Instruction Section Preconferences, Postconferences, and Think Tanks: 1979-present

Preconferences, Postconferences,
& Think Tanks: 1979-present



June 24, 2005 - Chicago, IL

Instructional Design: Tools, Techniques, and Strategies
Ellen Keith, Preconference Program Planning Committee Chair

Changing student demographics and trends in the delivery of higher education bring different demands for instruction and challenge librarians to keep instruction relevant and meaningful to students. This preconference promises to provide both new and more experienced instruction librarians with instructional design strategies and techniques that respond to today's student populations.

Using the ADDIE Model of Instructional Design (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation), speakers experienced in instructional design will give you a model that can be transferred to your own instruction programs. The preconference has two tracks, a Design track (A) and an Implementation track (B), and two breakout sessions within each track. Participants can attend a session from track A in the morning and from track B in the afternoon or vice-versa.

Keynote Speaker:

Jim Russell, Center for Instructional Excellence, Purdue University

Breakout speakers:

Sarah Crest, Towson University
Nancy Dewald, Pennsylvania State University
Emily Okada, Indiana University, Bloomington
Scott Walter, University of Kansas


  1. Needs Assessment - Sarah Crest, Towson State University
    1. Model of Instructional Design Handout (PDF)
  2. Delivery Methods - Nancy Dewald, Pennsylvania State University
    1. Designing Instruction Strategies (PDF)
    2. ADDIE: Design/Development Break-Out Exercises (Word Document)
    3. ADDIE: Design and Development (PowerPoint)
  3. Curriculum Assessment - Emily Okada, Indiana University - Bloomington
    1. Index for Breakout Session(Word Document)
    2. Outline Handout(Word Document)
    3. Breakout Session Description Handout(Word Document)
    4. Starting Points Handout(Word Document)
    5. Scenarios Handout(Word Document)
    6. Participant Motivation(Word Document)
    7. Works Consulted(Word Document)
  4. Evaluation - Scott Walter, University of Kansas
    1. Fundamentals of Evaluation (Word Document)
    2. Evaluating Student Learning (Word Document)
    3. Evaluating Student Learning: Sample Items (Word Document)
    4. Evaluating Instructional Materials (Word Document)
    5. Evaluating Teaching (Word Document)
    6. What's Next?: Questions for Reflection (Word Document)


April 7, 2005 -- Minneapolis, MN

Information Literacy in the Disciplines: Librarian/Faculty Collaboration for 21st Century Research Skills
Keith Gresham, Executive Committee Liaison

As library users become more distant physically and virtually, librarians need to work with faculty to develop successful instructional strategies and outcomes for current research processes and practices in the discipline. Learn about subject-specific information literacy standards and explore instructional approaches tailored to specific disciplines. Co-sponsored by the ACRL Science and Technology Section and ACRL Instruction Section.


Patricia Senn Breivik, San Jose State University
Virginia Baldwin, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Mark Emmons, University of New Mexico


June 20, 2003 - Toronto, Canada

Planning Instructional Opportunities for Targeted Populations
Marybeth McCartin, Preconference Program Planning Committee Chair

Today’s instruction librarians are confronted with addressing the needs of diverse populations and avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach to instruction. This pre-conference program will help you develop strategies for meeting that challenge. The program will focus on targeting outreach and instruction to four specific user groups: Generation Y, distance learners, adult learners, and international students.

Featured Speakers:

Distance Education

  • Nancy Burich, Ph.D.
    Coordinator for Distance Learning Information Services
    University of Kansas


  • Lisa M. Given, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor—School of Library and Information Studies
    University of Alberta

Generation Y

  • Helen Georgas
    Assistant Reference Librarian & Assistant Professor
    Assistant Coordinator of Library Instruction
    University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Melissa Koenig
    Suburban Academic Support Service Coordinator
    DePaul University

International Students

  • Miriam Conteh-Morgan
    Assistant Professor and Reference Librarian
    Collection Manager for Linguistics and French
    Ohio State University Libraries


June 14, 2002

"Instruction for First-Year Undergraduates"
Carla Buss, Preconference Program Planning Committee Chair

