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Nykia Perez Kibler to Serve As SLA Embedded Librarians Caucus Convenor

Dear colleagues,

I’m happy to report that Nykia Perez Kibler will serve as Convenor of the SLA Embedded Librarians Caucus starting in January 2019. Nykia is currently Director of Information Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Population Studies Center, where she has been a full time special academic and embedded librarian since 2001. She has been a member of the Caucus since 2016, and within SLA she is also active in the Academic Division. Beyond SLA, she’s a member of APLIC (formerly known as the Association for Population/Family Planning/Reproductive Health Libraries and Information Centers – International), and currently serves as its treasurer. Nykia emerged from a process of discussion with several Caucus members who responded to a call for volunteers last summer as the person best positioned to take over leadership at this time. I want to thank everyone who responded to the call, and especially to Nykia for agreeing to take on this responsibility.

–Dave Shumaker
Caucus Convenor, 2015-2018

Posted in Featured, News0 Comments

Fall Caucus Update from David Shumaker

Dear Caucus members–

I’m writing to update you on the caucus’s planning for the 2019 SLA Conference and invite your participation.

While the search for a new caucus convenor continues, I’ve set the wheels in motion to build on our success at this year’s conference and ensure that we’re included in next year’s program.

Currently, I’m thinking about the following ideas:

  1. Burnout and the Embedded Librarian. Successful embedded librarians generally wind up with more work than they can handle, and during peak periods the workload can really get out of hand. What are some strategies for managing this problem, and making sure that you don’t end up as a victim of your success?
  2. Embedded Librarians Teaching Information / Media Literacy. By virtue of their embedded role, librarians are able to customize their instruction to the needs of different disciplines. What are the similarities and differences of some information literacy curricula across disciplines?
  3. Solo Librarians and Embedded Librarianship. Are the principles of embedded librarianship relevant for solos? When are they, and when aren’t they? How are some solos leveraging the embedded approach to strengthen their role?

The due date for proposals is October 15. So, in the next 2 weeks, please respond to the following:

  1. What’s your reaction to these themes?
  2. What other ideas would you recommend exploring?
  3. Would you be willing to take part as a:
  • Speaker
  • Moderator / planner for one program
  • Conference program planner for the caucus

Thanks! I look forward to your response.

–Dave Shumaker
Caucus Convenor

Posted in #EmbeddedLib, Featured, News0 Comments

Catch Up With Our “Choose Your Partners Wisely: Strategic Choices for Embedded Librarians” SLA 2018 Conference Presentation

Did you miss the SLA 2018 Conference Presentation “Choosing Your Partners Wisely: Strategic Choices for Embedded Librarians”? Our panel presentation featured panelists Nadine Anderson (Behavioral Sciences Librarian, University of Michigan-Dearborn), Barbara Kahn-Aitken (Senior Research Analyst, The Coca-Cola Company) and Joel Scheuher (Business Reference Librarian, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and formerly of General Motors), as well as moderator David Shumaker (Clinical Associate Professor, Catholic University of America). They shared strategies on using political and marketing insights to figure out both where in the organization to concentrate your efforts and which people in your organization you should partner with, so that you can maximize your value and achieve long-lasting success.

We’ve made the slides available, so catch up on this excellent advice from our speakers: Choose Your Partners Wisely panel slides.

Takeaways from this panel include:

  • Develop relationships with the decision-makers in your organization because they’ll open doors for you
  • Develop relationships with the administrative staff of the decision makers in your organization because they’re the ones that actually carry out the decisions (“the real influencers”)
  • Develop relationships with the departments within your organization that have clout
  • Choose collaborators who respect your expertise and see you as a partner in achieving organizational goals and outcomes
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no” to people in your org who don’t respect your expertise and/or don’t want to work with you on meaningful work (unless you politically have to)
  • Collaborate with people and on projects that will help you grow and further yourself in your organization
  • Collaborate with people who will give you credit for your joint successes and take the time to tell the story of your impact
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no” to projects that don’t benefit you or your library (unless you politically have to)

If you have follow-up questions, feel free to contact our panelists at:

  • Nadine Anderson:
  • Barbara Kahn-Aitken:
  • Joel Scheuher:

Many thanks to our speakers Nadine, Barbara, Joel, and Dave for your work on this panel presentation!

