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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!


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Get to Know…Elizabeth Kavanaugh and her Embedded Librarianship Study at Misericordia University

Elizabeth Kavanaugh: Embedding the Frames of Evidence-Based Practice – Intersections in Librarianship

Poster Presentation at WILU 2016

One of the popular poster presentations at the Workshop for Information Literacy Use (WILU) 2016 was presented by Elizabeth Kavanaugh from Misericordia University Library. It describes the embedded librarianship initiatives at Misericordia University Library, their methods for assessing these initiatives, as well as their results, conclusions, and recommendations. Embedded librarianship at this library combines the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, a campus-wide assessment strategy, and librarian/faculty/student preferences to make library instruction more meaningful across campus and across disciplines. Positive findings reflected the flexibility embedded librarianship gave librarians in working with faculty and students, and in the breadth of options that could be tailored to a specific department’s needs, course expectations, and student preferences.

Get to Know…Elizabeth Kavanaugh, and more about this study

Q.1. What is your job title? 

Elizabeth: I’m the Information Literacy and Assessment Librarian, with liaison duties to the College of Health Sciences here at Misericordia University.

Q.2. Where do you work and how long have you worked there?

Elizabeth: I work at the Mary Kintz Bevino Library, Misericordia University, in Dallas, Pennsylvania.

Q.3. What are your main job duties and how are you embedded?

Elizabeth: My primary responsibilities are to provide reference, instruction, and library services that reflect the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, at the reference desk and in the classroom with CHS faculty, staff, and students.  I think making the connection back to our library’s mission of “welcoming all in the tradition of Mercy and guide those who gather information, raise inquiry, and embrace discovery” also connects us to the bigger picture of helping to develop well-rounded, critically-thinking students.  Embedded librarianship helps us meet the student where they are in their preferred space and preferred means of communication, too.  Our team of librarians came together to define “embedded librarianship” for our instructional purposes on campus as: “providing information literacy instruction and traditional library services to a targeted audience outside the confines of the library building or reference desk;” for us, this primarily means being added to classes via our CMS, Blackboard, with the role of “Librarian.”  Specific embedded activities may include a/synchronous instruction (including videos), announcements, discussion boards, assignment consultation, research appointments, Reference On the Go (roving), drop in hours (on campus, or online), and reference questions asked in person, email, phone, and/or chat.  (Our definitions and the ilk were added to our Resources for Faculty LibGuide under Instruction & Collection Development/Embedded Librarians,

Q.4. What advice would you give to new embedded librarians?

Elizabeth: Experiment, collaborate, and be flexible!  Whether it’s with other librarians, faculty, departmental meetings, or deans, involve as many people as possible to explore new avenues for instruction.  What works for one course, department, librarian, or student cohort may not work (or work in the same way) for the next embedded experiment, so working closely with what the faculty, students, and department asks for will need to be incorporated each time. Embedded librarianship, by its very nature, will take more time out of the day, but it has been for us, at least, a more holistic and organic instructional experience.

Q.5. Did you find differences in SAILS improvement between departments?

Elizabeth: Yes!  One of the aspects that I want to explore more are the direct connections between traditional instruction, embedded librarianship, library services (overall, workshops, roving, etc.), and SAILS to find the “perfect” combination of activities.  SAILS is one of the tools, and we’re hoping to expand its use by more seniors.  At this point, we have a sampling of senior-level students across ten departments (2014-2015, n=174). Ideally, we’re planning to expand the use of SAILS to all seniors to get a better picture of growth over their time here at Misericordia.  There are definitely outlying factors; students who graduate in a particular major may have received information literacy instruction or an embedded librarian in a different program, during a combination of years, in different subject areas than what comes through in just the outgoing SAILS test, so we’re trying to capture as much information as possible.  We’d like to see improvement over time rather than a discrete number or grade assigned to a particular student; I think it speaks better to instruction to see growth rather than a single number at face value.

Q.6. Did any of these differences correlate with differences between embedded and one-shot instruction?

