Bibliographic Instruction is Not a Home Run Derby

From the Pegasus Librarian:

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, though, it’s been that I am not there to teach the students how to find, evaluate, and use information. I tried that with a couple of courses, and it failed. Miserably.

No, I’m there to do two things: to give the students a couple of skills they need right now, and to spark their imaginations about what could be possible if they decided to make a habit of this research stuff.

To go into another metaphor for what Iris has written, bibliographic instruction is not a home run derby. It’s not a matter of trying to get everything in one swing. You just want to get the person on base and tell them how they are in scoring position. It’s not your one and only chance to reach people, but it is the first chance to tell them about what you have to offer. Time is limited, so pick the basics and give them a preview of what else is out there. Leave the door open for those who want to know more about what else they can learn.

As the old showbiz adage goes, “Always leave them wanting more.” With bibliographic instruction, the same entertainment advice holds true.