Category Archives: Information Literacy

The Craft of Librarian Instruction

Craft-coverACRL announces the publication of The Craft of Librarian Instruction: Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence by Julie Artman, Jeff Sundquist, and Douglas R. Dechow.

Library instruction is like a theatre performance. You play a role as the instruction librarian. There is a live audience. You may receive reviews or evaluations. Or maybe the teaching experience feels more like an audition—a bit unnerving. In The Craft of Librarian Instruction, join Artman, Sundquist, and Dechow for a fun and creative approach to library instruction as they demonstrate how acting techniques can hone your presentation skills, your teaching style, and your performance to create an invigorating (and stress-free) learning experience for your students.

Through the use of acting methods and techniques, readers will learn how to:

  • Rehearse and prepare for instruction sessions by centering yourself through visualization, memorization, and improvisation;
  • Connect with students through personalization and role-playing, and by exploring teacher identity; and
  • Sharpen a unique teaching presence through reflection and intentional instruction.

Vocal and physical preparation and instructional scenarios will reveal potential challenges and pose solutions, and provide tips for deepening your teaching skills. Intended for newly hired instruction librarians, librarians with little or no teaching experience, those dealing with shyness or ‘stage fright,’ as well as more experienced librarians in need of a refreshed perspective, The Craft of Librarian Instruction will add an undeniable star quality to your instructional performance.

The Craft of Librarian Instruction: Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence is available for purchase in print, as an e-book, and as a print/ e-book bundle through the ALA Online Store; in print and for Kindle through; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

Update from the ACRL Board of Directors on the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

At the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, the ACRL Board of Directors took action to formally adopt the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. We recognize that our action of filing the document last year has caused confusion and want to make it clear this is a formal ACRL document.

Much has happened since the Board first took action on the Framework at Midwinter 2015. Many of you have spent the last year learning about, and experimenting with, the new Framework, sharing your stories with colleagues at meetings, workshops, and on social media. A number of you are writing about the Framework, including scholarly works.

It is clear that the Framework has been embraced by a great many of you.

The Board also affirmed its intent to make a decision on the status of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference, according to the timeline established at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

The new Framework document remains a framework, not a standard, so that it can move forward as a dynamic, living document with great flexibility and potential. The Information Literacy Frameworks and Standards Committee is drafting a definition for frameworks, similar to those for standards and guidelines, for Chapter 14 of ACRL’s Guide to Policies and Procedures as part of an overall review and revision outlined in their 2015-2016 Work Plan.

We also know that some of you recognize the value of the Framework but believe it pairs well with a set of standards for purposes of assessment. We understand that some of you are now using both documents concurrently while others are making inroads in new ways of assessment which are promising in terms of disciplinary and institutional alignment and collaborations.

The ACRL Board acknowledges there could be room for a standards-like document, developed as a companion to the Framework and in recognition of the current educational and information environment and the need to create outcomes and assessments at the local level. The use of the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education as an umbrella document for the library’s role in institutional assessment and accreditation needs to be further defined and understood.

ACRL fully supports the development of resources to support librarians in their understanding and use of the Framework. Sharon Mader was hired in February 2015 as the ACRL Visiting Program Officer for Information Literacy. In this role she is working with the Framework Advisory Board (appointed in July 2015) and other member leaders to create professional development resources and opportunities to assist librarians in understanding how they can use the Framework and contribute to its growth.

Development of an online sandbox is underway. The sandbox will provide an organized and collaborative space for librarians to share examples of Framework use and practice, with a launch anticipated for late spring / early summer 2016. In the interim, the Framework for Information Literacy WordPress site is gathering resources on the use of the Framework. An “example of the week” will be added in the next month and you may want to check out the “spotlight on scholarship” which highlights scholarship that uses, builds on, critiques, or responds to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

Ann Campion Riley, ACRL President
Irene M.H. Herold, ACRL Vice-President
Karen Williams, ACRL Past President

ACRL Selects New Curriculum Designer/Presenters

ACRL has selected four curriculum designer/presenters to create new professional development offerings in two important areas. For Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy, a review team selected Maryam Fakouri, ‎intellectual property librarian at Columbia College in Chicago, and John Watts, undergraduate learning librarian at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. For Research Data Management, a review team selected Abigail Goben, information services librarian at University of Illinois-Chicago Health Sciences Library, and Megan Sapp Nelson, associate professor of library sciences at Purdue University.

