Chapter 1. Introduction

“We need to bring learning to people instead of people to learning.”

—Elliott Masie, MASIE Center

Library instruction arrives in a variety of forms. It can be face-to-face instruction of information literacy skills to middle school students in a K–12 library. Classes can be taught by librarian liaisons at a university as they train students in research skills, citations, evaluation of sources, and so much more. Library instruction can be found in professional development. Through peer training, we teach each other a variety of skills and share information across the amazing professional learning network of librarians, paraprofessionals, library directors, and professors.

In our field, it is vital to stay current and up-to-date, especially when it comes to teaching and technology. To be current means seeking out the continuously changing trends and programs while also maintaining a balance of traditions.1 Finding opportunities to delve into professional development and new information is always a challenge. Is the training on campus or online? Can it be found at a local university or college, or in the city of current residence? Is there a cost to the professional development or information sought? No matter the challenge, we continue to seek training so we can be better instructors, librarians, and educators.

With technology venues like blogging, podcasting, online course management systems, and unified communication services like Zoom, delivery methods for information and professional development continue to grow and change. Podcasts are digital audio files that can be found and downloaded on the internet.2 Zoom and other unified communication services offer users the opportunity to post or view video, chat, and share information with individuals or groups. These items can be documented, shared, and linked for future viewing or reading, and they offer a multitude of opportunities in the delivery of information, instruction, and professional development across the field of librarianship regardless of location, language, or ability.


How do we deliver information and instruction in libraries and library instruction? It is important to think about how we deliver information to our learners. Are we teaching a face-to-face class? Is the instruction being distributed through a digital medium? Are we teaching in real time (synchronous) or not (asynchronous)? Research and theory on the dissemination of information dates to the 1920s.3 Researchers specifically were looking at the distribution of information. When we look at the delivery of information, whether it be for instruction, professional development, or mastery of skill, we need to think about these four factors: the audience or user, the source of the delivery, the content of the information, and the type of media or technology being used to deliver the information.4 In other words, when deciding how to share information in our field, first we must consider whom we are addressing. Information given to second graders would be offered very differently from information for a group of our peers or a room full of library directors. We must think about where our information is coming from and, as professionals in the field of librarianship, ensure that our information is fully vetted and correct, which leads to the content of our information—what we wish to share and how much. We also want to make sure that we offer enough information or instruction without overloading our learners. We complete our sharing by choosing the type of media or technology to best deliver the information. As you will see in this issue of Library Technology Reports, the authors showcase a wide range of technologies to disseminate information and instruction to their students, peers, and patrons.


In this report, we look at digital media and library instruction. Digital media is a term that runs the gamut of technology and content when it comes to instruction and information. For this technology report, we look specifically at instruction and information being delivered in library settings or by librarians and their peer educators. Steve Thomas discusses his podcast Circulating Ideas and introduces us to the idea of podcasting in the field of librarianship. He takes us through the process of podcasting and what is needed to put together your own production. Lucy Green delves into research and information on flipped instruction. She introduces the concept, discusses how it can be used in teaching, and shares best practices. Later in this report, I discuss my YouTube channels Tech Fifteen and Research Xpress and address education-based YouTubing (edutubing), how to create your own channel, and good practices. Lucas Maxwell finishes this report with his background in blogging. He discusses his inspiration to start a blog, tips for getting started, and ideas for involving students in the blogging process.

There is something for everyone in this report. Authors are from K–12 settings, public libraries, and schools of library science. Regardless of their background, the focus remains the same—digital media and instruction for the field of librarianship.


I envision the readers of this issue of Library Technology Reports to be librarians, educators, preservice librarians, and professors of library science. This report is for anyone looking to find ideas and concepts in the area of technology, media, and instruction, be it in a library or a classroom. Though the authors of this technology report are mainly from the field of library science, our information can easily cross disciplines. Every chapter was written with an audience in mind because each author worked with a certain population, but the ideas are applicable to a wider group of recipients. This report was written to generate and share ideas as well as inspire our readers to think about how to make instruction and information available to peer librarians, educators, students, and library patrons, as well as faculty and staff.


  1. Lisa Shamchuk, “Professional Development on a Budget: Facilitating Learning Opportunities for Information Literacy Instruction,” Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Librarian and Information Practice and Research 10, no. 1 (2015): 1–14.
  2. Steve Thomas, “Hearing Voices: Librarian-Produced Podcasts,” American Libraries Magazine, January 4, 2016,
  3. National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research, Developing an Effective Dissemination Plan (Austin, TX: National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 2003), 4, cited in Barb Garner, Marco Boscolo, John Comings, Donna Curry, Kelly McClure, and Cristine Smith, An Evaluation of the NCSALL Publication Focus on Basics, NCSALL Reports #27 (Cambridge, MA: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy [NCSALL], Harvard Graduate School of Education, January 2006), 5,
  4. National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research, Developing an Effective Dissemination Plan, cited in Garner et al., An Evaluation of the NCSALL Publication Focus on Basics, 5.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Published by ALA TechSource, an imprint of the American Library Association.
Copyright Statement | ALA Privacy Policy