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Teaching the Library: Best Practices

  • Simmons University
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal) Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Teaching the Library: Best Practices
Laura Saunders
Simmons College
Saunders, Laura, "Teaching the Library: Best Practices" (2005). Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal). Paper 51.
“Teaching the Library: Best Practices,” Laura Saunders, Library Philosophy and Practice, Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring
2002) 1
Library Philosophy and Practice Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring 2002)
ISSN 1522-0222
Teaching the Library: Best Practices
Laura Saunders
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Simmons College
Boston, Massachusetts
Whether it is called bibliographic instruction, library instruction, or an information
literacy program, the teaching of library and research skills to college students at both the
undergraduate and graduate levels is a hot topic. There is much debate both in the literature
and in the classroom about how best to engage the students’ attention and ensure that they
understand what is being taught. When establishing a program of instruction in academic
libraries, bibliographic instruction librarians have to consider their audience, their content,
and their methods of instruction.
Who is the Audience?
In order to create a program that will be effective for the greatest number of people,
instruction librarians must first understand their audience and its needs. There is a variety of
methods for determining audience needs, including user surveys, focus groups, and anecdotal
At first glance, the audience in an academic library may seem to be more
homogenous than that of a public library. Most college students are about 18 to 22 years old,
having come to college as soon as they finished high school. The majority of the students are
probably American, and speak English fluently. In a private college, with an expensive
tuition, most of the students might be of particular socioeconomic background. But with a
closer look the librarian will notice that in fact there are many differences among the
students, even in an academic library.
Most colleges have some sort of program for adult learners, people who did not
attend college after high school and who are returning to school later in life. Likewise, if the
college offers graduate degrees, there will be some older students in those programs as well.
Many schools also accept international applicants, and even of those students who are
American citizens, not all will be native born, or have the same language proficiency.
Finally, with scholarships and loans, some economically disadvantaged students will be able
to attend expensive schools that they otherwise could not afford. Thus, though the patrons of
an academic library may seem very alike at first, they do in fact come from all different
backgrounds. Moreover, no matter how similar students might otherwise be, there will be
students with all different learning styles in every classroom, and these differences in style
must also be taken into account.
“Teaching the Library: Best Practices,” Laura Saunders, Library Philosophy and Practice, Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring
2002) 2
Basic Needs
The basic physical and psychological needs of the audience must be accommodated
first. For instance, how can we schedule the workshops so as to reach the greatest number of
students? The instruction librarian must keep in mind that adult students might have full-time
jobs that they must go to after their classes, or families to care for. Even traditional students
often have to work many hours in order to meet their expenses. When the librarian is invited
into a class to teach library research skills, this problem is averted, but many libraries also
offer informal workshops to cover subjects or skills outside of the classroom. Jacobson and
Williams suggest scheduling some workshops during weekend and evening hours, to try and
reach students who are not available at other times. The librarian should also be prepared to
make individual appointments with students who simply cannot make any of the scheduled
Physical Comfort
Jacobson and Williams encourage the librarian to consider the comfort of the
students as well. No matter what learning style a person may have, almost everyone will
become physically and psychologically distressed if they have to sit still in uncomfortable
chairs and listen to a lecturer drone on for hours on end. Thus, they recommend that the
librarian “attend to the physical and psychological needs” of the learner by trying to schedule
workshops in comfortable settings, using a variety of methods to deliver the information, and
taking breaks when necessary (LIRT, 1999).
Academic Difference
Finally, different members of the audience will be at different levels academically
and intellectually. The Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) of the American Library
Association (ALA) has a “Technology in the Classroom” tip sheet that suggests that extra
patience may be necessary to encourage students who are nervous or anxious. The pamphlet
also exhorts the librarian to explain what she is doing and to do it slowly, and to always leave
time for questions (LIRT, 1999). Likewise, Jacobson and Williams maintain that the librarian
must be “concerned with the success of the student” (Jacobson, 2000), or to take a deep
interest in each student and find ways to value her so that the student feels secure and
Avoiding Discrimination
Another way to ensure students feel secure is to be very careful that all library
assignments, and all content covered in the session, are non-discriminatory. Although most
librarians would not consciously include discriminatory materials in their workshops, some
practices could be inadvertently discriminatory. For instance, requiring students to purchase
expensive books or materials might seem discriminatory to low income students. On the
other hand, the use of jargon could be confusing to non-native speakers, and certain types of
cultural, religious, or political examples might be offensive to some students. Thus, the
“Teaching the Library: Best Practices,” Laura Saunders, Library Philosophy and Practice, Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring
2002) 3
librarian must be very careful when choosing her content, and setting up her program
(Jacobson, 2000).
