Reflective teaching and effective learning for library educators

For Immediate Release
Fri, 02/25/2011

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CHICAGO — Whether or not "instruction" appears in their job titles, librarians are often in the position of educating their users, colleagues, and peers to successfully locate and evaluate information. MLIS programs tend to offer less-than-comprehensive preparation in pedagogy and instructional design; "Reflective Teaching, Effective Learning: Instructional Literacy for Library Educators," published by ALA Editions, fills in the gap.

Char Booth, an avid library education and technology advocate, introduces a series of concepts that will empower readers at any level of experience to become better designers and presenters, as well as building their confidence and satisfaction as library educators. Laying the foundation for effective teaching, Booth outlines a four-part framework of Instructional Literacy, which includes:

  • Reflective Practice--tools for improving learning in the moment and developing a teacher identity, as well as approaches to collaboration and creating communities of practice;
  • Educational Theory--evidence-based strategies in learning and instructional research;
  • Teaching Technologies--evaluating and integrating technology in learning using a practical “toolkit” approach;
  • Instructional Design--a systematic and outcomes-based strategy for developing and assessing learning experiences.

This foundation is supplemented by the USER Method, a step-by-step approach to creating learner-focused instruction. Tailored to library contexts, USER walks readers through understanding an instructional scenario, structuring content, engaging learners and reflecting on outcomes. Also included are templates for instructional planning and technology evaluation, as well as practical advice and scenarios from those working in the field.

Booth is e-Learning librarian at the University of California at Berkeley. A 2007 ALA Emerging Leader and 2008 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, she blogs about library futures, instructional design, and technology literacy. In 2009 she authored "Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies," and her writing can be found in publications such as Library Journal and Internet Reference Services Quarterly. She frequently presents and consults on teaching, instructional design and technology effectiveness.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.