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The Teaching Librarian in Education: Strategies for Skills Development Claire McGuinness School of Information & Library Studies, UCD.

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Presentation on theme: "The Teaching Librarian in Education: Strategies for Skills Development Claire McGuinness School of Information & Library Studies, UCD."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Teaching Librarian in Education: Strategies for Skills Development Claire McGuinness School of Information & Library Studies, UCD

2 Session Outline 1.Changing role of academic librarians 2.Skills & knowledge for effective teaching 3.Professional development

3 Academic Librarians “To complement the hybrid library environment, academic LIS professionals have evolved to become new hybrid information professionals, encouraged by a process of work assimilation between disciplines and across professional boundaries, posing questions about the true professional identity of contemporary academic librarianship” (Wilson & Halpin, 2006, p.79)

4 Your View minutes... What, in your experience, are the key factors currently driving change in information work?

5 Drivers of Change

6 Dealing with Change Fear of extinction – adapt or die “On the one hand, librarians require the dynamic, ruthless pursuit of new roles if they wish to survive. On the other hand, they require empathy, tireless dedication to a cause, commitment, and a service for free orientation – if not for the survival of librarians, then at least for the benefit of society at large” (Fourie, 2004, p.62) “We live in a post-modern environment in which the traditional concept of an academic library is increasingly becoming something of an anachronism” (Biddiscombe, 2002, p.228-9)

7 Dealing with Change Go with the flow – but don’t get swept away “Although still intermediaries, [librarians] are moving away from being the traditional facilitator in the library context, but applying the same enabling skills on a broader canvas. They are using these enabling skills in novel ways to bring enquirer and information together” (Biddiscombe, 2000) “the complexity of both the information landscape and the organisational arena demand both breadth and depth in skills and knowledge for jobs that require cross-functional and highly-specialised competencies” (Corrall, 2010, p.584)

8 Academic Librarians’ Perceptions Beliefs about Core Library functions in 5 years time: Teacher of information literacy and related skills (82%) Subject-based information expert in library (74%) Custodian of print and digital archives (73%) Administrator dealing with purchasing of info. services (69%) Manager of IRs and digital information (61%) Facilitator for e-learning /virtual learning (50%) Manager of metadata issues (43%) *307 academic librarians responded to survey Source: RIN & CURL (2007) - Researchers’ Use of Academic Libraries and their Services.

9 Recent Comments The Guardian, March 22 nd 2012 – results of a live chat panel re academic librarian’s role Role of librarian is basically unchanged – support institutions in delivery of research and learning strategies Libraries are about supporting study, rather than storing books Librarians must become good marketeers Relationships & collaboration with academic colleagues paramount Libraries must demonstrate their value Communication skills are key Professional education for librarians is out-of-date quickly Librarians must challenge negative perceptions of role (Contributors quoted were Simon Bains, Jo Webb, Andy Priestner, Ned Potter, Ann Rossiter)

10 Teaching “Librarians teach. [...] the subject of much angst, soul-searching and self-justification by academic librarians [...], this statement would now be accepted almost without argument both within the library world and largely by our colleagues in the wider academic community” (Powis, 2008, p.6) Corrall (2010) identifies awareness of information literacy and recognition of the teaching role of librarians as two of the key trends influencing the academic librarians’ role

11 The “Blended Librarian” “We define the “blended librarian” as an academic librarian who combines the traditional skill set of librarianship with the information technologist’s hardware/software skills, and the instructional or educational designer’s ability to apply technology appropriately in the teaching learning process” (Bell & Shank, 2004) Blurring of boundaries between the responsibilities of librarians, IT professionals and other academic support services

12 Your View... 3 minutes.... What skills do we need now? What skills will we need in 5-10 years?

13 Skills needed Now Skills currently used in role* Interpersonal Skills (90%) Customer Service Skills (89%) ICT Skills (85%) General Management Skills (73%) Info Evaluation Skills (72%) Training Skills (71%) Info Management Skills (70%) Online Communication Skills (66%) Marketing Skills (60%) Business Skills (53%) Decision Support Skills (50%) Teaching Skills (50%) Cataloguing Skills (47%) Classification Skills (46%) Web Publishing Skills (32%) *Sample size Librarians across all sectors Source: CILIP. Defining our Professional Future, July 2010

14 Skills needed in 10 years time Skills used a lot or a little more* Online Communication Skills (88%) ICT Skills (83%) Business Skills (81%) Marketing Skills (78%) Info Evaluation Skills (72% Web Publishing Skills (71%) Info Management Skills (70%) Fundraising Skills (65%) General Management Skills (64%) Customer Service Skills (63%) Training Skills (63%) Decision Support Skills (60%) Teaching Skills (58%) Interpersonal Skills (50%) *Sample Size Librarians across all sectors Source: CILIP. Defining our Professional Future, July 2010