“I am delighted to have Maryam, John, Abigail, and Megan leading the charge to support ACRL members as they innovate, lead, grow, and succeed as part of the academic community. Thanks to their creativity and hard work in creating new professional development, more librarians will be prepared to lead collaborative efforts on campus with colleagues outside the library,” said ACRL President Ann Campion Riley, acting director at the University of Missouri Libraries. “Each review team had a large and strong applicant pool, and it is gratifying to know there are so many talented individuals willing to contribute to the greater good.”

Each team will plan, develop, and deliver learning experiences for ACRL, including face-to-face and virtual learning intended to build librarians’ capacity as leaders on issues and projects of campus-wide interest.

The face-to-face workshops will be offered as “roadshows” as with the existing ACRL Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education into Action and Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement workshops. The new offerings will be available upon request on a licensed basis starting in summer 2016.

Online offerings will be part of ACRL’s regular e-Learning program and could include multi-week asynchronous courses and topical webcasts of 60-90 minutes each in an interactive online classroom. The first webinar for each area will be presented in spring 2016.

Reminder: Immersion ’16 applications due 12/4

Friday, December 4, 2015 is the deadline to apply to Immersion ’16 (Teacher and Program tracks).  The ACRL Immersion Program provides instruction librarians the opportunity to work intensively for several days on all aspects of information literacy. Whether your institution is just beginning to think about implementing an information literacy component or whether you have a program well under way, the Immersion Program will provide you with the intellectual tools and practical techniques to build or enhance your institution’s instruction program.

“This blew my mind. I fully intend to change how I teach and influence the information literacy program on my campus.” ~  Immersion Program Participant

Immersion ’16 (Teacher and Program tracks) will be held at Champlain College in Burlington, VT, July 24-29, 2016.  Acceptance to Immersion ’16 is competitive to ensure an environment that fosters group interaction and active participation.  Applications are due December 4, 2015.

Teacher Track focuses on individual development for those who are interested in refreshing, enhancing, or extending their individual instruction skills. Curriculum includes classroom techniques, learning theory, leadership, and assessment framed in the context of information literacy. Program Track focuses on developing, integrating, and managing institutional and programmatic information literacy programs.  Change dynamics, systems thinking, institutional outcomes assessment, scalability, and the integration of teaching, learning, and technology will be brought to bear on analyzing the various programmatic challenges presented in case studies developed prior to the program.

Complete details and application materials are available online.  Questions about ACRL Immersion ’16 programs should be directed to Margot Conahan at

Resources for Addressing Information Literacy as Part of Institutional Accreditation

Institutional accreditation can seem daunting, but becoming involved in your school’s accreditation process is a great way to demonstrate how information literacy initiatives support institutional student learning outcomes. If you’ve ever tried to find a library self-study or institutional report, you know that locating these documents can be challenging and time consuming.

To solve this problem, the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee has collected a set of resources and examples to aid librarians in documenting and reporting their information literacy work for inclusion in self-study reports that serve as the basis for accreditation (and re-accreditation).

Resources are grouped by regional accreditation agency, and include links to accreditation documents submitted by various institutions and, in some cases, contact information for individuals who are willing to answer library-related accreditation questions. By providing examples and support, we hope to inspire instruction librarians to use the accreditation process to showcase the alignment of library and institutional missions.

Please help the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee expand this collection of resources. If you have documentation to contribute or would like to be listed as a resource, please contact Sharon Holderman at

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