Thursday, September 14, 2006

Embedded Librarians Reach Students Through Technology

Today’s students prefer using the Internet as their first, and often only, research venue. Capitalizing on this preference, the University Libraries have begun using “embedded librarians” to better connect students with library resources and services to meet their classroom information needs.

Following the model of journalists placed in military units to provide the public with timely reporting on news events, “embedded librarians” are linked through Blackboard with selected university classes. Their ability to view course outlines and assignments and to participate in discussion lists gives the librarians new opportunities to provide relevant and timely research assistance. Resulting email exchanges and research consultations create personalized service with direct benefits to students.

Sample exchanges include information on searching CardCat, choosing appropriate databases, interpreting bibliographic citations, using interlibrary loan services, evaluating web resources, and locating materials in Bracken Library.

Selected classes from the areas of Nursing, Education, and English are involved in a pilot project using embedded librarians. Brenda Yates Habich, an Information Services Librarian participating in the project, notes these connections have had a positive impact on the students’ use of library services and resources. “They realize I know what the assignments are and it brings a sense of confidence for them to ask for help,” she said.

For more information, contact Diane Calvin, Head of Information Services, at (765) 285-3327 or


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