Faculty culture and bibliographic instruction: an exploratory analysis.
Boyer (1987), in one of the most important books on undergraduate education, College: The Undergraduate Experience in America, wrote: "We found the library at most institutions in our study to be a neglected resource" (p. 160). What is remarkable about Boyer is not so much that he reached this conclusion but that he even mentioned the library at all. Boyer's book is the first major publication on undergraduate education in recent years that not only included the library but also promoted bibliographic instruction (Farber, 1992, p. 2). Unfortunately, Boyer does not appear to have started a trend since discussions of bibliographic instruction remain conspicuously absent from higher education literature.
Bibliographic instruction has a long history among academic libraries dating to at least the 1880s (Hardesty & Tucker, 1989). In recent years, proponents can point to the steady, perhaps dramatic, movement of bibliographic instruction and its adoption by librarians (Farber, 1992, p. 2). Nevertheless, efforts, both historically and currently, to enhance the role of the academic library in the educational process can be described as "uncertain" (Hardesty & Tucker, 1989).
In his classic study, Teaching with books, Branscomb (1940) found such limited use of the library by most college students during the 1930s that he asked "whether we need these large libraries, if present teaching methods continue" (p. 8). A decade later, the eminent librarian Louis Round Wilson (Wilson et al., 1951) raised a similar issue when he wrote: Although colleges spend a considerable portion of their educational budgets for library materials and services, the contribution that libraries make to furthering the education program is less than it should be" (p. 13).
During the 1950s and early 1960s, Knapp pioneered modern bibliographic instruction through such efforts as the Monteith College Project (Knapp, 1956, 1964, 1966). Shores (1968) also attracted widespread attention to the library's role in higher education through his library-college movement. Nevertheless, as the 1960s ended, Phipps (1968) found that many librarians involved in bibliographic instruction were frustrated, disappointed, and demoralized because of "lack of staff, lack of time, lack of money for experimentation, lack of cooperation and interest from the faculty [emphasis added] and the administration" (p. 12).
The modern period of bibliographic instruction can be dated from Farber's presentation in 1969 to the College Libraries Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries followed by Kennedy's (1970) article in Library Journal With Farber's presentation and Kennedy's article, the Earlham College program became widely known. By the early 1970s, bibliographic instruction had emerged as an authentic movement with its own annual conference at Eastern Michigan University. Bibliographic instruction champions would have their own section within the Association of College and Research Libraries by the mid-1970s and their own journal, Research Strategies, by the 1980s. By the 1990s, even some regional accreditation agencies had started to recognize the importance of bibliographic instruction (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 1994).
Even with this significant progress, there remains a nagging feeling that bibliographic instruction has yet to be widely accepted outside the library, particularly by a large portion of the faculty. Recently, Jacobson and Vallely (1992) concluded:
Despite the fact that bibliographic instruction has transformed and
reshaped the manner in which college and university reference staffs
define their role, and notwithstanding the substantial number of
students and classroom teachers involved in BI programs, our
teaching faculty colleagues have not, as a group, integrated BI into
the body of materials they feel it is essential to have students learn.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Council on Library Resources funded programs to enhance the library's educational role, and about $3 million went to more than fifty academic libraries. In 1980, Gwinn (1980) reviewed these programs, and her review closed an important chapter in the history of bibliographic instruction. She found librarians' difficulties with faculty members frequently mentioned among the largest problems in establishing programs. The difficulties included: (1) poor cooperation from faculty [emphasis added], (2) faculty and administrative turnover, and (3) lack of adequate planning input from faculty [emphasis added]. She concluded with the understatement: "Bibliographic instruction programs in general, have not caused a major revolution among the American teaching faculty" (p. 10). Shortly afterward, Whitlatch (1983) further concluded: "In the United States, the tradition in faculty teaching does not involve extensive use of the library nor encourage students to use the library to formulate research topics or independent inquiries" (p. 149).
As bibliographic instruction entered the 1990s, Farber (1992) wrote: "[The] problem [of faculty resistance to bibliographic instruction] is still with us. Many faculty members are still unwilling to share their classrooms, to give up some control over their classes" (p. 3). Thomas (1994), in her recent study of faculty attitudes toward bibliographic instruction at a large state university, found evidence to support Farber's assertion. She concluded: "In general, most ... faculty still seem to feel little responsibility for assuring that their students develop library skills, traditional or electronic" (p. 220).
The growth of American academic libraries during the past century and a quarter has been nothing short of astonishing. In 1876, among major academic libraries, only Harvard University's had more than 100,000 volumes. Libraries at colleges such as Bates, Bowdoin, DePauw, Haverford, Lafayette, and Oberlin held only between 7,000 and 23,000 volumes each (Holley, 1976). More than half a century later, Shaw (1931) found in developing A List of Books for College Libraries in the early 1930s that many of the colleges consulted reported fewer than 14,000 books in their libraries (p. v). Today, however, even the smallest academic library is expected to have more than 100,000 volumes to meet professional standards (Standards Committee, 1995). Yet, some evidence suggests that use (or nonuse) of the library by undergraduates remains virtually unchanged from the 1930s (Hardesty, 1980, p. 32).
IMPORTANCE OF WORKING WITH FACULTY
Historically, academic librarians have long looked to faculty to motivate and direct students in their use of the academic library. More than half a century ago, Branscomb (1940) concluded:
Books bought by the library lie unused on the shelves because instructors
in large numbers are not depending upon these volumes
to supply any essential element in the educational process for which
they are responsible. (pp. 79-80)
Following Branscomb, Knapp (1958) concluded from her extensive study at Knox College during the 1950s that:
Neither subject field, nor teaching method, nor kind of assignment,
nor quality of student in a class is of crucial importance in determining
whether or not a given course will be dependent upon the library.
The only decisive factor seemed to be--and this is a subjective
judgment--the instructor's attitude. Where the instructor expected
and planned for student use of the library, it occurred. Where
he did not, it did not occur. (p. 829)
This theme of the importance of the faculty member continues to be repeated into the modern era of bibliographic instruction of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Writing in 1978, McInnis (1978) observed:
More than any other factor, the value the classroom instructor attaches
to library research determines the students' interest in use of
library materials. Instructors give direction and motivation to students
as to how library materials are to be used in meeting course
requirements. Their influence is most often the difference between
a perfunctory use of materials and dedicated examination of the
rich store of scientific literature typically available in most college
libraries. (p. 3)
A few years later, Carlson and Miller (1984) again emphasized the importance of faculty. They wrote:
No matter how hard librarians work, without the cooperation and
support of teaching faculty, the BI program will be unsuccessful or
severely limited. This happens because the attitude of the faculty is
a major determinant in the response of students to the program.
