I had the pleasure of signing copies of The Embedded Librarian for purchasers at the Special Libraries Association Conference. And while it was truly a pleasure, it was even more, because it was also a great learning opportunity.
The pace was perfect. I was busy almost continuously for the entire 45 minutes, but it wasn’t rushed. There wasn’t a line of people waiting so I had a chance to talk with everyone who approached – and that’s how I learned so much.
For example, there was a librarian for a major entertainment company, looking at the embedded model as a way to take a successful library operation to the next level of value … and the research institute library manager who needs to assess the readiness of the institute – both librarians and information users – in order to develop a strategy for piloting the embedded model. I talked with a law firm librarian embedded with a practice group of the firm about how her work is evaluated (it’s not, in any regular, formal way), and with the library director of a medical research institute who felt her librarians’ embedded relationships could be made stronger than they are now.
Each one of these librarians gave me new insights. They reinforced my belief that embedded librarianship has to be tailored to the organizational context and culture. However, the more stories we share, the better the chance that someone else’s experience will give us clues about what to do in our own situation. I’ve tried to share as many stories as I could in the book, and I hope to go on sharing them in the Embedded Librarian blog.