The New Instruction Librarian: A Workbook for Trainers and Learners

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

The sheer amount of resources on the subject of information literacy is staggering. Yet a comprehensive but concise roadmap specifically for librarians who are new to instruction, or who are charged with training someone who is, has remained elusive. Until now. This book cuts through the jargon and rhetoric to ease the transition into library instruction, offering support to all those involved, including library supervisors, colleagues, and trainees.  Grounded in research on teaching and learning from numerous disciplines, not just library literature, this book

  • shows how to set up new instruction librarians for success, with advice on completing an environmental scan, strategies for recruiting efficiently, and a training checklist;
  • walks readers step by step through training a new hire or someone new to instruction, complete with hands-on activities and examples;
  • explores the different roles an instruction librarian is usually expected to play, such as educator, project manager, instructional designer, and teaching partner;
  • demonstrates the importance of performance evaluation and management, including assessment and continuing education, both formal and informal; and
  • provides guided reading lists for further in-depth study of a topic.

A starter kit for librarians new to instruction, this resource will be useful for training coordinators as well as for self-training.

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Part One
Chapter One    Identifying as an Instruction Librarian
Chapter Two    Laying the Groundwork

Part Two
Chapter Three    The Many Hats We Wear
Chapter Four    Colleague
Chapter Five    Instructional Designer
Chapter Six    Teacher
Chapter Seven    Teaching Partner
Chapter Eight    Advocate
Chapter Nine    Project Manager
Chapter Ten    Coordinator
Chapter Eleven    Learner

Part Three
Chapter Twelve    Observation
Chapter Thirteen    Performance Evaluation and Management

Part Four: Tools and Templates
Needs Assessment Tool
Sample Training Curriculum
Sample Job Ad
Sample Candidate Criteria Spreadsheet
Sample Interview Schedule
Sample Orientation Checklist
Sample Orientation Schedule
Sample Training Schedule
Personal Learning Plan Template
Sample Lesson Plan 1
Sample Lesson Plan 2 and Script
Sample Assignments
Sample Observation Form

About the Authors

Candice Benjes-Small

Candice Benjes-Small began her career at the University of Southern California and since 2001 has worked at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. She is the head of information literacy and outreach and university coordinator of information literacy for the general education curriculum. Under her leadership, the library instruction program has been recognized as an Exemplary Information Literacy program in numerous categories by the ACRL. She has served as president of the Virginia chapter of ACRL (VLACRL) and is active on numerous VLACRL committees. She and Rebecca K. Miller founded The Innovative Library Classroom, a very popular regional information literacy conference that won the 2016 Beta Phi Mu Conference Support Award. She has written numerous publications on information literacy and was lead author on an article about cognitive development and web evaluation which was selected as a Top 20 article by the Library Instruction Round Table. She is also an instructor for the Library Juice Academy on library instruction assessment.

Rebecca K. Miller

Rebecca K. Miller is the head of library learning services at Penn State University Libraries in State College, Pennsylvania. A 2012 ALA Emerging Leader, she earned an MAEd in instructional design and technology from Virginia Tech in 2014, an MSLS from the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007, and a BA in English and Religion from the College of William & Mary in Virginia in 2004. She is active in regional, state, and national library organizations and has authored and coauthored a number of books, technical reports, and articles on teaching, learning, and instructional technologies in libraries, including Rethinking Reference and Instruction with Tablets (2012), Tablet Computers in the Academic Library (2014), Mobile Devices: Service with Intention (2015), and ARL Spec Kit 349: “Evolution of Library Liaisons” (2015).

”The authors’ experience and expertise in this field is evident throughout the book. Like the position they are describing, their resources are varied and draw from both library and educational fields … Though written for college and university librarians, school librarians can find helpful information for increasing their effectiveness and confidence in working with students and faculty.”

”Many librarians find that their initial teaching experience is 'trial by fire' rather than a structured training program. With that in mind, the authors have written a solid overview of academic instruction librarianship for both supervisors and novices ... New instruction librarians, particularly recent graduates, will likely find the chapters related to roles to be helpful in understanding expectations in their new workplace. Even experienced managers should find this work to be helpful in thinking about how to welcome librarians into the instruction programs."
— Library Journal

”The greatest strength of this book is its practical applicability; as they present each idea, the authors demonstrate how it can be applied in the workplace. Tools such as a sample orientation checklist, training curriculum, lesson plan, and workshop script would help new librarians design their first classes ... I appreciated the authors’ acknowledgement that public speaking and teaching can be difficult for many. Benjes-Small and Miller describe themselves as librarians who love instruction, and their enthusiasm shines through in the book. They maintain a positive and encouraging tone throughout. Their work may inspire even a hesitant instructor to tackle the challenges and reap the rewards of library instruction. "
— Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association