Most recently, writing in the early 1990s, Lipow (1992) justified the importance of working with faculty members in strictly pragmatic terms:
They [faculty] see the students more often, much more often, than
we do. They initiate their students' library assignments. To the
extent that faculty are misinformed or uninformed about the library,
their students will be misinformed or uninformed; and conversely,
the better the faculty's understanding of the library, its resources
and services for themselves, the more likely their students will have
that better understanding. (p. 10)
Farber, longtime head librarian at Earlham College--now retired--and a strong proponent of the importance of working directly with faculty for course-related bibliographic instruction, advocated his view based on both political necessity (Farber, 1974b, p. 160) and educational desirability (Farber, 1992, p. 1).
There is little doubt among most bibliographic instruction librarians that, for bibliographic instruction programs to be successful, librarians need the cooperation and support of faculty. Why then do many faculty members expect, even demand, the development of relatively large library collections but often resist efforts by librarians to teach students how to use these collections? The answer can be found in the analysis of the culture of faculty.
Schein (1992), in his classic work Organizational Culture and Leadership, wrote: "Culture as a concept has had a long and checkered history" (p. 3). Trice and Beyer (1993) traced, from the 1930s to the present, a small but steady stream of research conducted on organizations from a cultural perspective, mostly by sociologists and anthropologists. They concluded:
Cultural processes underlie much of what happens in modern organizations.
Culture filters the ways in which people see and understand
their worlds. Culture prescribes some behaviors and forbids
others. Culture colors the emotional responses that people have to
events. (p. xiii) Schein (1992) supports the study of the culture of organizations with the following rationale:
If we understand the dynamics of culture, we will be less likely to be
puzzled, irritated, and anxious when we encounter the unfamiliar
and seemingly irrational behavior of people in organizations, and
we will have a deeper understanding not only of why various groups
of people or organizations can be so different but also why it is so
hard to change them. (pp. 4-5)
In the realm of bibliographic instruction, our puzzlement, irritation, and anxiety regarding the faculty may be best expressed by the following question asked by Farber (1992): "If BI [bibliographic instruction] is so good, and can make such an important contribution to student learning and to teaching effectiveness, why is there so much resistance to it by teaching faculty" (p. 2)?
What is an organizational culture? Schein (1992) provided one of the most inclusive definitions of organizational culture:
A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it
solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration,
that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore,
to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think,
and feel in relation to those problems. (p. 12)
Culture provides meaning and context for a specific group of people. It holds the group together and instills in them an individual and collective sense of purpose and continuity (Bergquist, 1992, p. 2).
Expanding the definition further, Trice and Beyer have elaborated on the characteristics of culture. Culture is collective; it cannot be created by individuals acting alone. Rewards and sanctions exist for believing and acting as others do in the culture. Culture is emotionally charged. In many ways culture helps to deal with life's insecurities. According to Trice and Beyer (1993):
People's allegiances to their ideologies and cultural forms thus spring
more from their emotional needs than from rational consideration.
When ideologies and cultural practices are questioned, their adherents
react emotionally. They may be able to advance elaborate rationales
for them, but the depth of the feelings they bring to their
arguments indicates that more than rationality is at work. Members
of a culture rarely dare to question core beliefs and values. (p. 6)
Rites and rituals both heighten the awareness of shared sentiments and serve to sublimate antisocial impulses.
Culture is Historically Based
A particular culture may arise on the unique history of a specific group. The ideas and practices of the culture may exist long after the uncertainties that caused them are no longer present (Trice & Beyer, 1993, p. 6). Cultures are both inherently symbolic and fuzzy. "Cultures are not monolithic single sets of ideas, but rather incorporate contradictions, ambiguities, paradoxes and just plain confusion" (p. 8). Cultures, while creating continuity, are also dynamic. They change as new members are assimilated and in response to new demands. Communication to members is imperfect and interpretation of symbols results in more than one meaning (p. 7).
For our purposes, then, significant aspects of a culture include such critical aspects as group behavioral regularities, group norms, espoused values, embedded skills, habits of thinking, and shared meaning (Schein, 1992, pp. 8-9). What do faculty members view as their major responsibilities? How do they behave toward each other and others in carrying out those responsibilities? What skills are needed to carry out these responsibilities? How do they respond to perceived changes in those responsibilities? All these are important issues in promoting bibliographic instruction in academia.
Does it Exist ?
Is there a faculty culture? Until recently, there has been little cultural research in higher education (Tierney, 1988, p. 7). However, in recent years, various disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, social psychology, and communications, have contributed to our understanding of faculty culture (Kuh & Whitt, 1988, p. 39). If we consider Trice and Beyer's characteristics of cultures, there is a faculty culture. According to Tierney and Rhodes (1994): "While faculty may be quite diverse across institutional type and discipline, they nonetheless perform many similar tasks, share common values and beliefs, and identify with one another as colleagues" (p. 11).
Becher (1987) wrote in a similar vein:
Paradoxically, the more it becomes possible to portray the components
of the academic world as fragmented and particularized, and
the more readily it can be shown that these components are in a
constant state of change, the more one is inclined to apprehend
that world in its entirety. [T]he different disciplinary specialisms
and subspecialisms contribute to the shaping of the profession, .
[and] by understanding the parts and acknowledging their particularity
one can better understand the whole. (p. 298)
In writing about academic culture and faculty development, Freedman et al. (1979) specifically described faculty culture as "a set of shared ways and views designed to make their [faculty] ills bearable and to contain their anxieties and uncertainties" (p. 8).
While there may be a faculty culture, we must be cautious about over generalizations. Someone looking for a dominant monolithic faculty culture will be disappointed. Several researchers admonish that there is no such animal as the "faculty member." Within any group, whether it be doctors, lawyers, automobile workers, or librarians, some violence is done to the individual in concentrating on the multitude. According to Clark (1963), an early commentator on faculty culture: "The cultures of academic men, like other subcultures, are often subtle and complex. Faculty cultures have many segments, and only a few aspects can be caught in any one net, no matter how fine the webbing of the net nor how large its size" (p. 40). More recently, Lawrence (1994), citing several researchers (Parsons & Platt, 1973; Light, 1974; Clark, 1989; Tierney, 1991), concluded: "Higher education researchers recognize that college and university faculty are members of multiple cultures, each having its own set of normative expectations for their behavior and productivity" (Lawrence, 1994, p. 26). Therefore, while progress has been made in the study of faculty culture, Clark's (1963) caveat is still valid: "Our knowledge is still largely common sense, and it covers very unevenly the variety of colleges and universities that make up higher education in this country" (p. 40). Clark (1985) has written more recently: "Whoever generalizes about 'the' faculty' or 'the professoriate' does so on thin ice" (p. 38).
