Peer review is one form of evaluation for library teaching. It may be initially planned in answer to institutional desires for accountability, but it has several advantages for academic librarians. As formative assessment, a peer review can provide valuable opportunities for developing teaching expertise for librarians. As summative assessment it can be used to document a librarian’s development and expertise for many purposes such as annual reviews, promotion and tenure reviews, or merit increases. This article reviews the literature on peer review of teaching in higher education and in academic libraries and outlines the requirements for developing a fair and consistent process for peer assessment of teaching within the academic library setting that meets the needs of an individual institution, using Penn State University Libraries’ program of peer assessment as a model. This program, implemented over more than seven years, has proved successful in promoting thoughtful and effective teaching, supporting collegial discussions on teaching, encouraging a climate that values teaching, and enhancing student engagement in the classroom.
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