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Embedding

CLA Poster Presentation, 2010 Conference in Edmonton, Alberta

Informal

Hallway Chats
Reference questions are asked in a multitude of locations:  outside offices, in the back of classrooms, in line for coffee or food, while shopping in the grocery store, or out for a walk at lunchtime.  These conversations can lead to opportunities for instruction.

Bridge between Students & Program
Librarians are often seen as supportive and non-threatening.  Students sometimes feel less reluctance to express frustrations and opinions about administrative issues to librarians, and when appropriate, these can be relayed to administration.   Library staff also provide the administration of the program a venue to communicate casually with students.  
 
Having Coffee & Attending Social Events
Taking part in any normal social event is very important to building relationships.  Successfully embedded librarians discuss the importance of taking their colleagues for coffee or lunch, or even heading out for dinner and drinks with the students and other professors during celebrations. Food is particularily important when building relationships with professional students, graduate students, and fellow faculty members.


Meeting in Their Space
A great way of building trust and learning about our users is to visit them in their spaces by dropping into faculties' offices, student's desks, and gathering places such as lounges and lunch areas.  Medical librarians provide research assistance in the classroom or on hospital rounds.  These opportunities often lead to providing instruction at the point of need, and promote instruction, referrals, collaborative projects, and general relationship building.

Connection to Other Programs & Projects
Embedded librarians in professional programs often act as a hub of information about the institution they work in.  Like a communications officer, they often know of programs, centres, and initiatives around the institution, and need to keep their colleagues informed.  Librarians are often involved with interdisciplinary programs and research projects.  We also assist with specialized job applications and career information for the particular profession, and often work closely with the career centre to help students find employment.  This is an example of collaboration with colleagues in other programs as well as a variety of projects.

Word-of-Mouth Referrals
Students speak to their colleagues and refer each other to us because we provide good services with a helpful attitude.  Helpful service leads to faculty recommending research assistants and students to approach us for on-going assistance.

 

 

Formal

Newsletter Contributions & E-Updates
Newsletter contributions includes library branch publications and faculty publications.  Updates can come in the form of paper, e-mails, blogs, new book lists, and wikis.  The main purpose of these communication methods is to promote library services.

Orientations & Ceremonies
We are responsible for providing orientations and library/building tours to new students to promote the library and our services.  We are also invited to attend thesis defences and graduation ceremonies as part of the program.  These opportunities enable us to be involved at the start and end of the program.

Curriculum, Committees, Recruiting
Branch librarians may be asked to participate in subject-specific faculty committees and play a part in recruiting new students to the program.  We can also play a part in reviewing and revising curriculum for a particular class or the program as a whole and co-ordinate with administrative staff to make things run smoother.  This is an example of collaboration with those administering the program.

Focused Classroom & Online Instruction
Classroom activities may include tutorials in a class, targeted workshops with voluntarily sign-up, and one-time sessions in a particular professional course where we provide specialized instruction geared toward the specific course content and assignments.  Online instruction includes web pages, specific web guides for a course, integrating in course management systems (e.g., Blackboard), virtual/instant messaging/e-mail reference, and providing technological support.  These are examples of instruction and opportunities to collaborate with colleagues.

Attend Speakers & Conferences with Area Colleagues
Attending speaker events, workshops, and conferences related to our users’ subject areas helps us learn our assigned subject specialty and provide better service.  We may attend classes to learn what students are doing and assist with their focused research projects.

Literature Reviews & Project Assistance
We can be involved with grant proposals, surveying literature for the beginning of a project, assisting students finalize their thesis to ensure they haven’t missed anything, collaborating as part of a research team, or assisting research assistants on a project.  Extensive literature reviews are commonly undertaken by health librarians.  This is an opportunity to collaborate with faculty.