Serving Notice on the One-Shot: Changing Roles for Instruction Librarians

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International Information and Library Review, ISSN: 1095-9297, Vol: 48, Issue: 2, Page: 137-142

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Melissa Bowles-Terry; Carrie Donovan
Informa UK Limited
Social Sciences; academic libraries; consultation; information literacy; instruction; instructional design; Public services
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article description
As with any library service that emerges at the demand of faculty and students, rather than through strategic and evidence-based planning, library instruction has hadmany iterations since its early days in academic libraries. Through this evolution, library instruction inspired librarians to embrace their roles as educators and influenced a profession-wide movement known as information literacy. With internal evaluations that point to student and faculty satisfaction aswell as external studies that point to at least some impact on student success, it is no surprise that statistics for the primary instructional method of many librarians, the one-shot instruction session, have increased over time. The popularity of this method has overwhelmed public services to the extent thatmany instruction programs cannot meet the demand for requests, nor can they escape the inevitable burnout fromrepetitive content and limited reach that go hand-in-handwith one-shots. At its best, the one-shot instruction session is away for librarians to support student researchers within the context of a course. At its worst, the one-shot marginalizes the pedagogical expertise of librarians whose efforts could result in more sustainable and influential educational initiatives given the space, time, and support to move toward new roles.