Embedded librarianship is a trending topic in the law library world. What exactly is embedded librarianship? According to Kroski’s Law Librarianship in the Digital Age, embedded librarianship is: “Intentionally building strong, collaborative work relationships with communities in our organizations” (Striepe & Talley 14). I think the role of the law librarian inherently lends itself to embedded librarianship. Academic law librarians collaboratively work with faculty, students, marketing, and IT on a daily basis. However, it is vital for law librarians to evolve and remain forever embedded within our organizations in order to prove our value and increase our job security.
There are various ways academic law librarians can become embedded within their institution. Becoming embedded relates to the overarching concept of law libraries becoming a service rather than a space. Librarians need to find ways of reaching out to their users instead of waiting for their users to come to the library. Librarians can do this by moving away from the stacks and into the highly populated areas of their institutions. They can host office hours in the student center, café, and study rooms to reach out to students and faculty who may not come to the reference desk otherwise. This would enable students and faculty to become more comfortable with librarians and more likely to approach them to ask questions. Similarly, librarians could perform roving reference by walking around the library with an iPad and seek to help users who might need some assistance. Librarians can also go to faculty offices and offer technology training, iPad app help, or other useful services.
Law librarians also need to assert their role in the classroom. One important way to embed is to gain time in the classroom interacting with students and faculty. Librarians can hold information sessions on a particular topics such as technology resources. They can also create research guides, tutorials, webinars, wikis, and become involved online through students’ TWEN pages.
Additionally, law librarians can collaborate with marketing, student and career services to increase their value within the institution. With help from marketing, the law library can promote their services. The library can also reach out to students through social media. Additionally, law librarians can work with student services in making sure there is a librarian representative present at all organizational fairs and other law school events. Finally, librarians can collaborate with career services in providing law students with information and help finding jobs and internships. Therefore, while academic law librarians are inherently embedded, they need to remain innovative in increasing their institutional value through constant collaboration and outreach.