Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)

ACRL Instruction Section

Continuing Education Needs and Interest Survey

The Continuing Education Committee conducted a survey to ascertain the continuing education needs and interests of Instruction Librarians. Initial results were reported at ALA Annual, 1997. The survey form was posted on the Instruction Section page, on BI-L and published in the Instruction Section Newsletter.


1. What topics would you like to learn about through some form of continuing education?

No. Reply


Pedagogical skills


Evaluation techniques


Learning technology


Using technology to teach


Teaching technology



2. Would you like to participate in continuing education by:

No. Reply


Attending national meetings


Attending state or regional meetings


Attending teleconferences or videoconferences


Receiving online instruction


Viewing or listening to a video or audiotape of an ALA program or pre-conference


Reading summaries of conference programs posted to a listserv or website




Real course offered on weekends


Local sessions (L.A.) by knowledgeable, experienced and talented instructors in well-equipped hands-on electronic classroom

3. Do you have easy access to e-mail or WWW?

No. Reply


Yes, e-mail


Yes, WWW



4. Do you have any comments or suggestions for the Instruction Section regarding continuing education?

13 responses, see Text of Responses, below.

5. Are you a member of the ACRL Instruction Section?

No. Reply





Text of responses:

1. What topics would you like to learn about through some form of continuing education?

Pedagogical skills:

Active and/or collaborative learning in one-shot BI sessions, including practical examples, not just theory

Learning how to apply BI principles to technology training

Effective techniques

Current learning theories

Classroom management techniques

Interactive learning activities in the area of library instruction

Active learning techniques

Collaborative learning activities in the area of library instruction

Basic classroom technique -- classroom presentation techniques and management

Newer and successful approaches to teaching more with less time

Additional and more in-depth materials like the "Teaching Methods' Brainstorming" on backside of the most recent Instruction Section Newsletter

How to make the shift from teacher-centered (performer/lecturer) to student-centered (teacher as consultant) mode of teaching. How do you think about teaching when you think about it in a student-centered way? How to you think about ways to help students learn from this new mind set? How do you create learning situations? How do you give students responsibility for their own learning?

I would like opportunities to role play teaching or have some kind of volunteer guinea pig group to teach and then discuss with them how to do it better. I need practice being a classroom reaching and I hate it that I'm practicing on real students. I've suffered through too many bad teachers to be comfortable being yet another bad experience for students.

Teaching students to acquire knowledge, not just "information"

Teaching/learning styles

New trends or models in instruction, especially with various populations, adult learners, distance education.

More of the same! Instruction methods, hands-on active learning ideas (where is that Cookbook, anyway?)

Practical advise for coping realistically with different learning styles

Designing assignments and exercises for students to learn concepts rather than through lectures.

Learning styles

Instructional design

Library instruction strategies for distance learning programs

How to teach pedagogy to other librarians

Motivating staff to employ new instruction techniques

Effective library instruction

Fostering critical thinking skills

Teaching styles and techniques

Cooperative/collaborative learning

Working with faculty to develop effective instruction for students

Developing effective library assignments

How to teach general concepts rather that "how to" which changes so quickly

Teaching critical thinking skills (how to's, techniques, which skills need to be learned first, etc.)

Information literacy (what skills do students need, how to integrate info. literacy into both library instruction and the general curriculum)

Teaching in a computer lab environment


Criteria for evaluation of a college and/or its library re infoliteracy.

Evaluating library instruction

Developing effective evaluation and assessment models and tools for instruction

Evaluating BI sessions


Theoretical and practical information about testing and grading

Ideas about how to determine if students have learned anything and what they have learned

Assessment (to support your teaching, the library's program, for institutional accreditation, etc.)

BI output measures

Outcomes assessment and library instruction

Learning technology:

How to use various electronic tools -- Acrobat reader, Web plug-ins, Power Point, etc. UNIX commands and basic UNIX programming -- the base for much on the Internet Windows 95 tips

Installing and setting up computers to do what you need them for

Most of us know a little about a lot of different kinds of technology, enough to get by. We need a place to "breath" a little by breaking those large clumps down into smaller learning units, a place to pick up those little pieces of knowledge that we don't already have. Perhaps mini-workshops that fill in gaps.