Posted in #EmbeddedLib, Embedded Librarianship, Events, Featured, SLA Conference0 Comments

Catch Up With Our SLA 2018 Conference Presentation “Tell Your Story Well: How Embedded Librarians Demonstrate and Communicate Their Value”

Did you miss the SLA 2018 Conference Presentation Tell Your Story Well: How Embedded Librarians Demonstrate and Communicate Their Value? This panel presentation featured panelists Jennifer Martin (Associate Librarian/Clinical Instruction, University of Arizona Health Sciences Library) and Ethel Salonen (retired Manager of Information Services, the MITRE Corporation) as well as moderator Nadine Anderson (Associate Librarian, University of Michigan-Dearborn). They offered tips and strategies for making sure others in your organization (especially the higher ups) understand the value librarians are adding in their embedded role. 

We’ve made the slides available, so catch up on the excellent advice from our speakers: Tell Your Story Well Panel SLA 2018 Conference slides

If you have follow-up questions about this presentation feel free to contact our panelists at:

  • Jennifer Martin:
  • Ethel Salonen:

Many thanks to our speakers Jennifer, Ethel, and Nadine for your work on this panel presentation!


Posted in #EmbeddedLib, Embedded Librarianship, Events, Featured, SLA Conference0 Comments

Wednesday, June 13 is Embedded Librarians Day at the SLA Annual Conference!

The Embedded Librarians Caucus is sponsoring two programs at this year’s SLA Annual Conference, which will be held back to back on our Embedded Librarians Day, Wed., June 13:

9-10 a.m. (Room 344):  Tell Your Story Well: How Embedded Librarians Demonstrate and Communicate Their Value. Speakers Jennifer Martin (Associate Librarian / Clinical Instructor, University of Arizona Health Sciences Library) and Ethel Salonen (retired Manager of Information Services, The MITRE Corporation) will offer tips and strategies for making sure others in your organization (especially the higher-ups) understand the value librarians are adding in their embedded role.

10:15-11:30 a.m. (Room 339-340): Choosing Your Partners: Strategic Choices for Successful Librarians. Our speakers will be Nadine Anderson, Behavioral Sciences Librarian. University of Michigan Dearborn; Barbara Kahn-Aitken, Senior Research Analyst, Coca-Cola Corporation; and Joel Scheuher, Business Reference Librarian, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, and formerly at GM. They’ll discuss how to apply market segmentation strategies and political insight to figure out where in the organization to concentrate your efforts so that you can maximize your value and achieve long-lasting success.

I hope you’ll join the conversation with these outstanding speakers. See you in Baltimore!

David Shumaker and Nadine Anderson

Posted in #EmbeddedLib, Embedded Librarianship, Events, Featured, News0 Comments

Get to Know….Brian McCann and His Promotional Posters and Strategies for Black & Veatch

One of the most popular presentations at the SLA 2017 Annual Conference was co-presented by Brian McCann and Eryn Campbell: They Don’t Know We’re Here: Promoting Your Library and Performing In-House Outreach. Brian McCann generously shared some of the promotional materials he uses at Black & Veatch with the Embedded Librarians Caucus, and chatted with us about his promotional strategies.

Promotional Materials


Brian put up the Mango Pirate Language course posters to promote an outreach event at Black & Veatch.

Mango made the poster for them digitally (and would have included their company’s branding if

Brian had asked) and it was printed in-house.




Brian uses the Spotlight flyer template (designed by in-house designers) to promote a monthly event highlighting specific

library resources. He passes it out the flyer and shares a pdf version on the company intranet and other internal locations.




Interview with Brian McCann:

Embedded Librarians Caucus: What is your job title?

Brian McCann: Just Librarian. There are only four of us so we don’t use specialized titles.

ELC: Where do you work and how long have you worked there?

BM: I’m entering my 4th year at Black & Veatch, an engineering firm that works with infrastructure projects like power, water treatment, and telecom. We have about 12,000 employees and 100 offices around the world.

ELC: What are your main job duties?

BM: I’m sort of the tech and communications guy at our library. I redesigned and maintain our intranet site on SharePoint, standardize written messages and branding, monitor user experience, generate usage reports, create promotional material and ‘pathfinder’ type things, share on the internal social media platform, and try to generally keep a finger on the pulse of the engineering and library industries.

ELC: What made you decide to use the promotional posters?

BM: Lots of studies show how receptive people are to visual information. We used worded posts on our company’s intranet and our internal social media platform, too, but I wanted to make sure we had something visual that our people could anchor to. In the case of the Spotlight flyers, it helps to have something to physically put into people’s hands, or that they can print out and share with a colleague if they need to. I modified the Spotlight flyer into a table tent version, too, that we place on cafeteria tables and in the break rooms.

ELC: Where did you put up and post these posters? Did you have to get anyone’s permission?

