Comfort food for all


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Presentation on the scalability of embedded librarianship at LOEX 2012. For related information, see our Embedded Librarianship in the LMS Survey results at librarian survey results.pdf. Also see a paper we wrote for ACRL 2011 - A Declaration of Embeddedness: Instructional Synergies and Sustaining Practices in LMS Embedded Librarianship at

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  • We have been thinking a lot about this question. We have surveyed our colleagues around the world on the question in 2011. We have worked as embedded librarians since 2009 on a university regional campus at Miami University of Ohio. We have been reading the professional literature. We have written a book on how to launch and expand such a program. Let’s reason together in the next hour.
  • We know from national ProjectInformation Literacy (Head & Eisenberg, 2008-)and the state ERIAL Project (Ethnographic Research Illinois Academic Libraries (College Libraries and Student Culture, ALA 2012) students work in the LMS. They prefer online research. They do not seek out librarians nor speak library lingo, but they do feel overwhelmed by the research process served up in their classes. When a knowledgeable and approachable embedded librarian shows up in their LMS course and pointedly directs them to start research using subject databases and time-saving tools, they are grateful. They welcome the interaction, endorsed by their professor, the subject expert. Word gets around among students and faculty, this library service is useful! More faculty request the service. At last, instruction librarians feel appreciated and needed! But secretly we wonder: CAN WE DELIVER? Is LMS embedded librarianship scalable? Can we offer it on the menu as standard fare?It’s a fair question, one we will explore together. This is the question that strikes fear in many and shuts down some from trying!
  • If we are honest, these traditional methods of providing information literacy instruction are not scalable either. After all, who are we kidding? Can 1 reference librarian engage the entire campus community during finals week at OSU, for instance? Traditional methods have served us well for many years, but technology enables us to work in new ways!100% coverage is equally impossible. How have we managed all these years?
  • First students are confused by the sign: REFERENCE. What does this mean?Who is that person sitting at the desk and what do they know? Students do not differentiate between level of training and credentials, whether undergrad, classified staff, or librarian.Many seem to follow parental warning: Don’ t talk to strangers.Students may not even come to the physical library. They work from home/dorm and online!Reference desk interactions are declining; some academic libraries have even closed the Desk!
  • Why would I want to start searching here? I have my methods and familiar sources.OCLC’s 2010 Perceptions of Libraries report documents that 0 studentsstart research at the library website.Moreover, tutorials and guides are not easily discoverable by students. Some never imagine such screencasts exist.
  • 1 Shots are spotty. Some instructors schedule them and others never do.Sometimes librarians teach one-shot info lit classes. Sometimes they train to TAs teach these skills in the many sections of Freshmen Composition. Typically instruction time is limited to 50-75 minutes. Because of peer pressure,students hesitate to admit they don’t know how to…If the class is not timed exactly right in the term, they may forget the research lessons presented.
  • Vegetables are good for you!Where is the discipline context?We seldom enroll every student in these credit courses. Enrollment may be capped at 15-20 students. We don’t have the instruction staff and time. This may explain why tutorials and online modules are becoming more popular.Nor can we teach every information literacy skill that may be needed in higher education and the workplace. There are specialty topics we may overlook.And the tools and technology keep changing, seemingly at a faster pace.Too few students enroll
  • Individualized reference appointments seem appealing. Seniors working on capstone projects and graduate students, however, may not request one. Nor freshmen just starting out, for that matter.
  • F2F CoursesHybrid CoursesOnline CoursesDistance LearningSurvey stats of usageLMS embedded librarianship allows direct interaction with students! It is student-centered and meets real information needs.Librarians see the research assignment!It is now possible to streamline the research process for students and guide them in using scholarly, relevant library collections and services.Students like the convenient links and strategies turning up in their LMS course. They may build a relationship with the librarian who becomes a trusted coach in research. Students prefer working with trusted mentors who understand their research needs.
  • Barriers to growing LMS embedded librarianship. Here are the Hard Questions that come up in conversation and the literature.
  • Is LMS embedded librarianship just too time-consuming to undertake?Think of the LMS as the university oasis where teaching and learning happens. It meets users’ preferences. Traditional methods can be incorporated in embedded librarianship. Embedded may even lead to requests for 1 shots or research consultations or increased activity at the reference desk.Librarians need to be in the LMS to be visible and align themselves with the university’s mission, rather than wait for students and scholars to come looking for them.It deepens community, enhances communication, and is time-effective as 100 students can be emailed in the time it would take to assist one student at the Reference Desk.Time savers are still available to us, such as:Reuse ready-made tutorials in and beyond your library.Refer students to appropriate campus offices.Set reasonable boundaries to monitor courses and interact with students. (Think about making appointments rather than holding virtual office hours.. Let students know how to reach you and when you are likely to respond. Unplug at day’s end. You need to refuel and refresh yourself.
  • Externally: Administrators, Faculty, ITInternally: librarians
  • 1700 course sections – Duke University
  • Synergy with faculty who routinely schedule one-shots
  • MacroMicroTemplatesShort PeriodsCustom Content
  • MethodsToolsReuse, Recycle, & Repositories
  • Last spring 2012, 19 faculty, 33 sections, 3 librarians, 850 students
  • 3 YearsNot Deluged with Questions Reaching 10% of courses taught at MUM so far
  • Advice from a MeatloafTry It!Expand It!Spice It Up!
  • Personal, trustworthy interactions
  • E-books, etc.
  • Comfort food for all