Review of the Literature
Several major works have been written that facilitate the understanding of faculty culture. Notable histories of higher education in the United States include Rudolph's (1962) The American College and University, Veysey's (1965) The Emergence of the American University, Brubacher and Rudy's (1968) Higher Education in Transition, and Rudolph's (1978) Curriculum: A History of the American Undergraduate Course of Study Since 1636. The earliest extensive study of the faculty is Wilson's (1942) classic The Academic Man, updated two generations later as American Academics: Then and Now (1979). In the late 1950s, we have Caplow and McGee's (1958) The Academic Marketplace, Lazarsfeld and Thielens's (1958) The Academic Mind, and Gouldner's (1957, 1958) articles in Administrative Science Quarterly on local and cosmopolitan orientations. During the 1960s, Jencks and Riesman (1968) published their time-honored study on the development of faculty culture, The Academic Revolution. The 1970s witnessed the publication of Ladd and Lipset's (1975) excellent work on the politics of faculty, The Divided Academy.
The 1980s have witnessed a proliferation of literature on higher education. Reflecting both change in society and higher education, much of this literature is highly critical. Major works include: Bowen and Schuster's (1986) American Professors: A National Resource Imperiled, Boyer's (1987) College: The Undergraduate Experience in America, Clark's (1987a) The Academic Life, and Bergquist's (1992) The Four Cultures of the Academy. Other useful literature of the period includes Shulman's (1979) Old Expectations, New Realities: The Academic Profession Revisited, Austin and Gamson's (1983) Academic Workplace: New Demands, Heightened Tensions, Finkelstein's (1984) The American Academic Profession, Kuh and Whitt's (1988) The Invisible Tapestry: Culture in American Colleges and Universities, Boyer's (1990) Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, and Tierney and Rhoads's (1994) Faculty Socialization as Cultural Process: A Mirror of institutional Commitment.
Despite this seemingly impressive list of publications, the literature on the attitudes, norms, and mores of faculty in higher education is characterized by its sparsity. In general, three types of studies exist: (1) historical commentaries (largely based on observation), (2) national census-type studies, and (3) a few empirical studies. These are only loosely connected and lack a common conceptual framework, which may stem from a reluctance of faculty to be studied and to study each other.
While there may be several subcultures in the academy, Bergquist's (1992) concept of the "collegial culture" is most useful in understanding "faculty culture." This culture is a result of the influence of American colonial, British, and German traditions. The British tradition is characterized by the dominance of the liberal arts, development of the total person beyond the formal curriculum, and the emphasis on complexity of thought and of the educational process rather than a particular body of knowledge (Bergquist, 1992, pp. 18-19). The German tradition is characterized by more emphasis on the sciences and the individual pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake. Much more emphasis is placed on the discipline and work of the faculty members. Education of undergraduates is de-emphasized, with the faculty being more interested in the education of upper-level and graduate-level students as researchers and scholars in their own particular field of study (Bergquist, 1992, p. 23). Brubacher and Rudy (1958) concluded: "The impact of German university scholarship upon nineteenth-century American higher education is one of the most significant themes in modern intellectual history" (p.171).
Taken together, according to Bergquist (1992), these three traditions produced a collegial faculty culture:
in which faculty are oriented primarily toward their disciplines. As
in the British tradition, this orientation may be reflected in the content
and scope of the undergraduate curriculum, or, as in the German
tradition, it may appear in the nature and purpose of faculty
research and scholarship. (p. 26)
By the end of World War 11, the various components of faculty culture--teaching, research, student advisement, administration, institutional and public service--had emerged (Finkelstein, 1984, p. 29). Martin (1969), in his book Conformity, concluded by the late 1960s, whether by academic specialization, type of school, and several other variables: Faculty are more alike than dissimilar in their attitudes toward educational assumptions, values, and goals; the criteria for institutional excellence; and the prospects for professional or institutional change" (p. 206).
What is the source of this conformity? "The prevalent notion of'quality' among American college and university leaders," asserted Bergquist (1992), "was built on the image of Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and other private universities that converted from the British to the German prototype by the beginning of the twentieth century" (p. 24). Jencks and Riesman (1968) referred to the birth of the "university college." This type of college, they note, is one "whose primary purpose is to prepare students for graduate work of some kind-primarily in the arts and sciences but also in professional subjects ranging from law and medicine to business and social work" (p. 24). Such a college may be part of a university with a large graduate school or a geographically isolated and administratively small college, but even these institutions draw their faculty from the same pool as the large graduate schools, 'seeking the same virtues and looking askance at the same presumed vices" (p. 24). Jencks and Riesman also observed:
Out of more than 2,000 undergraduate colleges, probably no more
than 100 today really fit the above [university college description.
Yet these are the most prestigious colleges in the country, to which
the ablest and most ambitious students usually gravitate. They also
attract the ablest faculty and administrators and the most generous
philanthropists. And they provide a model for most of the other
1,900 colleges regarded as desirable, even if not immediately accessible.
Drawn by emulation on the one side and pushed by accrediting
agencies on the other, an increasing number of terminal colleges
hire Ph.D.s from the leading graduate schools even though
they fear the impact of men who may not be happy or complacent at
a terminal college, and who may also make others less happy or complacent.
As faculty recruiting becomes more national and less parochial,
even colleges that might prefer staff from the old parish are
forced to look elsewhere if they are to grow ... Virtually all terminal
colleges want to hire faculty of the kind now hired by the university
colleges. Whether or not these faculty come out of the subculture
to which a college has traditionally been tied is secondary. (pp. 24-25)
A result, according to Martin (1969), is that even innovative institutions use conventional criteria of excellence to measure their standards (pp. 228-29).
Understanding the faculties is no small undertaking. Clark (1987a) has pointed out the "sheer scale of American higher education" (p 54). Some 3,000 institutions, enrolling almost 12 million students, employ 700,000 to 800,000 part-time and full-time faculty members (Clark, 1987a). Nevertheless, most faculty members share the experience of advanced study at only 100 to 150 leading graduate institutions in this country (Bowen & Schuster, 1986), which limits diversity among the faculty. What are some characteristics of faculty culture?
Emphasis on Research, Content, and Specialization
Kuh and Whitt (1988, p. 76) identified a basic value of faculty as the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. Faculty have a responsibility to be learned and to convey this learning by means of teaching, inquiry, and publication. The development of academic culture in this country has placed an emphasis on the latter two activities.