BM: Our promotion of Mango became the template for a new program for us, which we call Spotlight. Every month we have a different one of our vendors or databases send a rep or two over here with goodies to put on a basic exhibition-type table in our cafeteria and also do a webinar with us that people can tune in for or watch a recording of later. That first time with Mango, I had the poster at the library entrance for 2 weeks in advance to notify foot traffic. We moved it to the exhibition table on the day of the event. The only permission we needed to get was for an easel to hold the poster during our event, but we included that with our request for a table to use. As always, the maintenance crew is your friend!

It seemed a shame to waste the poster after the event was finished, so it now hangs behind my desk and adds a degree of flare to the library.

ELC: What impact have these posters had?

BM: They drew a lot of attention for our event and, as we continue to use and save new ones, they provide visual touchstones for our users to see what sort of resources we have available.

ELC: What advice would you give to new librarians?

BM: Be bold and make as many contacts as you can right from the start. I recommend “Coffee Lunch Coffee” by Alana Muller as an intro to making a network. As for promotions, think outside the box. I work for an engineering firm so the library hosts an open house with coffee and donuts during National Engineers Week (which is totally a thing). Use “Chase’s Calendar of Events” (from your public library) to find holidays and weird events that might resonate with your users. It will show that you follow trends and get you into their mindset as something other than just a book room.

End of interview

Thank you Brian!


Posted in Featured, Interviews, Poster Gallery, Uncategorized0 Comments

Join our Webinar: Getting in on the Conversation: Implementing and Leveraging Embedded Librarianship

You’re invited! Join the Embedded Librarians Caucus for a webinar, “Getting in on the Conversation: Implementing and Leveraging Embedded Librarianship,” Tuesday, August 29, noon – 1 p.m. US Eastern time.

This panel session will be a discussion between session participants and three embedded librarians, who will present three distinct models of embedded librarianship, representing a broad spectrum of disciplines, audiences, and goals. Participants will learn strategies for implementing embedded librarianship to engage different campus communities and leveraging it to demonstrate their value by contributing to the overall goals at their institution.

Panelists will share their strategies for leveraging embedded librarianship, including:

  • “don’t wait for the invitation: crash the party””
  • “forget the elevator speech: focus on troubleshooting”
  • “proactively engage your audience: flaunt your expertise”

Each panelist will briefly discuss their experience with leveraging embedded librarianship to contribute to the overall goals of their institution:

  • Jean Song, in a Health Sciences/Medical program, proactively interacting with faculty in order to partner in research analysis including successfully receiving grant funding to support existing grant funded projects or providing analysis on research projects such as bibliometric investigation.
  • Nadine Anderson, in a Behavioral Sciences program, proactively working with faculty on issues with undergraduate research and critical thinking skills (or lack thereof) and becoming part of the solution by partnering with faculty on educational projects and a credit course integrated into their courses and curriculum
  • Joel Scheuher, in a Business program, collaborating directly with graduate students as a member of their action based learning teams, contributing as research experts to solve real-world challenges

You must register in advance to attend. To sign up, go to:

After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email with details on how to join the webinar.

Email David Shumaker ( or Nadine Anderson ( if you have any questions about this webinar.


SLA Embedded Librarians Caucus     SLA Connect: Embedded Librarians Caucus (open)    Twitter: @SLAEmbedded

Convener: David Shumaker,

Communications Chair: Nadine Anderson,

Posted in Embedded Librarianship, Events, Featured, News, Webinars4 Comments

Takeout from the Knowledge Café at the SLA 2017 Conference

A highlight of Embedded Librarians Day, June 18, at the SLA Annual Conference was our Knowledge Café. About 23 attendees participated. They represented a diverse cross-section of organization types:

  • 7 Academic
  • 9 Corporate
  • 7 others, including Federal, Law, nonprofit, and Health Sciences

In terms of experience, the largest group were those with 3+ years’ experience in an embedded role:

  • 8 people – no experience
  • 3 people – 3 years or less experience
  • 12 people – more than 3 years experience

Suggested topics for small group roundtable discussions included:

  • How do we onboard new embedded librarians? Do you have innovative tips, best practices, lessons learned, or “special sauce”?
  • How do we market what we can do as embedded librarians to our non-librarian colleagues, many of whom profoundly misunderstand what we can do?
  • How do we convince our non-librarian colleagues to move from a service to partnership orientation towards us as embedded librarians?
  • Is embedded librarianship a sound survival strategy? Has embedded librarianship strengthened your job security?
  • What organizational/reporting structures do you experience as embedded librarians and what challenges have you experienced with them?
  • How do you assess your embedded librarianship programs and initiatives?
  • How are embedded librarians consultants, and how do we communicate our potential?
  • How is embedded librarianship funded at your organization?