What to Teach?
Part of determining the content also entails deciding what concepts or skills to teach.
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) offers a number of suggestions
on its website. ACRL defines information literacy as the ability to recognize a need, and to
locate, evaluate, and use the information to meet that need. In order to do this, ACRL
suggests that a student must be able to make a distinction between keyword and subject
searching, and to distinguish between types of information resources. They must also be able
to focus the search, evaluate resources, and cite sources. An instruction librarian, then, must
be prepared to teach to each of these concepts and skills (ACRL, 2000).
Preparation for Instruction
Just as the librarian must consider her students’ physical and psychological needs
when creating a program, she should also be sure to attend to her own. Too often, the
librarian believes that she is so familiar with the content that she does not have to prepare her
lecture in advance. Instead, she expects to ad-lib her session, maybe even believing that such
an approach will make the presentation more relaxed, and encourage discussion. However,
even seasoned public speakers have moments of crisis when they might freeze, or forget
what they had planned to say.
To avoid this, LIRT suggests writing out a script for the presentation, and practicing
in front of a colleague or friend. The librarian might also want to take notes or an outline of
the presentation with her to refer to in case of emergency. Likewise, she should try to prepare
the room and the equipment in advance. If the room booked for the presentation is available
beforehand, LIRT suggests spending some time in the room prior to the presentation.
The librarian should take some time to locate lights and equipment controls, and
experiment with lighting, especially if using PowerPoint or other screen projections during
the presentation. She should also practice with the equipment in the room, and be sure she
knows how to set up, turn on, and restart any equipment she plans on using. Finally, the
pamphlet suggests having a low-tech backup plan in case there is an irreparable problem with
the equipment the day of the presentation. For instance, the librarian might make transparent
overheads of PowerPoint slides in case there is a problem with the software (LIRT, 1999).
Teaching Styles
The main issue that the instruction librarian has to deal with, however, is the style or
method of teaching she will use. The literature is rife with tips and techniques for making a
presentation as effective as possible for as many students as possible. In planning her
instruction sessions, consider different learning styles, students’ motivations, and the
techniques and training methods that will best suit these things. The best practices for
academic bibliographic instruction include student-centered, active learning; discovery
learning; the use of humor; and teaching to different learning styles.
“Teaching the Library: Best Practices,” Laura Saunders, Library Philosophy and Practice, Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring
2002) 4
Learning Styles
Learning styles refer to the ways people acquire, process, and apply new information.
Different people think and learn differently, and will respond better to certain types of
teaching styles than to others. When preparing a lesson plan, instruction librarians must
understand these different learning styles and find ways to teach to as many of them as
possible. Litzinger and Osif describe different types of learning style theories and suggest
practices to reach them. There are several different theories of learning styles, including
those proposed by Jung, Witkin, Kolb and Barbe and Swassing. Litzinger and Osif briefly
describe each theory. However, as the authors point out, it would be impossible to
incorporate every learning theory into every lesson, and therefore each librarian might
choose to focus on one. Litzinger and Osif focus mainly on the 4MAT theory of David Kolb
as adapted by Bernice McCarthy. This theory divides learners into four types:
those who perceive concretely and process reflectively
those who perceive abstractly and process reflectively
those who perceive abstractly but learn by doing
those who perceive concretely and learn by active practice.
