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Management & Futures

At the completion of this section, you should be able to:

Begin by viewing the class presentation in Vimeo. Then, read each of the sections of this page.

Explore each of the following topics on this page:

Course Guides

calendarStudents need varying degrees of support for their learning. Think of a course guide as a "personal assistant" sitting next to the student as they work their way through the course materials. The guide can facilitate activities, help students stay on track, and provide direction.

Your course guide will include a syllabus and calendar, along with learning guides and scaffolds to support student learning.

The syllabus and calendar provide an overview to the course, along with detailing the course materials, requirements, and procedures.

If the course will be reused, design a standard syllabus. Then update the calendar with each offering.


Although some schools require a specific format for your syllabus, you may have flexibility in the elements. Consider including the following elements:


instructionProvide a specific calendar with

Clearly state if due dates are related to a particular time zone.

If flexibility is available, be sure to provide guidelines for making a request. For instance if you're willing to provide extensions, indicate the requirements for contacting the instructor.

Keep in mind that even one-shot workshops benefit from a syllabus and calendar. The syllabus by simply include a workshop description, objectives, contact information, and resources for further information. Or, simply provide an agenda outlining the key topics and times.

Learning Environment Management

teacherWhether planning independently or partnering with a faculty member, information skills activities that incorporate an inquiry-based approach require a different type of management style than traditional teaching.

The librarian must plan an environment with the following characteristics:


Although the process will be unique for each student, the librarian must anticipate student needs and be ready for the teachable moment. Rather than whole group instruction, consider learning centers that can be accessed as students find the need for a particular skill. Develop pathfinders that learners can use to guide information gathering. Prepare mini-lessons focusing on skills needed during specific stages in the process.


Information inquiry requires a flexible learning environment. Students will be working at different speeds and experience needs for a variety of materials and assistance. Students need easy access to the library, computer resources, and learning centers. They also need opportunities to send email, conduct an interview, or visit an area park.


Strive to develop an authentic environment. In this type of environment students have timelines, resources, and assignments that are meaningful and connected to a "real world" issue or problem. It's much easier for students to stay on track and stick to a timeline when they know that their decisions will impact others or their experiment results will be shared with another class.

Learning Community

Create a sense of community in the classroom. Rather than students always looking to the teacher for answers, build a sense of shared responsibility for learning that asks students to learn together. This can be accomplished through the use of a shared theme, group experience, or collaborative product.

Cohort Groups

Create small, collaborative learning groups that will follow the inquiry process together. These groups can serve many functions.

Management Tools

To be successful, students must be organized and aware of the inquiry process. Checklists, timelines, and concept maps help students keep track of their progress. These tools also help a teacher anticipate questions and resource needs.


Although students may use a wide range of resources to complete a project, the teacher librarian can produce pathfinders to streamline the process of identifying and locating materials. Pathfinders include background information, basic print and nonprint materials, search strategies, suggested topics, and exploration guidance.

Planning Documents

Provide students with help in project planning as well as with the inquiry process. Project planning helpers include project guidelines, timelines, task sheets, checklists, and rubrics. Inquiry process scaffolds facilitate student learning. Scaffolds are needed for reception, transformation, and product development. Reception scaffolds include tools such as anticipation guides, KWL sheets, and graphical organizers. Transformation scaffolds include comparison charts, notetaking tools, and cause/effect diagrams. Production scaffolds help students produce final products and include software templates and helpers.


Information skills taught in isolation are ineffective. Instead, develop mini-lessons that can be used at the "teachable moment." When students are ready to take notes, introduce a mini-lesson on citing sources. When learners encounter the need to e-mail an expert, provide a mini-lesson in electronic letter writing.


Management and Distance Learning

student computerYou can find an endless array of tools for developing distance learning courses. There's no single way to get started. Some people prefer to start small and use their word processor for web page development. Others prefer a package specifically designed for web page development such as Adobe's Dreamweaver . Many schools are using packages such as Blackboard for course building.

Consider the following issues:

try itTry It!
Libraries are increasingly viewed as a place to learn about community employment opportunities, acquire job hunting skills, and prepare for new jobs or the GED. 

Read Employment Search Support and think about how you could develop an online opportunity related to employment and education for your patrons.

Meet Individual Needs

In the real-world of online teaching, you'll have a variety of students, consider how you will meet the needs of your diverse student population.