There were two rounds of discussion. At the first, groups were randomly assigned to provide diverse perspectives on the topics. For the second round, groups were re-mixed by organization type. At the end of the session, each participant was invited to leave written comments.

The comments have been transcribed and grouped into three categories: basic issues and questions; specific success strategies; and key competencies for embedded librarians, as follows:

Basic issues and questions:

  • There are different definitions of “embedded librarianship”
  • There are many different ways to “embed” as a librarian
  • Embeddedness is institution-specific
  • Sustainable embeddedness
  • How do you start up as an embedded librarian?
  • Strategic embedding in curriculum
  • Challenge for all librarians – being seen as professionals versus secretarial staff
  • Embedded librarians rise and fall with, and follow the norms of, the groups and departments they’re in

Success strategies:

  • Strategic embedding in curriculum
  • Have a long term plan to go more deeply
  • Embed yourself into your clients/patrons social information sharing networks, i.e. email lists, department meetings, slack group
  • Ask your customers, “what are they doing?’ instead of “what can I do for you?” to find out what their needs are
  • Sometimes you need to go to your superiors and tell (remind) them why your skills are needed and what you can contribute to the company
  • Hold “office hours” in or near various departments
  • Have an open house
  • Get involved in curriculum planning
  • Look into the students and faculty “Point of Need”
  • Co-teach with faculty/advisors
  • Brown bags with library patrons (staff/faculty/students)
  • Use reference interview opportunities to help/partner with colleagues
  • Regular communication and meet with other departments
  • Never turn down a job (data/opportunity)

Key competencies:

  • Challenge for all librarians – being seen as professionals versus secretarial staff
  • Outreach/Inreach
  • Leading from below
  • Training – clear writing
  • Self-initiative, curiosity, and self-confidence can go a long way
  • Build relationships!
  • Be flexible!
  • Become the wizard – let people think you can find anything!
  • Find a way of organizing your clients and information in a way that works for you – email folders by people/topic/company names, etc.
  • Being very flexible – never refuse a request (helps to make yourself indispensable)
  • Analytical skills to show your value as well as your cost

See you next year in Baltimore!

SLA Embedded Librarians Caucus     SLA Connect: Embedded Librarians Caucus (open)    Twitter: @SLAEmbedded

Convener: David Shumaker,

Communications: Nadine Anderson,

Posted in Embedded Librarianship, Events, Featured1 Comment

Embedded Librarians Knowledge Café: What do you think of these discussion ideas? Any other suggestions?

This Sunday(!), we’re having the Embedded Librarians Knowledge Café at the SLA Conference, with roundtable discussions centered around various issues and topics. You can see the ideas Dave and I have received so far below – what do you think? Do you have any other ideas or suggestions which you’d like to discuss at this Sunday’s Knowledge Café? Dave and I will be compiling takeaways from these discussions to share with Caucus members, so even if you’re not coming to the SLA Conference, please feel free to share your ideas and suggestions with us.

  • Innovative tips, lessons learned, best practices, and “special sauce” for onboarding new embedded librarians
  • Organization/reporting structures that embedded librarians experience and the associated
  • Prospering over the long haul and avoiding burnout
  • Assessment and evaluation of embedded librarianship initiatives and programs
  • Embedded librarians as consultants, and how to communicate your potential
  • Budget and funding models – who funds embedded librarians?

Take care, and happy travels to Phoenix!

Nadine Anderson

Communications Chair, SLA Embedded Librarians Caucus

Posted in Embedded Librarianship, Events, Featured3 Comments

Join Us for Embedded Librarianship Day at the SLA 2017 Conference!

Are you going to this year’s SLA Conference? Join the SLA Embedded Librarians Caucus for our Embedded Librarianship Day on Sunday, June 18th at the SLA 2017 Conference. First up in the afternoon will be our Knowledge Cafe, round table discussions about embedded librarianship topics, issues, and experiences. Let us know if you have any suggestions for topics of discussion. We will continue the discussion over dinner in the evening. This is a free event, but ticketed, so make sure you sign up for it ahead of time. Here are instructions on how to sign up for ticketed events at the SLA 2017 Conference.

Email David Shumaker ( or Nadine Anderson ( with your questions and suggestions for topics of discussion. We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

Posted in Embedded Librarianship, Events, Featured, News0 Comments

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