Excellent IL instruction article by Eric Frierson: Making it their idea

Learning Model

Thanks to colleague Miriam Rigby for pointing out this article in In the Library With the Lead Pipe, by Eric Frierson.  Frierson discusses learning theory (including Piaget!) in an accessible, realistic, down-to-earth way that’s sadly kind of rare.  And he has good ideas for teaching better IL classes to undergraduates.

Modeling instructional activities after the way people learn is vital for making learning experiences that ‘stick.’ Typical library instruction involves copious amounts of “click here, then click here, and once you’re there, click here.” There’s little discovery or invention of core information literacy concepts. Students are told how to use information resources, told how to use citation styles, and told the consequences of unethical use of information. How can we make discovery of information literacy concepts more… scientific? Can students invent information literacy concepts on their own, given a scenario and a librarian as a guide?

I mostly teach graduate courses, and I’m leery of trying some of the ideas suggested here for working with undergrads (role play, scenario setting, etc.)…but maybe I shouldn’t be?

Lightning Talk: Whither the Book?

A couple of months ago I did my first lightning talk at Online Northwest, on the future of publishing and how libraries and indie bookstores might not just survive, but thrive.  A lightning talk, if you’re not familiar with the genre, is a five-minute performance keyed to a set of 20 slides set to automatically advance every 15 seconds.  So, yeah.  Five minutes, 20 slides.  The future of publishing.  Hm.

It was a great experience, and it made me want to do another lightning talk sometime soon.  Thanks to Kate Gronemeyer for wrangling the talks this year–I just joined the Online Northwest conference planning committee, and I hope we’ll keep that torch burning.