Much of the growth in American higher education occurred during the late 1950s and 1960s at a time when the German research university model held a particularly prominent role. As a result, many faculty members currently teaching in higher education received graduate training and hold values based on this model (Bergquist, 1992, pp. 25-26). This graduate training is a significant force in socializing students into the roles and expectations of faculty life (Tierney & Rhoads, 1994, p. 14). Graduate school socializes students into "the culture of the discipline" (Kuh & Whitt, 1988, p. 77). From graduate school, prospective faculty "learn to master language specific to their field of study, read journals germane to that area, and discover conferences that they are advised to attend either to present a paper, meet colleagues, or interview for a job" (Tierney & Rhoads, 1994, p. 14). This socialization continues after the individual obtains a position and seeks to publish articles and make presentations as they "burrow" toward tenure. The irony of this system is that most of the faculty will find themselves in institutions "where the culture does not reward research in a manner akin to the research university" (Tierney & Rhoads, 1994, p. 17) and doing what graduate school did not prepare them to do--i.e., teach. Nevertheless, Clark (1993) wrote: "The reward system of promoting academics on the grounds of research and published scholarship has become more deeply rooted in the universities, would-be universities, and leading four-year colleges with every passing decade" (p. 166). Specialization dominates graduate study, and faculty defer to each other based on specialization. According to Sanford (1971), among the rules of faculty culture are:
One should not in conversation with colleagues or other professionals
go beyond the bounds of one's own specialty. Other rules hold
that if something outside of one's specialty comes up for discussion
he should always defer to other specialists, even though this puts an
end to the conversation.... (p. 359)
Bergquist (1992) also noted that most faculty members are expected to confine themselves to disciplinary matters. He noted: "Only the academic administrator and librarian [emphasis added] are allowed to be truly interdisciplinary, and they lose academic credibility when they assume these roles" [emphasis added] (p. 41).
Clark (1987a) identified the service of knowledge" as one of the prevailing ideologies of faculty culture (p. 132). Millett (1962) observed that the elite of university faculty tend to look down on their professional colleagues because they are too concerned with technique and method and too little concerned with basic knowledge. This, he asserted, "reflects a belief that professional faculties are largely composed of poor scholars, that is, of persons with an inadequate mastery of a subject-matter field" (p. 98). The theoreticians are ranked highest in the pecking order, with those in the more practical, soft, and applied disciplines lower in the pecking order (Becher, 1989, p. 57). This is a pecking order on which librarians rank relatively low.
De-emphasis on Teaching, Process, and Undergraduates
A major element in faculty culture is that teaching is not highly discussed among faculty. Becher (1989), early in his book Academic Tribes and Territories, observed:
However, if it is indeed the leaders in the field who set the norms,
those norms do not for the most part appear to include pedagogic
considerations. In consequence, there is relatively little in this book
about the transmission of knowledge, as against its creation, development
and communication to fellow specialists. (pp. 3-4)
One survey of 1,680 faculty at fourteen institutions found that 42 percent of them said that never, during their entire career, had anyone talked with them in detail about their teaching. Only 25 percent said that such discussions on teaching had taken place more than once (Gaff, 1978). Freedman et al. (1979) concluded from numerous interviews of faculty:
Perhaps the clearest evidence that teaching undergraduates is not a
true profession is the fact that professors, when they talk shop, almost
never discuss their teaching. Nor do they discuss philosophy
of education in an abstract way. This is not surprising, for teaching
and philosophy of education are subjects in which they have little
background. Discussions of educational programs or reforms usually
proceed as if education had no discipline, no organized or systematic
body of theory and knowledge and no need for such a discipline.
Freedman et al. (1979) also concluded that faculty members may avoid discussions and reflections because: "Professors sense that they are not particularly adept at teaching and so shy away from reflecting on their points of weakness" (p. 43).
Perhaps they are not adept because graduate schools do not emphasize teaching. Metzger (1987) characterized graduate programs for training faculty as consisting of a "major, a minor, and a vacuum, the last referring to the time and care expended on didactic theory or technique" (p. 161). Knowledge about the discipline is passed on much more carefully than knowledge about teaching (Metzger, 1987, p. 161).
In a report obviously intended to provoke a strong response, the authors of "Integrity in the Curriculum" wrote: "If the professional preparation of doctors were as minimal as that of college teachers, the United States would have more funeral directors than lawyers" (Association of American Colleges, 1985, p. 29). The authors observed that the emphasis of graduate education is almost entirely on the development of "substantial knowledge and research skills" with only an incidental introduction to teaching. Beginning teachers have only the memories of "teaching that was unimaginative, ineffective, and unworthy of a self-respecting profession" to guide them (p. 29). Unfortunately, Fink (1984) found that many first-year faculty members "resort to the traditional and relatively time-efficient mode of teaching: lectures and readings ... [and do] not plan to go back and do a more thorough job of developing their courses because of the pressures of other duties" (p. 93).
Several elements of faculty culture result from this mixed tradition. There is the strongly held belief in the faculty culture that teaching is an art, not a science, and one is an effective teacher because one knows his or her subject matter" (Bergquist, 1992, p. 26). Often, particularly when undergraduate education is viewed as preparation for graduate school, teaching is viewed primarily as informational--that is, communicating to students certain knowledge and techniques dominant in the discipline (Freedman et al., 1979, p. 20). A feature of faculty culture is that faculty are valued for what they know rather than what they can help other people learn (Group for Human Development in Higher Education, 1974, p. 14).
Astin (1985) described a paradox of faculty culture in that faculty members can view teaching as so straightforward that it requires no special training, and yet is so complex and idiosyncratic that mere training could never meet its extraordinary demands (Group for Human Development in Higher Education, 1974, p. 14). In contrast to this view held among the collegial culture, bibliographic instruction librarians more typically identify with the values identified with what Bergquist has described as the "managerial culture." Those who identify with the managerial culture tend to believe "educational outcomes can be clearly specified and the criteria for judging performance can be identified and employed" (Bergquist, 1992, p. 58). In faculty culture, emphasis is more on developing another researcher in a discipline than imparting "specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes in students so that they might become successful and responsible citizens" (Bergquist, 1992, p. 5). Not only is teaching not frequently discussed, it is also not rigorously evaluated. The individual nature of research as a dominant theme in faculty culture is carried over to teaching. Bergquist (1992) observed:
Many faculty members in the collegial culture would take great offense
at being asked, let alone required, to accept an observing colleague
in their classrooms. It would be considered an invasion of
the essential privacy required by the teaching-learning act. Ironically,
even though classroom teaching is certainly a public event, it
is considered an intimate interchange between faculty member and
student. This interchange might be profoundly disrupted if observed
and judged by another faculty member... The major faculty prerogative,
called academic freedom, precludes both observation of
classroom performance and review of ongoing research and scholarship.
