This book offers a comprehensive and practical introduction to instruction in all types of library and information settings and across all modalities. Unlike other guides to library instruction that focus on one type of library, or present instruction exclusively through the lens of a specific set of standards or frameworks, this book is inclusive in its approach. Readers will find standards, references, and examples drawn from many different information settings, both face-to-face and online formats, and geared toward different age groups. The book uses the terms learner, student, and patron interchangeably throughout to acknowledge that library instruction does not always take place in an academic classroom. The text also reflects our commitment to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they relate to pedagogy in general and library instruction specifically, reflected in our attention to critical pedagogy, inclusive teaching strategies, and accessibility throughout the book, as well as in our decision to publish open access.
The book is divided into five parts. Part I situates instruction within library and information settings, providing an overview of the history and role of instruction within the profession and an examination of librarians’ identity as teachers. It presents the various standards and frameworks for library instruction and conceptualizations of information and related literacies that guide practice, including a discussion of critical information literacy. Part II provides the foundations of teaching and learning, including classic theories of learning and critical pedagogy, with a focus on how these are put into practice using inclusive strategies and principles of universal design. These principles are then woven throughout the remainder of the text. The bulk of the text is Part III, which covers instructional design, including writing learning outcomes, developing assessment, and selecting instructional strategies. This section also offers advice on presentation skills and designing instructional materials. Part IV discusses the theories and principles of instructional design in the context of specific types of instructional offerings, including online, credit-bearing classes and one-on-one instruction. Part V takes a broader look at managing instruction programs and engaging in outreach.
While the material is sequenced to support a course on library instruction, the book can also serve as a resource for new and experienced professionals seeking best practices and selected resources. Each chapter was written to stand on its own, so readers interested in a more in-depth look at teaching online or tips to improve their presentation skills, for example, can go straight to the relevant sections.
The book takes a theory-into-practice approach aimed at empowering readers and moving them from learning to praxis. Each chapter includes practical examples, activities, and templates to aid readers in developing their own practice and materials. Appendices include sample lesson plans on a variety of topics and situated in different information settings, and a glossary of the activities presented throughout the book.