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Inclusive Library Instruction: Best Practices

Action items and suggestions for inclusive teaching in the library classroon.

UM Inclusive Instruction Toolkit

The following is a best practices list created by Deirdre Hirschtritt for her appointment as University Library Associate with University of Michigan Library.

  1. Ask the instructor if any students require accommodations
  2. Use materials and examples that represent a diversity of identities and backgrounds
  3. Provide captions or transcripts for videos
  4. Ensure the physical space can be used by all students
  5. Moderate your speaking voice so that all students can understand you, speak slowly and clearly
  6. Be approachable and available to all students
  7. Try to present important concepts in multiple formats (i.e. verbally, in writing, print, and digitally)
  8. When demonstrating the library website move slowly and use the names of each item as they appear on the page
  9. Try to stay away from jargon and ensure you explain all the terms you use (i.e. subject terms, discovery search, ILL, etc.)
  10. Give students a variety of methods for interacting with the material (i.e. group work, lecture, etc.)

Things to Consider

Other things to keep in mind while planning inclusive teaching sessions:

  • Think about who is being left out by a particular approach.
  • More structure works better for more people
  • Too little structure inhibits learning and development

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