Building Virtual Community Brainstorming Sessions

Please join the ACRL Instruction Section’s Building Virtual Community Task Force for live brainstorming sessions on IS’s transition to an all-virtual section. Here is our schedule with discussion topics; see below for webinar access info.

May 25, 2018 at 11:00 AM CST
— Virtual tools for professional development
— New avenues for in-person and virtual social connections

May 29, 2018 at 11:00 AM CST
— Structure of IS leadership and committees
— IS website and policy language

The sessions will consist of presentations and live audience participation and discussion, and will form the basis of the task force’s first annual report.

If you can’t make the sessions, please catch the recordings (links will be posted on ALA Connect and announced on ILI), and add your perspective using the Feedback Form at You can also contact the task force chairs:

Liz Barksdale,
Joe Goetz,

We look forward to hearing from you!

Access info for both Zoom Meetings:
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:


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2018 IS Annual Virtual Discussion Forum

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.

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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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ACRL Instruction Section Annual Program: Curricular Mapping – From Planning to Practice

ACRL Instruction Section Annual Program (Virtual Program)

Curricular Mapping – From Planning to Practice  

Thursday, May 31, 2018 1:00-2:00 (EST)/12:00-1:00 pm (CST)/11:00-12:00 pm (MST)/10:00-11:00 am (PDT)

Access at:

Join the ACRL Instruction section for its virtual annual program to discuss four stages of curriculum mapping.  Curriculum mapping is a systematic approach to reviewing curriculum and identifying of areas in which information literacy instruction would have a high impact.  Library instructors across the country are examining impact, developing outreach strategies, and communicating with both internal and external stakeholders.  Learn how strategic use of curriculum mapping can help you advance both your teaching and instruction program.

Panelists will showcase the:

  • History of this practice,
  • Strategic programmatic approaches,
  • Project management processes for mapping,
  • Working with campus partners and stakeholders,
  • Communication practices for sharing and using the curriculum map results.

Panelists include:

  • Merinda Kaye Hensley, Host and 2017-2018 Instruction Section Chair
  • Lisabeth Chabot, College Librarian, Ithaca College Library
  • Susan Gardner, Head of Reference & Instruction, William H. Hannon Library Loyola Marymount University
  • Laura Kuo, Health Sciences Librarian, Ithaca College Library
  • Kacy Lundstrom, Head of Learning & Engagement Services, Utah State University Libraries
  • Sara Maurice Whitver, Coordinator of Library Instruction, University of Alabama Libraries

Join us to hear and discuss this important topic with your teaching and learning colleagues.  This program is hosted by the ACRL Instruction Section and there is no registration or charge to attend. This session will be recorded and the link sent out to ILI-L after the session. We also have a new IS website page dedicated to past archived sessions:

Also, don’t forget about another recent webinar sponsored by IS and the Management and Leadership Cmte on curriculum mapping:

Meeting Name: Creating the big picture: Improving instruction programming through curriculum mapping (April 25, 2018)

Recording URL:

The forms, slides, and answers to the Q & A are available in a Google folder at

With many thanks to the Instruction Section Conference Program Planning Committee – Sheila Stoeckel (chair), Nicole Helregel, Michael Wray Pearce, and Anna Mary Williford.

We hope to see you there!

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Recording for Creating the Big Picture: Improving Instruction Programming through Curriculum Mapping

On April 25th the Instruction Section’s Management and Leadership Committee hosted a virtual event titled Creating the Big Picture: Improving Instruction Programming through Curriculum Mapping. Stefanie Metko and Amanda MacDonald (Virginia Tech) covered the purposes and goals for a curriculum mapping program, how to get started with a curriculum mapping program, how to scale the program once the pilot is complete, and how to move forward once the curriculum mapping has yielded meaningful data.

We encourage you to view the recording of the event.

Slides and supplemental materials are also available.

Thank you to our speakers and participants.

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Featured Teaching Librarian: Hannah Gascho Rempel

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.

Name: Hannah Gascho Rempel
Institution: Oregon State University
Job Title: Science Librarian & Graduate Student Services Coordinator
Number of Years Teaching: 12

What are you reading right now?
I just finished When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin. My kids participate in our state’s Battle of the Books program, so I’m trying to get a jump on next year’s reading list.

Where do you do your best thinking?
Walking—anywhere that gets me away from my desk—around campus, in the library, or on trails.

What is your favorite class to teach and why?
I teach several Zotero workshops each term—sometimes in a drop-in workshop format targeting graduate students and faculty, and sometimes as a guest lecturer in classes for undergrads or grad students. I really enjoy teaching Zotero for a number of reasons. One reason is that my practical side appreciates introducing learners to a tool that isn’t particularly abstract and provides tangible ways to help with their research journey. Another reason is because I use Zotero myself as a researcher, so my instruction is rooted in my own experiences. By modeling my research workflow—and emphasizing some of the idiosyncrasies of that workflow—I often see learners begin to think about their own research needs and how they might use Zotero to create meaning and connections from the sources they find. Seeing that light bulb go on for learners is always exciting. The third reason I enjoy teaching Zotero is because the tool itself changes just often enough to keep me on my toes and to provide me with new learning challenges, but not so often that I dread opening the program each time I’m in front of a new class.

What class do you teach the most and how do you keep it fresh?
In my role as the liaison to the College of Agricultural Sciences, I work with an upper-division undergraduate Animal Sciences class each term called “Ethical Issues in Animal Agriculture.” Students are tasked with writing a fairly standard research paper based on a range of sources, including peer-reviewed articles, and must use a journal-specific citation style. When I first started teaching this class, I approached it in a fairly standard kind of way—cover what peer review is, show some databases, practice searching for articles. Since then, I have made many changes to how I approach the class, and anticipate that I will continue making changes in the future. Part of what has kept the class fresh is my ability to make those changes. I have worked with the same course instructors for many years. They value my input and have rolled with my need to try new things in the class. Initially, some of the changes I made were driven by my desire to incorporate more active learning elements, such as topic mapping or small group brainstorming, into the class. More recently, the changes have been initiated because I wanted to try out new pedagogies based on theoretical frameworks. For example, when the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education was introduced, I wanted to try focusing the class more on the Research as Inquiry frame. Because this class focuses on ethical issues and sources can be drawn from many arenas, I wanted to spend more time in class developing dispositions related to open-ended exploration. This meant I needed to flip some of the content. The instructors were happy to give me both a pre-library and a post-library assignment to cover more of the procedural skills so we could spend more time in class modeling how to navigate sticky questions. More recently, I have used Wineburg and McGrew’s 2017 study on lateral reading to model how to approach the research (which includes reading) process. I look forward to trying variations of that approach again this term.

Tell us about the library instruction program at your institution. How many librarians at your institution teach?
At OSU, I am in the Teaching & Engagement department. Our department has eight members. While our department provides the majority of the input on strategic instruction initiatives, about 20 librarians total are involved in teaching in a variety of ways at OSU. Being surrounded by so many teaching librarians gives me a support network of other highly engaged teachers to bounce my ideas off of and gives me opportunities to observe and borrow from other great librarian teachers.

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2018 IS Annual Virtual Discussion Forum

Critical reading is defined as reading for a “. . . deeper understanding of how information is constructed, valued, and embedded within larger conversations.” But how can we best integrate critical reading into our professional practice? Join the ACRL Instruction Section’s 2018 Annual Virtual Discussion Forum for a panel discussion on defining, teaching, and promoting critical reading. This panel will view the issue from a variety of perspectives including: teaching critical reading to different student groups, using effective teaching strategies for credit-bearing versus one-shot instruction, supporting critical reading in the university curriculum, and understanding research on critical reading. The ACRL IS Discussion Group Steering Committee presents:

Critical Reading for Learning and Social Change: A Panel Discussion

Panelists will include:

  • Hannah Gascho Rempel, College of Agricultural Sciences Librarian & Graduate Student Services Coordinator, Oregon State University (moderator)
  • Anne-Marie Deitering, Associate University Librarian for Learning Services, Oregon State University (moderator)
  • Anne Jumonville Graf, First Year Experience Librarian/Associate Professor, Trinity University
  • Rosemary Green, Graduate Programs Librarian/Adjunct Professor, Shenandoah University
  • Stephanie Otis, Associate Dean for Public Services, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The virtual panel will take place on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 from 1:00pm-2:00pm Central Standard Time. More information will be posted on the ACRL IS discussion digest soon.

Register now, as space is limited:

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April 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.

