Information Basics for College Students

Information Basics for College Students

Information Basics for College Students

Information Basics for College Students


Librarians have long looked for a single, comprehensive text to provide a solid introduction to the art and craft of instruction. With this book, now they have it.


Sit around with a room full of library instructors. Ask them how they came to the field. Some were probably high school teachers or college teaching assistants in another field before they became librarians. Many are likely reference librarians who teach in their areas of subject expertise. Perhaps a few will be sociable librarians from tech services or IT who just like to teach. You’ll hear that theme again and again: whatever path brought them to this field, library instructors enjoy their time in the classroom. They also like to tell stories: the student whose oddball topic led to brilliant research; teaching techniques that really worked; and teaching techniques that really, really didn’t. Library instruction is about laughing and watching light bulbs turn on. It’s about learning in the purest sense: coming up with fresh questions and figuring out how to explore the answers.


This book comes with a dual purpose. First and foremost, it focuses on skills and knowledge that will help new library instructors get started. It focuses on highly practical ideas and techniques to try. It is intended to help both brand-new librarians and experienced librarians who are teaching for the first time.

Second, the information and examples are based on the teaching of first-year students from a variety of backgrounds. The majority of library instructors begin their instruction careers by teaching first-year English composition students. Those who take on subject-specific teaching for more advanced students often continue to work with first-years because they enjoy it and because there’s a lot of composition teaching to be done. Among other things, they will get to work with the whole range of students who attend their institution, and they will frequently practice teaching information literacy skills.

The book focuses on techniques that will work across many disciplines. It does have a slant toward instructors who are developing their teaching through working with freshman composition (introductory English composition) or similar courses. This is a first library instruction experience or a first teaching experience for many librarians. Scholarly literature in librarianship contains many wonderful articles providing current guidance on teaching in . . .

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