Presented at the Michigan Academic Business Librarian Meeting at Grand Valley State University on July 24, 2015.
The development of the learning commons and embedded librarianship are two of the most recent responses to the downward trend in traditional reference statistics for academic libraries. Reference librarians are rethinking how to demonstrate the added value of their services and reach users at their point of need both online and face‐to‐face. Trends in the building of learning commons and service centers have led to the integration of support services such as tutoring, writing assistance, computer access, collaborative study zones, and research help in order to provide a one‐stop shop for students. For the past two years, business librarians for University Libraries at WMU have had the unique opportunity to be part of the Communication Center within Haworth College of Business. The Communications Center was created to provide help for students with oral, visual, and written communications for assignments, competitions, scholarship applications, graduate school applications, and employment applications.
Having a business librarian embedded within the Communication Center has led to increased opportunities for student referrals, networking with faculty, and even the opportunity for a librarian to teach a required junior level business writing class that emphasized the importance of integrating research into effective oral and written communications. The presentation will include an assessment of the librarian/communication center partnership, discussion of different models of off‐site reference and other common service points for students as well as examples of how research can be reintegrated within basic business writing assignments.