Instructional librarians teach and train others to teach. Debbie Sharp, UK Libraries Information Literacy Librarian, reports that after mid-term, UK librarians turn their attention to teaching themselves, including UK Libraries graduate assistants.
A recent instructional session focused on an overview of the UK Libraries Information Literacy and Instruction program. Graduate assistants need a good understanding of student learning outcomes and how they are used as a basis for teaching research skills and assessing student learning. This is the foundation for our instruction program. The graduate assistants can then progress from observing instructional sessions, to assisting, team teaching, and finally teaching a class on their own.
Teaching research skills is important in academic libraries and more and more librarians will require teaching skills and experience. In fact, most of our recent graduate assistants are teaching in some capacity in their new jobs. Providing this opportunity for our graduate assistants not only helps us extend our information literacy program but is also practical and invaluable experience for them.