Publication Award Winners

Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award Winners


Townsend, Lori, Brunetti, Korey and Hofer, Amy R. 2011. "Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy." Portal: Libraries and the Academy 11, no. 3: 853-869. (Press Release)


Booth, Char. 2011.  Reflective Teaching, Effective Learning: Instructional Literacy for Library Educators. Chicago: ALA Editions. (Press Release


Oakleaf, Megan. 2009. "The information literacy instruction assessment cycle: A guide for increasing student learning and improving librarian instructional skills." Journal of Documentation 65, no. 4: 539-560. (Press Release)


Jacobs, Heidi L. M. 2008. "Information Literacy and Reflective Pedagogical Praxis" Journal of Academic Librarianship 34, no. 3: 256-262. Available at: doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2008.03.009 (Press Release)


Radcliff, Carolyn J., Jensen, Mary Lee, Salem, Joseph A., Burhanna, Kenneth J. and Gedeon, Julie A. 2007. A practical guide to information literacy assessment for academic librarians. Santa Barbara,CA: Libraries Unlimited (an
imprint of ABC-CLIO).

Written by Kent State University librarians, A Practical Guide provides a comprehensive treatment of assessment tools for instruction, including their costs and benefits, and addresses how each tool can be applied within academic libraries. The work is innovative in its coverage, original in its accessibility to librarians at all instructional levels and experience, and timely in its response to the nation-wide emphasis on outcomes assessment in higher education.


Ragains, Patrick, ed. 2007. Information literacy instruction that works: A guide to teaching by discipline and student population. New York: Neal-Schuman.

Organized by student audience (freshmen, distance learners, community college students) and academic discipline, this edited work provides detailed methods, teaching strategies, bibliographic information and, most importantly, ways to approach teaching specific groups or subject areas. Chapters are written by 18 leading instruction librarians nationwide and Ragains knits together their work by providing the essential framework for instruction librarians to apply the chapter recommendations to their respective curricula and student audience.

Patrick Ragains is the Business and Government Information Librarian, at the University of Nevada-Reno.


Elmborg, James and Sheril Hook. Centers for Learning: Writing Centers and Libraries in Collaboration. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2005.

Combining theory with case studies­-many co-authored by librarians and writing center directors­-Centers for Learning offers a compelling case not only for treating research and writing as a holistic process, but for leveraging the unique strengths of writing centers and information literacy programs to improve student mastery of the process.

James Elmborg is Associate Professor and Interim Director of the School of Library and Information Science at The University of Iowa, and a two-time winner of the IS Publication Award. Sheril Hook is Coordinator of Instruction Services at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.


Michelle Holschuh Simmons, of the University of Iowa - “Librarians as Disciplinary Discourse Mediators: Using Genre Theory to Move Toward Critical Information Literacy,” which appeared in portal: Libraries and the Academy 5, no. 3 (2005): 297–311.

Ms. Simmons earned her MAT in English from Minnesota State University (1995) and her MA in Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa (2000). She is currently working towards her PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of Iowa.

Simmons challenges librarians to broaden our conception of information literacy beyond the skill and task orientations that continue to dominate our professional discussions, to encompass the notion of discursive practices that differentiate the disciplines from each other. Simmons's article addresses the affinity between information literacy and genre theory, and the librarian’s unique interdisciplinary vantage point within the academy to work on information literacy issues from a disciplinary culture standpoint.

Prior to 2006, this award was known as the IS Publication of the Year Award.


Jacobson, Trudi E. and Lijuan Xu. Motivating Students in Information Literacy Classes. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers. 2004.

Motivating Students in Information Literacy Classes focuses on developing students' interest in information literacy courses and sessions. Addressing credit-courses, course-related instruction, drop-in sessions, first-year programs, and web-based instruction, Jacobson and Xu provide practical suggestioons for increasing student engagement. Included are exercises and assignments, models of teaching behaviors, methods for increasing student participation, and advice for assessment and grading.


Grassian, Esther and Joan Kaplowitz. Information Literacy Instruction: Theory and Practice(Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2001).

Grassian is the Information Literacy Outreach Coordinator at UCLA's College Library; Kaplowitz is Assistant Head of the Reference Department at UCLA's Biomedical Library. Their book is a seminal work that pulls together information about information literacy instruction that heretofore has had to be gleaned from a myriad of resources. The broad scope of the book's coverage - the history of information literacy, pedagogical and instructional design theories, methods of assessment, instructional technology, etc. - and its knowledgeable grasp of "real life" issues related to these topics will be useful to any librarian seeking to develop a solid understanding of our field. Written by practitioners in the field, the book approaches each issue from both a theoretical and a practical perspective, offering exercises and sources for further reading at the end of each chapter. This book will serve as a foundation stone for aspiring instruction librarians in graduate programs, as well as for those who are already teaching but whom never have had formal training in instruction.

Grafstein, Ann. "A Discipline-Based Approach to Information Literacy", Journal of Academic Librarianship 28 (July 2002): 197-204.

