Workshop Review : Teaching in the Art Library: From Pedagogy to Practice

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ARLIS/NA 2021 Virtual Conference
May 14, 2021. 11 AM – 1 PM

John Latour

Teaching & Research Librarian – Fine Arts, Concordia University Library

This workshop took place on the day following the last day of the ARLIS/NA virtual conference. It was an opportunity for participants to discuss issues and to develop skills relating to pedagogy within an art library context. It was intended for art information professionals who are new to instruction or who may not have much experience with contemporary pedagogical theory. The workshop itself was led by Courtney Baron (University of Louisville), Anna Boutin-Cooper (Franklin & Marshall College) and Eva Sclippa (UNC Wilmington) – who brought a wealth of experience to this event.

During the course of the workshop, the organizers covered a range of topics such as managing teaching anxiety, building lesson plans around learning outcomes, acquiring active learning strategies, and making use of pedagogical assessment techniques. In preparation for the workshop, participants were sent a number of worksheets, articles, and other documents to review ahead of time including a copy of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015). The ACRL Framework was referenced throughout the workshop and served as a touchstone for a number of individual and collaborative “in-class” assignments. 

We were invited to perform most of our assignments in breakout sessions of four or five participants. As with most online activities I have attended recently, time passed very quickly (especially in the breakout room sessions). The breakout groups did afford us a chance to get to know each other a little while we tried to tackle the assigned tasks. For instance, we were given a particular learning objective, and then asked to identify examples of active learning techniques and online tools that could facilitate the teaching of this objective.

Overall, the workshop was well-attended and thoughtfully organized. In a “real-world” setting, it could have easily been given as a three-hour event – which would have provided participants more time to work on their assignments and engage in group work, but the organizers were undoubtedly conscious of potential “Zoom fatigue” after attending a virtual conference and (wisely) limited the workshop to a two-hour event.


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. 

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