Be infosavvy in just six words

Research can be messy.  Have fun!*

Yes, I was the baby in the photo.   Take note of the caption, though:  I wrote it as an example of the six-word memoir.    This seemingly simple format has a variety of uses.

Robert Miller (2011) uses six-word memoirs to spark reflection after library instruction.  John Yohe (2010) uses them as an icebreaker.  Fershleiser and Smith (2008) have even compiled a book of them.  At the very least students can gain practice writing succinctly.

The best way to learn about these memoirs is to write some.  I’ll share two more of mine:

  • The weather’s humid.  Printers will jam.
  • Follow up.  Once is not enough.

Have fun with them yourself.  After all, information literacy is about lifelong learning.


Fershleiser, R., & Smith, L. (Eds.). (2008).  Not quite what I was planning: Six-word memoirs by writers famous and obscure.  New York: HarperPerennial.

Miller, R.  (2011).  I came, I saw, I researched: Students reflect on library life in six-word memoirs.  College & Research Libraries News, 72(6), pp. 338-340, 356.

Yohe, J. (2010).  Using six-word memoirs as an icebreaker and introduction to the writing process.  Teaching English in the Two Year College, 38(1), 80-81.  Retrieved from

*Photo from the private collection of Maureen Perry