Discussion topic: the librarian as teacher

Photo: '2012-240 #6WordMission' by Denise Krebs CC-BY-2.0

Photo: ‘2012-240 #6WordMission’ by Denise Krebs CC-BY-2.0

As library and information professionals, we often find ourselves in the role of teacher, helping library clients master information skills.Some of us are full-time teachers – a qualified teacher librarian, or an academic teaching new librarians in library school. But even many of us who are formal educators, find ourselves teaching at work all the time.

Perhaps we’re teaching seniors how to use Facebook, or researchers how to upload research data into an institutional repository. We may be teaching teens about cybersafety, or teaching a colleague how to find information for a project. Almost every role in Library Land involves some kind of teaching or knowledge sharing, so in this discussion topic we’re going to look at some different approaches to this.

Take a moment to reflect on your last week at work, did you teach anyone anything?

Was it planned or spontaneous? How did you go about doing it? How do you know whether they learned what you taught them? Please share these reflections with your partner, and ask them what they taught someone last week.

Over the next two weeks we’re going to be showcasing many different types of teaching targeting different types of library clients. We encourage you to explore the many different teaching techniques used and think about which styles are best suited to your clients.

Remember to share your thoughts in the comments section or on Facebook and Twitter. Want to share your story about librarians as teachers, let us know – we love to receive guest posts.

Posted in Discussion topics, Round 2015B and tagged , , , .


  1. True motto of our education is the advancement of knowledge, empowerment for lifelong learning and above all quest for higher truth of human life. If one’s function is the same as that of another profession or occupation, then one can claim the title of that other profession if one likes. This is the rationale for academic librarians’ claim to be members of the professoriate. This claim is justified and evidenced through evolutionary backdrops. Contemporary national and international developments in legal, institutional as well as in socio-economic perspectives have made this rationale on firmer ground. For many years, librarians have been accustomed with their stereotypes, a new role of professoriate comes with further intellectual price and more social responsibility as true educator. Status of a professor is different from the true identity of a professor. Bridging the gap between these two calls for more intellectual pursuit , dedication and commitment from academic librarians and they must prove this caveat wrong in years to come to emerge as true professor.

  2. I agree with you to extent that most people especially lecturers tend to underate librarian in terms of teaching but I find myself teaching during user education, imparting skills and knowledge to users on how to retrieve and use electronic resources and during Information Literacy trainings. So isn’t that activity involve teaching?

  3. The transition from teacher librarian to public librarian has not resulted in as much of a drop in “teaching” as I had expected. The audience is much broader and generally the teaching is not structured – rather more of the “teachable moments” style – but teaching is definitely still a part of what I do.

  4. Now, it’s correct.

    For me it is every day, it is not planned. They know that they can always lead me to learn anything, is not prepared is in day to day. They understand that, and I am clear explanations, how difficult it is to break bad habits despite teaching and follow them in their progress.
    I like to do, and it makes me feel good, especially is the sharing of knowledge, is the most interesting from the perspective of an active professional to another professional eager to learn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *