these conversations would contribute to stronger relationships between the
library and academic programs, and would potentially inform a broad span of
library functions. Additionally the information gleaned would help develop
mutually agreed-upon priorities that could help elevate the library liaison’s
contributions from benefiting individual courses one at a time to impacting the
department on the “network level.”
Another core function identified was the provision of instruction through
in-person course-integrated sessions, synchronous and asynchronous online
environments, and alternative models that better support deep learning. While
librarians are familiar with the traditional in-person, one-shot, lecture model,
all other formats were newer for most library liaisons. As librarians worked
with faculty for the Mellon initiative they developed excellent models of new
types of “deliverables” for a broad spectrum of disciplines.5 With a solid
grounding in the differences, benefits, and design of other models for
instruction, library liaisons would be prepared to suggest alternatives
that best suit the course goals, support student learning, and utilize the
librarian’s time effectively.
Equally compelling was the potential of systematic training for graduate
student instructors (GSIs). The Berkeley campus is privileged to have the
GSI Teaching & Resource Center that provides workshops, consultations,
classroom observations, awards, and a Web-based course on professional
standards and ethics in teaching for all interested GSIs, and for the faculty who
mentor and guide them. The staff of the GSI Teaching & Resource Center were
key partners for the Mellon initiative, and through that process became more
aware of the pedagogical interests and expertise within the Library. The library
liaison to the GSI Teaching & Resource Center contributes to professional
development programs for these future faculty members, and works closely
with the faculty leading seminars on teaching in the discipline (required for
all first-time GSIs). Library liaisons have piloted other creative approaches
for graduate students in general, such as integrating information literacy
and research training as part of the preparation for graduate students who
introduce visiting speakers throughout the year. Graduate students, whether
conducting research on their own or learning to guide undergraduate students
through the process, benefit enormously from interaction with their library
liaisons and the Library could make the most of successful experiences by
sharing them more broadly with all liaisons to emulate or adapt.
RLI 265
12
Amplifying the Educational Role of Librarians
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C O N T I N U E D
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AUGUST 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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