Ignite Saturday Session: Not the Same Old Story

Saturday, June 28, 2014 -
11:30am to 12:00pm

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Speaker: Jordan Moore, Reference Librarian, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library
Speaker: Kelly McElroy, Undergraduate Services Librarian, University of Iowa Libraries

A person’s first experiences of the library often include sitting down to story time at the public library and being shown the wonder of books by a sweet and enthusiastic librarian. This creates fond memories and sets the ground for future literacy, but can that first magical experience be duplicated when a child becomes a college student? This session reexamines well-known best practices of children’s librarians in the context of academic library instruction.

But what do toddlers and puppets have to do with college students and databases? Although the content and aims of bibliographic instruction and story time are certainly different, in both cases the librarian acts as an entry point to their collections. For many first-year undergraduates, the academic library is a mysterious place. An instruction session may be the student’s first -- or only -- introduction to the resources available to them. Instruction librarians can encourage the joy of discovery or...simply lapse into the drudgery of demonstrating click after click.

Attendees of this session will learn how to incorporate techniques from story time in order to keep audience attention, explain new concepts, and manage difficult patrons in the library classroom. While not all story time practices translate directly -- most 18-year-olds would balk at singing a welcome song as they enter the computer lab -- the underlying values of play and multi-sensory engagement can be adapted effectively. Approaches may include using simple games, repetitive and cumulative instructions, and encouraging audience participation, as well as surprising uses of voice, movement, and interaction. Rather than prescribe specific activities, this session encourages attendees to adapt these strategies to suit their own practice. Keeping story time -- or instruction -- fresh makes it easier to share our enthusiasm with our patrons, and to build a positive foundation for information literacy.

Meeting Type: 
Included with conference registration
Last Updated: 
Friday, June 20, 2014 - 7:55am PDT
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