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Teaching or training? Academic librarians’ conceptions of their IL activities - Emily Wheeler & Pam McKinney

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Presented at LILAC 2015

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Teaching or training? Academic librarians’ conceptions of their IL activities - Emily Wheeler & Pam McKinney

  1. 1. Teaching or training? Academic librarians’ conceptions of their IL teaching Emily Wheeler and Pam McKinney
  2. 2. About the research •MA Librarianship dissertation, 2014 •Phenomenographic interviews •Research question: “What is the variation in academic librarians’ conception of their own teaching?” •Small sample (6 academic librarians) •Result: four categories
  3. 3. The Four Categories I teach I do not teach I am a teacher Teacher-librarian Learning support I am not a teacher Librarian who teaches Trainer
  4. 4. Teacher-librarian I am a teacher •Refer to yourself as a teacher •“it is… an integral part of being a librarian” I teach •Base your work on theories/techniques •Do exactly what other teachers do •IL is taught, not trained
  5. 5. Learning support I am a teacher •“We’re there to support their teaching” •Feel different to “teacher-teachers” •Influenced by environment My teaching is not the same as others’ •“It’s skills teaching, it’s not topic teaching” •Practical vs. theoretical/“academic”
  6. 6. Librarian who teaches I am not a teacher •“librarians who’ve got teaching responsibilities” •Librarians are more than “just” teachers I do some teaching, among other things •It’s not central to your role •“Obviously it’s not as important as the academics”
  7. 7. Trainer I am not a teacher •“I don’t have a qualification” •Others don’t see you as a teacher I don’t teach, I train •“I call it teaching… through gritted teeth” •Teaching is more technical/complex
  8. 8. Conclusions •Librarians’ conceptions do vary •Your conception can change •Librarians who are confident about their abilities are more likely to feel like “teachers” •Your environment influences your conception
  9. 9. Recommendations •Training, CPD and peer support will help improve librarians’ confidence •Consider teaching qualifications e.g. PGCert in Learning and Teaching or FHEA •Knowledge about teaching theory should feature more prominently at library school
  10. 10. Any questions? @heliotropia e.wheeler@leeds.ac.uk @ischoolpam p.mckinney@sheffield.ac.uk

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