Blended Librarianship is a novel form of librarianship practice first advanced by Steven Bell and John Shank in January 2004. In April 2004 Bell and Shank delivered a three-session workshop on Blended Librarianship [note: more recent webcasts are 90 minutes] that was sponsored by the TLT Group and ACRL. With support from the LearningTimes Network, the Blended Librarian Online Learning Community also became available in April 2004. At the end of 2009 the community had approximately 4,000 members and is still growing. The seminal article on Blended Librarianship appeared in theJuly/August 2004 issue of College & Research Libraries News.
From the beginning, Bell and Shank decided that Blended Librarianship needed to be more than just a concept. It had to be a working organism through which library practitioners would help each other to improve their knowledge of and ability to apply the theory and practice of instructional design and technology to improve our ability to connect with faculty for the purpose of achieving student learning outcomes. To facilitate this vision, working with Hope Kandel of the Learning Times Network, an online learning workspace was created to provide the necessary learning community. What takes place there is the exchange of information. This takes the form of online chats, webcasted events, the sharing of resources materials, discussion forums, and it facilitates librarians with shared interests and goals connecting with one another. At this time, through the support and generosity of the LearningTimes Network, librarians are being invited to join the community at no cost. In the future membership information will be provided here. Temporarily, interested librarians should contact Bell or Shank directly.
The Blended Librarians Online Learning Community is librarians, faculty, instructional designers and technologists, and other academic support personnel working collaboratively to integrate the library into the teaching and learning process. It is designed to encourage and enable academic librarians to evolve into a new role that blends existing library and information skills with those of instructional design and technology. To that end, the Community leverages innovation, collaboration, and communication to bring together its members in a virtual environment for professional development and learning opportunities.
Our vision for BL is a community that:
Enables academic librarians to integrate instructional design and technology skills into their existing library and information technology skill set, and to understand how this new blend of skills can promote better connections with faculty and other academic support professionals.
Brings together librarians, faculty, and other academic support professionals to find ways to effectively collaborate for the benefit of our students. Members are committed to helping students achieve designated institutional learning outcomes.
Offers members access to continuing professional development through ongoing discussions and webcasts that engage and challenge our thinking about how we fit into the teaching and learning process.
Transforms the librarian-faculty relationship by encouraging librarians to support faculty’s integration of technology, library resources, and information fluency into their courses through the development of digital learning materials.