Professional Autonomy and Academic Freedom
One of the most prevalent canons of faculty culture is that the faculty member has complete professional autonomy. The faculty member is in charge of his or her classroom. More than thirty years ago, Millett (1962) wrote:
The faculty member determines for himself course content and
scope, instructional procedure, and expectations of student achievement.
The outline of subject matter to be covered in the course, the
selection of a textbook and other readings, the assignment of projects
and papers to be undertaken by students, the timing of the instructional
process (within the limits of the college or university calendar
and schedule), the use of lecture as against the discussion method
of instruction, the employment of visual materials-these are all
matters left to the discretion of the individual faculty member. (p. 79)
In their view, the faculty, by virtue of their expertise, are in the best position to determine and organize their own work with accountability to only their professional peers (Finkelstein, 1984, p. 73).
This professional autonomy, combined with academic freedom, serves, in the words of one critic, "as the justification of unusual personal liberties ... a strange profession indeed" (Clark, 1987b, p. 372). It also militates against inviting others, such as librarians, to share in the teaching process.
Lack of Time
Many observers of faculty culture in recent years have commented on the stresses and tensions among faculty (Austin & Gamson 1983; Bowen & Schuster, 1986). A large international survey reported that 30 percent of the faculty in the United States considered: "My job is a source of considerable personal strain" (Carnegie Foundation International Survey, p. 45). A particular characteristic of faculty culture is the perception of the lack of time. Getman (1992), a law professor, expounded at length, in reflecting on his career, on the lack of time:
In the beginning of an academic career, a great deal of time is spent
learning the subject matter one is teaching and figuring out how to
teach it. Every hour of class is likely to involve three to four hours of
preparation .... In the beginning, one must anticipate many hours
spent researching, reading, and editing for each page of publication.
For me, the ratio has sometimes been hundreds of hours of
preparation for each finished page. If one adds in even modest
amounts of time for meetings with students; serving on committees;
attending lectures, scholarly meetings, and a respectable number of
academically related social events; reading drafts of papers by colleagues
and finished papers from students; developing research designs;
participating in disciplinary societies; and aiding people and
firms interested in utilizing one's expertise, all of the time of young
faculty and much of the time of senior faculty is used up without any
major scholarly effort having yet been put forth .... One of the paradoxes
of academic life is that we are drawn to it by the lure of free
time but discover that by undertaking a single task we may be committing
ourselves to years of fairly intense effort. (p. 220)
He concluded: "Most of us live under constant time pressure, trying to juggle a variety of commitments and never free of the feeling that we are behind on our academic commitments" (p. 220).
Others have added to this observation. Bowen and Schuster (1986) noted: All competent faculty members live with the sense that they are dealing with infinity--that they can never fully catch up" (p. 69). Bayer (1973) found that almost one-third of the faculty agreed with the statement knowledge in my field is expanding so fast that I have fallen seriously behind" (p. 15). Barzun (1968) commented: "The teacher-scholar is hampered by the shortness of the twenty-four-hour day and his inability to be in two places at once" (p. 53). Tierney and Rhoades (1994) and Sorcinelli (1992) particularly noted a feeling of a lack of time among new faculty. In the most complete discussion of this phenomenon, Lawrence (1994) argued from an organizational cultural perspective that the nature of faculty work, particularly for those faculty high in achievement orientation, creates a perception of heavy time demands not obvious to the outside observer.
How much of this stress is accounted for by any dissonance between teaching and research remains subject to debate. The Carnegie survey cited earlier found that 63 percent of those faculty members responding reported that their "interests lean to or lie primarily in teaching," but 75 percent reported: "In my department it is difficult for a person to achieve tenure if he or she does not publish." Forty-two percent agreed: "The pressure to publish reduces the quality of teaching at this institution" and 30 percent responded: "I frequently feel under pressure to do more research than I actually would like to do" (Carnegie Foundation International Survey, 1994, p. 45).
Harry and Goldner (1972) found that the extra time that faculty devote to research tends to be taken not from their teaching but from their leisure and family activities. Heavy teaching loads, perhaps more than research requirements, may lead to a perception of a lack of time and related stress since those faculty having the heaviest teaching loads--community college faculty--are most likely to indicate they plan to retire early--49 percent (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990). However, a study by Borland (cited in Finkelstein, 1984, p. 92) of faculty at Indiana University revealed that faculty themselves had the most influence over the allocation of their own professional duties and basically do what they want in allocating their time among their various responsibilities.
Time, indeed, may be a major factor in how faculty respond to their environment. However, Weimer (1990) suggests that faculty respond to change for all sorts of reasons other than the real ones. Because of the personal anxiety faculty members feel, she wrote:
[They] may respond that they do not have the time [emphasis added];
they will not be teaching this course again until fall; they need to get
a particular research project underway; their teaching problems are
caused by the kinds of students the institution admits these days;
they have already tried the changes being proposed and students do
not like them. (p. 19)
Real or perceived, lack of time is among the constraints frequently given by faculty for resisting change, including participation in bibliographic instruction.
Resistance to Change
With the various attributes of faculty culture, it should be no surprise that faculty members have become well known for their resistance to change. Millett (1962) observed:
The scholar wants to be left alone in the conduct of the academic
enterprise. He does not welcome innovation in instructional procedures,
in instructional arrangements, or in the organization and
operation of a college or university... The scholar is a conservative
in his attitude towards and appreciation of the academic process.
Clark (1987a) stated his conclusions even more forcefully. He commented: "We cannot help but be struck by the virtual right so many academics seem to possess to go their own way, simply assuming they can do largely as they please a good share of the time, all in the nature of rational behavior" (p. 148).
As already discussed, faculty often feel pressured by time. Therefore, they are likely to resent and oppose proposals for change that require more of their time (Astin, 1985). Early in their careers they have spent considerable time developing instructional strategies they consider effective and consistent with their personal style. Once developed, many faculty members only reluctantly change their teaching methods Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1977). Changes in the curriculum can take away much of the significance of an individual's life work. Change can threaten the defensive and insecure person.
Typically faculty culture supports faculty governance by consensus. When governance by consensus is combined with the value faculty culture puts on skepticism and critical analysis, it is no wonder that faculty culture does not support change. Perhaps, as Becher (1989) concluded: "Resistance to new ideas is inborn among academic communities" (p. 71). Many promising instructional technologies and ideas have not realized their potential because of faculty resistance (Bergquist, 1992, p. 64).
The focus here, then, is on significant aspects of the development of the modern faculty culture in the United States with its emphasis on research and content and de-emphasis on teaching and process. The result is a highly autonomous, often isolated, faculty faced with considerable pressures, including lack of time, to perform in areas in which its members are not particularly well-trained (teaching) or well-supported either by their institutions or the other members of the profession. The result is a culture characterized by a resistance to change, particularly a change promoted by those (such as librarians) who are not perceived as sharing fully in the culture and are not promoting values (bibliographic instruction) compatible with it.