Featured Speakers:

  • Randy Hensley, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Margit Watts, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Lisa Hinchliffe, Illinois State University
  • Frances Jacobson, University Laboratory High School Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


June 15, 2001 -- San Francisco

“How to Keep from Glazing Over When You Hear the Word Assessment"
Alexius Macklin, Preconference Program Planning Committee Chair

Learn what questions to ask when designing assessment strategies; find out how to write assessment statements; and discover the types of tools needed for measuring learning outcomes. Some of the outcomes anticipated from this preconference are: action plans for assessing information literacy needs, assessment designs for measuring student learning, and practical techniques for evaluating information literacy instruction.

Featured Speakers:

  • Betsy Wilson, University of Washington, "The Lone Ranger is Dead! Educational Collaborations and Partnerships for Building a Culture of Assessment."
  • Mary Jane Petrowski, Colgate University, "Best Practice and the Fine Art of Collaborating: Tactics of Innovation for Marketing Your Instruction Program and Building Partnerships"
  • Joan Kaplowitz, University of California, Los Angeles, "Assessing Instruction"
  • Debra Gilchrist, Pierce College, "Improving Student Learning: Assessing Information Literacy"

Breakout Sessions:

  • "Assessing Student Learning"
  • "Assessing Instruction Practices and Teaching Methods"
  • "Assessing Collaborations and Partnership"
  • "Assessing the Impact of Information Literacy Instruction Across Campus"


July 7, 2000 -- Chicago

"Library Instruction on the Web"
Irene Weiner and Natalie Pelster, Preconference Program Planning Committee Co-Chairs

This preconference is designed to give Instruction Librarians the opportunity to explore the issues and techniques surrounding the delivery of instruction via the World Wide Web.

Keynote Speaker:

  • Dennis Glenn, Visual and Curriculum Design Specialist, Northwestern University "Teaching and Learning in 3D Environments"

Breakout Sessions:

  • "Designing Interactive Web-based Tutorials", Nancy Dewald, Pennsylvania State University, Berks
  • "Bringing User Input into the Design Process", Ruth Dickstein, University of Arizona
  • "Partnering with Faculty in the Development and Design of Web-based Instruction", Karen Diller, Washington State University and Dena Hutto, Reed College
  • "Understanding Concepts of Web Page Design", Dennis Glenn, Northwestern University
  • "Incorporating Animation into Online Tutorials and Instructional Web Sites", Claire Dougherty, Northwestern University
  • "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Student Learning on the Web”, Lori Dubois, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
  • "Using Web CT to Deliver Interactive Instruction", Pierina Parise, Emporia State University


June 24-25, 1999 -- New Orleans

"Think Tank III: Information Literacy and the Technological Transformation of Higher Education"
Keith Gresham, Think Tank III Task Force Chair

Ree DeDonato

M. Kathleen Kern

Proposal | Nomination Form | Published Resource

Participants and Working Papers:

  • "Defining Moments: Role of Information Literacy in the 21st-Century Construct of Education," Mark C. Donovan and Anne E. Zald
  • "Our Future Revisited: Redefining the Teaching Role of Librarians on the Wired Campus," Elizabeth A. Dupuis and Margit Misangyi Watts
  • "Deep Impact: Changing Technologies and the (R)evolution of Information Literacy," Judith Swanson and Dane Ward
  • "Lessons Learned: Computer Technologies as Teaching Tools and Their Applications to Library Instruction," James O. Austin and Karen A. Williams
  • "Justify Our Love: Information Literacy, Student Learning, and the Role of Assessment in Higher Education," Anne Scrivener Agee and Craig Gibson
  • "In Search of Common Ground: The Information Literacy/Computer Literacy Connection," Patricia Iannuzzi


June 26, 1998 -- Washington
June 27, 1997 -- New Orleans

"Learning to Teach: Workshops on Instruction"
Doris Jui, Preconference Program Planning Committee Chair (1998);
Margaret Phillips, Preconference Program Planning Committee Co-Chair (1997)

Featured Speakers:

