Surveying Libraries to Identify Best Practices for a Menu Approach for Library Instruction Requests
© Copyright 2009 Benjes-Small, Dorner, and Schroeder
A challenging situation has developed in regards to library instruction. With increases in both the quantity of information and the variety of information technologies being made available to researchers, the information literacy landscape is getting more complex. Simultaneously, the time allotted for library instruction is remaining essentially the same. In order to market the breadth of content available for library instruction sessions and to promote collaboration between librarians and teaching faculty in order to create optimal instruction sessions an 'a la carte menu' approach to library instruction requests was adopted by Radford University in 2004. Since the late 1990s a number of community colleges and universities have included some type of menu in their instruction request forms or documentation and the authors desired to understand what approach these institutions had taken and whether they were effective in marketing instruction and improving communication between library instructors and teaching faculty. They analyzed forty-seven adaptations of the menu available on the web and surveyed the librarians who created them. In this article the authors present the findings of the web analysis and the survey, and recommendations are given for using the menu approach to library instruction requests.