Embedded Librarianship Defined

Glickman Library, University of Southern Maine
User:Nickline4 [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons
I’m taking an online course on embedded librarianship.  Though I’m still in the course, it is already helping me better articulate what embedded librarianship means.

Definitions vary, but Shumaker and Talley (2009) describe how embedded librarianship involves “building relationships with these groups, developing a deep understanding of their work, and providing information services . . .targeted to their greatest needs” (p. 9).  Alvarez (2017) differentiates embedded service from outreach.  In outreach the library promotes services to the community, while in embedded situations the librarian learns from the community (p. 45).

Overall embedded librarianship is intentional and reciprocal.   Can you identify some courses where a focused collaboration with the library would benefit your students?


Alvarez, B. A. (2017). Embed with business. American Libraries, 48(1/2), 44-48.

Shumaker, D., & Talley, M. (2009, June 30).  Models of embedded librarianship.  Final report. Retrieved from http://www.talleypartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Models-of-Embedded-Librarianship_FinalReportRev-copy.pdf

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