Publication Editor for 2018-2020

The Instruction Section is seeking a Publication Editor. This volunteer position provides final-round editing for IS publications. The position is intended to ensure that IS publications are consistent, professional, and polished, and that they reflect well on IS and on ACRL. This position is also intended to remove some of the burden of detail editing from IS committees or individuals, freeing them to focus more of their energy on a document’s content. The duties and responsibilities of the Publication Editor include:

  • Ensuring correct and consistent Chicago citation style
  • Final copy-editing as needed (i.e. grammar, punctuation, etc. according to Chicago)
  • Final proofreading as needed (i.e. factual accuracy, clarity, etc.)

Please see the full description for more details.

Interested in being considered? Please submit a letter of interest outlining your experience and knowledge applicable to the position, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and samples of relevant work to IS Vice Chair, Meghan Sitar, at

Deadline for applications is December 1. Applicants will be notified after the ALA Midwinter meeting.

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September 2017 Site of the Month

The Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online (PRIMO) Committee of the Instruction Section of ACRL is pleased to announce that a new Site of the Month interview has been posted to our committee website.

September 2017 Site of the Month: Arizona State University Library Tutorials – MLA Citation Style

Interview with: Bee Gallegos & Deirdre Kirmis
Interviewer: Joshua Vossler

Project Description: MLA Citation Style is an interactive web-based tutorial designed to teach students when to cite and how to use MLA citation style with interactive examples of citing different sources. Features include ungraded activities embedded in the tutorial, a 10 question quiz at the end that can be graded, and a script of the tutorial.

The full interview is available at:

To see the archive of previous Site of the Month interviews, please see

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Call for Proposals: 2018 ALA Midwinter Current Issues Virtual Discussion Forum

The IS Current Issues Virtual Discussion Forum is an excellent opportunity for instruction librarians to explore and discuss topics related to library instruction and information literacy. The steering committee welcomes proposals from individuals who are interested in convening this discussion online in advance of the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting: January 24th, at 2 PM EST/11 AM PST..

If you would like to share your knowledge, help your peers learn from one another, and spark a lively conversation, submit a proposal to lead the IS Current Issues Virtual Discussion Forum today.

Application Deadline: November 3, 2017

To submit a proposal, please use the online submission form.

Applicants will be notified by November 17, 2017.

To see examples of past discussion topics, view the digests of past discussions online.


Contact the ACRL IS Discussion Group Steering Committee Chair, Patrick Wohlmut ( or Vice-Chair, Lauren Hays (

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Accepted PRIMO Projects – Fall 2016 and Spring 2017

The IS PRIMO Committee is delighted to announce that the following new projects were accepted into the PRIMO (Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online) database. The accepted projects are as follows:

Fall 2016:

Spring 2017:

Congratulations to the creators of these excellent tutorials! Look for interviews with some of the creators of these projects at the PRIMO Site of the Month website during the fall.

If you would like to nominate a project to be considered for inclusion in the PRIMO database, the fall deadline is October 31, 2017. Submit your own project for consideration no later than November 14, 2017.

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Call for Nominations: Featured Teaching Librarian

Do you know someone who is an amazing teaching librarian?  If yes, consider nominating them as a Featured Teaching Librarian!   If you’re an amazing teaching librarian, consider nominating yourself.

The ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee wants to highlight excellent teaching librarians.  Several times during the year, the committee selects and interviews a librarian who demonstrates a passion for teaching, innovation, and student learning.  This feature provides a way to showcase amazing teaching librarians and share their best teaching practices with others in the field.  Consider nominating yourself or someone you think is amazing!

Nominations are due by Friday, August 4.

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Join us at the IS Soiree at ALA!

Join your colleagues at the ACRL Instruction Section Soiree Saturday, June 24, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at 720 South Grill, located at the Hilton Chicago.  This event is free and there is no minimum purchase required.  Food and beverages, including local and craft beers, will be available for purchase, with more information on the venue here:

Complimentary transportation to the Hilton is available via ALA Annual shuttles.  For more information about location, visit

Instruction Section Membership and Local Arrangements committee members will be available on site to welcome members to the event!  No need to RSVP, but if you have questions about the event or accessibility, please contact Sue Franzen (

Add this event to your ALA Scheduler:

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ACRL IS Current Issue Discussion Digest –ALA Annual 2017

Title:   Teaching from the Archives: Creating Student -Centered Instruction with Archival Materials

Discussion Conveners: Jill M. Borin, Reference Librarian and University Archivist and Molly M. Wolf, Reference Librarian and Sexuality Archivist, Widener University.

June 24, 2017 | 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Chicago, IL | Hilton Chicago, Buckingham Room

Jill Borin and Molly Wolf are librarians and archivists at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania with 32 years of teaching experience between them.  Widener is unique as it houses two distinct archives: the University Archives, which preserves the history of institution from 1821 to the present and the Sexuality Archives, which is dedicated to preserving the history of sexuality, sexology, and sexuality education.  Both archives are rich in a variety of primary sources.  Ms. Borin and Mrs. Wolf have recognized the potential to utilize these primary sources to enrich their information literacy instruction.

There is an increased demand in higher education to foster students’ critical thinking skills.  Research indicates that interacting with primary archival sources represents an effective method for helping students develop these critical thinking skills (Carini 2016; Robyns 2001).  This kind of instruction also encourages students to become independent learners.  Information literacy instruction has at its foundation the development of critical thinking skills.  In fact, the main goal of this instruction is to teach students how to critically analyze and evaluate information.  This will then prepare them to more effectively navigate the information they encounter on their own in the future.  As a result of their training in information literacy instruction, these librarians realized the exciting potential that would result from incorporating archival materials and primary sources into a new approach to information literacy instruction at their institution.  They recognized that this approach could help students improve both their critical thinking and information literacy skills.

Currently, Ms. Borin and Mrs. Wolf are in the process of creating a curriculum for a 1 credit information literacy class using primary source archival materials.  This dynamic student-centered class will incorporate project-based learning, providing students with the opportunities to develop valuable life-long information literacy skills as well as more comprehensive understanding than can usually be provided in a one-shot session.  With access to rich primary source materials from both the University and Sexuality Archives, Ms. Borin and Mrs. Wolf, can provide value-added instruction while fostering a deeper understanding of the unique interactions between the history of the institution and the history of human sexuality.

Digital Exhibit “Intersections – Sexuality and University Archives Together” 

Teaching from the Archives_presentation

The goal of this Current Issues Discussion Forum is to facilitate a dialog about using primary sources in information literacy instruction. Participants will share personal experiences and best practices, as well as begin to formulate standards for this type of instruction.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. In your opinion, what is the value of using archival documents/ primary sources in information literacy instruction?
  2. How have you incorporated archival documents/primary sources into your teaching? If you have not, how do you plan to incorporate archival documents/primary sources into your teaching in the future?
  3. What were your challenges and successes with incorporating archival documents/primary sources into your teaching?
  4. What one activity did your students enjoy the most?
  5. What are the standards that you would create to guide this kind of instruction?

Recommended Reading:

 Carini, Peter. 2016. “Information Literacy for Archives and Special Collections: Defining Outcomes.” portal: Libraries and the Academy 16(1): 193-208.  doi:

Daniels, Morgan, and Elizabeth Yakel. 2013. “Uncovering Impact: The Influence of Archives on Student Learning.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 39 (5): 414-422. doi:

Krause, Magia G. 2010. “‘It Makes History Alive for Them’: The Role of Archivists and Special Collections Librarians in Instructing Undergraduates.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 36(5): 401-411. doi:

Robyns, Marcus C. 2001. “The Archivist as Educator: Integrating Critical Thinking Skills into Historical Research Methods Instruction.” American Archivist 64 (2): 363-384. doi:

Yakel, Elizabeth, and Deborah A. Torres. 2003. “AI: Archival Intelligence and User Expertise.” American Archivist 66(1): 51-78. doi:




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June 2017 Site of the Month

The Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online (PRIMO) Committee of the Instruction Section of ACRL is pleased to announce that a new Site of the Month interview has been posted to our committee website.

June 2017 Site of the Month: Finding Articles & Databases
Interview with: Lindsay O’Neill
Interviewer: Jennifer Sharkey

Project Description: This tutorial is the third in a planned series of orientation modules for Pollak Library. The goal of this tutorial is for students to learn how to find databases and do a basic article search. Activities in the tutorial include a database searching simulation. The tutorial has closed captioning available as well as a downloadable transcript for accessibility.

The full interview is available at:

To see the archive of previous Site of the Month interviews, please see

Look for more interviews in the fall!

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Roles and Strengths of Teaching Librarians in Higher Education

The ACRL Instruction Section’s Standards and Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators Revision Task Force has recently revised the document, “Roles and Strengths of Teaching Librarians in Higher Education.”  This revision was officially adopted by the ACRL Board of Directors in April 2017.

Read full document here: Roles and Strengths of Teaching Librarians in Higher Education

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Featured Teaching Librarian: Amanda Hornby

Several times a year, the ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee selects and interviews a librarian who demonstrates a passion for teaching, innovation, and student learning. Nominate yourself or someone great!

Amanda Hornby of the University of Washington

Amanda Hornby of the University of Washington

Name: Amanda Hornby

Institution: University of Washington

Job Title: Teaching & Learning Program Librarian

Number of Years Teaching: 12

What are you reading right now? Set the Boy Free by Johnny Marr

What’s your favorite vacation place you have traveled to or where would you like to visit? Lopez Island, Washington

Describe your favorite teaching method:

The flipped classroom method, which I implemented in my undergraduate teaching about 3 years ago thanks to the UW Libraries’ creative graduate student instructors, is my favorite. Wherever possible, I like to flip the classroom by creating a short quiz and links to relevant library videos/resources and embedding the module in a course’s Canvas LMS a week before the library instruction session. By eliciting student responses in advance, I have a good sense of students’ research topics, key library-related questions, and where confusion may exist. Plus, I don’t have to do long database demos (and can often skip a demo!), which are really my pet peeve. I also think it strikes a nice tone in advance of a library session, so students have already seen me posting in their course’s Canvas page in a friendly way.

Describe a favorite activity that you use with students:

I love to use concept mapping as a way to start most of my undergraduate library teaching sessions. Depending on the size of the class, students will work individually or in small groups and go to town on whiteboards. They start with their central research topic or question and then branch out, creating interconnected bubbles of related issues, people/stakeholders, geographic locations, theories, policies, and much more. After the concept maps are created and students share out with the class their topics, I find that students are much more engaged and energized to dive into hands-on research related to their own research. I take photos of each concept map (which are really detailed and usually quite creative), pop the photos into the shared class Google slideshow, and post it in the students’ course Canvas LMS so that they have it for use in their research that day and beyond.

How do you avoid teaching burnout?

I am very lucky to be able to co-supervise and co-train our graduate student library instructors. Every year we hire new grad students, and their questions about library teaching and learning, and their innovative approaches to being more inclusive in their teaching and using technology, always, always inspire me.

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