Grafstein is the Coordinator of Library Instruction at Hofstra University's Axinn Library.

Her article is a hallmark in our field that should be required reading for all campus administrators and faculty, as well as librarians. It proposes a discipline- based approach to teaching information literacy, one that persuasively articulates what it is that a discipline needs in order to nurture lifelong learning. Succinctly written, this article breathes fresh life into the notion of faculty/librarian collaboration by explicitly delineating the complementary roles of faculty and librarians in teaching information literacy.


Elmborg, James K. "Teaching at the Desk: Toward a Reference Pedagogy." Portal: Libraries and the Academy 2, no. 3 (2002): 455-64.

Elmborg's article reminds public services librarians who work at the reference desk that teaching isn't just something that happens in the classroom. It can - and should! - happen at the reference desk as well. Using constructivist learning theory and drawing upon the close connections between teaching composition theory and teaching research strategies, Elmborg develops pedagogy for the reference desk. He encourages librarians to resist the temptation of simply doing students' work for them at the reference desk and, instead, to take advantage of the "teachable moments" reference transactions often provide


Betsy Baker for "Values for the Learning Library," Research Strategies 17(2/3) (2000): 85-91.

Baker has written about service as the preeminent value in librarianship in the article "Can Library Service Survive in a Sea of Change?" in the April 2000 issue of American Libraries. In both articles, Baker asserts that the values of library service do not change, but the methods and actions we perform as we uphold our values inevitably do change.


Linda Shirato for "A LOEX 25-Year Retrospective," a special issue of Reference Services Review 27(3) (1999): 210-312.

This collection of articles by such leaders as Patricia Senn Breivik, Evan Farber, Larry Hardesty, Tom Kirk, Diane Nahl, Hannelore B. Rader, and Carol Tenopir provides important historical perspectives on information literacy and the library instruction movement in American academic libraries. These essays provide an excellent primer for those new to teaching in academic libraries and a refreshing review for more experienced educators.


Bonnie Gratch Lindauer for "Defining and Measuring the Library's Impact on Campus-wide Outcomes, College & Research Libraries 56 (6) (1998): 546-570.

Lindauer's article addresses how and why we need to be participants in our campus' assessment and accreditation processes. Based on sound research methodology and a thorough literature review, Lindauer's article provides an excellent tool for use by librarians to help them become true players in their institutions' assessment and accreditation processes. Information literacy is ideally a campus-wide phenomenon, and assessment of instruction programs must be understood by all members of the campus. Lindauer gives us the means to achieve this goal.


Christine Bruce for The Seven Faces of Information Literacy, Auslib Press, 1997.

Christine Bruce's book "posits a relational model of information literacy rather than the more traditional behaviorist model. Her work creates a new theoretical framework for understanding the phenomenon of information literacy." Her work is described as "provocative and challenging and presents a unique interpretation of the 'phenomenon' of information literacy. Bruce explores the different ways in which information literacy is experienced by people and in so doing develops seven new concepts -or conceptions - based on user definitions. Bruce's work has made a significant contribution to the field of information literacy and will likely generate further research in this burgeoning and increasingly important field." This book may be ordered directly from Auslib Press. Please contact the publisher by email, fax, or phone for price information:
Auslib Press Pty Ltd, PO Box 622, Blackwood, South Australia 5051
tel 61 8 8278 4363 fax 61 8 8278 4000


Gloria J. Leckie for "Desperately Seeking Citations: Uncovering Faculty Assumptions about the Undergraduate Research Process," Journal of Academic Librarianship 22(3) (1996): 201-215.

Gloria Leckie's article is a "clearly written, thought-provoking, and insightful discussion of what might be a major contributor to undergraduate anxiety and frustration when it comes to doing research in the library for course assignments: the gap between faculty assumptions about their assignments and the research process and students' abilities (and limitations) to undertake this research."


Larry Hardesty for "Faculty Culture and Bibliographic Instruction: An Exploratory Analysis," Library Trends 44 (Fall 1995): 339-67.

Larry Hardesty "analyzes faculty culture as a determinant in the inclusion or non-inclusion of library instruction in college courses. Hardesty describes the historical antecedents of faculty culture in the United States and provides a contextual underst anding of faculty attitudes towards libraries generally and library instruction in particular. His conclusion that librarians must continue to 'understand and reach out to faculty ... if libraries are to achieve their potential in contributing to the educational process' should resonate with all academic librarians." Hardesty's research will "prove to be a seminal article in the literature of librarianship and library instruction and is likely to stimulate further original research in this subject."


Frances F. Jacobson and Michael J. Jacobson for "Representative Cognitive Learning Theories and BI: A Case Study of End User Searching," Research Strategies, Summer 1993. Described as a "groundbreaking merger of three theories of cognitive learning which are then applied within the environment of bibliographic instruction."


Terrence F. Mech and Donald W. Farmer for Information Literacy; Developing Students as Independent Learners, Jossey-Bass, 1992.


Instruction Section Home Page

Send us your comments and questions