Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Irish Academic Libraries: Stories of Professional Artistry

Cleary, Ann, Cohen, Philip and Delaney, Mary (2019) Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Irish Academic Libraries: Stories of Professional Artistry.


In 2016, three enterprising librarians seized the opportunity to collaborate through their libraries in a nationally funded program of work that enabled their staff to experiment with new approaches to personal, professional, and organization development, and to redefine their roles and goals in the changing educational arena. L2L - Library Staff Learning to Support Learners Learning – is a groundbreaking endeavour that has transformed the professional lives of librarians and library assistants in Irish academic libraries and given new meaning and direction to their educational work and goals. L2L has real potential to revitalize the library teaching and learning community globally and catalyze similar transformations in other countries; the stories and insights shared in this book and companion website represent the first step in that process.

Narrated and crafted by project participants as candid accounts and honest reflections of their own educational journeys as library teachers and learning facilitators, the chapters and vignettes presented here will help fellow library workers around the world take a fresh look at their practice and the whole process of teacher development in libraries and encourage them to approach their own professional learning with renewed commitment and creativity. Projects in the UK and other countries have explored the professional development of librarians as teachers and contributed to our understanding of the forces driving and inhibiting the changes many of us want to see come to fruition. Yet despite advances on several fronts library workers continue to be frustrated in their efforts to accomplish their vision of the teaching library. Challenges have come from within and outside the library; access to resources, availability of courses, attitudes of colleagues, and ambiguity around roles have all been cited as barriers to professional development.

The L2L experience shows how library staff can overcome these and other challenges. The key to success is the National Professional Development Framework for All Staff Who Teach in Higher Education, a tool that is available on the web for anyone interested to access and use. Launched in 2016 in Dublin, Ireland, by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, the PD Framework (also known as the PDF) is captured in a ten-page document that sets out five domains for professional development, supported by a typology of professional development activities and learning, a cyclical model of evidence-based reflection and planning, and articulation of five core values underpinning the framework. The L2L consortium of three Irish academic libraries was funded to field test and evaluate the utility and quality of this new framework as a professional development tool for library staff.

View Item