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Some SUNY Plattsburgh librarians are emerging from the Feinberg stacks and entering the classroom.
They’re joining forces with college faculty who are eager to have library research connect more closely to their work with students. The result is an experimental “embedded” librarianship program.
Feinberg librarians Gordon Muir and Holly Heller-Ross tackled the topic in a recent edition of Public Services Quarterly. Their article examined the effectiveness of an embedded librarianship program.
They evaluated both completed and ongoing pilot projects at SUNY Plattsburgh. These projects embedded librarians within both an on-campus biology learning community and an online nursing course.
The librarians provided customized information services where faculty and students are: that is, at their points of research, classroom teaching and clinical/lab instruction. The close relationship made for better integration into faculty workflows. The librarians also found they were well-positioned to be on-the-scene information experts for research teams.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity for students to get direct librarian expertise at the moments when they are ready to conduct research or use information technologies,” said Heller-Ross. “We work with them inside their courses, where it is most helpful.”
Both librarians see the concept as a way to better serve students and faculty.
“I’m there to help students solve their information needs at the time they have them,” Muir said.
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