Kadavy, Casey, and Kim Chuppa-Cornell. “A Personal Touch: Embedding Library Faculty  
        into Online English 102.” TETYC  39.1 (2011): 63-77. 
In an online English 102 classroom, Kadavy and Chuppa-Cornell point to the benefits of teaching online, but also view the challenges and increased feelings of isolation, both for students and faculty. Pointing specifically to the teaching of research, while also acclimating students to an online classroom, The authors note that students often resort to open web sources, unaware that library resources are readily available, as students are distanced from both physical and personal library presence.  To remedy this, they collaborated on embedding a librarian in their course through a “Personal Librarian” model. Studies examining students’ online search behavior explain that there is a “need for greater, not less, library instruction in the online environment” (64). Beginning researchers are “easily overwhelmed and confused” by the amount of information available to them as Alison Head, Director of Project Literacy stresses that while students may use and be familiar with the online environment, this “does not mean college-aged students are natural-born researchers” (quoted in Kadavy, 64).
An embedded librarian can provide research support to students, while offering point of need instruction through tutorials, discussion forums, and assignment feedback.  Kadavy and Chuppa-Cornell posit that students’ research needs are best served through personal contact within an online course.  By stressing that the Personal Librarian was “an ally in the researching process,” they were able to build personal librarian attention and library support into the online class that they felt was lacking from what students experienced in face-to-face classes (65). Modules of information literacy directly tied to the class content and assignments were created, while a Personal Librarian provided a consistent presence, offering feedback and support to the students. Short videos provided navigation and research help, depending on class needs. Student feedback was positive for this model as students learned about resources and gained skills that would help them in other classes. The students also showed a dramatic rise in their research abilities after implementing the Personal Embedded Librarian model, with a 24% increase in their knowledge of source quality and use of resources in their writing.
A personal or embedded librarian within a class is a familiar, but underutilized model. As the authors note, it relies on cooperation and collaboration between teaching faculty and librarians. This model can benefit students and faculty, as beginning courses often require research, but students do not always have these skills in their first year of college. My concern is that only brief mention is given in the article to the difficulty in making these connections with faculty and convincing them that embedding a librarian in a classroom is of direct benefit to the students. Problems in planning time, concerns about loss of authority, content coverage or even library staff available can be possible concerns.  However, none of these outweigh the potential benefits for students. Personal approaches using embedded librarians, with tiered information literacy skill-building and direct ties to the curriculum offer students the most opportunities for success, especially important in an online classroom where distance can often be isolating.