Continuing Education Needs & Interest Survey, 2011

The IS Professional Education Committee conducted a survey in May 2011 to ascertain the continuing education needs and interests of instruction librarians.  The survey was sent to all members of the Instruction Section. 269 people completed the survey.

We asked 11 questions total, including a few questions from the 2003 and 2008 surveys.

1.  What specific topics within continuing education would you like to see offered for instruction librarians? Please briefly describe.

No. of responses  

Assessment of learning and assessment of benefits of Information literacy instruction in the wider university community (e.g., recruitment, retention, satisfaction, and graduation rates)


Marketing library instruction to teaching faculty and admin; getting buy-in

13 Instruction on how to prepare information literacy modules for online tutorials

Info lit and new technologies-- trying to stay ahead of the curve (could be an annual offering); understanding faculty values and needs

9 Theory into practice; curriculum design basics

Classroom management, using emerging technologies in the classroom.

5 Teaching tips and recommendations for ways to increase the impact of one-time sessions
3 Curriculum design for a one-credit course in Library Information and Research -- incorporating social media and technology. Developing a program for grad students -what should be in it e.g., conducting a lit review, managing references, etc.
2 Presentation skills. a billion little techniques for active/hands on learning (e.g. turn and talk, think/pair/share, etc.)

How to help faculty construct assignments that would help students learn how to do research.

1 How to to write grants to research the impact of instruction

Instructional design, pedagogy, student learning assessment and active learning techniques

1 Management and policy (including HR)
1 Curriculum mapping, communicating effectively with faculty
1 Incorporating BIG themes (digital divide, carbon foot print of searching) etc into any "basic" (e.g.,ENG 101) and seemingly unrelated one-shot. PRS technology and best classroom practices Mobile/library apps or just good apps for demos in the library classroom Getting enjoyment & satisfaction from the classroom after 10,000 one-shots The value of team teaching (two librarians).
1 Implementing "clickers" personal response system in LI. Ideas to make PowerPoint more interesting and effective. Ice breakers/exercises to hold attention of the audience, especially if one is not a comfortable public speaker.
1 Pedagogy of gaming. They're gaining traction as teaching tools, but most librarians don't have a clue about how to use them effectively, let alone how to build ones that work.
1 Teaching data literacy; teaching students how to find and use statistics How to decide which few concepts students should "get" out of a session when you only have a one-shot, based on their class level, assignment, etc.
1 Personal characteristics of today's traditional student and how to effectively engage them. How to be both creative and assessment friendly in lesson planning.
1 Getting an information literacy program off the ground

Scholarship of teaching and learning more on the larger environment of higher education


Student engagement and motivation; building relationships with faculty

1 Managerial topics, including 1) prospecting for library volunteers and 2) gaining work experience managing volunteers .
1 Designing flexible learning modules for use in CMS/LMS environments
1 Instructional design
1 Rare Books and Special Collections Literacy, Teaching with Primary Sources, Bibliographic Instructions for History Classes, etc.
1 Using social media to help with instruction
1 Getting beyond the one-shot lecture to creating programs that have some continuity and cohesiveness
1 Copyright, fair use, plagiarism, asynchronous learning, online stuff, etc

Instruction for librarians by non-library entities, e.g. how can vendors provide better instruction in their products/services for librarians Increasing the profile of instruction in libraries, e.g. how can we get librarians and/or administrators to value and promote instruction

1 Engaging the students, course instructor buy in
1 How to teach the use of primary resources to history students 2) Problem-based instruction
1 Internet resources based on academic field (chemistry, biology, history, etc.)
1 Best practices in information literacy instruction which could be a compilation of what has worked at various libraries
1 Helping international students dealing with increasing number of online courses
1 More outside of the field of librarianship. looking at teaching pedagogies and methodologies and how we can transfer them to one-shot
1 Creating online tutorials/videos assessment (of instruction and performance) informal/impromptu instruction opportunities (vs. formal classroom instruction, such as in a learning commons environment)
1 The politics of developing a credit hour IL course at academic universities -- including library politics. 2. Librarian colleague buy-in to use the ACRL Standards and dealing with resistance. 3. Best practices in educating librarian colleagues on ACRL standards.
1 Pedagogy/andragogy/learning theory. Learning/teaching styles/issues. Large classroom techniques and strategies. Forming and maintaining partnerships with faculty, educational developers (learning/writing specialists, teaching support specialists, etc.), and fellow librarians. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning opportunities for librarians/how to conduct SoTL research for librarians. Librarian roles in retention, completion rates, time to completion (for graduate students). Reflective practice. Course design/session design/assignment design. Assessment (program, course, session, assignment, instructor, participant, etc.). Effective formative and summative feedback to students and also to faculty about their assignments and courses. The librarian as "educator."


2.  ACRL has adopted Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators . In which of these proficiency categories would you like to see continuing education programs offered? (Check all that apply.) Click on the link above for a full description of each of the proficiencies.

