaison librarianship, library personnel, organizational structure, work practices


Library leaders at academic institutions in the United States at the level of University Librarians, Library Directors, and Library Deans were surveyed about their predictions for the future of science liaison librarianship and the importance of science subject specialization. Responses from 71 library leaders at institutions ranging from community colleges through large, research intensive universities provide insight into evolving roles for academic science librarians. Key findings include that library leaders perceive functional roles such as data management and scholarly communication growing in importance, yet they are rarely seen as replacing traditional subject-based ones. Subject specialization is still seen by many as a desirable qualification for science librarians, even though smaller institutional size and budget constraints may necessitate a more generalist approach. While there was no consensus on the necessity of science subject specialization, and whether or not science liaison librarianship would retain this characteristic in the future, there was a widespread acknowledgement of the value of liaison relationships with science faculty and others at their institutions.

Author Biographies

Laura Bolton Palumbo, Rutgers University

Chemistry & Physics Librarian/Science Data Specialist, Librarian II Library of Science and Medicine Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ

Jeffra D Bussmann, California State University-East Bay

Associate Librarian Liaison to Chemistry/Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and the Institute for STEM Education

Barbara Kern, University of Chicago

Director of the Sciences and Social Sciences Division University of Chicago Library Chicago, Illinois




How to Cite

Palumbo, L. B., Bussmann, J. D., & Kern, B. (2022). A View from the Top: Library Leaders’ Predictions for the Future of Science Liaison Librarianship. Library Leadership & Management, 36(1). https://doi.org/10.5860/llm.v36i1.7511



Peer Reviewed