Instructional Services Assumptions and Competencies for Librarians
Instructional Services Assumptions
1. Instruction is a strategic initiative of Libraries Media Services. Special emphasis is placed on instruction to undergraduates.
2. Information literacy is the framework in which all instruction is designed and delivered. All instruction should be delivered in a developmental and incremental fashion in order to help students ultimately meet information literacy behavioral objectives.
3. Liaisons should plan for instruction in a strategic manner, including developing a knowledge of course curriculum in their subject areas, assessing departmental needs, and identifying strategic opportunities to integrate information literacy into the curriculum (in writing or research intensive courses, for example.)
4. Liaisons are responsible for designing, creating, promoting and delivering instructional services and materials in a variety of formats to their departments.
5. Liaisons are responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of their instructional services to their departments, when possible, assessing the learning outcomes of their students, and for making revisions or changes to their programs based on their findings.
6. Liaisons should receive training in instructional design, delivery, and assessment.
7. Liaisons may be assigned to teaching information literacy skills in areas in which they have little or no background.
8. The Instructional Services Team and liaisons should collaborate and maintain open communication so that all instructional efforts are directed towards common instructional goals.
Competencies for Instructional Librarians
All guidelines are meant to support and supplement, and not to contradict in any way, the University Faculty Code of Ethics (and, in particular, section C of that document- "Responsibility to students")
Preparation and Organization: To show evidence of preparation and organization the instructor should:
1. Arrange all instructional sessions through the Information Services department
2. Reserve the desired classroom and the resource "instruction" on Netscape Calendar and notify the clerical coordinator in the Reference Department of the reservation by including him/her in the email notification list. Schedule the resource "instruction" for all instruction regardless of whether you are using a classroom in the library.
3. For instruction related to an individual course, obtain a course syllabus or equivalent understanding of course objectives.
4. Confer with the faculty member to prepare appropriate session content, which should be based on specific targeted Information Literacy Objectives.
5. If library instruction is to be conducted in a classroom outside the library, familiarize yourself with the location of the classroom and with the operating procedures for the equipment in the classroom prior to providing instruction. On the day of instruction arrive at the classroom with adequate time to prepare the room for students.
6. Turn on all computers and set them to the appropriate starting screen before the students arrive
7. Have all handouts and support materials sorted and ready to distribute
8. Have more than the needed number of copies of all handouts and support materials
9. Greet students as they arrive.
10. Clearly state all objectives of the instructional session.
11. Have a timeline to follow to insure that the course will not run over or under on time
Teaching Objectives: To ensure an effective learning experience, the librarian should strive to:
1. Develop a lesson plan that aims to improve the students' mastery of specific Information literacy skills
2. Attempt to meet the needs of differing learning styles by employing a variety of instructional materials and approaches
3. Demonstrate theories and techniques with concrete examples, and when appropriate, use visual demonstrations
4. Incorporate hands-on training for the students whenever possible
5. Teach at an appropriate pace, taking in consideration those that are unfamiliar with technology or the sources being used.
6. Supply useful handouts and other support materials to help reinforce instruction.
Communication: To effectively communicate the librarian should:
1. Demonstrate enthusiasm for the topic via an expressive voice, smiling or use of other inclusive gestures, appropriate humor, and movement about the classroom (if possible).
2. Maintain eye contact with students
3. Speak in a clear, audible voice, pausing when necessary to allow for note-taking, following on the computer, etc.
4. Avoid using library jargon without definitions or explanations.
5. Periodically encourage student questions during the session.
Interaction with students: To help students feel comfortable and to enjoy the session the librarian should:
1. Introduce him/herself and explain his/her background
2. Be prepared to provide reasonable accommodations for students with special needs.
3. Answer questions carefully and completely, keeping in mind that there are "no dumb questions"
4. Be aware of students' expressions (confusion, boredom) and gestures (raising hands) and then react accordingly.
5. Involve students in the discussion by asking them questions and requesting feedback.
6. Always address students with a respectful tone and in a professional manner.
7. Encourage students to seek out librarians for future information needs
Discipline: To ensure a smooth-running class, the librarian should:
1. Make themselves aware of the Kent State University's "Administrative policy and procedures regarding class disruptions", University Register section 4:17. (see attached) and be prepared to follow its guidelines for handling any classroom disturbances.
Assessment: To ensure continual improvement, the librarian should:
1. Use the provided assessment tool and an array of other methods to measure the effectiveness of sessions and learning outcomes.
2. Apply the assessment tool to each instruction session.
3. Review the outcomes of the assessment tool each semester in order to pinpoint means of improvement.
4. Carefully maintain a statistical record of how many students attend each instructional session you offer and report those statistics to the clerical coordinator before the end of each semester.