University Libraries

Publication Date

Spring 6-3-2009


Melissa Vetter:


With a decline in reference desk visits now evident at many academic libraries, librarians are experimenting with new ways to provide reference and other library services to faculty and students. Besides virtual reference and other online services, a growing trend is to provide alternative venues for librarian and patron interaction outside the library. By “setting up shop” in student unions, dormitories, and academic departments, either throughout the year or during specific times in a term (e.g. exam week), many librarians are answering patron queries in a timelier manner and in more convenient settings to the user. In short, they have brought the library closer to faculty and students. In this presentation, I will share two years of experiences from holding weekly office hours in the Germanic Languages and Literature Department at Washington University. Along with a review of recent literature on this new outreach technique, I will provide suggestions and recommendations for being an embedded librarian.



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Library and Information Science


Presented at MOBIUS 2009 Conference on June 3, 2009. Presenter's notes available in Powerpoint file.

Embedded Librarian: Meeting Users on their Turf