IMPLICATIONS FOR BIBLIOGRAPHIC INSTRUCTION
Faculty Resistance to Bibliographic Instruction
Writing in 1978, Farber (1978), the most successful proponent of bibliographic instruction, found that, in principle, most faculty and administrators would agree to the value of bibliographic instruction. He then asked:
If it is sensible, why then is it difficult to get many faculty to work
with librarians in planning courses, or even to let librarians talk to
their classes? It would seem that we are all interested in the same
end--that is, the teaching/learning process and better education
for students. Why then are librarians regarded as suspect? Why is
there not more cooperation? (p. 71)
As we entered the 1990s, Farber (1992) asked the same question: "But there's still resistance. Why" (p. 3)?
Perhaps faculty members themselves are the best source of the answer to this question. Stephenson (1980), a professor of biology at Earlham College--now retired, has provided the most succinct answer that encompasses many aspects of faculty culture discussed earlier:
I suggest three characteristics relevant to [a discussion of library instruction]
faculty members are disciplinary chauvinists .... We faculty
don't want to give up the time our students spend on subject matter
for training in literature-accessing skills. We don't want to learn
from librarians. We feel that the most effective learning is learning
in our narrow subject matter disciplines. I don't want to give up
time in biology for "less important things." (p. 81)
Another faculty member at Earlham College, Thompson, professor of English literature, has provided further insights in a wonderful essay titled, "Faculty Recalcitrance about Bibliographic Instruction." In his essay, Thompson (1993) asked: "Why do certain faculty members behave like this [resist bibliographic instruction] " (p. 103)? He supplied several answers to his question:
1. "They are overworked .... They really do not have time to learn new
things, especially when the proponents of new things' sound a bit
like they are selling aluminum siding (p. 103). 2. "They are obsessed with coverage and they have packed their courses
with assignments. There is no room for additions or changes" (p. 103). 3. " [They] do not want the sanctity of their classrooms violated. It is not
paranoia that drives them to this attitude. There are all sorts of real
people, from presidents to trustees to students to vigilante groups on
the left and right, who cheerfully tell teachers what should be going
on in their classrooms" (p. 103). 4. "Most college teachers are prima donnas. On most campuses, despite
their real sufferings and sacrifices, faculty members enjoy an extraordinarily
privileged status. They regard librarians as they regard secretaries
and ground keepers, as their errand boys and girls, not as
their colleagues" (p. 103). 5. "College professors are often not very self-critical. They may be good
lecturers and writers, but they are not in the habit of subjecting their
own behavior to criticism . . . . We do not like our ignorance to be
visible" (p. 103). Thompson, who perhaps oversimplified to make a point, summarized: I am talking about tired, overworked, privileged, insulated people who do not want to hear other folks' bright ideas" (p. 103).
In other words, faculty members who hold to the values of faculty culture (a feeling of lack of time; emphasis on content, professional autonomy, and academic freedom; de-emphasis on the applied and the process of learning; and resistance to change) are not interested in "bright ideas" from librarians about bibliographic instruction. In faculty culture, the library is valued as a repository of knowledge--i.e., for its collections. However, this regard may be at the expense of librarians who develop and service the collections. For example, some faculty in a study at the University of Manitoba complained about the number of librarians employed, the need for research/study leaves, and spending money for librarians with higher degrees when these faculty members perceived the collections to be inadequate (Divay et al., 1987, p. 33).
There is, according to Farber (1978): "A big difference between library-minded and librarian-minded" (p. 73). The former, according to Farber (1978): "Know bibliography in and out.... know the library collection very well, but don't think of librarians as people to work with" (p. 73). Farber (1974a) aptly described what he termed the university-library syndrome" of many faculty members:
The faculty member's academic background and training work
against an understanding of the proper role of the college library.
He has been trained as a scholar-researcher and is not really interested
in how his students use the library; he, after all, learned to use
it in his discipline and he assumes students can also. (pp. 16-17)
As mentioned earlier, faculty are valued more for what they know rather than what they can help other people learn (Group for Human Development in Higher Education, 1974, p. 14).
In addition, the bibliographic instruction librarian who discusses goals and objectives for the development of the independent lifelong learner or the economic inefficiency of unused library materials is simply not speaking the same language nor seeking to achieve the same goal that many members of the faculty value as part of the collegial culture. Goals and objectives are part of the language of the managerial culture not the faculty culture (Bergquist, 1992, p. 58). For an example of instruction from the bibliographic instruction perspective, see the "Model Statement of Objectives for Academic Bibliographic Instruction" (Task Force on Model Statement of Objectives, 1987).
Librarians as Peers of the Faculty
Part of the problem of the acceptance of bibliographic instruction is that it comes from a group that many faculty do not view as peers--librarians. Even in the early Monteith College Project, Knapp (1966) found they had never been fully accepted as members of the faculty. Some would hold that faculty cannot accept librarians as peers. Wilson (1979) has put forth her view that librarians have little idea of what it takes to be a member of the faculty. She described the contention that librarians are teachers as an "organizational fiction." She wrote: "Academic librarians as a group are not as well educated as the faculty as a group nor do they have the same level of educational aspiration" (p. 153). However, the lack of recognizing librarians as teaching peers is not simply a matter of low prestige of librarians, Wilson argued. From a faculty perspective, according to Wilson: "There is no basis for recognition .... There is nothing visible with which a connection can be made to permit or produce recognition ... between the librarian and his or her occupational role and the faculty member's . . ." (p. 154). Mitchell and Morton (1992) make a compelling argument that librarians are socialized to their profession much differently than faculty are socialized to the professorate. Perhaps as a result, librarians typically do not have a clear picture of the variables that affect faculty opinions of bibliographic instruction.
Kellogg (1987), both a librarian and an academic administrator, in addressing a librarian audience, referred to faculty membership as having "been admitted into a closed, select circle" (p. 602). Several surveys of faculty conducted during the 1980s by librarians at various types of institutions have shown that many faculty members do not admit librarians to that "closed,selectcircle." These surveys conducted at Southeastern Louisiana University (Budd & Countant, 1981, cited in Oberg et al., 1990); Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (Cook, 1981); University of Manitoba (Divay et al., 1987); and Albion College (Oberg et al., 1990) all found that most of the faculty did not consider librarians "academic equals"--with respective percentages agreeing that librarians were academic equals" to be 38 percent, 28 percent, 15 percent, and 29 percent (Oberg et al., 1990, p. 223). Oberg and his colleagues (1990) found:
When Albion College faculty were asked to rank librarians' teaching,
research, service, and management activities in order of importance,
teaching fell at the bottom of the list despite the fact that a Program of
library instruction [had] been ongoing for a number of years [emphasis added].
