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Faculty Resource Guide: Embedded Librarians and Tutors

Guide for full and part time faculty

Embedded Librarians and Tutors

Embedded Librarians and Tutors

  • Want a librarian or tutor present in Canvas to help with student research needs? You got it! Just contact the Library or the Academic Support Center or to arrange for one. 

What does an embedded librarian and tutor do? 

  • Lots of things. In the past, we've made instructional videos, participated in discussion forums, recommended resources, and answered research questions in student emails. 
  • Embedded librarians and tutors serve as support for students working in the self-paced, individualized environment or in the remote environment. They take an active role in interacting with the instructor and the students in the class.  



The Embedded Librarian/Tutor Role

  • The librarian and tutor role in the classroom is distinct from the instructor.  Librarians and tutors do not have the authority to manage tasks and responsibilities primarily held by the instructor.  Embedded librarians and tutors are not teaching assistants nor substitute teachers.
  • Librarians and tutors can:
    • Answer student research questions 
    • Help students understand assignments
    • Refer students to the instructor for clarification
    • Refer students to campus student support services
    • Provide students information on College academic procedures
    • Give feedback on library and tutoring resources student use in their work prior to submission for grading
    • Recommend resources 
    • Provide limited technology support
    • Connect students with academic tutors 
    • Meet with instructors to give feedback to improve services to students
  • Librarians can:
    • Conduct a library instruction session on the research process; locating, evaluating, and citing sources
    • Create study guides and video tutorials relevant to course content with adequate notice from faculty
    • Collaborate with instructors on developing library related assignments and integrating library services in courses
  • Tutors can:
    • Help with study and time management skills
    • Provide guidance for students in the classroom while instructor works with other students (embedded)
    • Email or message students from time to time about tutoring resources
  • Librarians and tutors cannot:
    • Evaluate or grade student work
    • Lead a class in the instructor's absence
    • Maintain student records
    • Assign student work
    • Serve as a liaison to handle student complaints
    • Proctor tests
    • Create course content


Best Practices 

These best practices have been identified and when incorporated into the embedded librarian/tutor agreement, foster a positive experience, and have a greater positive impact for students.

  • Instructor sees the librarian/tutor as a partner with an important role, and by doing the following, can help foster student engagement with the librarian/tutor:
    • Introduce the librarian/tutor as part of the class
    • Share the librarian's or tutor's introduction video
    • Frequently ask the librarian/tutor to share relevant ideas and expertise
    • Create an assignment that places the librarian/tutor at a key places within the assignment so they are located at the points of need.
  • Librarian/tutor included in the CANVAS course and can:
    • See the course content the students see
    • Communicate in course email
    • Participate in discussions
    • Conference with students using Zoom
  • Librarian/tutor is included in the CANVAS course and cannot:
    • Add or delete course content
    • Use Speed Grader
  • Librarian/tutor creates a presence in the course by:
    • Providing a short introduction video for the instructor to share with the class
    • Participating in synchronous class meetings
    • Participating in discussions as appropriate and arranged by the instructor
    • Using course mail to communicate with students
    • Conferencing with students using Zoom
  • Faculty agrees to:
    • Provide feedback to help improve future embedded agreements
    • Engaging and collaborating with embedded tutor/librarian to add to student engagement and success