Hot Topics Winter ’09–Distance Ed/Embedded Librarians

Embedded Librarian/Distance Ed/Faculty Relations Group

Part I


-For blended (distance and on-campus) classes, faculty  are more hesitant to use embedded librarians because they’re protective of hours they have in person with their students

– There are still problems recruiting faculty members to even teach distance ed classes, let alone work with the library

-Talked about the “road of least resistance”-working with faculty you already have a good relationship with, getting one or two to buy into embedded librarian idea, and then other faculty will hopefully follow

-Buy-in from the campus as a whole also helps-faculty, administrators, etc. There is the problem of faculty already feeling they have too much to cover in their subject lesson plans-therefore they are hesitant to use instruction or embedded librarian services, thinking it will cut too much into class time

-Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools lists information literacy competency as a standard of excellence

-One school sets up two part sessions-Part 1, librarians come to the class, then in Part II, students come to the library to start on research with professor supervision

-The American Association of Community College (AACC ) has a position statement on information literacy may be helpful in getting an information literacy program off the ground. You can find it here:

-People can meet the standards above differently-for instance different departments have to say how they will cover standards

– Outreach to faculty is important. One person described how his school has a position that just coordinates outreach, while others do it the more traditional way with different librarians being liaisons to different subject areas.

-Learning commons can facilitate instructional services at some colleges-Harrisburg Area Community College as example



Part II of discussion

-Discussed how distance ed programs are sometimes “growing in a vacuum” separate from other college services

-Some campuses are using distance ed programs to drive up enrollment without giving students the same level of service as on-campus students can enjoy

– Difficulty of actually getting to know distance ed faculty, especially adjuncts who live and work in other areas and don’t often come to campus

-Mention of 24/7 Librarian service from

-Marketing things to faculty is important, showing them what the library has. Sometimes just showing teaching faculty how to use resources is better than nothing because they can at least be encouraged to get their students to use the resources.

– Trying to hit up new faculty is important, letting them know what library resources are available

– Two methods of getting information literacy more embedded were briefly discussed:


A.      Making some kind of concept map that illustrates the relationship between information literacy standards and a particular critical thinking model

B.      Working with an assessment committee to get people on board with critical thinking

-More problems working with some departments.  For instance, nursing students need critical thinking skills on a day-to-day basis for their jobs, but nursing faculty sometimes sees the point of this quickly, sometimes they don’t

-It takes time to do tutorials for distance students, and many community colleges don’t have time do their own. We mentioned TILT (  and  Research Tutor (



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