ACRL releases The Fun of Motivation: Crossing the Threshold Concepts

For Immediate Release
Thu, 12/07/2017


Erin Nevius

Content Strategist


CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “The Fun of Motivation: Crossing the Threshold Concepts” by Mary Francis, book number 71 in ACRL’s Publications in Librarianship series. This innovative book combines theory with specific lesson plans and assessment options to help readers explore, implement, and assess this powerful means of motivation.

What’s the place of fun in education? When students learn something new, they reach a learning edge, a threshold, where learning becomes uncomfortable because the material is difficult or beyond their understanding. To avoid this discomfort, some students can simply fall back on what they already know. This is a critical point, because if they do not move beyond the edge, they are stuck with both limited knowledge and a negative feeling about learning. Fun can be used as a motivating technique to help students get past this learning edge, and to meet an established goal or learning objective. 

"The Fun of Motivation: Crossing the Threshold Concepts" is organized into two parts—Part I examines the theories behind motivation and fun in the classroom, and offers three instructional techniques that highlight their benefits. Part II is the application of the theories explored in Part I, and its six chapters each address one of the threshold concepts provided in ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Each chapter contains three lesson plans addressing the threshold concept, one for each of the three fun instructional techniques. Assessment opportunities are provided throughout, with formative assessment strategies as well as summative assessments, including sample rubrics to apply to a range of student work. Each lesson plan ends with a section on possible modifications and accommodations and additional ideas on how to adapt the lesson for different student populations.

The threshold concepts within the Framework need to be facilitated with deliberation by librarians integrating them into their instruction sessions. Students must be motivated to learn these concepts that help them master skills across disciplines. "The Fun of Motivation" can help you utilize this compelling means of motivation.

 “The Fun of Motivation: Crossing the Threshold Concepts (PIL #71)” is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 10,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.