Library Instruction West 2020
Seattle, Washington
July 22-24
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Friday, July 24 • 11:00am - 12:15pm
Faculty status and information literacy: Our power in the classroom and the curriculum

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In this session, we will explore how the professional status of librarians shapes and informs our ability to effectively deliver information literacy instruction, both within the classroom and at the institutional level. There is significant variation across institutions in how librarians are classified and their position relative to instructional faculty. It is our experience that professional status can impact a librarian’s effectiveness in classroom instruction due to perceived power in the classroom, relationships with instructional faculty, and access to professional development opportunities. At the institutional level, status often dictates the ability of librarians to contribute to and shape the programmatic and general education curricula. While there is a significant and ongoing conversation in the scholarly literature about professional status for librarians, how status relates to instructional effectiveness has not been well explored, perhaps because the manifestations depend so much on unique institutional governance processes and individual relationships.

In this panel discussion, we will explore these nuances. We will share our own experiences with advocating for improved institutional status for librarians, including the role of unions in protecting working conditions and efforts at multiple institutions to modify the faculty handbook to explicitly define librarians as faculty. These and other processes continue to illuminate inherent power differences and impact information literacy instruction and programming. We will invite the audience to reflect upon their own experiences with positional power and how those shape their ability to teach. This will include time to discuss strategies based on the panel presentation for how to build power in their institutions to improve their teaching conditions.

avatar for Freeda Brook

Freeda Brook

Acquisitions and Resource Management Librarian, Luther College

Friday July 24, 2020 11:00am - 12:15pm AST
HUB 332 (Seats 120)

Attendees (8)