Library Instruction Together: Building a Community of Practice on a Shoestring Budget
Free Online Presentation
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
1:00-2:00 PM CST
Presented via Zoom
As an academic librarian, do you feel a lack of opportunities to network, share best practices, and find support locally? In 2017, a group of instruction librarians from across Tennessee gathered online to discuss creating something beyond the state-wide offerings, which were limited and not always representative of their voices and interests. Inspired by like-minded gatherings, such as Brick & Click, the California Conference on Library Instruction, and the Library Collective, among others, the original members of the Library Instruction Tennessee (LIT) steering committee recognized a need among information literacy professionals to create bonds, inspire one another, share resources, and grow in practice. With collaboration and innovation as primary goals, the meeting sparked an annual conference that has now been convened for five years. The community is being rebranded to Library Instruction Together to include librarians from outside of the region.
With relatively little financial support, the LIT planning committee faced challenges in ensuring that their annual conference remained affordable for all librarians and library professionals, including those with limited access to professional development funds, and those for whom library staffing needs preclude the option of traveling overnight. Learn how the conference has adapted to community needs from the original low-cost conference in central Tennessee to a free online conference and a unique, low-cost local offering connecting Tennessee librarians to concepts of self-care and a network of allies and friends.
Library Instruction Together originated from a dearth of opportunities for southeastern teaching librarians to participate in a community of practice. From the beginning, LIT has been a highly collaborative and informal grassroots initiative, growing slowly while maintaining our vision. The panel will discuss the history of LIT, including obstacles, outcomes, and a look to the future. Attendees will take away ideas about how to grow a community of practice in their region.
Jenny Harris, Coordinator of Research & Instruction, Austin Peay State University
Ashley Roach-Freiman, Research and Instruction Librarian, University of Memphis
Sarah Smith, District Dean of Libraries, St. Louis Community College
Lyndy Wibking, Librarian, Roane State Community College
Aaron Wimer, Library Director, The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina
Andrea Kincaid, Lead Public Services Librarian, Chattanooga State Community College
This free presentation is sponsored by the ACRL University Libraries Section Professional Development Committee.
If you can’t make this session but wish to view a recording later, please register so that you’ll receive an email that includes a link to the video of the presentation.
A full list of the committee’s past and future programs are available on the Programs page.