Taking the Mountain to all the Mohammeds : Elements of Embedded Librarianship at a Large University

The prototypical embedded librarian can be found at a small, often one-person library belonging to a university department or a research institution. But central libraries in large university systems stand to gain from the idea of embedded librarianship. Three years ago, the library system of the Un...

Author: Voß, Viola
Division/Institute:FB 09: Philologie
Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Münster
Document types:Conference object
Media types:Text
Publication date:2017
Date of publication on miami:18.09.2017
Modification date:29.01.2018
Edition statement:[Electronic ed.]
Subjects:university library; structural change; one-track/two-track library systems; functional one-track library systems; subject librarians; liaison librarians; German universities
DDC Subject:020: Bibliotheks- und Informationswissenschaften
License:CC BY-SA 4.0
Language:English
Notes:Proceedings of the 38th Annual IATUL Conference 2017, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. Paper 1
This document has been made available through Purdue e-Pubs, a service of the Purdue University Libraries: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/iatul/2017/plenary/1
For a German version of the slides see http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-49179509797.
Format:PDF document
URN:urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-51209534810
Permalink:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-51209534810
Digital documents:voss_2017_taking-the-mountain_paper.pdf
voss_2017_taking-the-mountain_presentation.pdf
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The prototypical embedded librarian can be found at a small, often one-person library belonging to a university department or a research institution. But central libraries in large university systems stand to gain from the idea of embedded librarianship. Three years ago, the library system of the University of Münster underwent considerable structural changes to move from a two-track system to a functional one-track one. The core element of this process was a changeover in the administrative responsibility for the faculty libraries' personnel: they are no longer employees of their respective faculties or institutes, but of the central library, which now is responsible for the management of all 97 faculty libraries. While this helped to improve the libraries' processes and services, it also provided all staff members with more far-ranging opportunities to work in different areas of the library system. Furthermore, it brought a big change for some of the former subject specialists: they became unit managers and are now responsible for the libraries in “their” faculties – they evolved from subject librarians to liaison librarians. This kind of restructuring – demanding intensive discussions, preparations, effort, and some compromise – is still quite rare for German two-track university libraries. However, the experiences made during these first years of transformation are promising. Alongside several other large-scale and small-scale measures, e.g. for collection development, information literacy, or publications, the librarians were able to build closer ties to their students and scientists, but also to their fellow librarians. The paper gives an outline of the organisational change process and the outcomes for the library’s subject services.