Becoming Confident Teachers

Becoming Confident Teachers

A Guide for Academic Librarians

1st Edition - July 26, 2011

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  • Author: Claire McGuinness
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780632711

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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

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



Product details

  • No. of pages: 246
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2011
  • Published: July 26, 2011
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780632711

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

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