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The Embedded Librarian: New book makes a compelling argument for a model of librarianship based on partnerships, collaboration, and mutual accountability between librarians and information users.


July 18, 2012, Medford, NJ—Information Today, Inc. [ITI] has announced the publication of The Embedded Librarian: Innovative Strategies for Taking Knowledge Where It's Needed by David Shumaker.

Here is the first comprehensive survey of the growing practice of "embedded librarianship"—a strategic model for placing information professionals into partnerships with the individuals and working groups that depend upon their knowledge and expertise. In The Embedded Librarian, David Shumaker looks at implementations in all types of organizations, identifies the characteristics of successful embedded librarians, and explains how information professionals in public, academic, school, medical, law, and other specialized library settings are using embedded librarianship principles to enhance their work and careers.

“We librarians must master new technologies for managing and delivering information. We must engage with knowledge and recognize the difference between information and knowledge. We must develop new organizational structures and new management techniques,” says Shumaker in the book’s Introduction. “Above all, we must establish new relationships with information users,—the people in our communities, universities, schools, corporations, agencies, and firms who need us. These imperatives are operating in every sector of the profession.”

As the way librarians access information changes with the improvements in technology, they must take on new roles in order to add value of their organizations. The approach in which librarians partner with information users, participate in information communities, develop relationships with teams, contribute directly to enhanced team and organizational performance. Shumaker been a successful manager of embedded library operations, and has been engaged in studying and researching the topic for over five years. He makes a compelling argument as to why librarians should embrace this approach as a way to provide value to the organization and their customers.

In The Embedded Librarian, David also presents a series of exercises from workshops that he has led that are intended to provide the tools librarians need in order to implement change in their own organization. He includes self-assessment questions, a step-by-step guide, and methods of evaluation to help the novice embedded librarian in his/her work. Readers can also connect with David through his companion website ( which is designed to keep them up-to-date on the latest developments in embedded librarianship.

David Shumaker has served as clinical associate professor at the School of Library and Information Science, Catholic University of America, since August 2006. Dave’s teaching interests include the present and future roles of librarians in society, the management of libraries and information services, marketing, information systems, and library public services. His research and writing explore the changing roles of librarians in organizations of all types. He and his co-investigator, Mary Talley, were awarded the 2007 Special Libraries Association (SLA) Research Grant for their project, Models of Embedded Librarianship. Dave is a frequent speaker and panelist on embedded librarianship.

The Embedded Librarian: Innovative Strategies for Taking Knowledge Where It's Needed (240pp/softbound/$49.50/ISBN 978-1-57387-452-6) is published by Information Today, Inc. (ITI) and is available wherever professional books and ebooks are sold. For more information, contact the publisher by calling (800) 300-9868; faxing (609) 654-4309; emailing [email protected], or visiting the ITI website at

Press contact: Rob Colding: [email protected], phone: 609-654-6500 ext. 330.


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