Litzinger and Osif then go on to describe teaching techniques specific to these
different learning styles. For example, the first type of learner, the concrete experience/
reflective observer, would find a combination of lecture and hands-on experience most
effective, in which the lecture would focus on the specific information needed to perform the
exercise. In a library instruction class, this might mean that the librarian would spend the first
half of the class explaining how to search a database, and then give the class time to search
the database on their own to answer specific questions, or to explore on their own. The type
two learner, the abstract conceptualization/reflective observer, tends to prefer an organized
delivery of knowledge, and generally respect the teacher’s expertise. They generally like
questions that have a “right” answer. This type of learner would probably prefer a lecture and
demonstration followed by a workbook exercise. The type three learner is an abstract
conceptualization/active experimenter, and generally likes to solve by doing. These learners
might benefit most from a computer-based tutorial, or any other type of instruction that
allows for hands-on experience. The last type of learner is the concrete experience/active
experimenter, and they are also active learners who like independent discovery. They, too,
would benefit from techniques such as computer-assisted tutorials, workbooks, and exercises
where they can actively participate (Litzinger and Osif, 1992). Ideally, an instructor would do
some sort of assessment before an instruction session to determine the variety of learning
styles within the group, and then try to structure the lesson accordingly. Often, however, it is
impossible to test the group prior to meeting, so each instructor must simply try to
incorporate a variety of activities and techniques into each session, so that learners are
acquiring the information in several different ways at once.
Bicknell-Holmes and Hoffman describe a variety of teaching methods that would
appeal to most learning styles. These techniques are active or discovery learning, which
means that the student is able to actively participate in the learning process, in direct contrast
with a teaching method like lecturing, where the student is a passive observer. Discovery
learning is based on the theory that “students favor instruction that permits them to use their
“Teaching the Library: Best Practices,” Laura Saunders, Library Philosophy and Practice, Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring
2002) 5
own skills and experiences as a foundation” for new knowledge (Bicknell-Holmes and
Hofmann, 2000). Discovery learning, according to the authors, has certain attributes that
further characterize it. For instance, this type of learning emphasizes learning over content,
uses failure as an opportunity to learn, and involves students in higher levels of cognitive
processing. Some of the methods of discovery learning include case-based learning,
incidental learning, learning by exploring, learning by reflection, and simulation-based
learning. LIRT endorses active learning techniques, maintaining that “more is learned by
doing than by watching” (LIRT, 1999).
Active Learning
Case-based learning is a fairly common active learning strategy in which the students
are able to participate in the decision-making or problem-solving process. Generally in case-
based learning, students are given a story or situation which provides them with the
background information, and a problem or difficult situation. The students then have to come
up with a solution, or maybe several solutions, to handle the situation, and predict the
outcomes of various courses of action. In this way, the students can become personally
involved in the story by living vicariously through the characters, and they can draw on their
own experiences to help them solve the problem (Bicknell-Holmes and Hoffman, 2000).
Incidental learning, another active learning technique described by Bicknell-Holmes
and Hoffman, takes place when learning is linked to fun activities or games. In this scenario,
information is presented to the students in a game-like environment, so that the learning is
gained indirectly, as a by-product of the entertainment.
Incidental Learning Example
The Simmons College Libraries made use of this type of active learning with their
freshman writing class in 2001. Each section of the class spent one session in the library.
During the first half of the class, students took a self-guided tour of the library. At different
points along the tour they found poster boards with library facts and information on them.
When they regrouped for the second half of the class, they were broken into two teams and
played a Jeopardy! game with questions based on the information they had learned during
their tours. The students generally had fun, and enjoyed the competition while they learned
information about the library (Bicknell-Holmes and Hoffman, 2000).
Learning by Exploring
Another type of active learning described in this article is learning by exploring, in
which a collection of questions and answers on a particular topic are organized into a system
and students can explore the various topics at their own pace. In this system, the students
would be able to move through the questions in any order they desired, and therefore could
focus on areas of particular interest to them. The idea of learning by exploring is to simulate
a question and answer session with an expert on the topic (Bicknell-Holmes and Hoffman,
2000). By this definition, a FAQ page on a website could qualify as learning by exploring. A
list of questions on a subject could be hyperlinked to their answers, and users could go
through the list at their own pace, reading as much or as little as they liked. However,
“Teaching the Library: Best Practices,” Laura Saunders, Library Philosophy and Practice, Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring
2002) 6
learning by exploring could also be a live question and answer session with students having
free rein to ask the instructor any question on a particular topic. Again, LIRT recommends
this style of instruction, encouraging the librarian to “engage your audience by asking
questions” and “ask questions to break up the sequence of your lecturing” (LIRT, 1999).