Also, faculty members at both Albion College (Oberg et al., 1990, p. 225) and the University of Manitoba (Divay et al., 1987, p. 29) had trouble differentiating between librarians and the support staff. As might be expected (knowing the values of faculty culture), at the University of Manitoba, the education faculty valued the librarians the highest and the pure and applied sciences the lowest (Divay et al., 1987, p. 31). Also at Albion College, the sciences proved least accepting of the librarians as academic equals, with the studio-oriented Visual Arts department most accepting- (Oberg et al., 1990, p. 224).
Sharing the Classroom with Librarians and Bibliographic Instruction
Given many faculty members' low opinion of librarians as academic equals, it is not surprising that several surveys have revealed that many faculty are not interested in sharing their classroom with librarians--or in being held responsible for teaching their students how to use the library. Cannon (1994) found at York University that faculty were least likely to support methods of bibliographic instruction that involved close sharing of their classroom with librarians (e.g., team-teaching with assignments and grading shared between a faculty member and a librarian; assignment[s] jointly designed by a faculty member and a librarian). The only method that received less support was a credit course on library research in the faculty member's department (p. 534).
At Iowa State University, Haws, Peterson, and Shonrock (1989) found: Faculty members prefer to have the responsibility of teaching library skills taken out of their hands" P. 202). Thomas (1994) found that nearly a quarter of the faculty respondents at California State University, Long Beach, expressed what she called, a "NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) attitude" (p. 216) in that students learned (or should learn) library skills somewhere other than their own courses. Maynard (1990) reported a phenomenon at The Citadel where faculty strongly supported bibliographic instruction but gave lukewarm support to the idea of helping design and use new methods (p. 71).
These and several other studies found that faculty believed use of the library by their students is important along with instruction in the use of the library. However, they neither arranged for librarians to provide the instruction nor did so themselves (Sellen & Jirouch, 1984; Haws et al., 1989; Cannon, 1994; Maynard, 1990). This discrepancy, often frustrating to librarians, can be explained, in part, by examining elements of faculty culture. Given faculty members' unwillingness to share their classroom with their professional colleagues and their emphasis on content, it is not surprising that they are unwilling to share it with someone who is not a kindred spirit and who seeks classroom time to teach about process.
Lack of Time
Lack of time is frequently given by faculty as a reason not to provide bibliographic instruction (Farber, 1992, p. 3; Werrell & Wesley, 1990, p. 174). Thomas (1994) found a disconcerting trend in this area in her two surveys at the California State University, Long Beach. She found in 1982 that only 16 percent of the responding faculty stated that the curriculum was too full to offer library instruction. In 1990, 52.5 percent of the faculty responding selected this answer. Also, in the 1990 survey, 18.1 percent of the respondents (more than triple the percentage from the 1982 study) reported: "They had no idea how their students learned to use the library and felt no responsibility to teach them" (Thomas, 1994, p. 216). So much for any ideas of the inevitability of the progress of bibliographic instruction.
Farber (1993) provided an anecdote of how even the most ardent supporter of bibliographic instruction can overlook it because of time constraints. In writing about a section of a humanities course he taught some years ago at Earlham, he observed:
Each section had a research paper, with a bibliographic session to
prepare for the paper. I was responsible for giving the bibliographic
instruction for all sections, and I scrupulously got in touch with each
instructor to talk about the content and set up the time for a presentation.
BUT I FORGOT MY SECTION! Why? I realized later that I
was so involved with preparing for the next day's class, meeting with
my students, grading quizzes, choosing the books for next term--so
busy with the kinds of activities that demand the attention of every
conscientious teacher--that the bibliographic instruction was the furthest
thing from my mind. (p. 5)
Farber (1992) concluded from this experience: "Teaching--good teaching--requires lots of time, and we just can't expect BI to be the major concern of a good teacher" (p. 4). He used this incident to point out the importance of librarians taking the initiative in working with the faculty.
What Makes a Difference?
Several studies have evidence of a relationship between certain variables and faculty support of bibliographic instruction. Hardesty (1991) found at four institutions of higher education in Indiana that neither age, rank, tenure, years of teaching, possession of a doctorate degree, nor discipline made a significant difference regarding faculty attitudes toward the role of the academic library in undergraduate education. He found that institutional influences created differences in attitudes. For example, he found the most positive library attitudes among the Earlham College science faculty and the least positive library attitudes from the Purdue University biology faculty (p. 27). The particular institutional culture may make a difference. However, it is not known if faculty are hired in a particular image or whether they change after being employed at an institution with a particular set of values.
Several researchers have found a relationship between faculty members' use of the library and the involvement of their students in bibliographic instruction (Cannon, 1994, p. 525; Thomas & Ensor, 1984, p. 437; Nowakowski & Frick, 1995, p. 6). Also, several researchers have found a relationship between faculty members' publishing output and the involvement of their students in bibliographic instruction (Boosingei, 1990, p. 471; Thomas & Ensor, 1984, p. 437; Cannon, 1994, p. 525). However, Oberg and his colleagues found publication-oriented faculty at Albion College less willing to view librarians as academic equals than did the teaching-oriented faculty (Oberg et al., 1990, pp. 223-24). The vulgarities of faculty culture may lead publication-oriented faculty to value the contributions of the library and the skills needed to use it, but not to highly value those who teach those skills.
Some researchers Maynard, 1990, p. 73; Nowakowski & Frick, 1995, p. 7; Cannon, 1994, p. 525; Thomas & Ensor, 1984, p. 435) have found a relationship between faculty's view of bibliographic instruction and how they learned library research skills. Those who learned their library skills as undergraduates from librarians, valued more highly bibliographic instruction for their students. Interestingly, Maynard (1990, p. 73) found that only one-third of the assistant professors had learned library skills on their own. Based on this finding, he concluded that faculty library skills would improve in years to come. Farber (1992) also shared this conclusion based on the assumption that, as more faculty have experienced bibliographic instruction as undergraduates, it is viewed less as an innovation by them (p. 3).
Thomas found the lowest ranked faculty (lecturers) least likely to respond that the curriculum was too full for bibliographic instruction (Thomas, 1994, p. 213). In contrast, however, Davis and Bentley (1979) found those faculty members with less time at an institution as the most dissatisfied with the library. This difference may be explained in that the lecturers at California State University, Long Beach, may be heavily involved in teaching and less immersed in research for tenure. The institutions included in the Davis and Bentley study were three small private institutions, and new faculty may be less familiar with the library and also not find the specialized resources in it that they found in the library of their graduate institutions.
