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October 28 Program Report: Embedded Librarians

The Chapter’s program on embedded librarians, hosted by Seyfarth, Shaw with lunch provided by Bloomberg BNA attracted an audience of 23.

Members Barbara Kahn-Aiken and George Peckham-Rooney shared their professional backgrounds, how they became embedded in their organizations and advantages, disadvantages and the future of this arrangement.

After the program, participants shared these comments:

  • Every organization has a need for talents offered by a librarian.  They frequently just don’t know that’s what they need.
  • The librarian skill set is used in many ways, whether in a “library” or as “that person” on a team who just knows things or where to find them.
  • One of the attractions of being an embedded librarian is that you can go deep into the business when you’re an integral part of a particular team/department.  It’s a great way to learn.  (I liked George’s comment about just being a curious person.  I think that strikes a chord with all librarians.)
  • Having a complement of embedded librarians along with a more centralized library enhances the knowledge sharing across an organization.
  • A special conscious effort may be needed when embedded to keep in touch/get together/share with other librarians within the organization.
  • Most of the time, I’m working at one of my 6-7 client sites and not in the Cadence Group offices, and I wouldn’t consider myself embedded at any of the current clients. But now, after [the program] and surprising to myself, I guess that functionally I am actually embedded at Cadence. My Cadence colleagues responsible for marketing, sales, staffing, consulting, records management and social media pull me in for research assistance and a librarian’s input on “library services” components of proposals, RFP (request for proposal) responses, interviewing, blogs, etc. And I’m regularly running across and forwarding articles/surveys and association or webinar announcements to fellow Cadence folks in Records Management or IT or Administration. It’s rewarding and gratifying to have a librarian’s special skills/insights recognized and sought after by the larger organization!
  • George said that the job position he applied for at Seyfarth, Shaw was not for a librarian, it was for a data analyst (I think analyst was the word he used).  He saw how his cataloging skills would make him a fit for this position involving organizing information in a database.  This suggests that librarians need to “think outside the box” when searching for jobs.  It reminded me of a conversation I had in the 1980’s with the then director of the Emory library school program.  He talked about how librarians needed to be creative in looking for jobs and look outside the traditional positions to see where their skills could fit into non-traditional roles.  Things haven’t changed much in 30 plus years!


Thanks again to Barbara and George for sharing their insights with us which generated many questions and comments at the meeting and continued with the above observations. Thanks also to those who attended the program, especially Julie Schein who suggested this topic!

For those who could not attend, Barbara’s and George’s slides can be found at these links.



And last but not least, the Chapter sends a special shout out to Patrick Riendeau and Charlotte Brathwaite of Bloomberg BNA for sponsoring lunch.

Event photos are at:

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October 28 Lunch and Learn on Embedded Librarians

You’ve heard the terms, but do you really know what embedded librarians are and do? Barbara Kahn-Aiken at Coca-Cola and George Peckham-Rooney at Seyfarth, Shaw will demystify this concept and tell us how they’ve put it into practice!

             Wednesday, October 28, 11:45 – 1:15

Where:            Seyfarth, Shaw, 1075 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 2500, Atlanta, GA 30309


Directions:      The Midtown MARTA station is a 2 ½ block walk down Peachtree and Tenth Streets.

Parking:          Street parking and surface pay lots and garages are available within two blocks of the building.

Lunch:             COMPLIMENTARY lunch courtesy of Bloomberg, BNA.




11:45:              Arrival, registration and welcome.

Noon:              Program begins.

1:00:                Program ends.

This program is FREE to SLA members and $10 for non-members.

With limited seating, please RSVP by end of day Friday, October 23.

Please contact Ernie Evangelista ( with any questions and we look forward to lively discussion during a tasty lunch!

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Member Profile: In Her Own Words – Barbara Kahn-Aiken

Barbara Kahn-Aiken is a Senior Research Analyst at The Coca Cola Company. On Wednesday, October 28, she and George Peckham-Rooney will talk about embedded librarianship at a Lunch and Learn program. Here’s more about Barbara:


1) How long have you been a librarian at your current employer?

I have been with The Coca-Cola Company for eight years as an associate. Prior to that, I was a contractor at Coca-Cola for five years.


2) What is your title and what are you main job responsibilities?

I am a Senior Research Analyst. I am embedded with the Industry Insights group which provides competitive intelligence to the company. We sit within the Mergers and Acquisitions group so we provide industry, category and target company information to them as well.


3) What other libraries have you worked in and what were some of your major achievements there?

I first worked at LexisNexis (in Boston) providing training to corporate clients. Then, I worked for Cadence Group at various libraries including The Coca-Cola Company. At Cadence Group, I also helped to develop, an on-demand research request tool.


4) Why did you become a librarian?

I like research – following the various paths to get the answer that I need for my client and then synthesizing all the information for them.


5) What are the challenges you see facing information professionals and special libraries today?

Staying relevant – it is a constant battle to prove that libraries and librarians do not only provide books, but can help clients in so many different ways.


6) What ideas do you have for overcoming these challenges?

I think it is important to show how libraries and information professionals can provide services and add value to the business by providing research, training and consulting. And, of course, embedded librarians can work even more closely with clients to help them see the value of information professionals.


7) What advice would you give new entrants to our profession?

Make time to learn new technologies, explore new resources and take advantage of any training opportunities.


8) When you’re not at work, what are you interests and hobbies?

When not spending time with my family and watching my kids’ athletic events, I enjoy reading, running and CrossFit.

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