Learning by Reflection
Learning by reflection is a type of active learning which involves higher level
cognitive skills. In this type of discovery learning, students are expected to model certain
skills or concepts which they have acquired through their instructor or through another
system of learning. Thus, they will demonstrate understanding by actively applying what
they have learned. As an example of learning by reflection, Bicknell-Holmes and Hoffman
describe a scenario in which students are shown two websites, a “good” one and a “bad” one.
They are then asked to write a brief statement evaluating both sites. Next, the instructor gives
a presentation on how to evaluate sites, and what features to look for in judging websites. At
the end of the session, the students re-evaluate both sites, and then compare their first
evaluation to their second, to see what they have learned (Bicknell-Holmes and Hoffman,
Simulation-based Learning
The last kind of discovery learning described by Bicknell-Holmes and Hoffman is
simulation-based learning. In simulation-based learning, the instructor creates an artificial
environment in which students can practice skills or apply concepts that they have learned,
without the pressure of a real-world situation. An example of simulation based learning
would be role-playing. For instance, in a library program, students might take turns
pretending to be the reference librarian, while other students in the class would approach the
desk with made-up questions. The student playing the reference librarian would then have a
chance to practice the reference interview and answer the question using real reference
sources, but would not be under the pressure of a real reference desk (Bicknell-Holmes and
Hoffman, 2000).
Other Techniques
Most of the discovery learning techniques described above work perfectly well on
their own, and one or more of them could probably be worked into virtually any instruction
session. However, there are a few other practices that can help make each lesson even more
Real-life Examples
One technique that can engage students and keep them more involved in the lesson is
to use real-life problems and examples in the session, to make the information more relevant
to the students’ lives. Kaip describes how she did this with a one-credit library skills course
at Wilson College. Kaip’s argument is that if library instruction sessions are always tied to
“Teaching the Library: Best Practices,” Laura Saunders, Library Philosophy and Practice, Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring
2002) 7
research papers, students will be uninspired, and will come to view research as something
needed only to complete an assignment.
Kaip had each student choose an actual problem or decision that they were dealing
with, and their assignment throughout the semester was to do the research and obtain the
information necessary to solve their problem or make their decision. Some of the problems
people used were selling a house, buying a car, and coaching a teenage hockey team. By
tying library research into their real life problems, students can learn “how information
empowers us to make responsible and informed decisions” (Kaip, 2001).
Relevant Instruction
Jacobson and Williams also endorse the use of real life problems when they
recommend that the instructor “create relevant and meaningful instruction” (Jacobson and
Williams, 2000). They maintain that instruction should be practical and that the examples
and exercises should be important and meaningful to the students, because students often
need to know why they need to learn a particular skill or concept, or how it will be useful to
them in their everyday lives (Jacobson and Williams, 2000).
Finally, Trefts and Blakeslee promote the use of humor in library instruction to help
keep the students engaged and interested. They describe different types of humorous
approaches, and how they can be integrated into instruction.
For instance, the instructor might make up jokes about the material, or start off the
class with a joke to break the ice. Other instructors might banter with a particular student, or
continually joke back and forth with that student. However, the use of many kinds of humor
demands a certain sort of person. The instructor must be very confident, and to some degree
naturally funny, to be successful with this type of humor.
On the other hand, there are types of humor that almost anyone can integrate into
lessons without much risk of failure. For example, instructors can pull cartoons out of the
newspaper, or graphics from the web to intersperse with PowerPoint slides or overheads
(paying careful attention to copyright). Or instructors could use humorous audio or video
clips during the lesson to make a point or simply to break the ice. As an example, a
management instructor once showed a clip of Mary Richards’ job interview from an episode
of The Mary Tyler Moore Show to make a point about illegal questions. The important thing
is for the instructor to find a method that she is comfortable with, and not to give up if the
humor does not work the first time(Trefts and Blakeslee, 2000).
