The Indispensable Academic Librarian: Teaching and Collaborating for Change

By McCain, Cheryl | Reference & User Services Quarterly, Spring 2019 | Go to article overview

The Indispensable Academic Librarian: Teaching and Collaborating for Change


McCain, Cheryl, Reference & User Services Quarterly


The Indispensable Academic Librarian: Teaching and Collaborating for Change. By Michelle Reale. Chicago: ALA, 2018. 128 p. Paper $57.00 (ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1638-4).

Rumors of the demise of the academic librarian have been greatly exaggerated. As libraries have changed, so, too, have those who teach students and collaborate with faculty to help students learn. It may be that these changes have simply gone unnoticed or unacknowledged. For academic librarians whose work as teachers often goes unseen or underappreciated, this book offers strategies for changing outdated perceptions of what we do. Writing in the first person, Reale provides examples and discusses how the work of academic librarians has value; we are first and foremost teachers but also consultants, liaisons, collaborators, and leaders.

Reale bases the claim of indispensability partly on personal experiences, including stories and anecdotes that illustrate the value of academic librarians' work. Each chapter offers a different affirmation of the value we add to the library's services, spaces, and resources. Topics covered include the various ways academic librarians teach, interact with, inspire, challenge, and welcome students inside and outside of the library. …

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