Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Inclusive Pedagogy for Library Instruction

Best Practices

Based on readings, speakers, and experience, the IP4LI group identified a number of best practices for inclusive pedagogy which can be integrated into library instruction, including one-shot sessions.

Strategic Best Practices

Identify and partner with:

  • National, consortial, and professional groups, such as:
  • Campus strategic initiatives
    • Quality Enhancement Plans
    • Strategic Plans/Goals
    • Diversity and Inclusion Offices
  • Teaching and Learning Centers
  • Faculty and Staff Educators
  • Student Groups, such as:
    • Bonner Scholars
    • Student Government Association
    • Multicultural Student Groups
    • Peer Tutors

Pre-Instruction Preparation Best Practices

Incorporate reflection into planning & follow-up

  • Guided worksheet that includes inclusive considerations for class preparation
  • Reflect afterwards
  • Prepare for the worst case scenario and what you can do to address it

Write your own diversity and inclusion statement

  • Could include in introductions, classes, libguide about class dynamics and considerations

Ask instructor of record about class dynamics and accommodations

  • Are you using IP in class?
  • Are there special accommodations for students

Multimodal expression of class expectations

  • Verbalizing, not just written statements on safety, accessibility
  • TPS on the syllabus
  • Class conduct agreements - does class already have one for one-shots? Possibly google forms or pre-activity. Librarians providing expectations. Convey our professional expectations.

Classroom Engagement

Incorporate universal design, for example:

  • LibGuides are visually accessible, responsive, download/size for loading
  • Size for reading, alt text
  • Visual AND textual explanations
  • Color considerations
  • Captioning on videos

Utilize diverse examples

  • Using inclusive examples for catalog and database searching
  • Acknowledging problematic examples
  • Introducing critical questions about authority, exclusion
  • Using examples that are critical of the scholarly ecosystem
  • Using databases that focus on D&I
  • Pulling in primary/special collections/archives for unique examples
  • “Underrepresented groups” handout or tab

Time Use Strategies

  • “Here’s what we didn’t cover”/these are the most important things handout or tab
  • Flip the classroom

Recognize and acknowledge student expertise and experience

  • What do you find challenging about the library?
  • What confuses you?
  • What is working for you?
  • Could do a survey ahead of class
  • Could do an anonymous card and redistribute in class to read aloud


  • Jargon
  • Cultural assumptions
  • Connect to the why
  • Anonymous contributions

Utilizing active learning

  • Students in control
  • Students bringing their own experiences
  • Think Pair Share
  • Minute Papers
  • Socratic Questioning


  • Notecards for remaining questions, concerns with email for
  • Socratic Questioning
  • Providing content (worksheets, presentations) to professor or class to share afterwards
  • LibGuides with more information and for follow-up

Using student’s names

  • Ask the person to introduce themselves everytime they speak
  • Use the time before class when folks are first entering to introduce yourself
  • Name tents
  • Go around
  • Stress why you are asking - it’s important for me to know you
  • Getting roster from faculty before students arrive - and also possibly pronouns

Introduce ourselves

  • Acknowledge your experiences and positions
  • Putting information on syllabi/LMS/LibGuides/Email signatures etc.
The Inclusive Pedagogy for Library Instruction project (IP4LI) is a collaboration of librarians from several small, liberal arts colleges to discover resources and best practices for applying inclusive pedagogy in library instruction settings, particularly one-shot sessions. It is supported by a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South.
Birmingham-Southern College Davidson College Furman University Sewanee - The University of the South University of Richmond Washington & Lee University