Reading list: March

It`s been a while since I have written about items on my reading list. The reason is, as so often before, that other tasks were prioritised. We are just now in the process of learning a new library system (Alma) that will replace the current Bibsys (been around for 40 years!) later this year. Things like this tend to take up some time, and it`s hard to keep focus on the big picture, like learning, developing new services, when maintenance issues like a new library system are coming. Still, I am hoping to have time to get some reading done before the Bachelor`s thesis marathon begins.


Image of the book: "The one-shot library instruction survival guide"While most librarians are walking quickly away from one-shot instruction (and not looking back), there are those who are trying to make a case for one-shot library instruction. I am currently reading “THe one-shot library instruction survival guide” by Buchanan and McDonough (2014). I have to admit that when I saw the title I was surprised that someone would publish a book about one-shot instruction in 2014, thinking that it was a thing of the past. I was so surprised that I just had to buy the book and have a look at these ideas.

The first thing that caught my eye in the book was that the authors claim that it IS possible to plan, integrate and assess lessons, even in one-shot settings. I have always thought of one-shots as lessons that are completely separated from the other content in a subject/course. I have always thought one-shot instruction equaled the “milk and spinach” approach (1) (p.17). Right off the bat, this gave me a new opinion on the whole idea of one-shots. I still think that we (meaning librarians) have to integrate our lessons more, and that we must try to get more involved in the writing processes that go on in many cources. It takes time to build new skills, and I don`t think that one-shots can really help students understand the need to invest time in learning these skills. For that you need to be more involved in the entire course. Still, I am starting to think that there MAY be room for some one-shots where there is a good understanding between librarians and teachers on planning, learning outcomes and assessment.

I haven`t been through all the chapters yet, but there are chapters on how to collaborate with teachers, a chapter on classroom strategies, a chapter on assessment and one on coping with the mass of students wanting your help on assignments. I have had a brief look at all the chapters, and read the first ones more carefully. I think it was well worth my time, and I`ll definitely think about some of the strategies suggested here.

Buchanan, H. E.&B. McDonough (2014) The one-shot library instruction survival guide. Chicago: ALA Editions.

Other items on my reading list for March and April include:

Brabazon, T. (2013) Digital dieting: From information obesity to intellectual fitness. Farnham: Ashgate.

– a book on how we are to deal with the vast amount of information available, and how we can teach our students to take control over the information. Looking forward to this one! Tara Brabazon has a unique way of writing and presenting, and hearing her at LILAC (conference) in 2012 was a joy!

I am also reading some articles about how college freshmen use information, particularly using Project Information Literacy (PIL)/ Alison Head`s “Learning the ropes” from 2013. Great stuff! I recommend having a look at Project Information Literacy`s website. Lots of important and interesting information.

Head, A. J. (2013) Learning the ropes: How freshmen conduct course research once they enter college [online]. URL: (07.02.2014).

At home I am reading a mix of novels and documentaries at the moment:

Mak, G.& E. Rasmussen (2014) USA: en reise. [Oslo]: Cappelen Damm.

– travels through the US, following in Steinbeck`s travels in 1960. Very interesting, but a rather slow read. Many details and names..

Winslow, S. (2014) The persuasion of Miss Jane Austen. London (?): Heather Ridge arts

and a couple of others.. Oh, the joys of a good book! 🙂



(1) Meaning that the teacher wants students to have library instruction because it “is good for them” in a general sense, without any real connection to specific tasks or learning outcomes.