Percent No. Reply
21.6% 58 Administrative skills
79.9% 215 Assessment and evaluation skills
29.0% 78

Communication skills

70.6% 190 Information literacy integration
82.2% 221 Instructional design skills
26.4% 71 Leadership skills
31.6% 85 Planning skills
42.4% 114 Presentation skills
41.6% 112 Promotion skills
68.4% 184 Teaching skills


3. What obstacles keep you from attending or participating in continuing education activities? (Check all that apply.)

Percent No. Reply
64.7% 167 Lack of financial support from my institution
27.9% 72 Topics not of interest
12.8% 33 Lack of release time from my institution
29.8% 77 Not enough online opportunities
36.4% 94 Timing of continuing education
10.1% 26 CE does not carry credit or offer a certificate

Conflicting times that continuing education is offered (e.g. conference sessions)




  • (2 responses) Quality of online opportunities -- often these are very simple and/or not very well-designed
  • (11 responses) Not enough time
  • Lack of recognition of efforts at institution
  • (3 responses) Enough notice of online sessions in time to plan schedule and request funding
  • personal reasons (inconsistent work schedule due to family issues)
  • Mixed experience with activities; some have been more useful than others and I'm reluctant to commit time and limited financial resources to them.
  • Limits on financial support from my institution
  • Distance/online format is not my preferred method and many recorded sessions lack vibrancy and engaging presentation.
  • no obstacles, continuing education is encouraged
  • New to membership
  • Sessions offered at conferences fill up quickly
  • I am in a supervisory role with other responsibilities & limited time. I am also working towards retirement in a few years.


4.  What method of delivery do you prefer for continuing education activities? Select your first, second and third choices. (Click on menu box to select method of delivery.)

  In person e.g. attending a conference Reading literature Virtual worlds e.g. Second Life Online e.g. teleconferences, webcasts, audio conferences, etc. Talking to colleagues Discussion lists Response Count
1st choice 51.7% (137) 4.5% (12) 0.0% (0) 39.2% (104) 4.2% (11) 0.4% (1) 265
2nd choice 24.5% (65) 15.1% (40) 3.0% (8) 31.3% (83) 19.6% (52) 6.4% (17) 265
3rd choice 15.2% (40) 28.5% (75) 1.9% (5) 14.8% (39) 22.4% (59) 17.1% (45) 263


5. How do you currently learn about continuing education opportunities? (Check all that apply.)

Percent No. Reply
52.9% 139 ILI-L Listserv
65.8% 173 C&RL News
9.9% 26

IS Professional Education Committee’s Continuing Education website

68.1% 179

Association newsletters (ALA/ACRL, state, local, or other professional organizations)

63.5% 167 Colleagues
43.3% 114 Websites of national, state, or local organizations
24.7% 65 Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)


  • Libref-l
  • (3 responses) email announcements from ACRL/ALA and related organizations
  • other listservs
  • (2 responses) CJC-L listserv
  • Other listservs: state library association, collib-l
  • (8 responses) Emails and mailings
  • California - SCIL listserv
  • Other list-servs: COLLIB, ENY-ACRL, SUNY-LA


6.  What type(s) of library instruction do you conduct? (Check all that apply.)

Percent No. Reply
86.6% 226

Orientation to library services & resources (e.g. library tours, first-year student programs)

44.8% 117 Drop-in workshops
70.5% 184 General instruction sessions
83.5% 218 Discipline-specific library instruction sessions
24.9% 65

For-credit information literacy/library research courses

37.2% 97

Online instruction (e.g. online tutorials, distance education, Blackboard/WebCT modules)

50.6% 132 Course-integrated library instruction
82.4% 215

One-on-one research consultations

19.9% 52 Embedded librarian
5.7 15


  • (2 responses) Instruction for faculty
  • (2 responses) Liaison librarian to four different departments and work specifically in the creation of library guides
  • We are working to offer some of these other types of instruction
  • As the director of the library I would like to provide learning opportunities to my librarians (and also to learn together with them)
  • Instruction for librarians on products and services that my company supports
  • Non-credit mandatory freshman IL course
  • One-on-one Instruction that occurs within reference encounters, either in person, by phone, or via chat
  • Currently none (provide technical training to librarians)
  • For-credit non-library courses on critical thinking (honors college)


7.  Which of the following do you think would be appropriate activities for the Professional Education Committee?

Percent No. Type
83.1% 217 Providing information to librarians about CE needs/training opportunities
77.8% 203 Developing CE training activities & programs
79.3% 207 Coordinating or hosting education training activities or programs


  • For graduate credit
  • I think that the committee could do any of these things but should not have the burden of developing and hosting all programs.
  • Expanding on part 1 of this selection, providing a detailed one-stop shop place where this information can be found. I know that many Universities have professional development blogs for their faculty and that is nice. Just need a go-to place for this and honestly this is the first time I have ever heard of the Professional Education Committee! The answers to the questions below...well this is the first time I have ever heard of these wiki's so, I please don't judge my answer of "I don't use them" as negative. I believe I will use them now that I know they exist.
  • I'm not sure we need more--maybe just more coordination? Unless it's cheap. Then more is very good.
  • I think the key here is that all three roles are appropriate and important for the PEC but I would like to see more development and hosting as it's not really available anywhere else for instruction librarians!
  • LOEX


8.  How useful do you find the Sponsors of Continuing Education Programs wiki?

Percent No. Level
2.7% 7 Very useful
5.7% 15 Useful
5.7% 15 Somewhat useful
0.8% 2 Not at all useful
85.2% 225 I don't use the wiki


9.  How useful do you find the Library Instruction Courses wiki?

Percent No. Range
2.7% 7 Very useful
5.7% 15 Useful
5.7% 15 Somewhat useful
0.8% 2 Not at all useful
85.2% 225 I don't use the wiki


10. What level of students do you teach?

Percent No. Level
34.8% 89 Only undergraduate students
63.3% 162 Both undregraduate and some graduate students
2.0% 5 Only graduate students


11. Please note your years of experience as an instruction librarian.

Percent No. Range
16.0% 42 1 to 2 Years
20.2% 53 3 to 5 Years
18.6% 49 6 to 10 years
38.8% 102 More than 10
6.5% 17 I am not currently an instruction librarian

Instruction Section Home Page

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