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Library’s Got Talent! New Library Instructors Discover Their Voices. Rebecca K. Miller University Libraries Chris Barb Virginia Tech Tracy M. Hall LOEX 2013. The Whole Team (2012-13). Coordinators : Carolyn Meier, Rebecca Miller, and Lesley Moyo

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library s got talent new library instructors discover their voices

Library’s Got Talent! New Library Instructors Discover Their Voices

Rebecca K. Miller University Libraries

Chris Barb Virginia Tech

Tracy M. Hall LOEX 2013

the whole team 2012 13
The Whole Team (2012-13)

Coordinators: Carolyn Meier, Rebecca Miller, and Lesley Moyo

New Instructors: Chris Barb, Tracy Gilmore, Monena Hall, Tracy Hall, Neal Henshaw, Paul Hover, Anne Lawrence, Jennifer Munson

overview outcomes
Overview & Outcomes
  • Changes both inside and outside of the library challenge the traditional instructional model
  • Our solution involves seeking and molding talent from within other library departments
  • This new model is still evolving, and we will share our goals, lessons learned, and future plans
internal university libraries strategic plan
Internal:University Libraries Strategic Plan
  • Emphases
    • Empower students to develop the skills, literacies, experiences, and perceptions necessary to excel in an analytically savvy, multi-disciplinary, global workplace.
    • Partner with faculty in the exploration and implementation of new pedagogies, technologies, and learning environments.
    • Develop new methods, programs and applications for library-based instruction and engagement.
external challenges
External Challenges

(Curriculum for Liberal Education)

  • First Year Experience
the issue scalability
The Issue: Scalability

Are you seeing similar issues in your information literacy/instruction programs?

the goals
The Goals


  • Instruction proficiencies
  • Teaching/er identities


  • Community of practice
the process
The Process

Spring 2012: Library-wide call for new instructors

Summer 2012: Instruction leaders develop 12-week training program

Fall 2012: New instructors begin real-world preparation opportunities

Spring 2013: New instructors begin to teach and co-teach

summer 2012 the training1
Summer 2012: The Training

Week 1: Overview & instruction proficiencies

Week 2: Learner characteristics and learning preferences

Week 3: Learning theories

Week 4: Instructional design

Week 5: Teaching technologies & classroom tour

Week 6: Workshop day

sample week
Sample Week

6/19/2012: Learner characteristics and learning preferences

  • Beloit College. (2012). The Mindset List: 2012 List. Retrieved from
  • Bennett, S., Maton, K., and Kervin, L. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: a critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775-786. Available on Scholar.
  • ECAR. (2012). Students & Technology [Infographic]. Retrieved from
  • Kennedy, G., Krause, K.L., Judd, T., Churchward, A., and Gray, K. (2006). First year students’ experiences with technology: are they really digital natives? Australasian Journal for Educational Technology, 24(1), 108-122. Available on Scholar.
  • Neighmond, P. (2011, August 29). Think you’re an auditory or a visual learner? Scientists say it’s unlikely. National Public Radio. Retrieved from
fall 2012 the preparation
Fall 2012: The Preparation
  • FYE peer mentors
  • Observation
  • Reflection
spring 2013 the teaching
Spring 2013: The Teaching
  • Weekly teaching schedule (observations)
  • Regular meetings
  • Reflections
  • Co-teaching
additional support
Additional Support
  • LEO (Libraries Exchange Observation) local group
  • Instruction Learning Community (reading group)
  • Instruction Clearinghouse & Library Instruction Toolkit (in the works)
research scholarship
Research & Scholarship
  • Thoughtfulness and reflection
  • Sharing our process and creating discussion
    • Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy (Blacksburg, VA)
    • LOEX 2013 (Nashville, TN)
    • WILU (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada)
    • IFLA (Singapore)

Are you doing or considering doing something similar at your library? What other thoughts do you have?

preliminary feedback assessment
Preliminary Feedback & Assessment
  • Anecdotal feedback from new instructors
  • Reflections and student evaluations
  • 13-item Qualtrics survey:
    • Motivation
    • Challenges
    • Overall impact on individuals and the institution
    • Feedback about future iterations of cohort and continuing ed

I wanted to improve my instruction and presentation skills and hoped that it would help me to advance in my career.

It is an interesting change, the contact with students is enjoyable.

impact individuals
Impact: Individuals

Rate your levels of confidence in your skills as a teacher before you began and after you completed the new instructor training program:

impact individuals1
Impact: Individuals

As a result of participating in the program, have you gained any new professional interests or goals?

impact institutional
Impact: Institutional

How did the new instructor training program impact your “day job?”

It has given me an additional avenue to connect with students and faculty.

I get more comfortable dealing with the public speaking…

A stronger understanding of the discovery tools and databases we offer at VT.


What was your biggest challenge as you prepared to teach or co-teach your first class?

Tailoring my instruction to the assignment.

“Stage fright” for the first class and interacting with the professors to develop the class plan.

Overthinking it.

suggestions lessons learned
Suggestions &Lessons Learned
  • More workshop (hands on) opportunities
  • More discussion of teaching tools and activities
  • Guidelines for pre-teaching observations
  • Faculty communication skills
  • 2012: 1 workshop day
  • 2013: 2 workshop days
    • New instructors will prepare session based on scenario
    • Coordinators and cohort will offer feedback
    • New instructors will modify session based on feedback and present again

working with faculty
Working with Faculty
  • Review samples of appropriate assignments
  • Focus on learning outcomes
  • Develop strategies for articulating outcomes and activities with faculty
phase 2 the next cohort
Phase 2 &The Next Cohort
  • Cohort will continue to grow stronger (Phase 2)
    • Four librarians and library staff have volunteered
    • Training begins in June
  • Phase 2 for 2012-13 Cohort
    • Training continues
    • Cohort offered ideas for what they would like to learn
    • Interactions with 2013-14 Cohort
2012 13 cohort phase 2
2012-13 Cohort: Phase 2

What topics are you interested in pursuing through continuing education and development opportunities?

Ways to keep students engaged with more active learning techniques

How to engage with faculty on pedagogy consultation

Distance learning and use multimedia

…Engage diverse groups…

discussion and questions
Discussion and Questions

What other questions do you have for us or comments you’d like to share with us?

thank you
Thank You!
  • Rebecca K. Miller,
  • Chris Barb,
  • Tracy Hall,

image credits
Image Credits