When Life Hands You Lemons: Overcoming Obstacles to Expand Services in an Embedded Librarian Program

Presentation at the 14th Off-Campus Library Services Conference, April 29, 2010

Pair of lemons

Beth Tumbleson and John Burke, Miami University Middletown

Having launched a pilot program of embedding librarians in faculty Blackboard courses, a team of university regional campus librarians reviewed their library services to faculty teaching online, off-campus, and traditional courses, and returned for Round 2. Just as the library services offered in this collaborative effort were taking off, conditions worsened. A storm of staff reductions, budget cuts, and administrative reorganization hit. Despite the climate of uncertainty and challenges, the embedded librarians persevered as they are convinced of the value of collaborating with faculty in Blackboard as active, academic research consultants to further students' information literacy skills. Project Information Literacy's findings validate this strategic solution. Consequently, the embedded librarians assessed users and implemented sustaining practices to the program to maximize its impact. Moving in the right direction is essential and doable, no matter the difficulties.