Practice Article

Foundations for a Scholarly Communications Program: Interviewing Faculty at a Small Public Liberal Arts College

  • Bonnie JM Swoger (Science and Technology Librarian, Milne Library, SUNY Geneseo)
  • Sue Ann Brainard (Reference & Instruction Librarian, Milne Library, SUNY Geneseo)
  • Kimberly Davies Hoffman (Head of Outreach, Learning, and Research Services, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester)


INTRODUCTION Librarians at SUNY Geneseo, a small liberal arts college, conducted interviews with eighty-seven professors to learn about faculty attitudes and practices related to scholarly communications and open access. Our project can serve as a model for other small college libraries wishing to engage faculty in a discussion about scholarly communications while dealing with staff constraints and limited budgets. The interviews provided an excellent opportunity for outreach and education, and revealed faculty concerns about open access, digital scholarship, peer review, data storage and management, and co-publishing with students. DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT Interview results were shared with library staff as well as faculty, college administration, and the committee responsible for tenure and promotion decisions. Librarians were able to incorporate this knowledge into their work and make stronger connections between faculty and the library. The Scholarly Communication Team used this information to plan workshops and events aimed at faculty, and identified important topics for further professional development for librarians. We were also able to spark campus-wide conversation about scholarly communication issues. NEXT STEPS Listening to faculty concerns has proven the single best way for librarians to remain responsive and relevant in the scholarly life of the campus. As a result of this project, all library liaisons at our institution will include scholarly communication issues as a regular part of their work.

How to Cite:

Swoger, B. J. & Brainard, S. A. & Hoffman, K. D., (2015) “Foundations for a Scholarly Communications Program: Interviewing Faculty at a Small Public Liberal Arts College”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 3(1), eP1219. doi:

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
23 Apr 2015
Peer Reviewed