A Guide to Teaching Information Literacy

Oct 2011 | 272pp

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A Guide to Teaching Information Literacy
101 tips

Helen Blanchett, Chris Powis and Jo Webb

This easy-to-use book is an invaluable source of inspiration for any librarian involved in teaching information literacy, providing practical guidance on tried and tested ideas and techniques for sessions.

The role of the librarian increasingly involves delivering information literacy using a range of teaching methods, from delivering induction sessions to informal one-to-one support on a day-to-day basis. Although this is increasingly recognized, many practitioners do not have teaching qualifications and are often left to fulfil a role for which they feel ill-equipped. Even when they do have teaching qualifications, these are often gained from mainstream courses that do not always adequately address the delivery of information literacy. 

This book is a much-needed sourcebook to support library staff in the delivery of information literacy teaching, whether they are new to teaching or experienced but in search of fresh ideas. Full of hints and tips grounded in learning theory, it is a practical reference tool designed to be dipped into as needed when planning teaching and training. Where applicable the activities are mapped to models of information literacy, with guidance on adapting ideas for different levels and contexts. 

Advice is given on activities in the following areas:

  • designing sessions
  • preparing sessions
  • delivering sessions
  • different types of sessions
  • teaching by topic 
  • creating teaching / support materials
  • assessing learning
  • evaluating teaching sessions
  • e-learning.  

Readership: Any librarian involved with teaching information literacy and LIS students.


1. A framework for designing and delivering teaching and learning
2. Information literacy and standards
3. Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
4. Learner analysis
5. Pre-session audit
6. Learning styles
7. Facilitating learning
8. Aims
9. Learning outcomes
10. Assessment
11. Reflection
12. Evaluation
13. Social learning
14. Lesson planning
15. Storyboards


16. Body language
17. Collaboration
18. Computer labs
19. Cultural relevance
20. Demonstrations
21. Discipline
22. Dominant participants
23. Feedback to learners
24. Handouts
25. Inclusion
26. Interruptions
27. Jokes and humour
28. Latecomers
29. Managing groups
30. Managing questions
31. Managing sessions – overview
32. Managing sessions – the start
33. Managing sessions – the end
34. Marking
35. Mixed abilities
36. Motivation
37. Multisensory approaches
38. Nerves
39. One-to-one teaching/coaching
40. Peer observation
41. PowerPoint
42. Practical preparation
43. Presenting and performing
44. Questions
45. Room layout
46. Teaching assistants
47. Team teaching
48. Technical problems
49. Timing
50. Unresponsive participants


51. Action learning
52. Amplifying your teaching
53. Audio feedback
54. Bibliographies
55. Blogs
56. Brainstorming
57. Building blocks
58. Buzz groups
59. Card sorting
60. Case studies
61. Cephalonian method
62. Checklists
63. Design briefs
64. Discussions
65. Dividing the dots
66. Drawing the line
67. Fear cards
68. Future scenarios
69. Games
70. Goldfish bowl
71. Guided tours
72. Hands-on workshops
73. Ice-breakers
74. Interviewing
75. Jigsaws
76. Lectures
77. Mind maps
78. Multiple-choice questions
79. Peer assessment
80. Podcasts
81. Portfolios
82. Poster tours
83. Presentations by learners
84. Problem-based learning (PBL)
85. Pub quizzes
86. Questionnaires
87. Quizzes
88. Self-assessment
89. Self-guided tours
90. Social bookmarking
91. Stop, Start, Continue feedback
92. Storytelling
93. Technology-enhanced learning (TEL)
94. Treasure hunt
95. Video
96. Virtual learning environments (VLEs) (or learning management systems, LMSs)
97. Visiting lecturers/guest speakers
98. Voting systems
99. WebQuests
100. Wikis
101. Worksheets

"...this is an essential book for those new to teaching information literacy, and a useful addition to the collection of experienced practitioners. It is certainly one to which I will return in the future."
- Journal of Information Literacy

"Whilst acknowledging the proliferation of existing and emerging books or chapters about information literacy, British co-authors Blanchett, Powis and Webb have deliberately set out to publish a different kind of compilation, specifically ‘a series of hints and tips, together with some best practice guidelines’. They have succeeded in this, acknowledging input from many colleagues based at De Montfort and Northamption universities, JISC Netskills and elsewhere...All told, this is a great collection for advancing librarians’ teaching repertoires. Its utility is strengthened by both the brevity of individual entries and the span of practical issues covered."
- Australian Library Journal

"As a librarian who has delivered a range of information literacy sessions, this book has provided me with ideas that I have already incorporated into my own teaching. I would recommend this easy to read book to both new and experienced practitioners who are interested in finding out more about teaching information literacy."
- Library and Information Research

"This new book from Facet“does what it says on the tin”. For those involved in teaching information literacy it provides a great introduction to teaching and learning, and how to apply both of these in an Information Literacy setting...this is a book that can be ‘dipped into’ if you are ever stuck for ideas for an Information Literacy/Study Skills teaching session. It gives you the pedagogic theory to back up the teaching delivery and activities, a range of delivery types to suit both beginners and experienced trainers, and a wide range of activities designed to encourage learning in differing learner groups."
- Managing Information

"...a very practical book of well organised tips, highly recommended for librarians new to teaching."
- Australian Academic and Research Libraries

"This text will serve as a great resource for instructors looking for inspiration. Whether it's just a small tweak or a complete reimagining, A Guide to Teaching Information Literacy offers some interesting and creative suggestions for improving instructional practice."
- Partnership

Helen Blanchett, Netskills Consultant Trainer, Newcastle University Information Systems and Services. 

Chris Powis, Deputy Director (Academic Services), Information Services, The University of Northampton.

Jo Webb, Academic Services Manager, De Montfort University.

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