This week we talked in class about whether an embedded librarianship can serve clients effectively and also tested Elluminate by setting up a webinar on our own.
One of readings this week introduced a story of a music librarian who has an office in a music department and I was very impressed by the librarian’s service and performance when I was reading it. But we discussed some real cases of embedded librarians in class and it seems more likely that the case of the music librarian is more of an exception. For instance, the School of Information has its own outreach librarian but people seldom visit her. As for faculty members, Kristin pointed out the librarian’s office hours overlapped with a regular faculty meeting, which made it impossible for faculty to visit office hours. Also, a government information librarian at Clark Library where I works used to provide an embedded library service for Ford School of Public Policy, but the office hour service wasn’t very effective. So the librarian eventually gave it up and instead is regularly sending emails about updated news and services to faculty in Ford School. Recently I had a chance to talk with a faculty member at Ford School regarding library service. She told me that she was just happy with getting updated news sent from a librarian of Clark Library and also with a government information librarian visiting her graduate class to lecture on how to conduct library research. Thus, in my opinion, while an embedded librarianship works well in serving our clients’ special needs, setting up office hours in clients’ workplace may not be as client-friendly as we thought. So, in conclusion, in order to maximize patrons’ benefits from embedded librarian services, a library should research beforehand on a targeted department’s culture and work environment, and patrons’ information-seeking patterns.
We also learned how to create an Elluminate account and use the service. Kristin’s step-by-step instruction was very informative and helpful. Elluminate seems to have many functions and complicated options, so it would have taken lots of time to learn how to use it on my own.