Embedded Librarianship at the SLA Conference, Part 1


I’ve just returned from the Special Libraries Association annual conference in Philadelphia, where the centerpiece for embedded librarians was a panel organized by the Military Librarians Division. The panel featured Michael Moore, of the MITRE Corporation, who spoke about his embedded work for the corporation’s Systems Engineering Practice Office (SEPO), and Rachel Kingcade, who described her approach to embedded information literacy instruction at the US Marine Corps Research Library.

Michael first wrote about his work in an article published in Information Outlook in 2006, so it’s great to see that his embedded role is continuing strong. Michael emphasized the themes of Connections (both connections with his SEPO colleagues and his ability to help SEPO connect with others in the corporation); Energy (identifying passions, issues, and needs of the organization, and addressing them); and Communication (the criticality of multiple modes and purposes of communication to foster a strong embedded role).

Rachel gave the audience a vivid example of customizing her information literacy instruction to her audience — Marine Corps officers. (A previous presentation by Rachel is available here .)

I also provided some comments about the key elements of embedded librarianship and the factors that differentiate it from traditional library services.

The session was well attended — an overflow crowd well above the 60 seats in the room — and very warmly received.

I’ll post more, with some impressions of other sessions and themes that related to embedded librarianship, tomorrow.


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