Embedded librarianship – not as painful as it sounds

One of the recently emerging trends in academic librarianship is the embedded librarian. In this role, the librarians is a partner with the teaching staff, and is available throughout the course, rather than offering a single training session or workshop. Increasingly, this means that the library has a presence on the Learning Management System (LMS) e.g. Blackboard, Moodle. By being available in this way, we’re in a space where students regularly spend time and are very likely to find us. This presence also offers the opportunity to provide services at the point of need and in a targeted way. Rather than trying to cram all the information we want to pass on to the students in a one-off face-to-face session, we can gradually roll it out week-by-week in conjunction with the lecture material. By being online, we also ensure that students who are off-campus are receiving the same level of service from us as on-campus students.

There have been several tweets recently regarding various models of embedded librarianship:

At Macquarie, we’re trying to move into embedded librarianship by establishing a presence on Moodle, or iLearn as we call it. One of the items on our Library Services department plan for this year is “plan development of sustainable, client oriented products available via client oriented channels including iLearn.” We’ll probably start off small and pilot the service with a few units, with the aim of expanding to cover more units next year. There’s also the option of adding LibGuides into iLearn too, as detailed in this article.

It’s an exciting opportunity to expand our services, and be in the same space as the students.

About Andrew

I'm a Research Librarian at Macquarie University Library in Sydney, Australia, who also happens to be a geocacher.
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