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Examining the Teaching Needs of Engineering Faculty: How the Library and Librarian Fit In

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Libraries Division Technical Session 2: Special Topics

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

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Paper Authors


Erin Rowley University at Buffalo

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Erin Rowley is the Head of Science and Engineering Library Services at the University at Buffalo and serves as the Engineering Librarian. Before coming to UB, Erin was the head of a research team at a consumer products testing laboratory specializing in international standards and regulatory research. At UB she assists faculty, students, and staff with library resource instruction and engineering-related research including standards, technical reports, and patents. Erin's research interests include the role of librarians in engineering education, entrepreneurship, and the role of technical industry standards in academic libraries. She holds the Master of Library Science from the University at Buffalo and a B.A. degree in Communication from SUNY Geneseo.

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Teaching is a common responsibility among many subject librarians [1], as is supporting faculty in their own teaching pursuits [2]. However, what this support looks like can vary greatly depending on the academic area, the course, or the specific faculty member. This study aimed to understand the needs of engineering faculty members, especially those who had not worked directly with the engineering librarian for library resource instruction. The study was modeled after a similar multi-site study conceived and organized by Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit organization that provides guidance and support for academic and cultural communities, that explored the teaching needs of business faculty members [3]. Interviews were conducted with faculty members from the departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Industrial and Systems Engineering in the summer of 2020. This paper examines the main teaching themes that emanated from the analysis of the interview transcripts: course materials needed and created by engineering faculty, how library research skills are introduced to engineering students, and how COVID-19 impacted the way engineering faculty approached course preparation for the fall 2020 semester. Recommendations for additional research and future faculty outreach are also prescribed.

[1] E. Wheeler and P. McKinney, "Are librarians teachers? Investigating academic librarians' perceptions of their own teaching roles," Journal of Information Literacy, Article vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 111-128, 12// 2015, doi: 10.11645/9.2.1985. [2] S. Stebelman, J. Siggins, D. Nutty, and C. Long, "Improving Library Relations with the Faculty and University Administrators: The Role of the Faculty Outreach Librarian," College & research libraries, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 121-130, 1999, doi: 10.5860/crl.60.2.121. [3] K. Tanaka et al., "Teaching Business: Looking at the Support Needs of Instructors," Ithaka S+R, 2019.

Rowley, E. (2021, July), Examining the Teaching Needs of Engineering Faculty: How the Library and Librarian Fit In Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37125

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