The Instruction and Outreach Department manages and coordinates library research instruction for students, faculty and staff through course-related workshops, outreach activities, personal consultations, research guides and other instructional materials.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Favorite Instruction Blog

There are many blogs in the world of library instruction, which enable us to keep up with current thinking about how best to teach students to do research using library resources.  My favorite of them all is info-mational, the blog of the amazing Char Booth.

Char is the E-learning librarian at UC-Berkeley, where she explores “ways to integrate education, technology, and design in library services.”  Those of us in library instruction are eagerly awaiting Char’s new book Reflective teaching, effective learning: Instructional literacy for library educators.  I’m particularly interested in the models and templates Char provides in the book that guide librarians through a process of intentional instructional design.

But back to Char’s blog, whose title comes from a comment she received from a student: “thanks. very info-mational.”  Char’s posts get to the heart of why we teach and how we teach.  I could quote endlessly from the blog, but I’ll just choose one example:

"Most practical library instruction seems to spend a necessarily disproportionate amount of time explaining  the range, breadth, and function of ultra-similar resources (use this for that and this for this other thing), which does more to reinforce the way students (mis)understanding of how the web works than to counter it."

And let me add, perhaps most importantly, that Char is one of the best and wittiest writers and presenters in librarianship today.  Not for nothing was she named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2008.  So, if you’re going to read anything about library instruction, read info-mational.  And enjoy.

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