It’s time to catch up on my blogging. Since my last post, I’ve seen 3 interesting items that might interest you too.
First comes the article “Reevaluating the Role of the Research Librarian”, by Rya Ben-Shir and Alexander Feng, which appeared in the September-October 2011 issue of Bio-IT World and on the web at http://www.bio-itworld.com/issues/2011/sept-oct/reevaluating-role-research-librarian.html . The authors make a great case for the value of embedded librarians in the biosciences and pharmaceutical industries, as key contributors to R&D teams. In the article, they tell the story of a company that eliminated its research librarians (presumably as a centralized function) — so the research departments snapped them up as embedded librarians so as not to lose their services. Need we say more!? I love the fact that this article was written for the pharma R&D audience, not librarians. We need more like it!
Next came word that Buffy Hamilton, the Unquiet Librarian (http://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/), will be doing a webinar on embedded librarianship for the American Library Association. It’s entitled “Taking Embedded Librarianship to the Next Level” and will take place on Feb. 22. The description notes that “You create value for your library and your own position within it when you become an instructional partner to faculty and a mentor to student researchers.” Amen! For more info, see ALA at http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3663&zbrandid=4634&zidType=CH&zid=9600132&zsubscriberId=1026632089&zbdom=http://ala-publishing.informz.net
Last but not least, today’s email brought a tip to a guest post by Cindy Adams on the “3 Geeks and a Law” blog (http://www.geeklawblog.com/2012/01/law-firm-librarians-out-of-sight-out-of.html) Cindy describes the process of physically embedding librarians in a law firm by moving them out of an isolated central library and into the office areas of the attorneys they are working with. As Cindy says, the librarians “hear what’s going on while visiting the coffee machine or copier. Attorneys stop by their offices, just to visit. By being physically present, we hear what’s going on and have become more proactive in providing research assistance.” Exactly! The comments on this post are also interesting. A few of them cite the problem of librarians losing touch with one another: a legitimate concern, but definitely surmountable, as other commenters point out.
It’s great to see so many varied initiatives in embedded librarianship in such diverse sectors of the profession. What are you up to?