How to Make Your Library Instruction Suck Less

If you teach information literacy or do any kind of library instruction, chances are that you've never had formal training in actually being a teacher.  We get it! While it can sometimes seem that teaching comes naturally to certain individuals and not to others, teachers and teaching librarians all have room to improve. When librarians gain confidence in their teaching abilities and connect with students in productive ways, student learning has the opportunity to improve as well. We just gave a presentation outlining 6 strategies to improve library instruction at the Brick & Click academic library conference:

In our presentation, we talked a lot about WHY each of these strategies are important (if you need a refresher, see our slide deck above, or read the full paper in the conference proceedings. But if you’re like us, your favorite part of presentations is exploring all the tangible tools and practical tips--so we decided to extract the HOW for you right here!

  1. Speak the Language of Your Students

    1. Beloit College Mindset List

    2. Generation Calculator

    3. Social media: Instagram and SnapChat are currently most popular with students, but also helpful are Twitter & TweetDeck, Facebook Groups for Schools, and Yik Yak.

    4. YouTube

    5. Know Your Meme

    6. Reddit

    7. And how to find out what's trending on the web

  2. Design Meaningful Activities

    1. Lesson Plan Generator

    2. Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures

    3. Learning Outcome Generator

  3. Connect Skills to the Real World

    1. The Muse (we highly suggest subscribing to their weekly newsletter!)


    3. Automating job searches with IFTTT (if this then that) and advanced Google search

    4. Professional nameplate sites and of course, LinkedIn for Higher Education

  4. Tell stories and be funny (...or at least try to be)

    1. Listening to stories is a great way to become a better storyteller. Check out this classic list of storytelling podcasts + this list of new and addictive storytelling podcasts.

    2. Humor Strategies to Use

  5. Engage Students Outside the Classroom

    1. Google Apps and Communication Tools

    2. EdTech App Finder

    3. Zotero

  6. Make Your Content Beautiful

    1. Canva + Tutorials from Canva Design School

    2. Google Fonts + Google Font Pairing

    3. Piktochart (Infographic Maker)

    4. Slides Carnival + Google Slides

    5. Good Stock Photos: Death to Stock, Pexels, Albumarium, Unsplash

Okay, that's all for now! What did we leave off? What tools or links would you recommend?