Introduction Libraries,which is a dynamic organization consist of collection of information resourcesand services, well organized for use and maintained by the librarians. The high impact of the Internet and Googlehas changed the traditional environment of gathering information. The Web has also changed the present library usersto tech-savvy who expect relevant information to be accessed anytime andanywhere. In order to cope with thepresent users, the librarians need embed themselves with other services andactivities and provide a fast and resourceful service to the users of thelibrary. 2. Embedded librarianThe phrase embedded librarian was coined by Barbara Dewey in2004. David Shumaker and Mary Tallydefine an embedded librarian as a librarian focused “on the needs of one ormore specific groups, building relationships with these groups, developing adeep understanding of their work, and providing information services that arehighly customized and targeted to their greatest needs”(Shumaker & Tally2009). Embedding helps to work outsidethe traditional boundary and understand the users’ information need in anefficient way.
3. Building Blocks of Embedded Librarianship David Shumaker of Catholic University of America’s School ofLibrary and Information Science identifies four keys to embedded librarianship:· Buildstrong relationships with users or user group in an institution or department.· Focuson understanding their work and information needs of the users· Sharetheir goals and actively contribute to the achievement of those goals.
· Becomean integral and indispensable member of the group.4. Wherecan librarians’ embed themselves? Thekey point in embedded librarianship is to make the librarians to move out ofthe traditional library setting and provide customized and value added service. There are numerous ways in which thelibrarians can embed themselves and provide out of boundary services. · Thelibrarians can make frequent visits to the classrooms in an educationalinstitution and gain an in-depth knowledge of the student’s project andassignments and provide them an expertise to use the library. The major drawback of this is that it is timerelated as well as a shared responsibility. · Thelibrarians can also embed themselves in the institutional course managementsystem. Nowadays more colleges or institutionsprovide online courses and this requires a course management system.
The librarian can take part in the discussiongroup providing the students who like to enroll themselves in online courseswith information about the courses. Thelibrarian can answer questions and give them details in the online discussionboard. Embedding with course management system requires a sound knowledge ofinformation and communication technology. · Librarianscan work with the research groups or researchers. This helps them to participate in some small-scaledprojects.
They can help the researcherwith literature review, data curation and other specialized work related to theresearch activities. · Librarianscan embed themselves with the department and be closely affiliated with thedepartment. They can know in-depthinformation need of the faculty and students who are the users of libraryservices. 5.
Embeddingin the present technological age With the advancement of informationand communication technology, embedded librarianship can be extended to moreactivities.· Learningmaterials can be created by the librarians themselves. Free online screencasting tools can be madeused by the librarians to answer reference questions. The librarians can also create and share instructionalvideos.· Librarianscan embed themselves in social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter,etc. · Adobecontent can be used to provide real time interaction with students and Googlevoice to provide personal access via phone.
6. Assessment for embedded librariansAssessment is imperative for thesuccess of embedded librarianship. Assessment can be done through tracking student learning over thesemester. The librarians can also formresearch questions for the users of the library. Another common tool for assessment is thecitation analysis of the sources used by the students and faculty. The quality of the sources can be determinedthus revealing the utilization of those resources.
7. Traditional librarian vs. embedded librarian The characteristicsthat distinguish the embedded librarian from the traditional librarian are asfollows:· Asembedded librarians have a deep understanding by communicating with the users,they are able to anticipate information more than just being responsive.· Thetraditional librarian just serves one library user at a time, but the embeddedlibrarian interact with a group of information users and ensure thatinformation flows to everyone in the group.
· The traditional library service is standard model;on the other hand embedded librarian can customize the services to meet theinformation needs of the users. The librarian’s relationship with the users makescertain that the right information is given to the users.· Transactionsare the measure for reference work in the traditional library service, but forembedded librarian it is value added service. · Thetraditional librarian has limited participation with the users, but an embeddedlibrarian is considered an integral member of the user group. 8. Conclusion Libraries and librarians need to find waysto make changes in order to provide relevant information resources to the user group. The goal of embedded librarianship is tomake the librarian work in any setting. Theembedded librarian can be fully integrated into a user group and create a strongrelationship with the users to know their information needs.
With the advent ofnew information and communication technology, the services in the libraries changewith a steady growth in embedded librarianship. Embedded librarians can be a best resource in anyinstitution as they work towards the professional development of the users by introducingthem to myriad of relevant resources. The embedded librarianship is thusreplacing the traditional reference librarianship with its new image of effectiveproficiency and commitment.