The one-shot library instruction survival guide

For Immediate Release
Mon, 04/07/2014


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Faced with planning a one-shot library instruction session, librarians can feel hard-pressed to squeeze in all their library has to offer along with tips on the research process. Authentic learning with student interaction may seem unattainable in only an hour. But it’s not. As “The One-Shot Library Instruction Survival Guide,” published by ALA Editions, demonstrates, the keys are communicating clearly with the course instructor, developing a realistic plan and employing effective teaching strategies. With more than 30 years of combined experience in teaching information literacy, authors Heidi E. Buchanan and Beth A. McDonough invite librarians to turn everyday challenges into instruction that is meaningful and relevant for students. Supplying the knowledge and tools to make it happen, their guide:

  • provides communication and collaboration strategies to help librarians co-design information literacy sessions with course instructors, including “conversation starters” and talking points;
  • helps librarians focus on how to provide the most useful, relevant library instruction within the limited timeframe of a one-shot session;
  • presents active learning strategies and classroom assessment techniques that facilitate meaningful learning;
  • shows how to match the best hands-on activities to students’ stage in the research process;
  • gives solutions to common problems, like handling a less-than-ideal teaching environment, what to do when you’re running short of time and dealing with difficult students;
  • suggests practical ways to use teaching strategies as assessment, enabling librarians to improve teaching and learning;
  • offers numerous real-world examples and case studies of one-shot library instruction.

Buchanan and McDonough have more than 30 years of combined experience teaching information literacy. An MSLS graduate of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and head of research and instruction services at Western Carolina University, Buchanan is a graduate of the ACRL’s Information Literacy Immersion program and is certified as a master trainer by the State Library of North Carolina. McDonough holds an MLIS from the University of North Carolina– Greensboro, and is completing a dissertation about critical information literacy for an EdD in leadership of curriculum and instruction from Western Carolina University. She is a National Board certified teacher in school library media and currently works as a research and instruction librarian at Western Carolina University.

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