The literature on library instruction in academic libraries seems to agree that the most
important aspect is finding ways to keep the students interested and engaged in the material.
Different students have different learning styles, and the instructor has to be aware of this and
try to find ways to accommodate as many students as possible.
Active learning techniques, such as case-based learning and learning by exploring,
seem to appeal to the broadest number of students, and have the added advantage of allowing
“Teaching the Library: Best Practices,” Laura Saunders, Library Philosophy and Practice, Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring
2002) 8
the students to actively participate in the lesson. Instructors can also help make the lesson
more interesting and engaging by incorporating humor, and by using exercises and examples
that relate to the students’ lives. Finally, instructors should be sure that they feel comfortable
with the material and the methods themselves, so as to give the most seamless presentation
Works Cited
American Library Association. Library Instruction Roundtable. “Library Instruction
Teaching Tips: Presentation Skills.” 28 June 2001.
American Library Association. Library Instruction Roundtable. “Library Instruction
Teaching Tips: Classroom Materials 28 June 2001.
American Library Association. Library Instruction Roundtable. “Library Instruction
Teaching Tips: Technology in the Classroom.” 28 June 2001.
American Library Association. Library Instruction Roundtable. “Library Instruction
Teaching Tips: Classroom Management.” 28 June 2001.
Bicknell-Holmes, Tracy and Paul Seth Hoffman. “Elicit, Engage, Experience Explore:
Discovery Learning in Library Instruction.” Reference Services Review. 28:4(2000)313-
322. Emerald ( ). Simmons College Library, 26 June 2001.
Christiansen, Ross. Topic: Teaching Information Literacy Concepts. 11 August 2000. 28 June 2001.
Jacobson, Trudi and Helene Williams. Teaching the New Library to Today’s Users. NY:
Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2000.
Kaip, Sarah. “It’s Not Just For Term Papers: Solving Real-Life Problems in an Information
Literacy Course.” College and Research Library News. May 2001.Library Literature-Wilson . Simmons College Library, 26 June 2001.
Litzinger, Mary Ellen and Bonnie Osif. “Accomodating Diverse Learning Styles: Designing
Instruction for Electronic Information Sources.” What Is Good Library Instruction Now?
Library Instruction for the 90s. Ed. Linda Sharito. MI: Pierian Press, 1992.73-82.
Trefts, Kristin and Sarah Blakeslee. “Did You Hear the One About the Boolean Operators?
Incorporating Comedy Into Library Instruction.” Reference Services Review. 28: 4(2000)369
-378 Emerald ( ). Simmons College Library, 26 June 2001.
... Given that the core of user education is to teachto impart knowledge, skills and attitudesit is imperative that the teaching technique be appropriate. Although it is undisputed that library instruction has foundations in educational pedagogies including liberal, traditional, behavioural, progressive, and radical orientations, there is a continuing need for research into the pedagogical basis of library instruction, and the application of educational theories and methodologies to actual library instruction (Dewald 1999;Saunders 2002). Various authors claim that the theory of constructivism is an effective choice for user education as it recognises that users have their own mind and thought processes and relate things to previous experience (Arp 1993;Atherton 2005;Cooperstein & Kocevar-Weidinger 2004;McCauley 2006). ...
... Thus, it assumes that students' reflection on their experiences helps to construct their new understanding and may empower them to apply strategies learnt or skills demonstrated. Because user education should be based on the principle of self-development, constructivist learning that accentuates discovery learning, active learning, hands-on learning, participatory learning, inclusive learning, cooperative learning and learner-centeredness is apt as a teaching strategy (Saunders 2002). ...
... The traditional mode of teaching user education entails tutoring: demonstrations that are meant to show students the basics of navigating the information terrain (Sellie 2011). Saunders (2002) cautions that, as with all instruction, teaching methodology used by instructors in library instruction and information literacy has a profound effect on learning. Due to technological developments and emerging influences, expectations and trends prevalent in the knowledge economy, the traditional modes and strategies of teaching have to be reconsidered. ...