15 Typical Teaching Activities Conroy & Boden, 2007* On the spot support (93%) Small group teaching (92%) Writing training guides (91%) Delivering presentations (85%) One-to-one sessions (83%) Large group sessions (71%) Staff development (10%) Online support (5%) Mentoring (3%) *Sample Size 463 Libraries across all sectors Bewick & Corrall, 2010* On the spot support (94%) Writing training guides (93%) Small group teaching (91%) One-to-one sessions (90%) Large group sessions (79%) Other forms (15%) *Sample Size 82 Subject librarians in UK HE Institutions

16 Teaching Skills Needed? Library & Information Science Education in Europe: Joint Curriculum Development and Bologna Perspectives, Aug It is essential for LIS students: To be aware of information literacy as a concept To become information literate themselves To learn about key aspects of teaching information literacy (Kajberg & Lørring, 2005, p.67).

17 Teaching Skills Needed? An instructional module for LIS professionals should cover: Curriculum design and planning Understanding learners and learning theory Understanding basic concepts, theories and practice of teaching Understanding the context for teaching and learning Kajberg & Lørring, 2005

18 Teaching Skills Needed? ACRL Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators, Administrative skills 2. Assessment and evaluation skills 3. Communication skills 4. Curriculum knowledge 5. IL integration skills 6. Instructional design skills 7. Leadership skills 8. Planning skills 9. Presentation skills 10. Promotion skills 11. Subject expertise 12. Teaching skills

19 Reflective Practice “A teaching programme aimed as a preparation for professional practice has [...] to accommodate more than a definitive statement of the subject, it must be an introduction to thinking, asking questions, and interpreting, and should instil the same critical thinking skills that are prerequisites for information literacy” (Foster, 2006, p.492)

20 Learning to Teach How skills were developed:* Trial and error (72%) On-the-job (59%) Non-accredited course (31%) Accredited course (30%) *n=463 librarians across all sectors Boden & Conroy, 2007 (UK) How skills were developed:* No training (32%) One or half-day course or seminar (43%) Weekend course 5% Module within professional degree programme 15% Full teaching qual 7% *n=74 academic librarians McGuinness, 2009 (Ireland) Instructional training not usually a core element of professional education for LIS professionals

21 Learning to Teach “Professional education for librarians has to anticipate changes and developments in professional tasks, roles and expectations, both at the macro level of the profession as a whole and the micro level of different library specialties [...] The challenges facing educators are significant, with some employers and graduates questioning the value of academic preparation for professional practice, while others see both initial and continuing education as a worthwhile investment, but want flexible, tailored provision, not just a standard offer.” ” (Corrall, 2010, p.568)

22 CPD Methods FormalInformal Structured Full educational programmes (e.g. diplomas, certificates, etc) Short courses Workshops or seminars Online learning modules Communities of practice Professional learning communities Mentoring Self-Directed Mentoring/buddying Journal Clubs Publishing articles in the scholarly or professional literature Peer evaluation of teaching Delivering conference presentations or attending conferences Writing grant applications Participating in group funded projects Applying for teaching awards Staff development committees Blogging Journal-keeping Developing a teaching portfolio Reading the scholarly or professional literature “Following” relevant persons on Twitter Subscribing to blogs, RSS feeds, social sharing sites, etc

23 Reflective Approaches “Reflective professionals should thus be able to draw on, or contribute to, many sources of evidence, and use them to inform their teaching practices” (Pollard, 2008, p.11) Blogging Journal-keeping Developing a teaching portfolio Peer evaluation of teaching Reading the scholarly or professional literature Publishing articles in the scholarly or professional literature Presenting at conferences

24 Blogging Blogs written by librarians - “liblogs” Overall blog collective – “biblioblogosphere” (Crawford, 2010) TechnoratiTechnorati search, March 2012: 3100 Blogs using search term “library” 978 Blogs using search term “librarian” “Librarians and information scientists may assume that because of the informal nature of blogs, the information conveyed in them is only personal and casual and won’t contribute to their professional development. But they should be aware of the professional potential of the blogs’ content – the opportunity to exploit information on the blogs” (Aharony, 2009, p.179)

25 Teaching Portfolios “A collection of evidence about your teaching and your students’ learning and a reflection on that evidence” (Biggs & Tang, 2007, p.266) A way to “clearly communicate our teaching successes to those outside our immediate field” (Hochstein, 2004, p.141) Introduction Teaching qualifications/achievements Teaching Philosophy Design of Teaching/Approaches Enactment of Teaching, including work samples Teaching outcomes, including evidence from students/colleagues Other professional activities related to teaching Reflection Additional Evidence

