Tisch Library Journal Salon : Improving Cross-Departmental Communication via Informal Professional Development
- library communication, professional development, knowledge sharing
Effective communication across departments in academic libraries can be challenging, but the literature discussing this issue and potential solutions is sparse. In an attempt to address these issues, we implemented a library-wide Journal Salon at our institution not only to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing, but also to create the opportunity for staff from different departments to come together to discuss research and trends in our profession. In order to evaluate the impact of the Journal Salon, we surveyed participants to: learn how they had been keeping up with library research, learn more about how cross-departmental communication had been occurring prior to our endeavor, and to understand the perceptions of the impact that the Journal Salon has had thus far. We found that the majority of participants feel that barriers to communicating with colleagues outside of their department do exist, and that those who have been successful in navigating these barriers have done so by making an individual, interpersonal effort. While changes to communication structures take time, the survey responses suggest that our Journal Salon is a promising venue to facilitate interpersonal connections between staff who might not otherwise have the opportunity to interact on a regular basis.