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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Jacalyn E. Bryan

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between information literacy and critical thinking. Specifically, the connection between the elements of critical thinking…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between information literacy and critical thinking. Specifically, the connection between the elements of critical thinking as expressed in one university’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and the advancing learning transforming scholarship (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards (ACRL IL Standards). Concrete examples of how librarians support information literacy and critical thinking were examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a literature review, the ACRL IL Standards were mapped to the elements of a university’s QEP (critical thinking + core values = decision-making). A wiki was then created to illicit specific examples from librarians regarding how they incorporate the elements of critical thinking in their reference/instruction work.

Findings

Considerable correspondence was found between the ACRL IL Standards and the elements of critical thinking in the QEP, but this varied with the specific standard and the specific QEP component. Wiki results revealed that librarians used many concrete activities that supported QEP critical-thinking elements.

Research limitations/implications

In this study, mapping the ACRL IL Standards to QEP components was subjective, performed by only one individual. Future research, perhaps involving the forthcoming ACRL IL Standards, might be better carried out by a larger group, thereby enhancing objectivity.

Originality/value

The literature review showed a lack of specificity in how critical thinking is defined and integrated into library reference/instruction work. The present study compared eight specific elements of critical thinking to the ACRL IL Standards and found 108 concrete examples of their application.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2007

Jacalyn E. Bryan

Faculty status for academic librarians is an issue that has been the subject of much debate in recent decades. The purpose of this paper is to examine the key points…

Abstract

Purpose

Faculty status for academic librarians is an issue that has been the subject of much debate in recent decades. The purpose of this paper is to examine the key points raised during this debate, in the hope of achieving a suitable resolution.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper begins with an overview of the issue of faculty status for academic librarians from an historical perspective and then continues with a review of literature from the past three decades. The pros and cons of granting faculty status are examined, as well as alternate models, followed by a proposed recommendation.

Findings

While there are a number of concerns regarding the value of faculty status for academic librarians, such as disagreement with the basic tenet that librarians are primarily teachers, the weight of the evidence seems to support the granting of faculty status to academic librarians. This status provides academic freedom, recognition of librarians in their role as educators, and financial benefits and job security and is supported by the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association of American Colleges, and the American Association of University Professors.

Research limitations/implications

While this paper is a review of selected relevant literature, only a small portion of the literature was of an empirical nature. There is a need for more studies which directly measure the impact of faculty status for academic librarians on the librarians themselves and the students, faculty, and institutions they serve.

Originality/value

The paper shows that with faculty status, academic librarians receive the same rights and privileges as other faculty and participate in college or university governance, thereby increasing the integration of the library with the institution.

Details

Library Review, vol. 56 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Jacalyn M. Griffen and Ronald E. Hallett

The school counselor can reduce barriers to college access for students in underserved communities but there is a lack of focused support and professional development…

Abstract

Purpose

The school counselor can reduce barriers to college access for students in underserved communities but there is a lack of focused support and professional development resources to assist them with this task. The purpose of this paper is to gain insight into how a collaborative partnership reframed professional development to increase counselors’ capacities and enrich their role in addressing educational inequities in a local context.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employed an action-oriented qualitative case study through the lens of social justice to critically consider how urban school counselors took action to address local educational inequities in the postsecondary process. Data were collected over a ten month period and consisted of semi-structured interviews, 17 hours of meeting transcriptions, meeting notes, field observations, numerous field notes, researcher reflections, weekly e-mail correspondence, electronic data, counselor demographic surveys, and document analysis.

Findings

The inter-agency networked learning community model encouraged the school counselors to take ownership for their professional development, starting small led to greater collaboration, the counselors engaged in collective learning and counselors took a responsibility for the broader school community.

Research limitations/implications

Inter-agency partnerships can address social inequities and initiate transformative change but further research is needed to explore how to address what happens as actors move in and/or out of the partnership. Acknowledging and validating the experience of the school counselors empowered them to take risks, invite new ideas, and adapt the new idea to their local school site. Reframing professional development began to transform how the counselors were viewed by the broader school community. Further research is needed to explore how educational systems can be empowered to engage in conversations to embrace change.

Social implications

This study illustrated the transformative power of school counselors in building community, collaborating, and constructing bridges between each other, school administrators, and postsecondary researchers. Unless the current devaluing of school counselors shifts, the benefits associated with networked collaborative partnerships will likely go unrealized. We call on policymakers to reconsider the role of school counselors and call on them to ensure these positions are mandatory in all K-12 schools.

Originality/value

This study demonstrated how an inter-organizational collaboration between a university and a K-12 local education agency initiated transformative change. The collective action of the network equipped counselors with tools to build community with each other, within their individual school sites, and in the local community. Many studies provide models regarding what school counselors should do but few explore how to empower them to use the models to enact change. The action-inquiry approach provided an opportunity to explore how urban school counselors experienced and understood the process of engaging in professional development designed to help them try something new in addressing educational inequities in underserved communities.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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