Recordings Available: Building Virtual Community Brainstorming Sessions

Recordings are now available for the ACRL Instruction Section Building Virtual Community Task Force Brainstorming Sessions.

Materials for the May 25 session on Virtual Tools for Professional Development and New Avenues for In-Person and Virtual Social Connections are at:

Materials for the May 29 session on IS Policy, Leadership and Committee Structure, and Website are at:

The Zoom recordings do not include the chat window where much of the discussion took place, so we recommend also downloading the chat file to follow along (available in the folders above).

You, too, can participate in the ongoing discussion on IS’s transition to virtual using the feedback form at This form is a place for you to offer your perspective; please feel free to use it more than once.

The Task Force would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the brainstorming sessions, in particular Lori DuBois for her help with IS history.

ISBVCTF Co-Chairs:
Liz Barksdale,
Joe Goetz,


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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 on the ACRL Instruction Section website 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, September 7th. If you have questions, please contact Sara Scheib.

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Tips and Trends: New Issue on Course Design Frameworks

The ACRL Instruction Section, Instructional Technologies Committee, has published their latest Tips and Trends article, “Frameworks for Blended and Online Course Design,” written by Sarah McDaniel. Tips and Trends introduces and discusses new, emerging or even familiar technologies that can be used in library instruction.“Frameworks” is freely available at To see this and previous Tips and Trends, visit the Instructional Technologies Committee webpage.

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New Selected Resources

The ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee has added new committee-recommended sources to their Selected Resources for Teaching Methods and Instructional Design in Library Instruction and their Selected Resources for Assessment in Library Instruction Lists. The committee updates these lists with new resources and annotations annually. You can see the committee’s entire lists in Zotero (

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Featured Teaching Librarian: Katharine Macy

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.

Katharine MacyName: Katharine Macy
Institution: Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Job Title: Business & Economics Librarian
Number of Years Teaching: 4

Why did you become a librarian?
I had been working as a business analyst in the private sector for about a decade when I realized that my favorite part of my job was helping people find, understand, and use information to make informed decisions. However, that was only about 20% of my job. I wanted to flip that ratio between information work and everything else, making it 80%, so I went to library school.

What are you reading right now?
A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

What class do you teach the most and how do you keep it fresh?
I provide a 2.5-hour research workshop to all business students during their junior year, upon admittance into the business school. This workshop supports an integrative, semester-long project that allows students to apply class concepts from their finance, marketing, operations, and teamwork/leadership courses as they research and analyze the viability of entering a new market or introducing a new product/service for a local company. I keep this workshop fresh by working closely with the faculty to understand any trouble spots from the prior term, changes they’ve made to the project deliverables, and by learning about the local client companies the students will be working with during each term. This, combined with assessment of current-term student artifacts and assessment data gathered during the prior term from the instruction sessions and research consultations, allows me to refresh student worksheets, research guides, asynchronous teaching modules and in-class activities, ensuring instruction is relevant and examples resonate. I’m always on the lookout for a new way to improve part of the workshop. For instance, during research consultations, I realized my students struggled with brainstorming keywords for different aspects of their project, so the next term I integrated a collaborative jigsaw activity into the workshop that helped students learn from each other as they developed this competency. I ask different teams to brainstorm search terms describing either the company, industry, product/service, or customers before facilitating a group discussion that consolidates the list of potential terms. Students are able to bring their own experience and authority as we develop a list of terms, resulting in terms that may not have occurred to me but prove useful. Most groups develop a list of descriptive words; however, usually at least one group brainstorms disciplinary terms that will illuminate aspects of the business environment and performance of their client (e.g., competition, market share, profitability, financial data, customer perceptions). These disciplinary terms create a light bulb moment that allows for more complex searching as I show them how to combine terms later in the workshop. Since introducing this exercise, students have shown less difficulty in research consultations with developing keywords as they research a new product/service or market.

Tell us how you assess your classes (e.g., mud cards, clickers, reflections).
I use a mix of assessments that I determine based on the learning objectives and planned activities for the class. I use pre-tests to gauge student understanding as well as prime the pump prior to instruction sessions, often followed by post-tests later in the term to determine if concepts taught were able to stick. To gather formative assessment during class I may use worksheets, directed paraphrasing, and/or polling software. I recently discovered Plickers for conducting class polls, and I love it because I’m the only person who needs to manage technology during the activity, and it allows me to record the student responses for later analysis. I end most classes by distributing a half-sheet asking students to describe 3 things they learned that were new, 2 things they learned that were interesting, and 1 thing that they still have a question about. I find this feedback allows me to understand where students are. If they are listing new concepts that I had hoped students had already been introduced to in earlier instruction, it informs my instruction plans for classes mapped earlier in the curriculum. What students find interesting helps me determine what activities resonated with students, while their question allows me to follow up and clarify. Sometimes, I conduct authentic assessment using a rubric on samples of student artifacts such as papers or PowerPoint presentations to ascertain if students are applying the skills learned in class and achieving the student learning objectives outlined in my instruction plan.

