Database Demolition: Exploding the Scope of Information Literacy and Leading Through Pedagogy

Librarian for Research and Electronic Resources
Holy Names University
Nicole Branch
Librarian for Research and Digitization
Holy Names University
John M. Jackson
Reference & Instruction Librarian
Wardman Library, Whittier College


A panel of instructional librarians will demonstrate how to become pedagogical leaders on campus by moving away from traditional database demonstrations and expanding the scope of information literacy topics covered in instruction sessions. The panel will share actionable elements of successful one-shot lesson planning, including detailed learning outcomes, classroom activities, presentation styles, and assessment. Attendees will work in groups to construct their own innovative lesson plans and receive immediate peer feedback.


Despite the depth and scope of information literacy standards, librarians on many campuses continue to be cast as providers of “bibliographic instruction.” Many lesson plans continue to emphasize database search and retrieval and often don’t wade into meatier aspects of information literacy.  Taking the plunge into instruction that strategically steers away from resource search and retrieval to focus on higher-order information literacy skills can help transform the perception of librarians.  Creative instruction broadcasts and promotes librarians as pedagogical leaders on campus while also supporting the full development of students as information literate.

This session will provide librarians with insight into using the instructor role as a tool to promote library leadership in higher education as well as practical tips to redesign information literacy instruction.  A panel of instructional librarians will discuss how creative instruction has impacted their role as leaders on campus as well as successful topics, lessons, and activities. The presenters will demonstrate successful workshop ideas geared toward a mix of learning outcomes to show how inquiry-based learning that engages a range and depth of topics can create more active, participatory classrooms, even when constrained to the one-shot dynamic.  Featured lesson plans include:

  • Occupy APA: A protest-themed citation workshop;
  • Scholarly Publication:  A student-led investigation on how to publish scientific papers that provides insight into scholarly writing;
  • Topic and Thesis Statement Development:  Instruction on how to develop a detailed, nuanced thesis statement that launches the research process;
  • Integrating Sources:  Instruction on how to integrate sources into a paper in a cohesive, synthesized way.

Attendees will then build on the panel’s examples by working in groups to share and construct their own innovative lesson plans, sharpening their ideas with the input of their peers.

The goal of this session is to share a tangible model for integrating library leadership through instruction and education practice.  Attendees will gain practical, actionable ideas for one-shot information literacy instruction that goes away from tried-but-trite database demonstrations and prompts students to think about the world of information that surrounds them. Participants will leave with a conceptual framework and concrete ideas to bring back to their home institutions.

Presentation Materials


Date and time: 
Sun, 04/06/2014 - 12:15pm - 1:30pm


Monterey [LL]