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February 18, 2010

Culture of Library Teaching

Recently I read an interesting LISNews blog entry by Susan Ariew (University of South Florida) called "The Teaching Librarian Versus The Teacher" in which she explores how the teaching mission in large academic libraries is often not understood or valued by the library at large. This is something so many of us teaching librarians experience and I found her insights both interesting and oddly comforting.

Here's a snippet:

"Unlike teaching departments on most campuses, much of what has happened with the instructional mission of academic libraries has been defined, shaped and created in response to forces outside the library, forces like academic faculty requests for library instruction and faculty frustration with students who lack skills in evaluating their sources. Thus, the new and changing role of the teaching library and librarian is much less established (or even autonomous) than other traditional library functions such as cataloging, interlibrary loan, circulation, reference, special collections, or collection development."