What practical activities reflect successful embedded librarianship? How can I apply my expertise as an instructional designer and librarian to positively impact my Universitya��s recent online learning initiative? The answers to these questions quickly emerged as faculty clamored for information literacy support within their courses.
Recurring statements from faculty included a�?Help! Ia��m spending so much time clarifying research tasks that I cana��t teach my course content,a�? or a�?grading research papers is overwhelming due to the amount of feedback on documentation styles and bibliography formats.a�?
One of my most successful collaborations was with a literacy professor. I began by analyzing the syllabi for a Contemporary Issues in Literacy Research course. The stakes were high. Not only was the course delivered in a blended format (classes met face-to-face and online), the course was the last graduation requirement in the M.S. program, and the culminating research paper was sent to NYSED for final certification. Using the annotated syllabi comments, the instructor and I met to clarify the information literacy requirements and expectations. Based on our consultation, we agreed upon a number of instructional activities that we felt would contribute to student success.
At the beginning of the course, I introduced myself as a dedicated course librarian in a a�?welcome videoa�?. I shared my contact information and described important library reference services (e.g., instant messaging, text, email, and a�?research by appointmenta�?) with the hope of providing an additional sense of support. I created a course specific library guide of relevant resources that included direct links to databases, journals, books, and web pages. The guide was embedded into the course content management system (CMS) to provide a�?point of needa�? access. I was assigned a co-instructor role in the CMS. As a co-instructor I could monitor a Research Q & A forum, post announcements regarding pertinent library notices, and remain attentive to class activities (and chime in as needed)!
In order to embed with success, I focus on research intensive courses that likely provide the greatest return-on-investment. In the perfect library world, every course would embed a librarian who in the very least could contribute to a studentsa�� sense of learning community.
-Kim Mullins, Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus