Category Archives: Library Instruction

Press Release for ‘Learner-Centered Pedagogy’

Our book, Learner-Centered Pedagogy, which has been available for pre-order for a little while, is now going to be officially released by ALA and begin shipping on June 22. And if  you’re going to be at ALA annual, the ALA store will have some copies for sale.

Both Dani and I now both have copies in our hands, and we must say that we’re extremely pleased with the book. ALA took really great care with the cover, layout, and presentation of the book. We’d like to thank everyone involved, and give special thanks to our acquisitions editor at ALA, Patrick Hogan, for supporting the project, and for the high and somewhat unusual degree of autonomy he gave us over the book.

The book is something we worked really hard on, writing it mostly at night and in our free time, and it’s crazy to see something of this scope go from its initial stages to come to fruition in an actual, published book. We both really put our selves into it, and feel proud to have written an evidence based book that puts students first in our instruction and practice of librarianship.

If you’re interested in ordering a copy, you can use the following code to get $5 off our purchase if you acquire the book directly from the ALA Store:

COUPON CODe: LCPP17

I’ve gone ahead and pasted the text of ALA’s Press Release for the book below ( and if you’re so inclined you can see the whole thing here).

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Filed under Bibliographic Instruction is Dead, Education, Library Instruction, On Being Human, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, The Library Game

Carl Rogers on Creativity

Perhaps the most fundamental condition of creativity is that the source or locus of evaluative judgment is internal. The value of the product is, for the creative person, established not by the praise or criticism of others, but by himself. Have I created something satisfying to me? Does it express a part of me – my feeling or my thought, my pain or my ecstasy? These are the only questions which really matter to the creative person, or to any person who is being creative.

This does not mean that he is oblivious to, or unwilling to be aware of, the judgments of others. It is simply that the basis of evaluation lies within himself, in his own organismic reaction to and appraisal of his product. If to the person it has the “feel” of being “me in action,” of being an actualization of potentialities in himself which heretofore have not existed and are now emerging into existence, then it is satisfying and creative, and no outside evaluation can change that fundamental fact.

Carl Rogers, “Toward a Theory of Creativity,” in On Becoming a Person, p. 354.

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, On Being Human, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel, Quotes, The Library Game

“Learner-Centered Pedagogy” Textbook Adoption for LIS Instructors

If you are an LIS instructor teaching in a library school, we wanted to let you know that if you are considering adopting our forthcoming book Learner-Centered Pedagogy as a text in one of your Fall courses, you can request examination/desk copies from ALA using the following form. The book, which is currently available for pre-order, is on time for its scheduled June 22 publication date this summer.

One of our goals in writing the book is that it could serve as a useful, up-to-date, student-friendly text for LIS instructors to use in instruction or reference courses, and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have if you’d like to get in touch.

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel

Learner-Centered Pedagogy Book: “Rest of World Edition”

We posted recently about our fothcoming book Learner-Centered Pedagogy, which is being published by ALA Editions and should be released on June 22nd of this year.

The book will also be published in the UK and elsewhere by Facet Publishing, the publishing wing of CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

You can now check out the details and pre-order the book via the Facet Publishing website.

The version of the book will be mostly identical to the U.S. edition from ALA, though there’s a different cover, which you can see below.

I thought this might be of interest to some readers, since I know we have many people reading who are not from the States.

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel

A Mother****ing Keyword Triumph

About one or twice a week a student I had in a for-credit information literacy class last semester will drop by the reference desk when I’m working it and she’s studying in the library to stop and chat with me. She’s an international student living in America (and Los Angeles (God help her)) for the first time, so often we’ll not only chat about her schoolwork, but whatever issues may come up for her as an ESL student.

The other day she came by and, as we were talking, mentioned that one of her instructors swears quite frequently and that she thinks it’s amusing. She asked me what I thought about that and I told her that I don’t swear in class or at work because it can be alienating to people (though in my personal life I can barely go a sentence without saying fuck (a fact that I didn’t mention for professional reasons)).

We kind of got talking about this, and language differences between her home country and L.A., and she asked me what the equivalent swear-word was in English for a particular phrase referring to saying something not especially nice about someone’s mother.

I jokingly said something along the lines of, “Well, there’s no way I’m going to tell you but it does present an interesting dilemma … How would you go about searching for a phrase like that when you don’t actually know the exact phrase?”

Her response: “Oh! You mean like keywords!!!!” after which she began typing quickly into her laptop.

After about thirty seconds she looked up at me.

“Professor Klipfel! I figured it out.”

“Cool,” I said.

“IT’S MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!” she said.

“Very good. But what did you type in.”

“I typed in “English” “Mother” and “Bad Word” into Google. I even used your keyword chart!”

Just another information literacy triumph.

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, On Being Human, Posts by Kevin Michael Klipfel

Is the ‘Reference Desk’ Student-Centered? (Guest Post by Melissa Harden)

Over the last ten to twenty years, academic libraries have experimented with different reference services models (tiered service model, roving reference, etc.) and desk configurations (unified service point, separate desks, no desk at all). The goal has been to improve user experience while also using the librarian’s time more efficiently. But even when new ideas for services or physical spaces are implemented, some libraries still refer to these services and desks by an old name: “reference.”

We often talk about student-centered learning in our instruction, and we aim to design user-centered physical and virtual spaces. Which leads me to a key question: Is calling the reference service point a “reference desk” taking a user-centered approach? We have long been reminded that we should avoid using jargon when communicating with patrons, including on signage. I would argue that the term “reference” slips into jargon territory.

But what other word or phrase best communicates what we offer? Reference work has changed over the years, and we’re now spending very little time on basic questions and more time on helping users grapple with big ideas and concepts related to finding, using, and creating information. However, some users may not know that we can help them navigate the more complex stuff. The term “reference” doesn’t seem to communicate it very well, either.

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Filed under Education, Guest Posts, Library Instruction, The Library Game

The Language of Learning

A few weeks ago, I had coffee with my talented colleague Robin Katz, and we talked about teaching things, just like you might expect. I was struck then, and in a later co-consult with a faculty member, how Robin talked about “learning goals” for library sessions, and how that language choice really seemed to open the door to seeing librarians and course instructors in collaboration about the library session.

Now, of course, for those precisionists among us (I see you), there is a difference between “learning goals” and “learning outcomes,” and what we usually actually mean when we talk about the library session is outcomes, BUT:

  • I learned long ago (and probably many of you did too) that people get a bit less excited to talk to you when you start talking in the language of assessment, so I usually ask questions like, “What do you hope your students will be able to do after the library session?” instead of using the word “outcome.”
  • There’s just something about the word “goal” that really resonates: It’s aspirational, and encourages us to try new things. It gives us something collaborative to work toward, together.

And in a conversation with an instructor, it seems to me that the precise definition of terms doesn’t matter–it’s the outcome of the conversation that is valuable (see what I did there?).

Since that coffee, I’ve started incorporating the language of “learning goals” into my discussions with course instructors, and I think it’s making a difference. When I go back to plan my class, I do return to thinking about “outcomes,” but that’s for my own personal use.

All of this is just to say that I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the language that we use to describe what we do, and how we do it. Have you had any experiences like this, where a language change seems to have made a difference? I’d love to hear about it!

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Filed under Education, Library Instruction, Posts by Dani Brecher