You’ll have students who…

Teacher Tips

Teaching online is different than teaching face-to-face.

Consider the following tips for teaching online:

Update Web-based Materials Regularly

As we prepare distance learning course material and share information over the Internet, we create more web pages and, frequently, multiple web sites, perhaps on numerous web servers. As creators of this material, in most cases, we also take on the responsibility to maintain and update these web sites and web pages.

The following systematic process will allow you to revisit each site and each page at least annually.

  1. Create a monthly review calendar. The calendar should list each web site that contains pages you have created and for which you are responsible. Hint: If you are starting on the fly, and have multiple sites, created by semester. Feel free to reassign sites among months to even the work load across months.
  2. Each web site review should begin with the question: Is this site still needed? Follow this with the question: Are each of the pages in this site needed? If the answer for web page, or web site, is NO, remove it. Hint: You may want to create a file or a disk to which you transfer removed files for a period of time. Be sure to review this file regularly, also. Don't forget that you probably have one copy of the page on the web server and another copy in your own computer as well.
  3. The second step of your review of each web site might be to review the layout, the hierarchy, and organization of the pages in the site. Was it well organized from the beginning? Does it need some work? Perhaps you need to add a site redesign to your "To Do" list. If only a few changes need to be made, do it as part of the review and do not postpone it.
  4. Each site then should be reviewed page by page. This review should look for bad links, outdated images and grammatical and usage errors. Also check that any new policies that have been implemented by your organization are reflected in each of your pages. Consider adding "page redesign" to your "To Do" list, also, for major problems found.
  5. Revised pages should each be rechecked. Don't forget to provide "courtesy information" on each page: an email reply link to you, and the date of most recent update. This makes your information useful to readers, and, provides a feedback link from your reader - a benefit to each of you.



The world of information instruction is constantly changing.



From help pages on library websites to self-contained information literacy courses, e-learning has become an important part of library services.

Read Starting Points for Libraries and e-Learning.
Think about your e-learning presence.


Online Credit Course

While many teachers rely on one-shot sessions for information literacy instruction, an increasing number of institutions are shifting to online, credit-based courses.

Read Why One-shot Information Literacy Sessions Are Not the Future of Instruction: A Case for Online Credit Courses by Yvonne Mery, Jill Newby, and Ke Peng (2012).

Open Source Materials

If you work at a public institution and spend time developing materials, why not make them available to everyone? Increasingly, educators are sharing their materials online so others can access the resources.

Check out the free online courses from edX and CourseRa! Check out information technology courses for examples.

Varied Approaches to Information Literacy

finalWhile the embedded librarian approach is gaining in popularity, there's also an increasing number of universities are offering separate, credit-bearing classes related to information literacy. These range from face-to-face seminars to online courses.

In Information literacy in United Kingdom schools: evolution, current state and prospects, Streatfield (2011) and others describes the current status and future of information literacy in the UK schools. They identify three approach:

In Looking to the future: Developing an academic skills strategy to ensure information literacy thrives in a changing higher education world by Helen Howard (2012) identified two conclusions. First, she recommends that student skills development be placed in the content-area curriculum. Second, she recommends that these skills be part of the larger academic skills agenda rather than a stand-alone program.

Read Academic libraries and the credit-bearing class: a practical approach by Margaret Burke. This article explores concerns and key issues associated with information literacy courses including assessment, delivery method, embedded classes and retention.


Seven Keys to Success

librarianAs you develop engaging environments for information instruction, use the following ideas to guide your work:

  1. Start small.
  2. Chunk content and match activities.
  3. Adapt what you already do.
  4. Replace activities that aren't effective, efficient, and appealing.
  5. Take risks and expect some problems.
  6. Learn from failures.
  7. Share your successes.

try itTry It:

Create a plan. 
Start small and focused. Then, expand.


Burke, Margaret (2012). Academic libraries and the credit-bearing class: a practical approach. Communications in Information Literacy, 5(2).

Howard, Helen (2012). Looking to the future: Developing an academic skills strategy to ensure information literacy thrives in a changing higher education world. Journal of information literacy, 6(1), 72-81.

Streatfield, D., Shaper, S., Markless, S., and Rae-Scott, S. (2011). Information literacy in United Kingdom schools: evolution, current state and prospects. Journal of information literacy, 5(2), 5-25.


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