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26 April, 2010

VCUQatar Librarian Appointed Chair of the Teaching Methods Committee of the ACRL

Nancy Fawley, reference librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, was recently appointed chair of the Teaching Methods Committee of the Instruction Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

The appointment is for one year and will begin in July.

The Teaching Methods Committee promotes effective teaching methods for librarians. During her term as chair, Ms. Fawley will lead a committee of five librarians whose task it will be to research and review information literacy textbooks for the publication ‘Teaching and Learning Information Literacy Skills Textbooks.’ Information literacy is a term commonly used by librarians and refers to an individual’s ability to recognize a need for information, then find, evaluate and use that information in an ethical manner.

The committee also researches books and articles related to the first-year experience for the publication, ‘First-Year Experience and Academic Libraries: A Select Annotated Bibliography.’ First-year experience refers to programs and initiatives aimed to help freshmen adjust academically and socially to their first year of university.

“Both of these initiatives are close to my heart,” said Ms. Fawley when asked about her appointment. “Teaching is one of my main job responsibilities and much of my instruction is working with the freshmen composition courses. I have also been able to integrate library activities into the freshman orientation,” she added.

Teaching has become a more important part of a librarian’s job, said Ms. Fawley, but most academic librarians have no prior teaching experience. Plus, she added, keeping students interested and engaged during library instruction is an ongoing challenge. Last summer, Ms. Fawley was accepted into the highly competitive ACRL Information Literacy Immersion. This was an intensive four-and-half-day workshop that focused on the theory and practice of successful teaching methods. “I have been able to apply what I learned at Immersion to my instruction at VCUQatar and it will also be useful as I take on my responsibilities of chairing the Teaching Methods committee.”

ACRL is a professional association of academic librarians that aims to help librarians better serve the learning, teaching and research of their respective colleges and universities. ACRL is the largest division of the American Library Association (ALA) with a membership of over 12,000. As a part of her chair responsibilities, Fawley will also be a part of the ACRL Instruction Section’s Advisory Council.

Nancy Fawley, reference librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar

Nancy Fawley, reference librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar