Understanding Librarians: Developing the Teaching Role of Chinese Librarians
With increasing roles in education that include teaching responsibilities, librarians need to learn more about pedagogical theories and techniques to provide high-quality information literacy (IL) instruction (Agyemang, 2020). Previous studies have been done in South Africa (Hart, 2006), Canada (Julien & Pecoskie, 2009; Julien & Genuis, 2011), and Israel (Aharony & Bronstein, 2014), which focus on librarians’ perceptions of IL, instructional work, and their role as teachers. Unfortunately, little research has been published on how Chinese librarians view their teaching experience and skills as teachers (Gong, 2010). This study aimed to investigate Chinese librarians’ perceptions of their own teaching identities, whether they feel they are teachers, what they do to prepare for teaching, and what challenges they encounter in their teaching efforts. A questionnaire was distributed electronically to a purposive sample of 135 librarians. It turns out that 70% of academic librarians have participated in any training or continuing education related to teaching work, while only 5% of public librarians have relevant training experience. The results show that the majority of participants (62.2%, n = 84) are expected to do instruction when they began working in libraries, 13.3% (n = 33) did not have that expectation, and 24.4% (n = 33) were unsure. Compared to 63.64% of academic librarians and 60.53% of school librarians who incorporated their teaching roles as being a part of their professional identity, only 16.67% of public librarians felt that teaching was a part of their identity. This is despite half of the public librarians (58.33%) taking on a teaching role as a responsibility or an expectation. This study intended to illustrate the current state of librarians’ teaching skills and the practical implications of support and training for librarians responsible for teaching.
Qianxiu LIU has been a researcher at Shenzhen University, China, responsible for constructing the intellectual property information literacy education system and leading the successful application of the Scientific Base of Intellectual Property Innovation and Intelligence Information Literacy Education. She also worked as a lecturer at Bunkyo University Japan. Her research interests are information literacy education, and library user research, with an emphasis on empirical and comparative studies of higher education and university libraries. Qianxiu has published more than 20 journal papers, conference papers, and a book named Why the Library? The Role of Librarians in the Higher Education Systems of Greater China. Qianxiu is a member of the Japan Society for LibraSry Information (JSLIS) and the Mita Society for Library Information (MSLIS). She was one of the winners of the outstanding award in the “Data Resource Value-Added Service Research Project” of the Digital Resource Acquisition Alliance of Chinese Academic Libraries (CALIS) in 2022. She also received the Best Presentation Award from JSLIS in 2019, a research grant from JSLIS in 2020, and an overseas training grant from the University of Tsukuba in 2016. Qianxiu Liu received her BA from Fuzhou University, China. In addition, she possesses a Master’s degree and working toward her Ph. D. thesis in Library and Information Science from the University of Tsukuba, Japan.