GTA = GreatTeaching Adventure! Graduate Teaching Assistants in the Library Instruction Game Kansas Library Association College and University Libraries Section Fall Conference October 5, 2012, Dodge City, KS
Use of Graduate TeachingAssistants and UG Students in theAcademic LibraryDefinitely not a new concept:• The University of South Florida Library has a graduate assistant program for the library and has partnered with its School of Library and Information Science with an IMLS grant. This grant, "Academic Librarians for Tomorrows Academic Researchers (ALSTARS)", requires a graduate assistantship in the library.• Indiana University - Bloomington employs "instruction assistants" in the Information Commons/Undergraduate Library Services of Herman B. Wells Library. A nice view of this role written by an instruction assistant is at:http://www.slis.indiana.edu/news/story.php?story_id=1689
History and Background ofGTAs at WAW Library• Growth in overall library instruction program with number of students reached and number of sessions --• Spring 2009: Began teaching UL100, Information Literacy and Technology o 2-credit hour course fulfilling Gen Ed requirement o Increasing section offerings each semester• Still teaching tiered library instruction in Composition I and II• Renewed focus upon course- and subject-specific library instruction
Decision to Hire GTAsSummer of 2010:• Library faculty discussed teaching priorities and needs• Dean investigated the process for graduate teaching assistants from academic departments for the library (we are an academic support unit rather than a department)• Director of Instruction and Head of Information/Instructional Services wrote a job description covering the following responsibilities: o Working at the Reference Desk, providing in-person assistance as well as phone, E-mail, and chat o Teaching library instruction sessions in Composition I and II o Teaching/assisting with other General Education course- specific library instruction sessions
Kellie - Personal Experience• Background o Master of English from Kansas State o 3 years experience as a GTA and adjunct for K- States English department o 1 year as library page for Manhattan PL• Job description was intimidating at first. o Not sure about reference or instruction o Knowledge of databases was minimal• Teaching experience very beneficial o Helped me connect with instructors o Reference desk work expanded knowledge
Tiffany - Personal Experience• Background o Bachelors in Organizational Leadership o 6 years experience in circulation/reference at high school and public library o Substitute teaching• Apprehensive applying for the job o Formal teaching is not for me! o Unfamiliar with databases• Creativity o Bulletin boards, book displays, flyers, etc.
Kellie and Tiffany Personal ExperienceBenefits for the Library Personal Benefits• Librarians are free to • Experience in a do other things variety of different o Outreach to faculty areas o More one-on-one o Reference meetings with o Instruction students o Outreach through o More opportunities Facebook for more instruction o ESULA - Leadership
Kellie and Tiffany• What has worked well in the GTA positions? o Variety of duties• What do you wish you had known earlier? o That it would be so much fun o More about databases• What suggestions will you have for future GAs in the library? o Be flexible!• Other thoughts?
Lessons Learned and Plans forthe Future!• Starting over in Summer/Fall 2013; more structured training program for reference and instruction• Hired originally from SLIM, but not limited to that academic program (consider other ESU graduate programs with GTAs who would bring expertise to the library)• In your own institutions: What are some ways of utilizing GTAs or upper-division undergraduate students for reference and/or instruction?