Sources: The Embedded Librarian’s Cookbook

The Embedded Librarian’s Cookbook. Ed. by Kaijsa Calkins and Cassandra Kvenild. Chicago: ACRL, 2014. 167 p. Paper $48 (ISBN 978-0-8389-8693-6).

This unusually sized (ten inches wide by eight inches high) paperback book is designed for sharing. The wide page borders, excellent layout, and pleasing font make the pages ideal for copying. And that is exactly what librarians will want to do with these very useful “recipes” for embedded librarianship projects. It is amazing how much great information Calkins and Kvenild have stuffed into just 167 pages.

One minor complaint is that the authors never define the term embedded librarian. Although most academic librarians will be familiar with the term, a definition would be welcome because in some contexts, this term refers to a librarian’s participation in online-only activities, and in other contexts, embedded librarianship includes both face-to-face and online ventures. Several similar titles, such as Embedding Librarianship in Learning Management Systems (Tumbleson and Burke, 2013) and Virtually Embedded: The Librarian in an Online Environment (Leonard and McCaffrey, 2014), focus exclusively on online environments. This volume, the sequel to the editors’ 2011 book Embedded Librarianship: Moving Beyond One-Shot Instruction, considers embedded librarianship in all contexts.

Dozens of librarians have contributed short “recipes” about their embedded librarianship projects to this edited book. Calkins and Kvenild provide an introduction and a structure to the “cookbook,” including a template for each recipe, with components such as “Cooking Time,” “Ingredients and Equipment,” “Preparation,” “Allergy Warning,” and “Chef’s Note.” The individual recipes, grouped by theme, form part 1. Part 2 includes “Test Kitchen” (assessment) and “Meal Planning” (curriculum mapping). The recipes vary in the amount of detail provided: Some authors give step-by-step instructions for implementation, whereas others simply summarize what they did. Most recipes offer excellent illustrations, lessons learned, and of course, a bibliography of additional resources.

In keeping with the cookbook concept, the recipe chapters are arranged by cooking-related themes. Chapter 1, “Amuse Bouche,” offers “bite-sized” embedded projects; chapter 2, “First Courses,” discusses embedding in the first-year experience; chapter 3, “Everyday Meals,” contains projects for basic library instruction; chapter 4 “Regional Cuisine,” provides many examples of subject-based projects; chapter 5, “Al Fresco Dining,” focuses on online instruction; and chapter 6, “Tailgating,” addresses how to be embedded outside the classroom, such as in athletics and service learning.

Recommended for academic libraries and library science education collections.—Denise Brush, Public Services Librarian, Rowan University Libraries, Glassboro, New Jersey


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