Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Digital Collections

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Digital Collections

Article excerpt

LMS Embedded Librarianship

LMS embedded librarians are engaged in student learning according to the Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013. They confer with faculty members to discover what their learning outcomes are and what their research assignments entail. After considering what students will have to know and do as researchers, the librarian identifies which subject databases are most appropriate. Academic libraries will license and sometimes buy hundreds of these subject databases. In addition to this proprietary content, LMS embedded librarians guide students to open-access content and open educational resources freely available online. Knowledge of the subject discipline, the library's collections, and the changing publishing landscape is needed to list and link to the best digital collections available for students. Often the LMS embedded librarian will create or link to available tutorials in an effort to explain visually how to navigate search interfaces and how the various collections overlap or are distinct from one another. With this kind of support, students are better able to decide which digital collections are most suited to their research needs.

The LMS embedded librarian might work in the following manner. After discussing the details of a research project with a professor, the librarian begins to build an LMS embedded librarian page or a course LibGuide for registered students. This is a carefully selected resource list, drawn from all digital collections available through the university libraries and online. After linking to general contact information, the embedded librarian may recommend databases that suggest topic ideas on controversial issues in the news, such as EBSCO's Points of View Reference Center or Gale's Opposing Viewpoints in Context or CQ Researcher. Individual electronic reference titles published by various companies (Gale, Oxford, Salem, Springer, Wiley, etc.) or reference collections like Credo can also be linked to for academic background research. The librarian proceeds to link to the library discovery service for its digital and print collections. The comprehensive discovery service for articles, books, and media may be highlighted using tutorials that demonstrate its purpose and search interface. Several subject databases may be individually linked to promote essential digital collections within a field, such as images in Artstor for art; scholarly journal articles in Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text for criminal justice; evidence-based practice reviews in the Cochrane Library for nursing; or company and market data in OneSource for business. Sometimes the LMS embedded librarian will need to steer students to specialized digital collections in statistics--like the Statistical Abstract of the United States by ProQuest or American FactFinder by the US Census Bureau--or in law--like LexisNexis for legal cases.

Normally the embedded librarian will include screencasts or screenshots that demonstrate how to conduct efficient online searching, explain research terminology such as peer-reviewed, describe a discipline-specific thesaurus such as the National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) or codes used in business research such as the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), or introduce a mnemonic system for evaluating websites such as the CRAAP Test: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose. Finally, the embedded librarian will link to guides, generators, and managers for the required citation style or styles students will use. By carefully directing students to these academic tools, explaining research concepts, and linking to digital collections, the LMS embedded librarian is able to help students develop their information literacy and encourage them to adopt more productive research strategies based upon a fuller understanding of the cycle of scholarly communication.

Digital Collections

Embedded librarians have many choices when it comes to directing students to scholarly digital collections within their LMS courses. …

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