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Coursework, conferences, and the classroom: on-the-job training for new IL practitioners. Click & Walker


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Presented at LILAC 2010

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Coursework, conferences, and the classroom: on-the-job training for new IL practitioners. Click & Walker

  1. 1. Claire Walker Cumberland University Coursework, Conferences, and the Classroom: On-the-job Training for New IL Practitioners Amanda Click The American University in Cairo
  2. 2. Previous Research • 27 question survey conducted in Fall 2008 • 310 responses from librarians who graduated from LIS graduate programs between 2003 and 2008 • Main Conclusions: Graduate School o Offer instruction courses regularly o Increase awareness of the importance of training On-the-Job o Evaluation is key to confidence and improvement o Asynchronous and inexpensive online training 2
  3. 3. Overview of Current Study 3 • Fall 2009 • Focus on the on-the-job training aspect • Follow-up interviews with new librarians who responded to the previous survey • Survey of library administrators
  4. 4. Method – Librarian Interviews • 52 original respondents invited to participate • 25 interviews conducted 4
  5. 5. Results – Satisfaction with Training • Generally dissatisfied • 60% experienced no changes in training during the past year • 24% receive very little training • 20% reported some changes • 20% were more satisfied with training during the past year 5
  6. 6. “Even though I still want to work on my instruction skills and find new and better ways to do instruction, the informal feedback from instructors has increased my confidence so that needing formal feedback on my instruction skills is still highly valued but not as urgently needed as when I first started.” “'s essential to keep learning, growing, and trying new things in order to keep from stagnating.” 6
  7. 7. Results – Training Activities 7
  8. 8. “The only instruction training that I've had this year is following listservs and viewing some of the links and sources recommended. Not surprisingly professional development was cut to save money.” “I'm still going to conferences like ALA Annual and Midwinter...When I go to conferences, though, I do seek out sessions on instruction more than any other topic.” “I conducted and informal 'summer salon' for discussing instruction last summer which I think was helpful.” 8
  9. 9. Results – Confidence • 20% stated that they were ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ with instruction abilities • 44% were ‘somewhat confident’ • Most confident with developing lesson plans and teaching materials • Least confident with developing and maintaining student interest and involvement 9
  10. 10. “My presentation skills are by far what help me 'survive and thrive' as I draw upon my skills as a former teacher and storyteller to create realistic research scenarios with typical problems seachers encounter.” “If most of them [students] are hostile or bored, I usually blame myself for not being able to make the instruction session interesting or relevant.” “I am most confident with my ability to set relevant learning goals for a session, and to create and lead activities which teach students the skills required to meet these goals.” 10
  11. 11. Advice from the Instruction Librarians • Observation and peer evaluation • Mentor for support and feedback • Instruction coursework during graduate school • Practice, practice, practice 11
  12. 12. “I am really glad I did take a course in instructional strategies while completing my MLIS [Master of Library and Information Science]. I think a course like that should be mandatory for all library students since most librarians have some sort of instructional duties.” “I think a trusting mentoring relationship between and instruction librarian with at least two years' experience and a new instruction librarian would be an ideal way to allow for structured training, both formal and informal, in a way that is non-threatening and supportive.” 12
  13. 13. Method – Administrator Survey • 11 question survey • Distributed on listservs • 112 responses 13
  14. 14. Results – Availability of Training 14 In-house Training • 86% provide in-house training • Most common are observation and feedback • Disconnect with what new librarians reported Outside Training • 92% support attending workshops or conferences • Over 80% support both online courses and reading the literature
  15. 15. Results – Barriers 15
  16. 16. Results – Perspectives on New Librarians 16 Areas for Improvement: • 47% Preparing a lesson • 34% Speaking in front of a group • 37 % Familiarity with concepts and lesson content • Other areas include time management, determining student needs, and knowledge of pedagogy
  17. 17. Results – Training Activities 17
  18. 18. Results – LIS Graduate Programs 87% of administrators report that they did not think graduate programs adequately prepare librarians to teach. 18
  19. 19. 19 “The greatest challenge is how to truly integrate information literacy throughout the curriculum” “Inadequate education and preparation” “Doing more with less” “Learning how to teach in the online environment” “Keeping libraries relevant as teaching and learning institutions”
  20. 20. Conclusions • Instruction librarians and administrators perceive training in different ways • Librarians want a more structured training environment • Instruction training in graduate programs 20
  21. 21. Recommendations • More communication between administrators and librarians • Efforts to support low-cost training activities • Courses regularly available in graduate programs 21 LIS 408 - User Instruction This course offers an overview of user instruction, including needs assessment, planning, educational strategies, and evaluation of programs in all types of libraries.
  22. 22. Thank you! Questions? Comments? Amanda Click Claire Walker 22
  23. 23. Images Slide 1: Slide 3: Slide 11: Slide 15: Slide 18: 23