Oberg and his colleagues (1990) found: "The greater the faculty contact with the library, the higher the rank given librarians" (p. 225). Cook (1981) reported "an increase of the feeling that librarians are indispensable ... as the faculty approached professorial rank" (p. 217). At the University of Manitoba, those faculty who had contact with librarians rated higher the subject specialization of librarians and valued advanced degrees for librarians (Divay et al., 1987, pp. 31-32). Major (1993), in an interesting study of "mature" librarians, found "self-confidence in the librarian role" as a major contributor to faculty acceptance of these librarians as faculty colleagues (p. 468).
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
It is relatively easy (and not without some justification) to portray faculty as individuals with "fragile egos" (Farber, 1992, p. 3) who "feel threatened" (Weimer, 1990, p. 17) and are "defensive, [and] ... condescending to librarians" (Farber, 1978, p. 2). They are accused (again with some justification) of filling the academic libraries with a "tremendous volume [that] contains much repetition and near-repetition" (McCarthy, 1985, p. 144) yet are unable to articulate how these items relate to undergraduate education (Hardesty, 1986). The result is highly distinct collections specific to individual institutions, probably based on the specialized interests of the faculty (Hardesty & Mak, 1994), that are "rarely ever used by anyone" (Gore, 1982, p. 691; also see Hardesty, 1981, 1988; Kent et al., 1979). However, this is an oversimplification. Many faculty do create imaginative and educationally productive assignments involving student use of the library, consult with librarians in the development of those assignments, and invite librarians into their classrooms to provide instruction and guidance to students in the use of the academic library.
Nevertheless, many librarians view the library as a tremendous educational resource that is not fulfilling its potential. They believe that much more could be accomplished if only the faculty would cooperate more with them. In the midst of scholarly wealth, there is the perception of intellectual poverty because students do not know how to use academic libraries. Increased application of technology may not resolve this predicament. The irony is, as noted by Lipow (1992), "that though more information than ever is conveniently available to the information seeker, they have less access....  n the one hand we have increasingly sophisticated tools providing greater availability of collections; on the other hand, users are able to do less sophisticated searching on their own" (pp. 9-10).
The solution typically given to this problem is to exhort librarians to take more initiative to involve the faculty (McCarthy, 1985, p. 142; Maynard, 1990, p. 73; Thompson, 1993, p. 104). Biggs (1981) even recommended that librarians are at fault because they do not "confront" faculty. She wrote: "A nearly insuperable barrier is created by librarians' reluctance to confront [emphasis added] their clientele" (p. 196). However, librarians are seldom in a position to confront the faculty effectively. As Carlson and Miller (1984), observed: "Librarians may insist on a library assignment as a prerequisite for a classroom presentation, but they can hardly insist on a `proper' attitude and an `approved' assignment" (p. 487). Powerful forces within faculty culture maintain the faculty position of control of, and resistance to, bibliographic instruction. Librarians seldom operate from a position of strength in their relationships with the faculty.
Proponents of bibliographic instruction seeking a "royal road" for faculty adoption of bibliographic instruction will be disappointed. Diffusion and adoptions literature suggests: "Curricular changes are made ever so slowly" (Cross, 1976, p. 20). Kindergarten is an example. After its initial introduction into the United States, more than fifty years elapsed before schools widely adopted it during the 1930s and 1940s. Some experts estimate in public education a fifty-year time lag in education change. Therefore, no easy or novel solutions will be provided here, only a better understanding of how to apply those solutions already provided by others.
Faculty must be involved for the success of bibliographic instruction. Therefore, librarians must continue initiatives they have already taken and to expand on them to involve the faculty more. It has not been, nor will it be, easy given the nature of faculty culture. From his perspective as a biology professor at Earlham (and fully supportive of bibliographic instruction), Stephenson (1980) advised:
Library educators must be sensitive to these insecurities in their own
faculty members. They need to be sensitive to them and still have
the maturity to put up with overbearing academic-intellectual egos
and with the attitudes of superiority that most individual faculty
members exhibit. (p. 82)
A sensitivity to faculty and our own values is essential. The burden, fairly or not, remains on librarians.
Much of what has been accomplished and will be accomplished will be through one-on-one informal contacts between librarians and faculty members. While some observers question the longevity of such informal programs Lynch & Seibert, 1980, p. 137), the Earlham College experience has shown how successful such interactions can be. Hall (1993), a professor of politics at Earlham College, demonstrates her response to librarians who have taken the initiative to become interested in her students and her teaching at Earlham College:
The librarians--the bibliographic instruction staff at Earlham--are
colleagues who display genuine interest in my students. They always
are interested in what my students are doing in the classes that
I am teaching. In fact, the librarians may be more interested than
other faculty members are in the process of my students' learning. I
may talk with colleagues in my discipline about common theoretical
problems. I am more likely to talk with the library faculty about how
my students are progressing on a given assignment. (pp. 51-52)
Obviously this is easier to do at a small college that emphasizes teaching than at a large institution (Kirk et al., 1980, p. 45). Nevertheless, Major (1993) has shown how librarians at larger institutions can be accepted by the faculty as colleagues. She noted that half her "mature librarians" were "involved in bibliographic instruction at some level" (p. 465).
At another level, we need to follow the advice of the late Bill Moffett (1989) and "stop talking just to ourselves" (p. 610). As Moffett wrote: "Academic and research librarians do a splendid job of communicating what they're about ... but what we write is seen by almost nobody but other librarians" (p. 609). Jacobson and Vallely (1992) found fewer than seventy-five articles in nonlibrary journals in a recent ten-year period "that mentioned library instruction or described courses requiring some form of structured library research in a college or university setting" (p. 360). Only about half these articles had been written by librarians and only about a quarter had been written jointly by librarians and faculty (p. 360). Obviously librarians need to reach out more to the faculty through the disciplinary literature..
No doubt librarians can be discouraged in their efforts to persist in the face of some strongly held values of faculty culture that inhibit bibliographic instruction efforts. However, librarians need to keep in mind how much has been accomplished. After a long history, bibliographic instruction appears to be firmly adopted by the culture of academic librarians. With this as a foundation, librarians can concentrate more now on the culture of the faculty. Baker (1989) advised librarians: "By trying to understand faculty, as opposed to perpetuating the stereotypes each might have of the other, we can assume a more positive direction for our idealism" (p. 326). Idealism has long been a trait of bibliographic instruction librarians and, combined with a better understanding of, and sensitivity to, faculty culture, bibliographic instruction may become part of the culture as it has become a part of the culture of librarians.
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|Title Annotation:||The Library and Undergraduate Education|
|Date:||Sep 22, 1995|
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