  • "The One-Shot Lecture" - Esther Grassian, UCLA (1997, 1998)
  • "Selecting a Teaching Technique" - Trudi Jacobson, SUNY, Albany (1997, 1998)
  • "Presentation Skills and Classroom Management" - Mary Pagliero Popp, Indiana University (1997-1998)
  • "Developing Effective Library Assignments" - Christina Woo, UC Irvine (1997-1998)
  • "Instruction in a Multicultural/Multiracial Environment" - Karen Downing, University of Michigan (1997, 1998)
  • "Evaluation" - Lynn Westbrook, Texas Woman's University (1997-1998)

Resource List and Tips Sheet


June 24, 1994 -- Miami

"Integrating Active Learning into Library Instruction: Practical Information for Immediate Use"
Lynn Bailey, Preconference Program Planning Committee Chair

Keynote Speaker:

  • Trish Ridgeway, The Handley Library - "Active Learning in Library Instruction: Why to Do It and How to Do It"

Breakout Sessions:

  • "Cooperative Learning and Library Instruction: Practical Applications" - Suzanne Byron, University of North Texas
  • "A Demonstration of Cerise Oberman's Question Analysis Learning Cycle" - Shirley Cody, Grand Valley State University
  • "Not Another Tour of the Library: Using Your Head (Instead of Your Feet) to Learn the Library" - Ross LaBaugh, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth
  • "Innovation in Teaching Library Usage: Flowcharting the Research Process" - Carol Reed, University of Toledo


June 28, 1991 -- Atlanta

"Cultural Diversity & Higher Education: Bibliographic Instruction in a Multicultural Environment"
Betsy Park, Preconference Program Planning Committee Chair


  • Mary Huston, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Women's University - "Empowerment through Inclusive Curriculum Design: The Impact of Information Literacy on Life Chances and Choices"
  • Sherron Kenton, Emory Business School, Senior Lecturer in Communication - "Men and Women: Cultural Diversity in the Work Place"
  • Janice Koyama, Head Librarian, Moffitt Library, University of California, Berkeley, "Multiculturalism, Money, and 'Where's the Meat?'"
  • James Neal, Dean, Indiana University Libraries - "The Academic Library in a Multicultural Environment: Challenges and Opportunities"

Breakout Sessions:

  • "Misconceptions About Library Use by International Students" - Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah, Library Instruction Coordinator, Northeastern University
  • "Sensitivity at the Reference Desk" - Phyllis McEwen Taylor, Black Studies Specialist, University of South Florida, Tampa
  • "Helping Faculty Locate Multicultural Material" - Ellen Broidy, Coordinator of Library Publications, University of California, Irvine
  • "Teaching Students How to Evaluate Sources for International and Multicultural Information" - Craig Gibson, Head, Library User Education, Washington State University
  • "User Education and the Chicano Academic Community" - Salvador Guerena, Chicano Studies Librarian, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • "At-Risk Students: Academic Library Interventions" - Barbara MacAdam, Undergraduate Librarian, University of Michigan
  • "Recruiting and Retaining Librarians of Diverse Backgrounds" - Esther Grassian, Reference/Instruction Librarian, University of California, Los Angeles and Gita Satyendra-Holland, Librarian, Saddleback Community College
  • "How to Plan and Execute a Successful BI Program for Minority Students" - Wanda Crenshaw, Assistant Director for Public Services, Clark-Atlanta University Library
  • "Diverse Thinking: Pushing Barriers with BI" - Deborah Fink, Instructional Services Librarian, University of Colorado at Boulder


June 22-23, 1989 -- Dallas

"ACRL/BIS Think Tank II"
Betsy Baker, Steering Committee Chair

Participants and Working Papers:

  • "BI Revisited: Do We Need a Facelift? Do Librarians Really Want One?" William Miller
  • "Information Literacy," Bill Coons and Hannelore Rader
  • "Higher Education Curriculum Reform, " Maureen Pastine and Linda Wilson
  • "The Challenge of Changing User Groups," Betsy Wilson and James Shedlock
  • "Educating a Second Generation of BI Librarians," Martha Hale, Allison Level, and Elizabeth Frick (in absentia)


July 8, 1988 -- New Orleans

"The Future of BI: Approaches in the Electronic Age"
Jane Kleiner, Preconference Program Planning Chair

