Embedded Business Librarianship for the Public Librarian. By Barbara A. Alvarez. Chicago: ALA, 2016. 120 p. Paper $40 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1474-8).

New public librarians will get a solid return on their investment with Barbara A. Alvarez’s new release, Embedded Business Librarianship for the Public Librarian. Alvarez offers libraries a step-by-step guide to make business services in public libraries a success. As Alvarez points out, not all public librarians have business degrees, and providing business services in public libraries can be daunting to those new to the profession. Luckily, this primer by Alvarez, who served as a business liaison librarian, gives the rest of us a guide for serving as an embedded librarian for the business sector through organized and systematic involvement in the community.

In her work, Alvarez defines and explains embedded business librarianship in terms of knowing the library’s business community, understanding the power of networking, bringing the business back to the library, and serving as a liaison to the business community. She outlines five insightful steps to build business services, from creating networking lists to developing stylized presentations based on library service offerings. Alvarez draws a clear distinction between traditional library outreach services and embedded librarianship, making a strong case for her belief that, as with any library outreach service, the success of a library’s business services efforts hinges on the library being an active participant—i.e., embedded—in its local community.

Alvarez has trained librarians to provide business services at her library, and she is the recent recipient of the Public Librarian Support Award from RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)/Morningstar Award. Embedded Business Librarianship for the Public Librarian is a start-up primer for business services in public libraries and will meet the needs of new librarians building or enhancing business services at their library.—Nelson Dent, Information Services Librarian, Pioneer Library System, Norman, Oklahoma


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