Future of HTML

Keeping up with technology

Library computer application

Advanced web-writing, basic programming

HTML and other formats for creating web pages., ie. tutorials, virtual tours

Standards, design issues for creation of totally interactive Web tutorials for learning library and research tools

Internet search skills

Present and approaching changes in technology

Library computer systems

Computer hardware troubleshooting


Using technology to teach:

Using or creating CAI products that can be locally adopted

Any aspects dealing with instruction and technology

Library user instruction using Power Point

Using multimedia in instruction

Visual aids in instruction

Let's take a closer look at where our teaching colleagues in AAHESGIT (?) and other cybernauts are going, and see how that will impact us in user education

Library instruction via the web

Creating web tutorials

Using web pages for instruction (2)

Principles and design for instructional Web pages (on the library, research strategies, online catalogs and indexes, etc.) with frames and live links, etc.

Designing good interactive Web sites for those who don't make it to library sessions, or who need help at odd hours or locations

Using the Web to offer online instruction. Using Web forms to offer online interactive handouts

Web page design

Web as a tool for mass delivery of basic library instruction

Web-based instructional programs (2)

Online instruction

Teaching technology:

Learning approaches to teaching technology

How to teach about the Internet

What do our students know about using the Web and E-mail?


Teaching topics about the WWW

Incorporating the web into one hour instruction session

Teaching students to use the Internet as a reference tool


Coping with technostress

How to avoid burnout

New research methods for various disciplines, so that we won't be teaching irrelevant methods or ones
that faculty consider "outdated."

How to provide better reference service in the following areas: Business, sciences, engineering, law.

In-depth reference work/instruction, both general and for the field of religion

Subject background info for upper-division instruction

Approaches to specific kinds of information-acquisition

Promoting information literacy on campus

Distance education and library instruction

Providing instruction for distance learning students

Working with high schools

How can the web be used in reference service and BI?

Administration/management issues

Timesaving solutions for coordinating a BI program

Career-planning issues

Copyright and the Internet

Large scale information literacy programs

Collaborating with faculty in web projects or distance learning projects

How to develop better working relationships with faculty for BI purposes

Getting colleagues motivated for instruction

First Year orientation projects

Coping with the lack of an electronic lab

Effective classroom design, including equipment issues

A good textbook and hands-on exercises or worksheets for a 1-credit hour course, "Electronic Information Retrieval"

New learning communities

Publishing articles in Library Science: how to write, who to submit to, etc.

Do you have any comments or suggestions for the Instruction Section regarding continuing education?

I think it will be hard to decide what to offer because each of us has different "weak" areas.

Some library schools offer continuing ed. workshops, but many have had to cut them due to funding.

Please help.

Continue the very helpful items such as "Teaching Methods' Brainstorming..." contained in this newsletter issue.

I appreciate the work that is being done by the section to help librarians on the job keep up with the technological explosion. So much has changed since I went to library school, but I have been able to learn a lot from other librarians through this and other professional groups.

We need it! But most of us can only attend one conference a year. All of the above would be of help to some of us.

If it's possible to offer continuing education sessions beyond the national conferences, that would be a big help. Many institutions are cutting back on travel funding and it isn't possible for all of us to make it to ALA and ACRL national meetings. Regional institutes (similar to what LITA tries to do) would help reach the non-meeting attendees.

It's good to see a survey about this, instead of assuming that the section knows what its members want in terms of continuing education and training.

Develop continuing education packages of content that can be requested by state/regional organizations/individuals to be used to deliver continuing education at the more local level.
I really like the idea of a workshop (national or regional) because part of the value of professional development activities for me is the opportunity for informal discussion or for working in small groups.
I would like to see more regular activity at the state level in Washington State by the chapter. This is probably something that will have to be dealt with at grassroots level. Your question has just made me realize I'd better start seeing how I can contribute to the chapter in my new home state -- thank you!

We do not have any budget for travel, so whatever continuing education I get needs to be electronic or broadcast. Next year looks very bleak in terms of money and staff.

Keep up the good work -- we need as much CE as possible in as many ways as possible.

Doing work at the local level is probably the most immediately helpful

I think you do a great job, but unfortunately many of us can't afford to belong and are lurkers to all of your hard work.

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