Becoming an Embedded Librarian: Making Connections in the Classroom

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Embedded librarianship is "not one size fits all," yet many books on the subject treat it in a cold, objective manner that doesn't adequately communicate how becoming an embedded librarian actually works in the real world. Here, Reale shares her own university classroom experiences to offer a step-by-step primer for those contemplating the practice. Demystifying what can sometimes feel intimidating to academic librarians, this down to earth resource

  • defines what embedded librarianship is, and isn't;
  • explains why being in the classroom is so important, and how it creates communities of learning;
  • shows how to clarify the role of the librarian in a classroom by being a "facilitator of process";
  • offers strategies for relationship building, setting goals, and honing a teaching style; and
  • discusses embedded librarianship and branding.

Readers will feel confident applying the lessons learned from Reale's first-hand account to their own experiences both in and out of the classroom.

Foreword: A View from the Lectern, by Dr. Sandra Crenshaw

Chapter 1: From the Beginning: Traditional Librarianship Takes a Different Path
Chapter 2: Embedded Librarianship Defined
Chapter 3: The Importance of Being There
Chapter 4: The Importance of Relationship Building
Chapter 5: Clarifying Your Role in the Embedded Classroom
Chapter 6: Establishing a Teaching Style in the Classroom
Chapter 7: Classroom Embedding Creates Communities of Practice and Possibilities
Chapter 8: The Embedded Librarian as Facilitator of Process
Chapter 9: Setting Personal Goals
Chapter 10: Personal Branding in Embedded Librarianship
Chapter 11: Being Embedded: An Odyssey
Chapter 12: In Retrospect


Michelle Reale

Michelle Reale is a professor and access services and outreach librarian at Arcadia University. Her books include Inquiry and Research: A Relational Approach in the Classroom, The Indispensable Academic Librarian: Teaching and Collaborating for Change, Mentoring and Managing Students in the Academic Library, Becoming an Embedded Librarian, and Becoming a Reflective Librarian and Teacher: Strategies for Mindful Academic Practice. Her research interests are embedded librarianship, mentoring, narrative inquiry, poetic inquiry, and reflective practice.

"Provides tips and strategies for librarians to successfully implant themselves in various kinds of classrooms. Each chapter offers practical, easy-to-follow steps, and a bibliography of additional readings, for addressing issues such as relationship building, establishing a teaching style, personal branding, etc. … A concise and lucid treatment of the topic. Highly recommended for instruction librarians working at academic libraries and teaching faculty who have librarians embedded in their courses."
— Library Journal

"This reviewer had no frame of reference for ‘embedded librarianship' prior to reading this publication and was exhilarated to discover this path in traditional librarianship. Although targeted at librarians in academia and, specifically, the writing of the senior thesis, this reference is personal and informative and lacks jargon. With ideas and concrete steps that could be adapted to other library settings, this handbook also advances potential professional diversification for librarians."

"Reale's book is a coherent and well-organized discussion of the various aspects of embedded librarianship … The book will prove to be a practical and enjoyable resource for librarians who are thinking of adding embedded librarianship to their instruction arsenal. Additionally, librarians who have already decided that the embedded life is for them will benefit from Reale's fresh survey of embedded librarianship, keen self-analysis, and imaginative lists of strategies."
— College & Research Libraries

"Useful as a reference tool for someone venturing forward with a classroom-based embedded librarian program at their college, university, or community."
— Against The Grain

"Embedded librarianship is a term used by many to mean being included in online coursework, but the focus of this book is in a face-to-face classroom setting. The strategies outlined in this text could certainly be applied to distance learning situations. Overall, an informative text in an expanding area of librarianship."
— Catholic Library Association