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Notwithstanding the wealth of information available in the knowledge economy, many academic library users still lack essential knowledge and skills to locate materials. This deficiency might be attributed to the fact that the information environment is complex and is changing quickly. The main purpose of a university library is twofold. It involves providing information sources relevant for learning, teaching and research. It also involves empowering users by furnishing them with knowledge and skills that will assist them to be independent and lifelong users. The library is regarded as the core of any educational institution, particularly a university. The study described in this paper was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of user education programmes for postgraduate students in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus. The study used both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, employing questionnaires for postgraduate students and interviews for subject librarians and academic coordinators. These data collection tools were presented sequentially, with questionnaires for students followed by interviews with library and academic coordinators. The findings revealed that, although there are pockets of good practice in user education, there is a need to reconsider the content, the mode, the scope, presentation strategies and overall relevance and suitability of user education programmes in line with user needs. There is also a need to consider issues of appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of instructional methods and pedagogical matters.
... Her students then had to respond to these stories as if they were real cases that they had to research and work through [42]. Some of the other librarian authors also recommend the use of funny-or at least quirky-stories or anecdotes [6,43]. ...
... Media and pop culture. Several authors describe using humorous media during library instruction sessions or weaving funny pop culture examples into their teaching [1,13,22,23,34,37,43]. Marshall argues that pop culture examples can help make instructional content resonate with students. ...
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Objective: The review sought to gain a better understanding of humor's use and impact as a teaching and learning strategy in academic library and health sciences instruction and to determine if the most common techniques across both disciplines can be adapted to increase engagement in medical libraries' information literacy efforts. Methods: This narrative review involved retrieving citations from several subject databases, including Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts; Information Science & Technology Abstracts; Library & Information Science Source; PubMed; and CINAHL. The author limited her review to those publications that explicitly addressed the use of humor in relation to some form of academic library or health sciences instruction. Studies examining use of humor in patient education were excluded. Results: Scholars and practitioners have consistently written about humor as an instructional strategy from the 1980s onward, in both the library literature and health sciences literature. These authors have focused on instructors' attitudes, benefits to students, anecdotes, and best practices summaries. Overall, both librarians and health sciences educators have a positive opinion of humor, and many instructors make use of it in their classrooms, though caution and careful planning is advised. Conclusions: Commonalities between the library and information science literature and health sciences literature provide a cohesive set of best practices and strategies for successfully incorporating comedy into library instruction sessions. Health sciences librarians can adapt several of the most commonly used types of instructional humor (e.g., silly examples, cartoons, storytelling, etc.) to their own contexts with minimal risk.
... The papers using literature reviews dealt with a variety of topics including teaching (Saunders, 2002), protecting patrons' confidentiality (Maji, 2007), managing organizational diversity (Kreitz, 2008), cataloguing (Alexander, 2008), reference services (Meyer, 2008;, the history of "story time" (Albright, Delecki & Hinkle, 2009), creating an online tutorial (Blummer & Kritskaya, 2009), hiring processes (Shaffer, 2011), and integrating ebooks into a collection (Blummer & Kenton, 2012). ...
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Objective - The term “best practice” appears often in library and information science literature, yet, despite the frequency with which the term is used, there is little discussion about what is meant by the term and how one can reliably identify a best practice. Methods – This paper reviews 113 articles that identify and discuss best practices, in order to determine how “best practices” are distinguished from other practices, and whether these determinations are made on the basis of consistent and reliable evidence. The review also takes into account definitions of the term to discover if a common definition is used amongst authors. Results – The “evidence” upon which papers on “best practices” are based falls into one of the following six categories: 1) opinion (n=18, 15%), 2) literature reviews (n=13, 12%), 3) practices in the library in which the author works (n=19, 17%), 4) formal and informal qualitative and quantitative approaches (n=16, 14%), 5) a combination of the aforementioned (i.e., combined approaches) (n=34, 30%), and 6) “other” sources or approaches which are largely one of a kind (n=13, 12%). There is no widely shared or common definition of “best practices” amongst the authors of these papers, and most papers (n=94, 83%) fail to define the term at all. The number of papers was, for the most part, split evenly amongst the six categories indicating that writers on the subject are basing “best practices” assertions on a wide variety of sources and evidence. Conclusions – Library and information science literature on “best practices” is rarely based on rigorous empirical methods of research and therefore is generally unreliable. There is, in addition, no widely held understanding of what is meant by the use of the term.
