Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Becoming Confident Teachers: A Guide for Academic Librarians

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Becoming Confident Teachers: A Guide for Academic Librarians

Article excerpt

Becoming Confident Teachers: A Guide for Academic Librarians. Claire McGuinness. Oxford: Chandos, 2011. 227p. Paper $85 (ISBN: 978-1-84334-629-6).

Recognizing that most academic librarians receive virtually no pre-professional training on how to teach information literacy, McGuinness aims to provide the context, knowledge, and tools necessary to orient new academic librarians, or academic librarians new to teaching, to this ever-evolving and increasingly central role. Each of the book's six chapters familiarizes readers with the teaching librarians various duties and provides guidance, suggestions, and strategies for how to approach them. The overarching message is that confidence is built by carefully examining one's own teacher identity, and practice improves by internalizing this reflective habit. Examples, scenarios, and exercises woven throughout each chapter stimulate the imagination, helping the reader become more aware of her teacher identity and more intentional in honing it.

McGuinness rightly observes that "there is no model, no prototype, of a typical teaching librarian to guide us" (8) and is aware that most teaching librarians lack not only teaching expertise but also role models. In other words, one reason that instruction is bewildering to so many librarians is that they lack a frame of reference, a point of comparison; they have no way of conceptualizing a lesson plan, writing a learning outcome, or assessing their success or failure in the classroom because they have never, or rarely, seen information literacy instruction in action. …

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