Many librarians in higher education are expected to engage in classroom teaching, but receive little training in learning theories, instructional techniques, and instructional technologies. It is widely assumed throughout the literature that LIS programs do not offer much coursework in instruction, and if they do, it is a very small portion of the curriculum. The purpose of this study is to investigate where academic librarians learn about instruction and classroom teaching, survey the instruction course offerings of major LIS programs in the US, and suggest possible solutions for better preparing librarians in college and university libraries for instructional duties. An online survey was sent out to academic librarians who have classroom instruction as part of their position duties. This survey consisted of short-answer questions relating to those instructional duties and where these librarians gained the knowledge they have about instruction. Follow-up interviews with a portion of the respondents were conducted on a volunteer basis. In addition, a review of LIS program curriculum on instruction was conducted, which surveyed course offerings and external teaching certificates at major LIS programs in the US. Ultimately, librarians who are serious about learning more about teaching are self-motivated and seek out such opportunities on their own. To better support these learning activities, this study advocates for more coursework on instruction within LIS programs and more structured internal support mechanisms for instruction librarians.
academic libraries, teaching, instruction, higher education, librarians
Copyright © 2018 Amanda Jenkins.
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