Academic journal article Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

Digital Advocacy Stories: A Pedagogical Tool for Communicating and Strengthening Library Values

Academic journal article Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

Digital Advocacy Stories: A Pedagogical Tool for Communicating and Strengthening Library Values

Article excerpt


Standards are used to prescribe "what" should be taught and assessed (Heck, Banilower, Weiss, & Rosenberg, 2008; Stiggins & DuFour, 2009; Tomlinson, 2000). ALA has developed standards, or competences, that form a framework for assessing the achievement of library professionals who earn their Master's degrees in ALA-accredited programs (ALA, 2010). Librarian educators use the competences to guide program decisionmaking and course-level student learning outcomes. In addition, each ALA division has standards and guidelines for pre-service librarian educators to consider. When educators align student learning outcomes and instruction with standards, they strive to achieve a guaranteed, viable curriculum that supports student achievement (Marzano, 2007).

Adopting and embodying the values of library science is one important part of an LIS education and can be viewed as enculturation into a profession or community of practice (Wenger, 1998). It is an aspect of professional preparation that can lead to passion for, and sustainability in, the profession (Schön, 1987; Welch, Reynolds, & Carroll, 2013). Candidates may begin their coursework with little or no knowledge of the core tenets of librarianship. Educators of pre-service librarians intend candidates to increase their understanding of the foundations on which their future careers rest as they matriculate through the program, leam about the history of library science, and develop the competences set out by the profession. In the process, candidates can learn to tell a "library story" that resonates with the values of the profession.

Advocacy is a story. The aim of advocacy is to influence outcomes. In order to achieve their goals, advocates make a case, an argument or a claim about a decision that needs to be made or a direction that should be taken. Effective advocates support their claims with data and evidence. They then tell their story in order to help others see the problem, issue or solution from their point of view in order to enlist others to take up the cause and join the effort. Being able to frame a story in such a way that others respond positively is an essential advocacy skill (Lakoff, Dean, & Hazen, 2007; Reinsborough & Canning, 2010). Advocacy is mentioned twice in the ALA Core Competences: Competence I: H and Competence 5: E (ALA, 2009).

As librarian educators who are committed to sustaining the profession, the authors of this paper, an assistant professor and a doctoral student/graduate assistant, are interested in pre-service librarians integrating the values of librarianship into their worldviews during their library science education. Taking those values and turning them into advocacy stories was a way to address competences in the profession. Using digital tools to do so, situated candidates in current practices in librarianship. In developing this assignment, the researchers hoped to support candidates in doing professional work during their preparation program. This effort attests to the fact that the university classroom is a laboratory for the practice of librarianship. In this context, what is learned is the direct result of what learners "do" during their coursework (Jeng, 2011).

Study Context, Problem, and Purposes

One goal of LS5633 is for graduate student candidates to consider storytelling as a vehicle for their advocacy work. The case study participants were public and school librarian candidates who were enrolled in a 15-week online course during spring 2013. The course is designed with a constructivist learning framework in which candidates take responsibility for their own learning by building on their prior experiences, interacting with course materials and one another, and developing skills as storytellers. For the study, three candidates gave full consent to use all data sources for the project: online discussion postings, digital advocacy stories and digital reflections. Three additional candidates gave consent to post their digital advocacy stories and reflections on the course wiki at http://tinyurl. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.