The Future of Librarianship Webinar: Q&A

The Future of Librarianship webinar recording is now available! I took some time to go through the chat box for questions that I don’t think were covered during the session. Here they are, with my input:

Will the pay for both degrees be equal to the cost of getting them? Regular instructional designers don’t make much.

Instructional design is a much faster growing field than library and information science. In fact, the median salary for an instructional designer is roughly $70,000 (Best Jobs in America 2012). Not too shabby. Though, that is the median across all industries. The education field tends to pay less (as we all know). Regardless, pursuing additional education of any kind is a major commitment, and hopefully holds both intrinsic and extrinsic value to you. In my opinion, it’s probably not a good idea to pursue an IDT degree unless you (a) are truly interested in it and (b) have your career plan in place.

I am the ID on campus and would love to know what I could do to get the library side of things – going the other direction!

That’s awesome! I suggest meeting with them as a start. Then you’ll be able to assess their individual instructional (and instructional design) needs.

Generally, librarians share many of the same teaching and learning needs as classroom faculty. But, they also serve as collaborators with classroom faculty, which puts them into a position to offer some of the same advice that the Teaching and Learning Center (T & L) typically offers. In that respect, I think librarians need strong professional development in the area of pedagogy and technology (TPACK skills), followed by additional support from the IDT staff. In a sense, librarians can act as the liasions between the T & L Center and the classroom faculty, which could potentially result in greater outreach efforts.

What new roles can be formed by having more instructional designer skills in libraries?

I see a role for librarians as liaison to the Teaching and Learning Center. This is part of the technology leadership principle of new librarianship. This is not necessarily an additional role so much as it is a more authoritative role in the broader educational institution. Classroom faculty are already seeking advice from librarians on technology and related resources (at least in my own experience). The difference is that with the addition of IDT skills, librarians can confidently and successfully steer classroom faculty toward appropriate technology tools and instructional strategies. Just imagine how this benefits information literacy when technology tools are integrated that fully support multiple literacies (e.g. digital storytelling, game-based learning).

How do these five principles contribute to student learning??

All 5 principles integrate the traditional functions of librarianship with the learning sciences. In essence, new librarianship is more grounded in how we learn than the current climate of librarianship.

  1. New librarianship promotes multiple literacies. (e.g. 21st century skills)
  2. New librarianship supports ubiquitous learning.
  3. New librarianship is rooted in multiple disciplines, including library science, information science, media studies and the learning sciences.
  4. New librarianship emphasizes technology leadership. (e.g. technology integration)
  5. New librarianship facilitates the ‘library as Third Space’ concept. (e.g. Learning Commons)

We have instructional designers as a separate entity in our library. How can we ensure that they aren’t overtaken by work for the university as opposed to working for the library?

If librarians serve in an instructional design role, that role must be clearly documented and defined as part of the librarian’s duties, and differentiated from other IDT roles on campus.

I’m wondering how these new concepts affect the traditional library role of provided reference help in the office or at the desk? How does this expand the role of the embedded librarian?

Ironically, I think this will expand the traditional roles of librarians and streamline their embedded librarianship roles. The one-on-one instruction that reference service offers is probably one of the most effective teaching and learning approaches that exists (for the same reason that tutoring is so effective). Here’s a post on that topic. As for embedded librarianship, instructional design can make it equally effective without the excessive time commitment. You can read about it in this post.

What role do you see Quality Matters playing in library instruction and design?

Quality Matters is a set of standards for online learning. Think of it as the WHAT of online leaning – a checklist of WHAT should be included. Certainly, for institutions that utilize Quality Matters, online library instruction should follow those standards. Instructional design will teach you the WHY of online learning, so when you run into problems with the WHAT (e.g. checklist), you’ll know how to modify and improve the instruction. Good instructional design should achieve a high point value with the Quality Matters rubric.

It seems like the question of status is challenging. Our librarians have faculty status, but don’t think Instructional Designers enjoy as much esteem…in general.

I don’t think instructional designers associate faculty status with esteem. At least, I don’t know any who do. On the other hand, I know a few librarians who are very hung up on faculty status. I think that’s something that’s unique to the library field. Truthfully, when I was working as an academic librarian with faculty status, I never once met a classroom instructor who cared about me being faculty. And I never once met an administrator who perceived me in the same way that classroom faculty were perceived – I wasn’t perceived unequally, just as a different professional function.

What do you say to young people who want to get a masters in library science?

Good question! My best advice: choose a library school that houses both the learning technologies and library and information science departments under the same division. That way, you might be able to take IDT electives as part of the MLIS degree. I know of two schools that are organized that way:

What do you think about SAMR vs TPACK?

SAMR and TPACK are both frameworks for technology integration, but serve entirely different purposes.

SAMR is geared more for teachers to use as a guide. Here it is:

TPACK is a framework for assessing the technological, pedagogical and content knowledge of teachers. It’s not supposed to be used by teachers, but as a tool in teacher education. Here it is:

I am more interested in TPACK, since my role is more in the realm of teaching the teachers (or librarians in my case). SAMR can serve as a useful tool for teachers, but I don’t like that it focuses more on the technology than the learning outcome. I prefer the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) developed by the Florida Center of Instructional Technology. I also created my own model that is aligned to Bloom’s Taxonomy.

What about the ADDIE model in blended libr./edt collaboration? Any thoughts?

The ADDIE Model is a generic version of the systematic process of instructional design. Many models exist, all are rooted in the ADDIE process, and ADDIE serves well as a basis for that. However, as we move more toward designing constructivist learning environments (e.g. communities of practice, game-based learning), ADDIE doesn’t work so well. The research is still ongoing as to what models are best for constructivist approaches. Personally, I’m partial to activity theory.

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The Future of Librarianship: Continuing the Conversation

For those who attended today’s webcast on The Future of Librarianship, let’s continue the conversation right here! Feel free to post your comments, questions or experiences, and I’ll jump in as needed. And thank you for coming, great turnout! (I’ll post a link to the recorded webcast when it becomes available).