Keynote Speakers:

  • Sharon Hogan, Director, Louisiana State University Libraries
    "Calling Mother Earth, Calling Mother Earth. Spaceman Needs Help with Research"

    The nature of scholarly inquiry defines the literature which records and transmits research. Historians produce monograph-oriented literature while biologists produce journal articles or research reports. The "shape" of the literature defines the reference tools which evolve to control and access it. Bibliographic instruction has tried to describe and teach these concepts so students can use the library more effectively. Today's disciplines and their primary, secondary, and tertiary literatures reflect the linear thinking prescribed by the printed book. However, we are in the midst of a great technological happening that will revolutionize the world just as the printing press contributed to the revolution of ideas birthed during the Renaissance. Bibliographic instruction librarians must be at the forefront of these changes to understand, explain, and perhaps influence the course of today's revolution.

  • "Why Information Systems Are Hard to Use--And How Can BI Help?"
    Christine Borgman, Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

    Libraries have rapidly adopted a variety of information technologies--online catalog, circulation systems, online retrieval systems, and CD-ROM retrieval systems. While their use is necessary to an efficient library operation, we are finding that both patrons and staff have difficulty using the new technologies. The problems are varied and include a lack of familiarity with automated systems, interfaces that are not optimal for novice users, a heterogeneous user population, and inconsistent levels of training and use. This presentation explored recent research on user behavior with information retrieval systems and identified solutions to user problems that can be achieved through improved bibliographic instruction.

Breakout Sessions:

  • "Evaluating the Instructor"
    Mignon S. Adams, Director of Library Services, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science

    We all want to be better teachers. And when we do a good job in the classroom, we want to be able to demonstrate it. Methods of evaluation need not be complex and cumbersome; using simply-designed evaluation instruments can help us reach both goals of improving teaching and documenting what we do.

  • "The One-Shot Lecture: Make It Double-Barrelled"
    Claudette Hagle, Director of Public Services, University of Dallas Library

    The one-short, 50-minute lecture remains the most commonly used method of formal BI. Using axioms of theater production, small group dynamics, and communications theory for before, during and after the session, ideas were explored to enrich the student experience during the time allotted.

  • "Searching and the End-User"
    Jane P. Kleiner, Head of Reference Services, Louisiana State University

    End-user searching has been one of the most highly touted online services since the advent of automated databases. What are the advantages and disadvantages of providing instruction to end users? What is the most effective teaching mode? These questions were explored and examples of instruction alternatives provided.

  • "Developing Desktop CAI"
    Deborah A. Murphy, Data Archive/Reference Librarian, University of California, Santa Cruz

    Bibliographic instruction aims at making complex concepts more easily understood by library users. Computers can enhance this aim by offering a real potential for instructional applications in libraries. This session addressed issues related to the role of educational simulations, guidelines for development, and criteria for their evaluation. There was a demonstration of "BiblioMania," a library skills program for the Macintosh, authored by Ms. Murphy with the Faculty Author Development Program at Stanford University. This graphics-oriented simulation guides students through the intricacies of library research at the Stanford campus using a game format to introduce them to periodical indexes and an online catalog.

  • "Using Appropriate Technology"
    Pauline Rankin, Director, Instructional Support and Development, Louisiana State University

    Technology is more than the hardware used in presentations. It is a systematic approach to designing, implementing, and evaluating instruction. To insure effectiveness, the teacher must know not only the subject matter but also the students and their learning styles. Methods of presentation are selected based upon specific advantages of media and appropriateness for the group.

  • "Planning for Instruction with the Online Catalog"
    Sandra K. Ready, Assistant Dean of the Library, Mankato State University

    Helping users become effective searchers of the online public access catalog (OPAC) is a serious concern for many reference and instruction librarians. Giving careful and thorough consideration to the various aspects of an instruction program for an OPAC will help librarians avoid unexpected problems as their systems are integrated into their library environments. Intended for those who are developing in service and public OPAC instruction programs.

