Another Definition of “Embedded”


Last week, I finished reading “Embedded Librarians: Moving Beyond One-Shot Instruction”, the collection of essays edited by Cass Kvenild and Kaijsa Calkins, which I highlighted back on June 6.

The last essay in the collection contains a succinct definition of “embedded” that I really like. The essay is “Embedded Librarianship at the Claremont Colleges”, by Jezmynne Dene. Here’s what she says (p. 225): “We chose to define an embedded librarian as ‘an integral part to the whole,’ based on the geological definition of an embedded element.”

I think that’s exactly right. “An integral part to the whole.” An element without which the whole could not be what it is.

The level of my own geological knowledge being zero, I never heard that definition before. I think it says what I’ve been trying to say, much better than I’ve been able to express it. From now on, when I’m asked what embedded librarianship means, I’ll say it means that librarians become integral parts to the units and groups in which they work.

Thanks Jezmynne!



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