For many academic libraries, strengthening the library and faculty relationship has always been important. A lack of understanding of what the library offers can leave faculty to view the library as a home for research materials, rather than a holistic entity that supports student research and faculty curriculum. To enhance the information-seeking behavior of faculty and improve the value of the library across the academic institution, subject-specific scholarly content, integrated platforms and collaborative methods should be considered.

One way to help close the gap between library and faculty is to encourage interaction. An optimal starting point is through the Learning Management System (LMS)/Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

When instructors build a course reading list or course resources, they copy links. This process can be problematic; links can break and the use of documents may be restricted by copyright. Delivering unique capabilities that allow for faculty to interact with the library’s content ensures that scholarly content and access to full text is constantly available. Taking content beyond a reading list can solidify the faculty’s experience with the library, enhance student relationships with the instructor, and provide the library with much-needed insights on faculty preferences.

For the library to achieve success, an interoperable discovery platform is key. Libraries should look for a discovery platform that integrates seamlessly within the LMS and is Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) compliant. Developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, LTI specifies a method for a learning system to invoke and to communicate with external systems.

EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) offers seamless authenticated access to library content from within any LTI 1.3-compliant including Canvas with support for Moodle, Blackboard and Desire2Learn coming soon. Faculty can easily find and use library content to support curriculum and students receive direct links to selected content from within the LMS.

With the increasing cost of college education and student debt reaching more than two times the amount it was a decade earlier, reducing associated course costs should be a focus for faculty and the library. One way to reduce student costs is by improving textbook affordability and access. EBSCO Faculty Select empowers academic libraries to support textbook affordability efforts. Through a single interface, faculty can search and access quality open textbooks, Open Educational Resources (OER), and request access to unrestricted library e-books from top academic publishers. By leveraging free open materials and low-cost library-licensed resources, faculty can transform their courses and reduce the cost burden for students.

One way to help close the gap between library and faculty is to encourage interaction.

While library staff and faculty share a common goal of academic excellence, the library-faculty gap often causes a silo, leading to a lack of communication and awareness. Key integrations are just a starting point to bridge this gap. Focusing on faculty needs and creating strategies to meet those needs are imperative.

Evaluate the Relationship

Consider a user research approach when it comes to faculty and library usage. Meeting with various faculty departments to understand their information needs and how they currently use the library provides insight into how to develop the right content, platforms and approach to meet their needs.


Open and constant communication is key in creating awareness and remaining top of mind with faculty. Consider a variety of communication methods from small group meetings, to dedicated newsletters, to library webpages that includes specific information and news curated for faculty.

Collaborate with Faculty on Curriculum Materials

Providing guidance and collaboration on resources for a faculty member’s course builds a better relationship, creates awareness of the library’s offerings and provides insight into the process of developing subject-specific collections.

Implementing the right platforms and creating specific strategies around faculty collaboration can help bridge the library and faculty gap, creating successful outcomes for the academic institution.