April 2018 Site of the Month: Research Essentials Online

Interview with: Dani Wellemeyer and Jess Williams
Interviewer: Liz King

Project Description: This site showcases the online learning materials developed in-house at UMKC Libraries for the Research Essentials information literacy instruction program. Research Essentials is taught to three levels of writing and speaking courses in online, hybrid, and face-to-face configurations. Each level (100, 200, 300) features a lesson and quiz; each lesson contains a learning path of information literacy topics; and each quiz covers all the material from the corresponding lesson. The 100 lesson is introductory and focuses on the information cycle as a way of beginning to cover many concepts, including authors, audiences, and source types. The 200 lesson focuses on specifics of source types, fundamentals of searching, and source evaluation. The 300 lesson goes further in depth with its treatment of information creators and the research process. The learning objects on this site are assigned to online courses and used as flipped classroom material with hybrid and face-to-face courses, in which students spend classroom time on practical application of concepts learned beforehand through the online material. Each module was created using eCoach, a cloud-based e-learning authoring tool with rapid release, which allows for updates to the deployed learning objects at any time. Each module features video, images, infographics, and interactive elements, combining OERs with original content in modules designed specifically to support the university’s general education learning outcomes. In credit-bearing courses students complete Research Essentials lessons and quizzes as SCORM items in their instructor’s course site in the university’s LMS (currently Blackboard) so that scoring data is visible to each instructor for use as a grade.

The full interview is available at:

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

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Instruction Section committee appointment process for the coming year

Submitted on behalf of Meghan Sitar, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, ACRL Instruction Section

I have completed the Instruction Section committee appointment process for the coming year. Following Merinda’s lead from last year, I wanted to make the process more transparent for the Section by sharing a rundown of the numbers from this year’s round of appointments.

# of Opportunities Compared to # of Volunteers

  • In total, there are currently 175 slots for volunteers across the Section.
  • 94 of those 175 slots were filled by continuing or reappointed committee members, including appointments of Chairs and Vice-Chairs. Attention was paid to committee members not exceeding five years of consecutive service to any one committee when reappointments were made.
  • That left 81 open slots across all committees and task forces after reappointments were made to existing committees.
  • This number includes 26 new slots created this year through the creation of two new task forces and the addition of member slots to existing committees where appropriate.
  • We had 185 unique IS member volunteers for these 81 open slots. This means 104 volunteers regrettably did not receive any appointment.
  • Because volunteers can express interest in more than one committee, these 185 unique IS member volunteers expressed interest 581 times across committees. For example, 80 people volunteered for the 3 open slots on the Teaching Methods Committee.

# of Opportunities for First-Time Appointees

  • Of the remaining 81 slots, 53 went to members who were first-time appointees to any type of IS volunteer opportunity.
  • 28 slots went to members with previous experience serving in IS. In some cases, these were instances where a committee appointment was the result of a selection process (for example, the Publications Editor on the Communications Committee) or a standing appointment (for example, the appointment of the Section’s Past Chair to the Awards Committee)
  • In the case of the two new task forces, 4 first-time appointees and 4 experienced appointees were added to each group.

Guiding Principles

I used the following guiding principles to choose between available volunteers.

  • Priority was given to volunteers who had not yet served in the Section and who did not already have an appointment to other ACRL committees at the section or division level.
  • Information provided by the volunteer in their application was carefully considered, with priority given to IS members who connected their professional interests to the work of the Section or the specific committees for which they volunteered.

I want to sincerely thank all of the Instruction Section members who volunteered. I know it can be disappointing to not immediately have a way to continue participating in the Section’s work if you did not receive an appointment. In order to create opportunities for our newer members and first-time volunteers, returning volunteers who have dedicated their time and talents in the past may not have received an appointment. The lack of appointment does not reflect a lack of value attached to your membership and involvement in the Instruction Section. I encourage you to volunteer next year and to keep your eyes peeled for additional opportunities that will likely emerge for contributing during this year. I also encourage you to share your work in response to calls for proposals by the Discussion Group Steering committee and other groups doing programming for the Section. Finally, please consider volunteering as an Instruction Section Mentor for our very successful mentoring program when it begins recruiting at the end of the summer.


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Recording for Collective Learning: Developing an Instruction Community of Practice

On April 11th the Instruction Section’s Management and Leadership Committee hosted a virtual event titled: Collective Learning: Developing an Instruction Community of Practice. Amanda Peters and Doreen Bradley (University of Michigan) and Marybeth McCartin (New York University) and Nicole Brown (UC Berkeley) spoke about their experiences establishing communities of practice at their institutions.

We encourage you to view the recording of the event.

Slides are also available for both sets of presenters:

Thank you to our speakers and to everyone who participated!

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