Name two things you would share with a librarian who is new to teaching.
First, I would say that often we are strapped for time and sometimes sessions suddenly become shorter than anticipated. Don’t try to squeeze 60 minutes into 30. Instead, when lesson planning, star the activities and concepts that are most critical and focus on teaching those well. Going too fast may create cognitive overload for students. A well-designed worksheet is handy in these situations to provide additional backup for topics not covered.

My second piece of advice is that assessment and reflective teaching practice are powerful for becoming an innovative teacher. I approach information literacy instruction with a design thinking mindset. Each lesson plan is essentially a prototype. Each class allows you to test things out. It’s important to measure and reflect on what worked and didn’t, so you can make necessary adjustments to your next session.

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Annual Virtual Discussion Forum Recording

Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual Virtual Discussion Forum this past Wednesday: Critical Reading for Learning and Social Change, sponsored by the Discussion Group Steering Committee of ACRL’s Instruction Section! Here are the links to the recording, chat transcript, and digest of the forum.


Chat Transcript:


There is also a handout, mentioned by panelist Stephanie Otis, with tips on critical reading. It is shared here on a CC-BY-NC-SA license, and was authored by Dr. Joyce Dalsheim at University of North Caroline at Charlotte.


Special thanks once again to our moderators, Hannah Gascho Rempel and Anne-Marie Dietering from Oregon State University, and our panelists, Anne Graf from Trinity University, Stephanie Otis from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Rosemary Green from Shenandoah University.

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Multilingual Glossary for Today’s Library Users

The Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee of the ACRL Instruction Section is pleased to present the Multilingual Glossary for Today’s Library Users, now available as a Google Doc. This multilingual glossary includes a language table of commonly-used library terms presented in seven languages, and definitions for each term in English. These documents are designed to assist ESL speakers and the librarians who work with them. Converting the glossary table and definitions to Google Documents enables the committee to readily implement new terminology and make revisions as the lexicon evolves.

The committee acknowledges that these resources are not comprehensive, nor do they reflect the many dialects and nuances within each language. Due to these known limitations, we encourage users of the Multilingual Glossary to adapt this resource to meet the needs of your community. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

If you are interested in contributing to future development or revision of this resource, please contact the committee chair. The committee is currently seeking contributions for new terminology to add to the glossary, and volunteers to review the language translations.

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Instruction Section 2018 Award Winners

The Instruction Section Awards Committee and the Executive Committee would like to congratulate this year’s award winners:

Instruction Section Innovation Award – 23 Framework Things

Trent Brager, University of St. Thomas, Amy Mars, St. Catherine University, and Kim Pittman, University of Minnesota-Duluth, for their work on 23 Framework Things, a free online professional development opportunity that helps librarians engage at their own pace through readings, activities, reflection, and discussion.

For more information:

Ilene F. Rockman Instruction Publication of the Year Award – Jennifer E. Nutefall, as editor of the book “Service Learning, Information Literacy, and Libraries”

Jennifer E. Nutefall, university librarian at Santa Clara University, has been chosen as the winner of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS) Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award as editor of the book “Service Learning, Information Literacy, and Libraries,”published in 2016 by Libraries Unlimited. The award recognizes an outstanding publication related to library instruction published in the past two years.

For more information:

2018 ACRL/IS Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award – Sharon Mader

Sharon Mader, dean emeritus and professor at the University of New Orleans, is the winner of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section’s (IS) Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award. The award honors Miriam Dudley, whose efforts in the field of information literacy led to the formation of IS. The honor recognizes a librarian who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment.

For more information:

For more information about the Instruction awards, please visit the Awards Sectionof the ACRL website.

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May 2018 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.

May 2018 Site of the Month: Basics of APA Style

Interview with: Lindsay O’Neill
Interviewer: T. Eloise Stevens

Project Description: Basics of APA Style is an interactive tutorial that teaches learners how to implement APA Style using quizzes, games, and a virtual style guide. Learners have to complete an APA citation for a book, an article, and a website to complete the tutorial. It’s built in more of a game style, where learners choose how to move through, and in which order they want to complete the activities.

