New Year’s Resolutions and Reflections

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Generally, I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog recently, though, and I’m inclined to make an exception and articulate a couple resolutions for The Embedded Librarian for 2014.

First, I resolve to publish more frequently. This is the standard kind of “I resolve to be a better person” resolution. I am always trying and wishing to publish more frequently. Nothing new in this. And by the way, don’t worry about being inundated. I doubt I’ll ratchet up as high as once a week. I’ll aim for 2-3 times a month instead of 1-2. Achieving this, however, may depend on resolution 2:

Second, I resolve to broaden the scope of the blog. While not losing sight of embedded librarianship, and its importance for the profession, I’d like to comment on wider issues of librarianship that may not always relate directly to the embedded model.

There are several reasons for Resolution 2, growing out of my reflection on the blog’s history, the progress of embedded librarianship, and what’s going on in the field these days:

1. Embedded librarianship is maturing. I won’t say it’s mature, but maturing. There’s still work to do in spreading the word among librarians. Not everyone “gets it” who needs to “get it” – but we’ve made lots of progress. We’ve begun to see a proliferation of books and webinars about the embedded model. I’ve been heartened to have more companions in the work of writing about, talking about, and doing embedded librarianship. Without attempting a review of the past year, I’ll just note that there’ve been several books either published, or announced and about to be released. I used to try to read everything that was published on the topic, and that’s getting harder and harder to do. And as the embedded model becomes more widely known, it’s time to work more on putting it in context.

2. The tag line of the blog says, “exploring new, embedded roles for librarians in organizations of all types”. I think the time has come to place more emphasis on “new roles”. I’ve come to realize more clearly that not only the “where” and “how” of librarianship have to change – the “what we do” has to change as well. It’s not enough to think we can perform the same tasks as we embed ourselves. Our skill sets and our contributions will change as well. Others are writing about some of these changes. I’d like to comment on new skills and new roles as they relate to the embedded model.

3. Related to the previous comment, I’m a bit frustrated by what I see as the over-emphasis on libraries as institutions and the absence of discussing librarians as professionals in our literature. We need a better balance, more attention to us as professionals, and not only the institutions in which many of us happen to work. Maybe my contributions can help provide that balance.

So, those are my resolutions and reflections as we enter 2014. The blog and the concept of embedded librarianship have come a long way since I started the blog six and a half years ago. With this refresh, I hope to keep things going for at least another 6 and a half!

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One Response to “New Year’s Resolutions and Reflections”

  1. stevebizlib Says:

    #3 is an excellent and important point, David. Building relationships is one of the defining characteristics of embedded librarianship, IMO, and it is librarians, not libraries, who accomplish that.

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