Mature learners and information literacy instruction in Academic Libraries: How LIS programs prepare Academic library instructors for adult education roles

Miller, Michelle
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The purpose of this study was to determine the availability of instruction courses at library and information science programs (LIS) in the US, and to what extent LIS programs address adult learning theory and instruction in the context of library instruction. Previous studies identified instruction courses at all American Library Association (ALA) accredited programs in the US; however, these studies did not delineate courses as K12 or non-K12 focused, nor did they explore adult learning theory topic inclusion. This study analysed course availability at 50 ALA-accredited programs in the US and used content analysis of instruction and academic library syllabi acquired from current LIS instructors and via course and faculty websites. Content analysis was undertaken using purposeful coding based on the assumptions of adult learning developed by the researcher by combining Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and Malcolm Knowles’ assumptions of adult learning delineated in the adult learning theory andragogy. SPSS was used to conduct quantitative analysis of course syllabi to determine significant associations between syllabus elements. Findings show availability of instruction courses is extensive, but not universal, and that adult learning theory and instruction has minimal presence in current LIS programs. Suggestions for LIS program course development and future course content development are made based on the present study’s findings and evidence from extant research.

Communication and the arts, Academic libraries, Adult learning theory, Andragogy, Library instruction, Library science education