Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



DeFrain, E., Delserone, L., Lorang, L., Riehle, C.F., & Anaya, T. (2019). Re-centering teaching and learning: Toward communities of practice at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. In Mallon, M., Huisman, R., Hays, L., Bradley, C., & Belanger, J. (Eds.) The Grounded Instruction Librarian: Participating in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (pp. 301-309). Chicago: ACRL Press.


The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) presents important opportunities that can transform learning, but many academic librarians at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln (UNL) struggle to find a scholarly center when their teaching roles are frequently that of external collaborator. Challenges such as access to student data, meaningful evaluations of instruction, limited opportunities for funding and professional development, and uncertainty over how to negotiate for these have contributed to librarians remaining on the periphery of SoTL work. Hoping to overcome some of these hurdles, UNL librarians are developing a community of practice (CoP) around teaching and learning.

In the summer of 2016, UNL librarians began developing new collaborative structures and practices to increase and encourage library-wide professional development, and this case study captures and reflects upon these attempts. This discussion has three goals: (1) to present the emerging efforts in the UNL Libraries to develop a more intentional CoP around teaching and learning, (2) to outline three recent, multidisciplinary SoTL projects in which librarians played critical roles, and (3) to reflect on how this CoP is inspiring librarians to be more systematic in approaches to teaching, in analyzing these efforts, and in sharing these outcomes and findings broadly.