Elizabeth: Since our pilot year (2014-2015), we’re still working through instructional activities, one-shots, embedded programming, workshops, roving, FYE, self-reflection data, and SAILS evaluations to see where the lines of practice affect change in student learning outcomes.  I started a trend analysis from 2014-2015 versus 2015-2016, and was able to compare data across five departments that continually use one shot, embedded, and SAILS for outgoing seniors: History, Medical Imaging, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Healthcare Management (Business department).  Since we’re just in year two, I’m hesitant to say there are trends arising just yet, but one shot instruction decreased in HCM, HIS, MI, and NSG, while embedded instruction decreased slightly in OT (also reflective of lower overall engagement in embedded and one shots, combined).  HCM and MI were also lower in total instructional activities (embedded plus one shots) from 2014-2015 to 2016, while SAILS scores remained the same or increased across all departments except for NSG.

One area that I would like to explore more is students’ self-perception of library instruction.  During the SAILS test for seniors, we ask students to reflect on their time at Misericordia and indicate whether they recall having received library instruction during FYE, freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior years (just a little extra data to see if they even remember seeing us, even if we record that we’ve seen them!).  In 2014-2015, most students indicated seeing a librarian during their senior year, with an overall average of seeing a librarian in the classroom or embedded 2.82 times during their academic career (min=1.71 times HIS, max=4.21 times MI).  However, in 2015-2016, more students indicated seeing a librarian during theirFYE experience, with an overall average of seeing a librarian in the classroom or embedded 3.51 times during their academic career (min=3.03 times HCM, max=3.88 times MI).  Going forward, I’d be interested in seeing if this trend continues in expressing student engagement preferences in the classroom versus embedded, and how those skills translate into an overall assessment of information literacy at different points throughout their careers even if instruction doesn’t come from their intended major per se.  I think this could instead speak more to our overall instruction offerings also outside of the classroom, and I’d be interested in exploring more long term effects of embedded librarianship in and outside of the majors’ context, and with SAILS as a requirement for all seniors regardless of major!

End of interview

Thank you Elizabeth!

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Embedded Librarian Posters: Nadine Anderson, Behavioral Sciences Librarian

Nadine Anderson: Poster

This poster is for my role as the embedded Behavioral Sciences Librarian at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. My faculty already know me well,  so this is geared towards my students in the Behavioral Sciences; to get my name and face out there as someone who can help them with their research from my office in the Behavioral Sciences department so they know they don’t have to traipse all the way across campus to the library to get research help. I’ve put this poster up in several prominent places around the Behavioral Sciences department: on the door to the Behavioral Sciences office, in their graduate student lounge, and in the Behavioral Sciences computer lab. I’ve received great feedback from my faculty on it, students seem to recognize me a lot more, and I’m getting more “drop ins” for research help at my Behavioral Sciences office. This poster has been a great marketing tool!

Nadine Anderson - 11X17 Poster

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Embedded Librarian Posters: Laura Williams, Reading List & Collection Development Librarian

Laura Williams: Poster and Postcard

In my role as Reading List and Collection Development Librarian at the University of Huddersfield for the Business School, I’ve made use of both a poster and a postcard to promote myself and the help I can provide to academic staff.
I designed this postcard to introduce myself to all the academic staff in the Business School, with the intention of letting them know who I am, and what I can do for them. My office is located in the library rather than the Business School, and I’m new to the university, so the postcard was a good way to get the message out to the 140 plus academics in the school. A postcard was sent to every member of academic staff, in a hand addressed envelope, to separate it out from the marketing post they likely recieve. I’ve had more people recognise me around the building now, and know who I am when we meet for one to one training appointments.

Embedded Librarian Postcard: Laura Williams, Reading List & Collection Development Librarian

To complement the postcard I also created a poster to use when I’m out roving in the school offering drop in support to staff, helping with their reading lists.

Embedded Librarian Poster: Laura Williams, Reading List and Collection Development Librarian

I take the poster out with me, and put it up boards around the building, whenever I am doing any ‘roving’ work in the Business School. By having a poster specifically tailored to my role, rather than the library, I am able to catch people’s attention.

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