Piloting an Embedded Librarian Program in a New Online Education Program

Poster Description: The poster will describe the process by which we proposed the idea of an online embedded librarian into classes in the new online division to administration and faculty, challenges in the rollout of the pilot, and results and observations from the first session with embedded librarians.

Poster: Click here to view Canva presentation or here to view YouTube video.

Presenter Names: Melissa Laidman, Hilbert College and Chloe Santangelo, Hilbert College

Presenter Bios: Melissa Laidman is the Reference and Instruction Librarian at Hilbert College in Hamburg, NY. Her interests include information literacy instruction, especially for distance learners and first-year students, news and media literacy, and outreach. Email: Mlaidman@hilbert.edu.

Chloe Santangelo is the Interim Director and Electronic Resources and Systems Librarian at Hilbert College in Hamburg, NY. She has served in various roles in the academic library with focuses in reference services and user experience, information literacy instruction, emerging technologies, and evidence-based decision making. Email: Csantangelo@hilbert.edu.

4 replies on “Piloting an Embedded Librarian Program in a New Online Education Program”

Thanks for detailing your process for embedding in classes, Melissa and Chloe! I’m curious about the timing of the development of the online program – was it post-March 2020, and if so, did the widespread switch to online learning that happened during the pandemic influence your approach to embedding?

While plans for this program may have been in the early stages pre-pandemic, yes, Hilbert College Global was launched in Fall 2021. I had been embedded in both seated and online courses during the Spring 2020 semester at another institution. During the distance learning period in 2020, the value of embedded librarians in seated classes became clearer. Whereas in previous semesters, online students were much more likely to engage with me via the LMS and seated students were more likely to seek help in person. Currently, we are focusing our efforts on embedding still primarily at the online division courses but are open to exploring opportunities to embed in more seated classes as well. Thank you for this thoughtful question!

Melissa and Chloe,
This is fantastic idea! We are trying to get some sort of integration with our LMS going and this might be a good first step. About how long did you spend weekly on each of the courses? Any tips for someone just starting out with this project?

Hi Casandra – Thanks! I am glad this gave you some ideas for your own program! I do check each course weekly, just to see what assignments they’re working on and what their needs may be that week. However, after the initial set up, there hasn’t been a huge weekly time commitment. The time commitment varies by instructor and their class assignments. For example, one instructor asked me to go over drafts of a paper to help with citation, and also give feedback on a tutorial that I created, so that class I probably spent a few hours per week on during those weeks. For other courses, I have mostly been “on standby”, so it varies based on the students’ needs. I work individually with students, or if I see a need based on what they are doing in class, I might add a resource or send a message to the class. As far as tips for starting out, I would just recommend starting small with one or two course sections, and being very clear with faculty about what their expectations for your role in the course are. Good luck!

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