What Should go into a Practical Resource for Teacher Librarians?

Wow, I had a  bit of a roll in July as far as blog posts go but I am ashamed to see how I have neglected my blog since then. In my defence, a lot of things have happened that rather swallowed my time.  I am part of the team that, over the last few months, founded the campaign group  Voices for the Library which came about due to serious concerns we have about the future of public libraries in the face of huge cuts to public services. This campaign was (and still is) a massive undertaking but  I am very proud of it. My own local library service is at threat so I set up a local campaign group Friends of Cheltenham Library (boy, campaigning is hard!) and I started a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education.  Suffice it to say life has been hectic!  Excuses out of the way I am actually here to ask a question I need your help with:

Does anyone have any suggestions on what they would like to see included in a practical book for teacher librarians? I have recently been asked this question myself and I personally think it would be good to have a book that suggests a range of teaching methods that we can use for our teaching sessions which are explained and supported by approrpriate  teaching theory.  I say this because since I have started a PGCHE the theory I am learning is really making me think about how I deliver my lessons, why I do them that way and what I can improve. I had no knowledge of what “surface” or “deep” learning is and how teaching and assesments can impact on the students engagement in learning. I knew roughly what my aims were in my teaching sessions but I did not really know the best ways of ensuring I set and realised appropriate  outcomes. After reading this interesting article “Trying to figure it out”: Academic librarians talk about learning to teach I wonder how many others like me just “try to figure it out” as we go along. I think a book that explains theory and makes practical suggestions would really help. What do you all think?

Suggestions so far: (from  @Nykohler – via Twitter Thank you)
“Planning timings, learning styles and appropriate exercises for each, different types of session and how best to support diff learning styles, handout, slide etc design, tips for engaging with students- language, examples etc, additional help and where available, reminders to check room, equipment etc before session if possible” 


3 responses to this post.

  1. [I’ve been thinking about what to suggest since yesterday evening, but I’m not feeling very inspired. I hope other people come up with ideas!]

    I think what I tend to like from books of this kind is templates/plans that can be adapted for personal use – crutches, I guess, for building confidence when you’re getting started. I don’t know enough about teaching to be able to say what I’d like in terms of content. I suppose it would be good to try and address teaching people of all ages and abilities, but that might be quite an ask, I guess.


  2. Posted by David Carter on November 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Hey Jo hope you don’t mind me posting? I’m currently doing a course called DTLLS, a teaching course specific to FE rather than HE. If you are talking theory specifically, theories such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Bloom’s Taxonomy are a must in any teaching text. The big thing my area but perhaps not as relevant in HE is behaviour management techniques. Use of SMART goals to focus learners and how to differentiate objectives to challenge higher achievers.


  3. Hello again. Just to say that I’ve added to your comments on “This is Gloucestershire” , about some of the untruths behind your councils behaviour….


    Andrew Preston


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