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Information Literacy Instruction: Frameworks, Pedagogies, and Practices (July 2020): The Librarian as Instructor

The Librarian as Instructor

The idea of the librarian as instructor has recently emerged in the literature of information literacy. Although librarians have long been involved in teaching information literacy through instruction sessions, courses, and at the reference desk, their identity as “teachers” has been undertheorized until now. Amanda Nichols Hess’s Transforming Academic Library Instruction: Shifting Teaching Practices to Reflect Changed Perspectives begins to address this gap in the literature. Hess discusses the shifting roles and responsibilities of academic librarians in terms of theories of transformational learning. An important contribution to the literature of librarianship generally, the work also explains why it is important to recognize and validate librarians’ self-image as educators.

Like Hess’s book, Michelle Reale’s Meeting the Challenge of Teaching Information Literacy also addresses the identity of the librarian as instructor. Discussing the institutional, pedagogical, epistemological, and disciplinary challenges faced by librarians in teaching information literacy, the book will assist instruction librarians in developing strategies to meet such challenges. The Indispensable Academic Librarian, also by Reale, investigates the many instructor roles a librarian plays in today’s academic libraries and offers suggestions for implementing critical pedagogy in the classroom, for collaborating with disciplinary faculty, and for promoting inquiry-based approaches to research. Particularly useful for new instruction librarians is Reale’s Becoming a Reflective Librarian and Teacher: Strategies for Mindful Academic Practice, which draws on theories of mindfulness and reflective practice to help instruction librarians develop as teachers.

Finally, The Grounded Instruction Librarian: Participating in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, edited by Melissa Mallon et al., advocates for the continued professional development of instruction librarians as scholars. Highlighting multiple intersections of theories of learning and pedagogy with the actual classroom practices of instruction librarians, this volume demonstrates the important contributions instruction librarians are making to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Works Cited