Home » Distance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session (2019) » Stepping Outside the Library: Reflections on my Experience as an Online Adjunct


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Stepping Outside the Library: Reflections on my Experience as an Online Adjunct

This poster is part of the Distance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session hosted by the ACRL DLS Instruction Committee. We encourage you to ask questions and engage in discussion on this poster! Authors will respond to comments between April 1-5.


Amanda Hahn, Liberty University

Poster Description:

There are numerous benefits to taking on a new role as an online adjunct professor. My experiences teaching “UNIV 101”, a course for new students, provided me with new ways to relate to online faculty and students, as well as opportunities to involve the library in course content.


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About the Presenter

Amanda Hahn is a Research and Instruction Librarian at Liberty University, and also serves as a liaison to the Social Work and Psychology departments.


  1. HI Amanda-
    Thanks for sharing your experiences of teaching online. As a librarian, experience teaching online has been very valuable to developing my relationships with other online teaching faculty. I think it helps me communicate that I’m a peer educator, not a peripheral object, and that I’m their partner. I hope to communicate we are teammates, and I think this helps me get into some online classes to provide IL instruction. If I’m embedded in a class with them, I can also field student questions (and sometimes instructor questions!) relating to technology issues, etc.
    Have you done reading or other professional development that has helped you be a better online instructor? Where, as a librarian, do you find strategies and best practices for working in discussion boards, etc? Does your school have a professional development team that provides resources for teaching faculty and other online instructors?
    Best, Jenni CityU Seattle

    • Hi Jenni,

      Thank you for sharing! I would agree that teaching online has helped me develop relationships with other online faculty. I love the idea of being embedded in some online courses, and am still working towards that goal myself.

      We do have a Center for Teaching Excellence at our institution which has been a great resource. This particular course went under some major revisions the summer before I began teaching it so they actually hosted a training for all of the instructors who would be teaching it, which was extremely helpful as it answered a lot of my questions about using Blackboard in an instructor role and the best approach to discussion boards. I’ve been an online student in the past, so I was able to use that to shape how I interacted as an instructor. I try to give personal responses to specific things that students say, rather than a response that’s more generic. It helps me feel more engaged and I hope my students feel more engaged also.

      A lot of the reading I’ve done has been more specific to library instruction, but I’ve found that a lot of those ideas and practices can be adapted to help in the online, non-library environment as well. One of the most valuable practices for me has to been to simply talk with other online faculty for advice as I have questions or if a specific situation comes up that I’m not sure how to handle. Their input has been very valuable.

  2. Hi Amanda,

    I appreciate that you included the Perret article as this seems to be a common issue. Forgive me if I missed it in your presentation, but I’m curious how your institution approaches this issue. For instance, it sounds like your administration is very supportive of librarians teaching even if the course may not be directly related to their librarianship duties. Is there any official policy or is it more an ask your supervisor and we’ll negotiate type thing? Our library is starting to broach this subject with mixed opinions and results.

    • Heather,

      We don’t have an official policy, at this point in time it’s been more of a “ask your supervisor” type approach. I should note that I received an extra stipend for teaching the course, so it is essentially a side job and does not take the place of any of the duties I’m doing throughout the day in my librarian position. My grading and course management is taking place on nights and weekends. Other institutions may have different structures in place that allows for a different approach.

  3. For every academic institution who wants to go forth into the online environment, the educator needs to receive orientation as well as continually be there to guide students who choose to enroll into an online platform.

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