26 Library Association of Ireland Continuing Professional Development “The Education Committee has recommended that all LAI members should engage in 25 hours CPD per annum. The CPD activity may include: Post-qualification academic courses ( further degrees, single modules) Attendance at courses/conferences/workshop Publications Professional association activities Professional reading” Source: learning-portfolio/ learning-portfolio/

27 CILIP Continuing Professional Development CILIP Qualifications Certification (information and library assistants ) & Chartership (practising librarians and information managers) Involve identifying a mentor, and creating Personal (Professional) Development Plans Collecting evidence of CPD and submitting a portfolio

28 Blended Approach to CPD Devise a personal blend of formal & informal activities E.g. Attend one formal training opportunity per year (e.g. ANLTC workshop, weekend course, etc) Attend two conferences per year – one at home, one abroad (if funding available) OR present paper/poster at one conference per year Read two scholarly/professional articles per month – identify relevant journals and check ToC regularly Set up RSS feeds from blogs/sites of professional interest/set up relevant “follows” on Twitter Set up “Google Alerts” for articles on topics of interest Start own blog and update regularly (e.g. monthly) or post contributions to other blogs Join one CoP or committee and commit to that Gradually build up a Teaching Portfolio over one year

29 Thank you! Contact details Web:

30 References Aharony, N. (2009). Librarians and information scientists in the blogosphere: An exploratory analysis. Library & Information Science Research, 31(3), Anyangwe, E. (2012, March 22 nd ). Professional development advice for academic librarians. The Guardian. Accessed at: education-network/blog/2012/mar/22/professional-development-for-academic-librarians education-network/blog/2012/mar/22/professional-development-for-academic-librarians Bell, S.J. & Shank, J. (2004). The blended librarian: A blueprint for redefining the teaching and learning role of academic librarians. College & Research Libraries News, 65(7), 372‐375 Bewick, L., & Corrall, S. (2010). Developing librarians as teachers: A study of their pedagogical knowledge. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 42 2),

31 References Biddiscombe, R. (2002). Learning support professionals: The changing role of subject specialists in UK academic libraries. Program, 36 (4), Biddiscombe,R. (2000). The changing role of the information professional in support of learning and research. Advances in Librarianship, 23, Biggs, J. B. and Tang, C. Teaching for quality learning at university. (3 rd ed.). Open University Press/Mc Graw-Hill Education, 2007 CILIP. (2010). Defining our Professional Future. Accessed at: %20Report%20to%20CILIP%20Council%20July% pdf %20Report%20to%20CILIP%20Council%20July% pdf Conroy, H. & Boden, D. (2007). Teachers, Trainers, Educators, Enablers: What skills do we need and where do we get them? Presentation given at Umbrella, 29 June Accessed at : groups/personnel/Documents/PTEGTeachersTrainers.pdfhttp://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/special-interest- groups/personnel/Documents/PTEGTeachersTrainers.pdf

32 References Corrall, S. (2010). Educating the academic librarian as a blended professional: A review and case study. Library Management, 31(8/9), Foster, A. E. (2006). Information literacy for the information profession: Experiences from Aberystwyth. Aslib Proceedings, 58(6), Fourie, I. (2004). Librarians and the claiming of new roles: how can we try to make a difference? Aslib Proceedings, 56 (1), Hochstein, S. (2004). You mean you teach? I thought you were a librarian! Using teaching portfolios to think about and improve instruction in academic libraries. In Thomas, D. B., Tammany, R., Baier, R., Owen, E. & Mercado, H. (Eds.). Reflective teaching: A bridge to learning. (pp ). Ann Arbor, MI: Pierian Press, 2004

33 References Kajberg, L. and Lørring, L. (Eds.). European Curriculum Reflections on Library and Information Science Education. Copenhagen: The Royal School of Library and Information Science, Accessed at: McGuinness, C. (2009). Information Skills Training Practices in Irish Higher Education. Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives, 61(3), Pollard, A. Reflective Teaching (3 rd ed.). London: Continuum, 2008 Powis, C. (2008). Towards the professionalisation of practice in teaching. Relay: The Journal of the University College and Research Group (CILIP), 58, 6- 9.

34 References RIN & CURL (2007). Researchers’ Use of Academic Libraries and their Services: A report commissioned by the Research Information Network and the Consortium of Research Libraries. Wilson, K. M., & Halpin, E. (2006). Convergence and professional identity in the academic library. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 38(2), 79-91


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