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Este libro es producto del programa de Investigación en Innovación Educativa, que patrocina el Instituto Antioqueño de Investigación y que desarrolla el grupo de investigación Universus. Está estructurado por capítulos que los investigadores han ido editando a medida que progresan en el programa. Cada uno se enfoca en alguno de los aspectos que se debería incluir en una agenda de trabajo orientada a revolucionar el sistema de educación. El lector podrá darse cuenta de que el contenido se relaciona de forma incremental, partiendo desde algunas conceptualizaciones, luego se presenta recomendaciones para el cambio y se finaliza describiendo los resultados de su aplicación experimental.
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Librarians at Oregon State University undertook a teaching competency project to lay the foundation for practices that improve teaching by adapting the core teaching proficiencies in the ACRL Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators. This article describes one model for locally adapting those proficiencies, the Oregon State University Libraries (OSUL) Framework for Teaching Excellence. This framework promotes reflection on, goal setting for, and professional development around teaching. The project team utilized a survey to determine the proficiency categories most valued by OSUL instruction librarians. The development and inclusion of context material for each proficiency category included in the OSUL Framework encourages use of the document in the intended way. Also included in the document are specific use guidelines for three stakeholder groups: library faculty with teaching responsibilities, supervisors, and faculty involved in the tenure process.
Purpose To demonstrate that humor can be used as a teaching technique by instruction librarians. Design/methodology/approach Since some students have what Constance Mellon refers to as library anxiety, humor can be used as a teaching tool to help reduce this feeling. Using the literature of higher education, this article seeks to provide practical advice on ways to use humor in the library instruction setting. Findings The use of real‐life humorous examples demonstrates that teaching librarians can reap the benefits of using humor in the classroom. The article dispels the myth that one must be a comedian to use humor in the classroom. Practical implications The teaching librarian can add the use of humor as a teaching tool along with other techniques to assist in reducing library anxiety, promote classroom environment and help students to get more comfortable with the library's many resources. Originality/value This paper adds to the discussion on the use of humor in library instruction as one method to help reduce library anxiety in students. It offers practical help to the instruction librarian.
A Guide to Teaching Information Literacy - by Helen Blanchett October 2011
Most instruction librarians know that library instruction can often be boring to teach, and boring for students, but we also know the value of library instruction and its importance to our students. So what innovative approaches can we take to spice up our instruction and make the topic more appealing? The authors decided that using humor was the best approach. To this end, they went on a quest to: study and learn about comedy; take what they had learned to make themselves funnier; find ways to incorporate comedy into their library instruction; and share what they had learned with other librarians. The rest is history.
Discovery learning is a teaching strategy instructors can utilize to increase the engagement of and content relevance to students involved in library instruction. There are five learning “architectures” which discovery learning comprises: Case-based learning; Incidental learning; Learning by exploring; Learning by reflection; and Simulation-based learning. Alone, or in combination, they can be applied to activities and the teaching of skills across the spectrum of complexity, curricular format, and class size. These architectures are not intended to supplant established and more traditional methods of instruction; rather, they serve to enhance the effectiveness and the likelihood of mastery and application of skills and concepts. Though perceptual and attitudinal barriers can create obstacles to implementing discovery learning, these can be overcome. The authors recommend a gradual application of discovery learning activities to instruction.
Simmons College Library
  • Emerald
Emerald ( ). Simmons College Library, 26 June 2001.
Topic: Teaching Information Literacy Concepts. www.lib.vt
  • Ross Christiansen
Christiansen, Ross. Topic: Teaching Information Literacy Concepts. 11 August 2000. 28 June 2001.
Teaching the New Library to Today's Users
  • Trudi Jacobson
  • Helene Williams
Jacobson, Trudi and Helene Williams. Teaching the New Library to Today's Users. NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2000.