The Library has made a number of improvements to its instruction program in the past decade. In late 2002, the Library committed significant resources toward the strengthening and unification of its various instruction programs through the creation of an instruction coordinator full-time faculty position, which was filled in November 2002 through a national search. Similarly, in May 2004 the Library filled its vacant position for an instructional technology librarian, and created and filled a new position for an Associate Dean for Reference and Instruction, again with the intent to further strengthen the Library's instruction efforts. Other major initiatives include the following:
The learning environment
Physical Instructional spaces: Instructional spaces within Parks Library include a User Education Lab with an instructor workstation and 20 student workstations, a Library 160 Lab with an instructor workstation and 17 student workstations, a recently remodeled lecture-format classroom that can accommodate approximately 70 students, and a recently remodeled seminar room that can accommodate an audience of approximately 45.
Virtual Learning spaces: These include the Library's Instruction Commons, and WebCT as used for the Library 160 course (both described above).
Relationships with CELT, ITS. A number of faculty librarians work closely with the Center for Excellence in Learning & Teaching, as campus-wide seminar presenters, committee members, and for continuing education opportunities. The instruction coordinator was also selected to participate in the CELT's annual Wakonse college teaching retreat, a week-long retreat that recognizes and promotes excellence in college teaching.
Participation in LCs, ISUComm. A number of faculty librarians have worked closely with Learning Communities at the course level, working with instructors on assignments and working with students; serving on LC committees, and collaborating with the ISUComm development team, particularly in the development and piloting of the ISUComm 150 and 250 courses in the English department. Library faculty have also made extensive use of the Instruction Commons for placing Learning Community and ISUComm materials up on the web.
Issues facing the instruction program in the near future.
Workload and scalability are the major issues faced by the Library's instruction program in all of its various components. Involvement in the Library's instruction efforts is largely seen as a "volunteer" and case-by-case operation.
The Library will need very soon to commit time and effort in analyzing these workload issues and organizational expectations in order to ensure the continued growth and success of its instruction program. Reorganizing library staff to support various aspects of the instruction program could provide needed staffing. Further, rearticulating organizational expectations could clarify, first, that regular participation in instruction program activities is a required component of many faculty librarian positions, rather than a voluntary aspect, and, second, that workloads of faculty librarians who are heavily involved in instruction program activities need attention to prevent burnout and unrealistic organizational expectations.
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