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Adapting teaching skills & learning librarianship.

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Having finished the MLIS the decision to keep these skills active was urgent. I needed to showcase these skills outside the confines of an institution. Also I now had the opportunity to utilise my free time while searching for a full-time position.

As I had secured a part-time tutoring position within UCD I embarked on developing my skills in a different way to what I have envisioned. Furthermore  I had enrolled for the “Hyperlinked Library MOOC” from San Jose State University so the transition from a student of the School of Library and Information Studies to becoming a facilitator was a strange yet exciting process.

However this process change my perspective on many elements of librarianship. Becoming involved in a global learning tool really opened my mind to the diversity of society’s mind and informational needs.

Having finished both the teaching and the learning I have found myself seeking literature surrounding these elements. These articles documented how librarians showcase how they reach out to teachers and guide them alongside their students. Librarians together with the ambitions of the teacher can utilise both of their skills in order to harness their students self-efficacy.

There are many ways this can be achieved. After some research into school librarianship and how librarians can introduce their skills into the many Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)that are now available, I shall outline how I can build on my skills and bring them forward into my career of librarianship.

The starting point of my research began by merging two aspects of librarianship that being academic and school libraries. Here the core goals of a librarian is to facilitate the teacher and the student.

Here I began my search with librarian bloggers and to my delight I came across Buffy Hamilton’s post which illustrates “librarians as instructional designers” (Hamilton, 2013). According to Hamilton the key to building a partnership with teachers is to adopt the Principles of backward design as a springboard for the students and a template for the teacher in order to progress at each stage of the project. This allows to secures two fundamental components of teaching: Identifying Common goals & Cultivating trust (Hamilton, 2013).

Moving away from the framework of a classroom based teaching to a more open and independent approach to learning again involving librarians and teachers. This relatively new approach to online learning has only surfaced in the last 5 years (Chant, 2013) a definition has been given by EDUCAUSE Library (2013) stating a MOOC is simply “a model for delivering learning content online to any person who wants to take a course, with no limits on attendance”.

During the small time of teaching, my purpose was very clear in every activity and this purpose will stay with me throughout my career. This purpose is clearly mapped by Cantwell (2013) here she showcases how librarians can adapt their individual purposes in this emerging online learning environment. One finding within her research mirrors my personal purpose of librarianship, here she employs the idea of the role of a librarian as an information consultant as an individual who “cultivates active partnerships with students and scholars, collaborating on the design of meaningful learning experiences for students and providing relevant value-added information” (Frank, Raschke, Wood, Yang, pg.90, 2001).

Taking this purpose a step forward and marrying the above elements, however giving them the context of a public library, would the librarians strength of purpose be too ambitious? Cant (2013) gives many examples of how MOOCs have been introduced into a public library. Consider how certain programs that run throughout many libraries, now consider the way many elements of MOOCs can link readers and communities to other services within the library in person and virtually.

If libraries are adjusting their vision to incorporate the many elements of technology we as librarians have to keep abreast of the many new elements of learning guidelines. Taking Montiel-Overall & Grimes (2013) vision on 21st Century Learner Guidelines declaring that “librarians must be sure to target their information literacy instruction toward essential twenty-first century learning skills, to collaborate with members of the community and to implement inquiry-based learning approaches regarding the information search process”.

In conclusion, if my goals as a librarian are to cultivate the above ideas, until my time comes where I have the opportunity to establish these ideas in a working environment I shall keep searching for the best practises and examples to expand my self-efficacy.


B Hamilton. (2013, December 6).  Librarians as Instructional Designers: Strategies for engaging conversations for learning. [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Cantwell, L. (2013). “MOOL” in a MOOC: Opportunities for Librarianship in the Expanding Galaxy of Massive Open Online Course Design and Execution. Policy Studies Organisation, 2, 47-71.

Chant, I. (2013). Opening up/ Next steps for MOOCs and Librarians. Library Journal, 1-4. Retrieved from

EDUCAUSE Library. (2013). Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Retrieved from

Montiel-Overall, P., & Grimes, K. (2012). Teachers and Librarians collaborating on inquiry-based science instruction: A longitudinal study. Library & Information Science Research, 35 (1), 41-53.



About siobhanmac

Loves Libraries, Books, and Sunshine!

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