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Becoming Confident Teachers - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843346296, 9781780632711

Becoming Confident Teachers

1st Edition

A Guide for Academic Librarians

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Author: 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 with such a large group of students? Is it possible to do more than lecture?’

‘I’m having trouble keeping the students interested in class – they seem bored and unmotivated. Is there anything I can do?’

‘It seems like everyone on campus is using the VLE/CMS for their teaching, and I feel left behind – how can I get started with it?’

‘I have to teach a group of adult learners and I find it intimidating – how can I live up to their expectations?’

‘A lecturer has asked me to give a one-hour session with her class, but no specific idea of what she wants me to cover – how can I develop an effective session?’

Exercises and reflections

Chapter 5: Personal and professional development as a teaching librarian


Evaluation of teaching performance

Student evaluation of teaching

Peer evaluation of teaching

Applying for teaching grants and awards

Teaching portfolios

Reflective journals and blogs


Professional learning communities

Creating and sustaining communities of practice

Publishing in journals and presenting at conferences

Exercises and reflections

Chapter 6: What librarians think: teaching and learning in the real world


Librarians’ work roles, training and involvement in teaching

Involvement in teaching networks and communities

Teaching grants and awards

Librarians’ beliefs about how role is perceived by ‘outsiders’

Librarians’ pre-employment role conceptions compared with current role experience

Librarians’ confidence in teaching

Librarians’ challenges in the teaching role

What do librarians enjoy about teaching?

Librarians’ conceptions of ‘good’ teaching

Librarians’ additional comments about the teaching role

Academic librarians’ experience of teaching: a short survey




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
26th July 2011
Chandos Publishing
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:


…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

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

Claire McGuinness

Claire McGuinness PhD, MSc, BSc, RLPE, FHEA, RN (Child) Senior Lecturer & Programme Lead BSc/BSc Hons Professional Studies in Nursing Department of Nursing and Community Health School of Health & Life Sciences Glasgow Caledonian University Glasgow, UK