The full interview is available at:

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

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2018 IS Annual Virtual Discussion Forum Digest

Title: Critical Reading for Learning and Social Change: A Panel Discussion

Discussion Conveners: Hannah Gascho Rempel, Associate Professor, College of Agricultural Sciences Librarian, Graduate Student Services Coordinator, and Anne-Marie Deitering, Associate University Librarian for Learning Services, both of Oregon State University

Joined by panelists:

  • Anne Jumonville Graf, First Year Experience Librarian/Associate Professor, Trinity University
  • Rosemary Green, Graduate Programs Librarian; Adjunct Professor, Conservatory Academics, Shenandoah University
  • Stephanie Otis, Associate Dean for Public Services, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Virtual Discussion to take place on Wednesday, June 6 at 2 PM EST/11 AM PST.

At first glance, saying librarians care about reading sounds like a lazy stereotype. No, we don’t have time to read all day! However, scratch the surface of the issues taking up our time — from the rise of fake news to the impact of No Child Left Behind to the challenges of first-year transitions to the wicked problem of critical thinking — and you find a common root: the ability to read critically.

Teaching librarians work with students and teachers who need to do more than find sources. They need to use those sources to learn, and to act – to make a difference in the world. Critical reading includes both reading to learn and reading to become more socially engaged. As we work with students and their teachers on these deeper goals, librarians need strategies for developing reading experiences that create a deeper understanding of how information is constructed, valued, and embedded within larger conversations.

In this session, we will examine a variety of factors that can inhibit (and foster) the environments that support critical reading from multiple perspectives.

We will discuss:

  • How the research in student development intersects with critical reading. Teachers and librarians who recognize the role development plays in reading can begin to provide safe transitional opportunities for engaging with reading in new ways.
  • The challenges that arise when we try and use traditional research paper assignments to teach critical reading skills. We will discuss research from educators who contend that the way these projects are usually structured, graded, and assessed actually discourages critical reading!
  • How to design assignments and activities that provide the scaffolding needed to encourage students to read and struggle with unfamiliar and sometimes difficult information sources.
  • Integration of critical reading into one-shot instruction sessions in ways that engage both students and faculty.
  • Helping students to develop metacognitive awareness of their own reading practices and to learn to read like writers, to read with purpose, and to attend to the scholarly dialogue present in literature.
  • Librarians as partners in curricular change focused on critical reading and construction of knowledge.

In this session, participants will actively explore their own assumptions about learners’ reading abilities, as well as their assumptions about the purpose of reading. Participants will brainstorm and discuss ways librarians can be engaged in meaningful efforts to encourage critical reading habits. Participants will leave the session with a variety of pedagogical approaches for developing critical readers.

Discussion Questions

What are your reading goals for your learners?

How do you define critical reading, especially in terms of the learner audience you typically work with?

What assumptions do you think college-level instructors have about their students’ reading skills?

What roles do academic librarians have in introducing critical reading strategies?

If you had to choose just one strategy to help learners begin to read more critically, what would it be?

Recommended Reading list

Freire, P. (2005). Teachers as cultural workers: Letters to those who dare teach. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Manarin, K. (2012). Reading value: Student choice in reading strategies. Pedagogy, 12(2), 281–297.

Manarin, K., Carey, M., Rathburn, M., & Ryland, G. (2015). Critical Reading in Higher Education: Academic Goals and Social Engagement. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Mickelson, N. (2018). Cultivating critical reading: Using creative assignments to promote agency, persistence, and enjoyment. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, 11(1), 1–14.

Tomasek, T. (2009). Critical reading: Using reading prompts to promote active engagement with text. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 21(1), 127–132.

Handout (mentioned during presentation)

Dalsheim, J. (2017). Tips for reading. Retrieved from

Register now, as space is limited:

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Five Things You Should Read About Asset-Based Teaching

ACRL Instruction Section Research and Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the publication of its annual list of “Five Things You Should Read About…” a current topic relevant to library instruction. This year, the committee chose to focus on Asset-Based Teaching.

Asset-based teaching seeks to unlock students’ potential by focusing on their talents. Also known as strengths-based teaching, this approach contrasts with the more common deficit-based style of teaching which highlights students’ inadequacies. By building on strengths students already possess, asset-based teaching seeks to create lifelong learners who are confident in their abilities to master new skills. The committee selected a book, articles, and online tutorial to help familiarize library professionals with this approach to instruction and provide tools to incorporate into their teaching.

Recent lists:

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