rusq: Vol. 52 Issue 3: p. 256
Sources: A Guide to Teaching Information Literacy: 101 Practical Tips
Pamela Louderback

Assistant Professor/Information Services Librarian, Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Recognizing the increasingly crucial role librarians play in information literacy education using a range of teaching methods, the authors provide practical hints and tips grounded in learning theory, together with specific tried-and-tested best practice guidelines to use when designing teaching or training events.

Rather than offering a theoretical treatise on effective information literacy instruction with accompanying case studies, the authors create an easy-to-understand sourcebook for library instructors involved in the library and information environment. This is a practical reference tool for information literacy librarians, whether they are new to the teaching role or experienced practitioners. One of the book’s most helpful aspects is the overall structure of its three sections—planning, delivery, and activities—which presents a useful framework for approaching information literacy instruction.

In the “Planning” section, the authors provide grounding in planning, design, and theory by introducing fifteen concise tips that guide the reader through presession instruction preparations. These cover such essential topics as training needs analysis, learning styles, learning outcomes, assessment, reflection, evaluation, and lesson planning.

In the “Delivery” section, the authors adopt an alphabetical arrangement of more than thirty delivery tips, which facilitates the book’s ease of use as a reference source. As the authors note, the book’s content is not presented in a strictly linear fashion intended to be read straight through, but rather in such a way that it can be dipped into as needed when planning teaching and training. Each tip has an overview and details, guidance on suitable scenarios, and concerns to watch out for. One of the more helpful parts of each tip is the “More” section, where the authors give further ideas and suggestions to adapt and extend the technique. These ideas serve as an impetus for further reflection on innovative ways to adapt to one’s own teaching situation. Helpful examples and templates are also provided, along with sources for further reading. In this section, the authors offer practical advice, written from personal experience, on how to develop skills as a teacher. They also provide guidance on how to avoid some of the major difficulties inherent in instruction delivery and how to effectively deal with issues if they do occur.

Section 3, “Activities,” provides an array of fifty-one specific activities to use in teaching. For each activity, the authors provide either a full description of how to use the activity to enable active learning (for activities such as “brainstorming” and “mind maps”) or general guidance on how to implement the activity in the classroom (for more mainstream instructional methods like discussions, lectures, and podcasts). The descriptions include an outline of the activity and provide some useful suggestions. Tips come with a checklist of suitable scenarios for implementation, additional ideas for how to use the tip most effectively, issues to watch out for, further readings, and guidance on adapting ideas for different levels and contexts.

Whether the reader is a novice or an experienced librarian instructor, this well-written, well-organized, and easy-to-use sourcebook provides valuable guidance and strategies that can be immediately applied in practice.



Article Categories:
  • Library Reference and User Services
    • Sources

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