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Teaching tools for librarians are wide ranging: good teachers always match teaching to content and learning goals.  In-person classes and workshops are not the only teaching tools in our arsenals.  Librarians have always used print resources such as pathfinders as teaching tools, but what else can and should we use?  Examples of great teaching tools might include:


Reading List

Keeping up to date is an ongoing challenge. Far more is written about libraries, teaching, and technology than one person could ever read. Here are just a few resources, online and in print; feel free to suggest more in the comments.


  • boyd, danah. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. Yale University Press, 2014.
    • The idea that teens share too much – and therefore don’t care about privacy – is now so entrenched in public discourse that research showing that teens do desire privacy and work to get it is often ignored by the media.
  • Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things. Basic Books, NY. Revised and expanded edition, 2013.
    • “Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault…lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology.”
  • Palfrey, John, & Gasser, Urs. Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. Basic Books, NY. 2008.
    • “This is the most rapid period of technological transformation ever, at least when it comes to information.”

Websites and Articles

  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “Safeguarding intellectual freedom: Rights and responsibilities of librarians in Massachusetts.” Accessed 8/19/14.
    • “Librarians open up a world of knowledge and information to people of all ages. Now more than ever, it’s critical that these stewards of enlightenment know their rights and responsibilities with respect to government demands for patron information—whether in person or via electronic means.”
  • American Library Association (ALA). “Choose Privacy Week.” Annually, first week of May.
    • “Choose Privacy Week is an initiative that invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age. The campaign gives libraries the tools they need to educate and engage users, and gives citizens the resources to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy.”
  • Fowler, Geoffrey A. “Why the Public Library Beats Amazon – For Now.” Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2014.
    • “More than 90% of American public libraries have amassed e-book collections you can read on your [e-reading device].” (Link to Digital Inclusion Survey, funded by the IMLS)
  • Head, Alison J. “Project Information Literacy: What Can Be Learned About the Information-Seeking Behavior of Today’s College Students?” ACRL, 2013. [PDF | PIL home]
  • Hubbard, John. Library Link of the Day (RSS or e-mail service)
  • Macrina, Alison. Privacy Tools. Watertown Free Public Library. Accessed 8/19/14.
  • Rundle, Hugh. “Who Are You Empowering?In The Library with the Lead Pipe. May 21, 2014.
    • “When considering how we can use technology, librarians must remember our core values, and our mission of empowering an informed and free citizenry.”

Resources for teaching older adults (compiled by Annie Glater of Acton Memorial Library)

  • Chaffin, A.J. & Harlow, S.D.  (2005). Cognitive learning applied to older adult learners and technology. Educational Gerontology, 31 (4), 301-329. Accessed June 2014 from: http://www.anitacrawley.net/Articles/Chaffin%20COGNITIVE%20LEARNING%20APPLIED%20TO%20OLDER%20ADULT.pdf
  • Garcia, E., Giret, A., & Salido, M. A. (2012). Experiences training the elderly to use computers and Internet. INTED2012 Proceedings, 928-934.
  • McMurtrey, M. E., Downey, J. P., Zeltmann, S. M., & McGaughey, R. E. (2012). Seniors and information technology: A MIS-Fit?. Journal of International Technology and Information Management21(4), 1. Available through Academic OneFile, Business Insights: Essentials, General Business File ASAP
  • Naumanen, M., & Tukiainen, M. (2007). Guiding the elderly into the use of computers and Internet–Lessons taught and learnt. Proceedings of cognition and exploratory learning in digital age, 19-27. Accessed June 2014 from: http://cs.uef.fi/pages/int/pub/naumanen07b.pdf
  • Naumanen, M., & Tukiainen, M. (2008). Practices in old age ICT-education. Proceedings of cognition and exploratory learning in digital age, 261-269. Accessed June 2014 from: http://cs.uef.fi/pages/int/pub/naumanen08b.pdf
  • Oinas-Kukkonen, H., Hohtari, S., & Pekkola, S. (2010). Organizing end-user training: a case study of an e-bank and its elderly customers. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing (JOEUC)22(4), 95-112. Available through Academic OneFile, Expanded Academic ASAP, General OneFile, General Reference Center Gold, Student Resources In Context

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