  • "Windows of Opportunity: The Limits and Lessons of Help Screens"
    Alan Ritch, Assistant to the University Librarian, University of California, Santa Cruz

    The new online and ondisc library systems have given us more to teach and more to teach with. The help screen has become a useful medium for instruction, but its successes depend on careful design and realistic expectations. This presentation suggested criteria for help screen design, examined the help screens of several systems, and discussed the limits of the medium as a tool for bibliographic instruction.

  • "BI Librarians and Burnout"
    Sarah Watstein, Head of the Reference Division, Hunter College, City University of New York

    Signs, symptoms, causes and sources of burnout were explored in this session. Improving our BI futures is linked to both an understanding of burnout, an awareness of strategies and coping mechanisms. The focus was on burnout as a by-product of instruction in the use of online catalogs, systems, and services.


June 24-26, 1981 -- San Francisco

"Premises, Problems, Promises: Views and Approaches to Bibliographic Instruction" (Also known as "Think Tank I")
Anne Seeley, Preconference Program Planning Committee Chair

This preconference was organized to provide the "first generation" of bibliographic instruction librarians an opportunity to discuss the present state and future direction of "the bibliographic instruction movement". The participants generated a set of recommendations in seven categories which were presented at the closing session. Six one-day workshops were also given on Thursday, June 25th and repeated on Friday, June 26th. Participants could participate in two of the six workshops.

Joanne Euster, San Francisco State University, facilitator
Frances Hopkins, Temple University ("Think Tank Report")

Think Tank Participants:

  • Paula Walker, University of Washington
  • Carla Stoffle, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
  • Anne Roberts, State University of New York at Albany
  • Brian Nielsen, Northwestern University
  • Donald Kenney, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


  • Classroom Dynamics
    Dr. Joyce C. Hagen, School of Education, California State Northridge

    This workshop offered ways to deal with a variety of problems related to classroom teaching and was organized around the general areas of planning, presenting, and evaluating instruction. Planning: time management, paper management, course design, objectives, variations in motivation and learning style. Presenting: stage fright, student participation, communication, boredom, classroom management. Evaluation: grading, identifying strengths and weaknesses in teaching. Also discussed: methods for improving weak points and differences between teaching a single session or a whole course. Intended primarily for new instructors of those who would like to brush up on their teaching skills.

  • Conceptual Frameworks for Bibliographic Instruction
    Mary Reichel, Georgia State University; Mary Ann Ramey, Georgia State University; Gemma DeVinney, SUNY/Buffalo

    The workshop focused on the use of conceptual frameworks--systematic literature searching, primary/secondary sources, publication sequence, and citation patterns--as a means of organizing meaningful bibliographic instruction presentations. Leaders presented synopses of presentations geared toward 1) first-year and sophomore students; 2) juniors and seniors in a subject area; and 3) graduate students, especially doctoral candidates, in a specified area. Participants hand an opportunity to develop model presentations for the level of student and subject of their choice. Group discussions explored and reacted to new ideas. Intended for newer instruction librarians and others who want to rethink their teaching methods.

  • Can Bibliographic Instruction Teach Students to Think? Models and Applications of Critical Thought
    Cerise Oberman-Soroka, College of Charleston; Mark A. Schlesinger, University of Massachusetts Boston

    Participants engaged in a series of activities including: making explicit the thinking skills issues embedded in student assignments; exploring models of critical thinking and relevant instructional strategies; and exploring ways in which these models are applied to bibliographic instruction. In the afternoon session, participants designed and evaluated assignments or instructional units with assistance from the workshop leaders.

  • PR and the Politics of Bibliographic Instruction
    Bessie Hahn, Brandeis University

    This workshop addressed the perils and pitfalls of publicity and public relations. Included methods of publicizing individual activities or entire programs, outreach to faculty, obtaining and keeping administrative support in the library and the university. Intended primarily for the coordinator or administrator responsible for selling an instruction program.

  • Perspectives on Program Coordination
    Janice Koyama, University of California, Berkeley

    Varied examples of program coordination were presented for analysis by workshop participants. Group discussion of real cases, both successful and unsuccessful, led to the construction of a theoretical framework for program coordination that would be useful for those who are considering restructuring an existing program, or at the point of planning a totally new one, or in the middle of a defined organized approach to library instruction. Format allowed for individual questions, problems, and a general sharing of techniques, ideas, philosophies and programs.

