Topics and issues in library and information science education pedagogy are commonly discussed in panels, conferences, peer-reviewed articles, professional articles, and dedicated monographs. However, in this abundance of education-oriented discussions, there are several noticeable gaps and omissions. Not always do education-oriented publications involve theoretical grounding that could make them stronger in argumentation and more generalizable to other contexts.
Addressing these gaps, the book stands to strengthen the less covered areas of library and information science (LIS) pedagogical thought; it enriches a theoretical foundation of pedagogical discourse and broadens its scope. This volume brings together a collection of essays from LIS educators from around the world who delve into difficult, unpopular, and uncommonly discussed topics—the inglorious pedagogy, as we call it—based on their practice and scholarship.
Presenting perspectives from Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, each chapter is a case study, rooted not only in the author’s experience but also in a solid theoretical or analytical framework that helps the reader make sense of the situations, behaviors, impact, and human emotions involved in each. The collective thought woven in the book chapters leads the reader through the milestones of (in)glorious pedagogy to a better understanding of the potentially transformative nature and wasted opportunities of graduate LIS education and higher education in general.
Keren Dali, Ph.D., is a faculty member at the Research Methods & Information Science Dept., University of Denver. She holds BA in social work, Master of Information Studies, and Ph.D. in Information Science degrees. Keren has also earned certificates in Diversity & Inclusion and Project Management from Cornell University. With almost two decades of research and publishing experience, as well as graduate teaching experience in the U.S and Canada, Keren holds the inaugural ALISE/Connie Van Fleet Award for Research Excellence in Public Library Services to Adults; the Outstanding Reviewer distinction and the Outstanding and Highly Commended Paper distinctions from the Emerald publisher. She has chaired committees for both ALISE and ASIST; she’s also a co-founder of the ALISE “Disabilities in LIS” SIG. In 2020, she was a co-Chair of the ALISE annual conference. From 2017 to 2019, Keren served as the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI). Under her leadership, the journal turned from an experimental and unknown entity into a noteworthy publication in the LIS field, with a set record of excellence, innovation, and daring scholarship in the field of diversity, inclusion, and social justice. For many years, Keren has been serving on the editorial boards of the Library Quarterly, Journal of Librarianship & Information Science, and the Journal of Education for Library & Information Science.
In 2019, Keren received the ALISE Norman Horrocks leadership award. Keren also holds the inaugural Outstanding Instructor Award from the iSchool, U of Toronto (2013).
Kim M. Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Information Science and associate dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Information and Communications at the University of South Carolina. Her background spans information studies, library science, and international consulting, with research focusing on information poverty and information access. She has won numerous teaching awards including a Faculty of Arts and Education Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning 2018; 2015 Web-based Information Studies Education Excellence in Online Education Teaching Award; Outstanding Subject Delivery Award 2014; and was honored in the CSU School of Information Studies Teaching Hall of Fame in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2011 for excellence in teaching, as determined by student evaluations. She was selected by the International Journal of Information, Diversity, and Inclusion Editorial Board for their 2018 Outstanding Reviewer Award for commitment to the scholarly publication process, professionalism, expertise, and desire to help new and experienced authors to improve their manuscripts. Professor Thompson is an Adjunct Associate Professor with Charles Sturt University School of Information Studies and an Affiliate Faculty of the University of Maryland Information Policy & Access Center.
Introduction: The Glories and Inglories of Library and Information Science Pedagogy
Kim M. Thompson and Keren Dali
Chapter 1. Performing Librarianship: Practicing the Reference Interview and Building Community through Improvisation.
Sarah Beth Nelson and Emily Vardell
Chapter 2. Nice to Have, a Distraction from the Core Curriculum, or a Disruptive Element? A Teaching Journey through Three Common Perceptions of Social Justice in LIS Education
Chapter 3. We, Who Cannot Unlearn: (Un)Learning and Disabled Faculty in American (Post)Pandemic Academia
Keren Dali and Paul T. Jaeger
Chapter 4. “The Pandemic Has Forced Us All to Become Professionals Again”: Adjunct Faculty Advocacy at a Canadian ALA-Accredited iSchool
Chapter 5. Teaching for Intellectual Humility
Chapter 6. The Difficulty of Training Students to Do Research in Tangles of Discourses: A Case of a Postgraduate Dissertation Project
Liangzhi Yu and Xiaofei Yan
Chapter 7. Overwhelmed or Overteaching? Humanism for Time Use and Pedagogy
Kim M. Thompson
Chapter 8. The Academia-Practice Gap: It Takes Two to Tango
Chapter 9. “I Feel Like an ATM Machine”: Mentoring, LIS Research, and Academic Capitalism
Chapter 10. The Way of WalDorF: Fostering Creativity in LIS Programs
Chapter 11. Tales from Three Countries and One Academia: Academic Faculty in the Time of the Pandemic
Keren Dali, Nadia Caidi, Kim M. Thompson, and Jane Garner
Chapter 12. Transitioning to Postgraduate Distance Learning: Student Experiences of Change and Success
Anne Goulding and Guanzheng Li
Epilogue: Concluding the (In)glorious Journey
Keren Dali and Kim M. Thompson
About the Editors and Contributors
Dali and Thompson took on the task of addressing difficult topics in higher education, specifically in the LIS classroom. The editors bring together international perspectives on what they term inglorious pedagogy. Some chapters focus on traditional pedagogical theory and assessment—engaging students through improvisational acting exercises and encouraging creativity in the classroom by framing discussions through the walls, doors, and fences model. Other chapters address the importance of building student cohort bonds while grappling with the transition to graduate-level learning and distance education. Dali and Thompson have expanded their definition of pedagogy to include other obstacles LIS faculty encounter. Among these are interdepartmental relationships, disability inequity among faculty, the convergence of disciplines within LIS, academic burnout, and tensions between academic faculty and practitioners in the field. Chapters also cover issues with academic capital in regard to collaborating with students and tracking how academic libraries responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, Canada, and Australia. Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty, and professionals.
Editors Dali and Thompson have assembled a unique set of essays utilizing conceptual and theoretical frameworks to examine less common pedagogies in library and information science. The contributors are LIS educators representing perspectives from Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Each chapter is a case study written in a journalistic rather than academic style, intended for those currently teaching or aspiring to teach in the field. The work provides a snapshot of the challenges that instructors face and describes their strategies for overcoming obstacles. Notable topics include intellectual humility, navigating perceptions of social justice, LIS research and academic capitalism, experiences of disabled faculty and researchers in a COVID-era academic landscape, fostering creativity, and distance learning. The editors’ sensibilities are evident throughout, as they author or contribute to five of the 12 chapters (not including the introduction and conclusion), but this does not detract from the richness of the content. A beneficial and thought-provoking book focusing on critical topics and experiences rarely explored in the field. Though the focus on LIS programs and education narrows the appeal, this would also be a timely addition to professional-development collections.
That which is difficult, unpopular, or uncommon in our teaching can promote self-reflection and growth and keep our work vital. Congratulations to these authors and editors for sharing the growing pains that demonstrate our ability and desire to do better.
Inglorious Pedagogy: Difficult, Unpopular, and Uncommon Topics in Library and Information Science Education is an insightful, varied, and timely exploration of uncommon approaches to delivering LIS education. This book aims to uncover the complex and varied experiences of teaching LIS programs internationally at a time of rapid change and challenges educators to explore new ways of thinking about their work.