Virginia Special Libraries Association Fall Program – Embedded Librarianship

This morning I attended the VASLA Fall Program on Embedded Librarianship, held at the Virginia Historical Society.  It was a great program, although it went much longer than expected.  Once one session went over, they all went over!  But it was very beneficial to hear from the three different speakers, and their ideas on embedded librarianship.  The first speaker was from TML, and hearing from her really helped me to understand more about how those librarians work, so differently from the librarians in Cabell.  She had a lot of great tips that I’ve already started incorporating into my practices.  The best idea I took away from the day came from her: write an outreach plan for your specific groups.  How could I not have thought of this before?  Basically, create a plan of action.

  • What can you do now?
  • What do you want to do?
  • What are you willing to do?

Other great tips:

  •  Try to get on curriculum committees for your programs.  At the very least, an invitation to sit in on the meetings if not participate.
  • Get invites to faculty meetings.  (Already knew this one, but it’s a nice reminder.)
  • Work on your elevator speech.  Say you run into a faculty member or even a student for one of your groups – what are you going to say?
  • Try to get on their website somehow.  Your contact info, a link to special information about the library, something!

The final thing I took away from the day was the idea of a librarian’s role.  Are we service providers, or team partners?  Well, obviously, I would rather be a team partner.  I saw this come up in an article I read recently, and I thought it was interesting.  I had never really thought about the distinction before, but now I’m like, “Yeah!  I’m a team partner.  I’m part of a support system.  I don’t provide a service, I provide support.”  I’m going to let this sit and stew a little while, and maybe reflect on the idea more later.

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