Becoming Confident Teachers

1st Edition

A Guide for Academic Librarians

Authors: Claire McGuinness
Paperback ISBN: 9781843346296
eBook ISBN: 9781780632711
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 26th July 2011
Page Count: 246
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Table of Contents

List of tables

About the author



Chapter 1: The evolving role of the teaching librarian


Teaching librarians and the information literacy revolution

Who is the ‘teaching librarian’?

Should librarians teach?

Teaching librarians – what do academics think?

Teaching librarians and professional education

Exercises and reflections

Chapter 2: Teaching librarians: 10 concepts shaping the role


Developing a ‘teacher identity’

Reflective practice

Developing a personal teaching philosophy and pedagogical knowledge base

The virtual learning environment

Teaching a diverse student base

Information literacy for graduate students and researchers

Instructional training for librarians

Action research in practice

Reinvigorated strategies for collaboration

Advocacy – spreading the word

Exercises and reflections

Chapter 3: Preparing teaching librarians for practice: focusing on the basics


What are the basics?

Conceptualising information literacy

Articulating the educational mission of the library

Learning theories

Broad learning frameworks

Instructional needs assessment

Writing goals, objectives and intended learning outcomes

Selecting teaching and learning activities

Creating effective learning materials

Aligning assessment with learning outcomes and activities

Promotion and outreach

Exercises and reflections

Chapter 4: Confidence-zappers and how to handle them


‘Attendance at our elective information literacy workshops is poor – what can I do to encourage students to sign up?’

‘How can I facilitate active learning wi


Becoming Confident Teachers examines the teaching role of information professionals at a time of transition and change in higher education. While instruction is now generally accepted as a core library function in the 21st century, librarians often lack sufficient training in pedagogy and instructional design; consequently finding their teaching responsibilities to be stressful and challenging. By exploring the requirements and responsibilities of the role, this book guides teaching librarians to a position where they feel confident that they have acquired the basic body of knowledge and procedures to handle any kind of instructional requests that come their way, and to be proactive in developing and promoting teaching and learning initiatives. In addition, this book suggests strategies and methods for self-development and fostering a “teacher identity,” giving teaching librarians a greater sense of purpose and direction, and the ability to clearly communicate their role to non-library colleagues and within the public sphere.

Key Features

  • Specifically examines the causes of stress among teaching librarians, zeroing in on recognisable scenarios, which are known to ‘zap’ confidence and increase teacher anxiety among librarians
  • An up-to-date and easily digestible take on the role and responsibilities of the teaching librarian
  • Identifies the major trends that are transforming the teaching function within professional academic librarianship


Professional and para-professional academic librarians, as well as students of Library and Information Science (LIS), information service managers and researchers


No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2011
Chandos Publishing
eBook ISBN:
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…a sound and satisfying work on teaching librarianship., College and Research Libraries
McGuinness's work has many strengths., College and Research Libraries
This book is a goldmine for practical 'how to' tips, but it is also a book that advocates why librarians should become teaching librarians., IFLA SET Bulletin

About the Authors

Claire McGuinness Author

Claire McGuinness is a part-time lecturer in the School of Information and Library Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland. She has been teaching and researching information literacy for more than a decade, and was awarded a PhD. in 2005. Claire has published a number of articles and book chapters on information literacy and academic-librarian collaboration, and has presented her work at several international conferences. Currently teaching two information literacy-oriented modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level, Claire is also a member of the Working Group on Information Literacy of the Library Association of Ireland.

Affiliations and Expertise

Lecturer, School of Information and Library Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland