Strengths-Based Librarianship for Instruction and Research Services

Monday, 11/9/2020 - Saturday, 12/12/2020

Previous Title- Flip the Deficit Script and be a Strengths-Based Librarian

Are you curious how your students' authentic, real life research skills can impact your teaching? Please join us for a 5-week online course to discover and discuss strengths-based pedagogy. You will transform your teaching and individual consultation by valuing the uniqueness of learners' perspectives and building on their prior knowledge and experiences. Together, we will have the opportunity to identify, examine, and create strengths-based activities that improve the learner experience in your institutional settings.


Learning Outcomes

During this course, participants will:

  • Practice identifying students' prior, everyday-life research experiences through an interviewing process
  • Contribute to a multi-dimensional understanding of students' everyday research experiences
  • Design strengths-based lesson plans that they could implement in their own instruction contexts. 

Who Should Attend

This course is suitable for any library employee who teaches or train students or library staff. The content learned can be applied to any library setting: including public, special and academic


This course will be facilitated by:

  • Emily Cox is Collections and Research Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences, and Digital Media at NC State University. She has worked extensively with first-year and first-generation student populations and is interested in creating strengths-based library learning environments.
  • Liz Kocevar-Weidinger is the Head of Research & Instruction Services at Virginia Military Institute. She has led information literacy efforts in academic libraries for 25+ years and is co-author of the foundational work, Beyond Active Learning: a Constructivist Approach to Learning in Reference Services Review. She has published library-related articles, served on ALA committees, and presented at state and national conferences, most recently on strengths-based learning.
  • Mark Lenker is a Teaching and Learning Librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he works extensively with early-career general-education students.  He enjoys exploring questions about the ends and means of information literacy instruction.  Publications include “Developmentalism:  Learning as the Basis for Evaluating Information,” which won “Best Article of 2017” for the journal portal: Libraries and the Academy.
  • Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol serves as Undergraduate Research and Instruction Librarian at Millersville University, PA. She collaborates with faculty in a variety of disciplines to engage undergraduate students in meaningful and sustainable research and creative projects. She co-founded a student journal and coordinates an annual student research conference at her institution



  • $130 for RUSA members
  • $175 for ALA members
  • $210 for non-ALA members
  • $100 for student members and retired members

How to Register

  • Online
  • By Fax: download, complete and fax form (PDF format) to (312) 280-1538
  • By Mail: download, complete and mail form (PDF Format) to American Library Association, ATTN: MACS/Online CE Registration, 225 N Michigan Ave. Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60601

Tech Requirements

ALA uses Moodle for all online educational courses. It is hosted at http://ecourses.ala.og. Learn more about Moodle at


Continuing Education Credit- A certificate of completion will be sent to each participant upon successful completion of a course.

Although this course is not CEU-certified, many licensing boards will accept it for credit. Requirements vary by state and school district regarding certification and continuing education credits. The decision to grant CEU credits remains entirely up to your state or school district. If you are in need of credits, check with your state and/or school district before enrollinig to determine eligibility. Some states will review your certificate of completion and course description to determine eligibility. 


Questions about your registration should be directed to Technical questions about the course should be directed to Ninah Moore at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!