The Craft of Librarian Instruction: Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors

Library instruction is like a theatre performance. You play a role as the instruction librarian. There is a live audience. You may receive reviews or evaluations. Or maybe the teaching experience feels more like an audition—a bit unnerving! In The Craft of Librarian Instruction: Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence, join Julie Artman, Jeff Sundquist, and Douglas R. Dechow for a fun and creative approach to library instruction as they demonstrate how acting techniques can hone your presentation skills, your teaching style, and your performance to create an invigorating (and stress-free) learning experience for your students.

Using acting methods and techniques, you'll learn how to:

  • Rehearse and prepare for your instruction session by centering yourself through visualization, memorization, and improvisation;
  • Connect with your students through personalization and role-playing, and by exploring your teacher identity; and
  • Sharpen your unique teaching presence through reflection and intentional instruction.

Vocal and physical preparation and instructional scenarios will reveal potential challenges and pose solutions, and provide tips for deepening your teaching skills. Intended for newly hired instruction librarians, librarians with little or no teaching experience, those dealing with shyness or ‘stage fright,' as well as more experienced librarians in need of a refreshed perspective, The Craft of Librarian Instruction: Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence will add an undeniable star quality to your instructional performance!


Section I: Prepare and Rehearse

Chapter One: Setting the Stage
Chapter Two: Centering Yourself
Chapter Three: Physical and Vocal Preparation

Section II: Perform and Connect

Chapter Four: Role-Playing   
Chapter Five: Action (and Reaction)   
Chapter Six: Your Teaching Presence: Charisma and Chemistry   

Section III: Reflect and Sharpen

Chapter Seven: The Reviews Are In!   

About the Authors   

Julie Artman

Julie Artman has worked as a theatre director, producer, acting coach, and actor in New York City, Los Angeles, and regionally. Currently, Julie is Chair of Collection Management at Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, and teaches in the Department of Theatre. Her next work will explore the nature of acting and directing through the interplay of Zen teachings and practices.

Jeff Sundquist

Jeff Sundquist is Assistant Professor and Collection Management Librarian at Eastern Washington University. After earning a BA in Theater at UCLA, he stayed to pursue an MLIS and MA in Scandinavian Studies concurrently, the latter degree hinging tightly on the works of Ibsen and Strindberg. Jeff is now working on the theatrical reception of Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse.

Douglas R. Dechow

Douglas R. Dechow is the Digital Humanities and Sciences Librarian at Chapman University. Doug is co-editor of Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson and co-author of a book about the Smalltalk programming language entitled Squeak: A Quick Trip to ObjectLand. Doug and Chapman English Professor Anna Leahy also co-write Lofty Ambitions Blog and are working on a book based on their experiences following the end of the space shuttle program.