    1. 1. Comfort Food for All:The Scalability of LMSEmbeddedLibrarianshipBeth E. TumblesonJohn J. BurkeMiami University Middletown
    2. 2. The Question of Scalability
    3. 3. Traditional InformationLiteracy Methods
    4. 4. The Reference Desk Mystery Meat—What Will You Encounter?
    5. 5. The Library Website
    6. 6. One-Shot Instruction Sessions
    7. 7. The Credit InformationLiteracy Course
    8. 8. Research Consultations
    9. 9. LMS – Comfort Food for All
    10. 10. Barriers
    11. 11. Too Time-Consuming?
    12. 12. Too Much Resistance?
    13. 13. Only for a Few?
    14. 14. Prioritize LMS Collaborations
    15. 15. Equal Service for All?
    16. 16. Ways to Manage the Workload
    17. 17. Reorganize Library Operationsand Staffing
    18. 18. Survey Findings• September/October 2011 – 280 respondents• Institutions • 55% from four-year universities • 23% from community colleges• LMS • 56% Blackboard • 16% Moodle • 14% ANGEL • 10% Desire2Learn • 7% Sakai
    19. 19. Survey Findings• Courses • 70% online • 69% face-to-face • 54% hybrid • 61% undergrad • 42% grad• Average of 31% of MLS librarians embedded per institution • 44% in 5 or fewer courses each • 19% in 6-10 courses each • 15% in 11 or more courses each• Growth in future? • 49% yes • 37% stay the same
    20. 20. Our Experience & Insights Course sections Students 90035 80030 700 60025 50020 400 30015 20010 100 0 5 Spring Fall 2009 Spring Fall 2010 Spring Fall 2011 Spring 0 2009 2010 2011 2012 Spring Fall Spring Fall Spring Fall Spring 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012
    21. 21. Worth Pursuing
    22. 22. Faculty Collaboration Leads toReferrals
    23. 23. Research assignmentsenhanced
    24. 24. Greater interaction withstudents
    25. 25. More electronic resources used
    26. 26. Greater efficiency andversatility
    27. 27. Questions?
    28. 28. Images with CreativeCommons Attribution Licenses• 2 -• 3 -• 4 -• 5 -• 6 -• 7 -• 8 -• 9 -• 10 - &• 11 -• 12 -• 13 -• 14 -• 15 -• 16 -• 17 -• 21 -• 22 -• 23 -• 24 -• 25 -• 26 -• 27 -