  • Evaluation Tools and Tactics
    Mignon Adams, SUNY/Oswego
    This workshop offered a practical look at the hows and whys of evaluation--how to determine what needs to be measured and what measurement tools are available. There was discussion and evaluation of pre- and post-tests, attitude surveys, and formal means of evaluation, followed by the development of guidelines for program evaluation. Intended for coordinators or managers of already existing programs who want to know how to evaluate (or better evaluate) their instructional activities or programs.


June 21-23, 1979 -- Dallas

"Tools, Techniques, and Tactics: Six Workshops"
Mimi Dudley, Preconference Program Planning Committee Chair

Purpose of the workshop was to assemble recognized leaders in the field of library instruction to help academic librarians develop programs appropriate to their individual situations.

Workshop 1: Teaching Librarians to Teach

  • Joan Ormondroyd, Cornell University
  • Sue Galloway, University of California, San Diego

Few librarians involved in library instruction programs have formal training in teaching. Libraries themselves must take on the responsibility of training their own librarians to teach. During the course of the workshop, librarians will develop a checklist of goals, problems and procedures for establishing a program of instruction for their own libraries as well as a manual for training their own librarians to teach library skills.

Workshop 2: The One Hour Stand

  • Sharon Hogan, University of Michigan
  • Anne Beaubien, University of Michigan
  • Mary George, University of Michigan

Participants will design a lecture on a topic of their choice. An overview of the factors to consider before selecting the one-hour lecture, its pros and cons as a mode, its adaptability to situational needs, variations in form and content, and overall impact will be explored, as well as such practical matters as writing realistic objectives, organizing and preparing a one-hour lecture, techniques of presentation, and evaluation methods.

Workshop 3: Organizing and Managing a Library Instruction Program

  • Anne Roberts, SUNY Albany
    Patricia Silvernail, Cornell University
  • Timothea McDonald
    Phyllis Andrews, University of Rochester
  • Linda Piele, University of Wisconsin, Parkside
  • Kay Rottsolk, St. Olaf College
  • Kathy Jordan, Virginia Community College

By means of a set of checklists, participants will prepare themselves for establishing (or improving on) a library instruction program tailored to the needs of their own campus. Checklists will provide a framework for the administration of a program--including the development of interviews and assessments to determine needs, the preparation of educational and behavioral objectives, the production of instructional materials, evaluation and support.

Workshop 4: Workbooks
Beverly Renford, Pennsylvania State University

  • Shelley Phipps, University of Arizona
  • Carolyn Dusenbury, University of Utah
  • Isabel Dickinson, University of California, Riverside
  • Mimi Dudley, University of California, Los Angeles

After a general introduction describing the role of library skills workbooks in an instructional program, participants will be able to choose one of three groups: The first group will develop an individualized workbook applicable to the participant's library. The second group will discuss and revise individual workbooks already in existence at the participant's own institution. A third group will concentrate on the development of an advanced module in a specific discipline. The UCLA model will be used. Time will be provided for consultation with librarians who have successful workbook programs.

Workshop 5: Course-Related & Integrated Library Instruction

  • Nancy Van Zant, Earlham College

Focusing on small college libraries and the instructional needs of liberal arts and community college institutions, participants will develop a model program of course-related or integrated library instruction for a typical institution which has limited staff and funds; learn how to negotiate instruction and assignments with faculty; and design a lecture and prepare sample materials for instruction in specific subjects and disciplines. Videotapes of instructional activities at Earlham College will be shown.

Workshop 6: Library Instruction for Faculty and Graduate Students

  • Anne Lipow, University of California, Berkeley

Participants will design and write an in-depth library instruction program appropriate to the faculty and graduate students on their own campuses. Based on the University of California-Berkeley Faculty Seminar Program, the workshop will concentrate on ways of determining and promoting initial interest among both the staff and the clientele, planning seminars and tutorials, preparing publicity, formulating budgets, methods of delivering lectures to faculty in a classroom setting and evaluating programs.


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