Best of 2018, Part 1

2018 spiral bound calendar

Image Credit: Imama Lavi, from

As the year draws to a close, I’ll continue my tradition of sharing ten favorite articles of 2018.  Here are the first five in alphabetical order by author:

Bonnet, J. L., Herakova, L., & McAlexander, B. (2018). Play on? Comparing active learning techniques for information literacy instruction in the public speaking course. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 44(4), 500–510.

Since the first two authors are from the University of Maine, this piece showcases some regional talent.  It also offers a thoughtful approach to gamification.  The authors compare a gamified instruction session with a more standard active learning session and with a control group (p. 502).  The particular technique–in and of itself–matters less than does the fit with desired instructional outcomes (p. 506).

Brownlie, S. R. (2018). It’s a win-win: Using human peer to peer networks to reach learners where they are. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 12.

The author works for the University of Maine Augusta, so this is a year to highlight UMaine system talent.  In this piece she discusses basic library training for peer tutors serving distance students.  As she points out, the service helps librarians reach these students at scale.  Given the prevalence of online courses, this point is extremely relevant.

Carter, S., Koopmans, H., & Whiteside, A. (2018). Crossing the studio art threshold: Information literacy and creative populations. Communications in Information Literacy, 12(1).

The authors review the literature on information literacy instruction for studio art and design students.  Arts librarians continue to adapt their instruction to meet the unique research needs of this population.   With my fondness for arts librarianship I admit to some self-indulgence in choosing this piece.  All the same students in other disciplines have use for less conventional information sources as well.

Dubicki, E., & Bucks, S. (2018). Tapping government sources for course assignments. Reference Services Review, 46(1), 29-41. doi: 10.1108/RSR-10-2017-0039

Since I see more and more research topics where government information would be appropriate, this piece caught my attention.  The authors conclude with useful ideas for incorporating government information into outreach and instruction (p. 40).

Kordas, M., & Thompson, T. (2018). Better together: A collaborative model for embedded music librarianship. Music Reference Services Quarterly, 21(1), 1-11. doi: 10.1080/10588167.2017.1354647

I have soft spots for music librarianship and for embedded librarianship, so this piece is especially self-indulgent.  Still, aspects of the authors’ model can apply to embedded library situations in other fields.   For example the librarians offer targeted presentations (p. 8).

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