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The practice of an embedded librarian in university residence halls is not a new concept. Residence hall libraries and librarians have existed in various forms since the 1920s but declined in number through the decades. As embedded librarianship emerges (or re-emerges) at many colleges and universities, perhaps the idea of librarians working principally in the residence halls will be revisited and reinvigorated. My position is sometimes professionally isolating, as I have one foot in the University Library and one foot in the Student Affairs Division. As a full member of neither, I must be an active participant in my own professional development and stay abreast of changes to the University Library’s catalog, resources, and curricula for information literacy. However it is a very rewarding experience to participate in the daily lives of the students and demonstrate that information literacy skills can play a strong part in their everyday living environment. Developing programs to engage the students requires building knowledge of the students’ culture and emerging technologies and a willingness to continually update and experiment with my techniques. If there is a lesson that I can impart to other colleges and universities considering developing an embedded librarian program in the university residence halls, it is “Make it fun, make it interactive, and make it relevant!”


Originally published in Kvenild, Cassandra.Calkins, Kaijsa. (Eds.) (2011) Embedded librarians :moving beyond one-shot instruction Chicago : Association of College and Research Libraries.



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