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As American society is changing due to new technologies and globalization, institutions of higher education have had to implement new teaching and learning practices to address student success, especially among Black students. Working collaboratively with college administrators and faculty, instructional librarians are in a unique position to participate in a variety of instructional programs to teach information, communication and technology (ICT) literacy. For Black Instructional Librarians working with underserved college students, many who are Black, they understand the importance in helping these students to develop a high level of ICT literacy skills, not only to attain academic success, but also to foster career success and lifelong learning. A series of personal interviews and focus group sessions were conducted with a group of experienced (7 to 40 years) Black Instructional Librarians from both public and private academic institutions to gain insight and understanding about the strategies and techniques they use in their library credit courses to ensure Black students are given the best opportunity to succeed in academia and beyond. Black Instructional Librarians teach to transform by challenging students to think critically, question established principles upheld by a dominant few and formulate an understanding that takes into account varying points of view. Incorporating these instructional approaches as well as critical pedagogy, self-assessment, and contemplative practices (e.g., journaling), Black Instructional Librarians build confidence and offer validation to underserved students, namely Black students, thus helping to contribute to their retention. Detailed discussion is offered on such topics as: the importance of library credit courses as part of general education requirements; active learning and “real-world” problems as a means for increasing student engagement; mentoring and relationship building to increase retention; teaching to appeal to different learning styles and disabilities; surmounting the difficulties of teaching those emotionally/physically abused; and the challenges of distance education.


Ellis, L.A. (2012). "More than Just a Drop in the Bucket: Black Instructional Librarians Teaching for Academic Success." In A.P. Jackson, J.C. Jefferson Jr. & A.S. Nosakhere (Eds.). The 21st-Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges (111-114). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc. is reproduced with permission of Rowman & Littlefield [] All rights reserved. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute or reprint.



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