Library Journal - Library JournalIn this much-needed, comprehensive library instruction handbook for the 1990s, the authors suggest that with the new information technologies libraries must rethink their approaches and techniques for user instruction. One way is by using technology to teach technology to library users. The authors' introductory overview of the current ideas on teaching users to master the applications of library automation also includes a good discussion of learning theory, emphasizing the need for libraries to work with different media to reach the full range of learning styles. The authors also provide guidelines for selecting media. While they don't downgrade the value of librarian-driven instruction, they offer a wide variety of technological alternatives when one-on-one or class bibliographic instruction training is not feasible. Six chapters cover in detail the kinds of technologies that would be commonly available to most librarians in an automated setting: help screens, CD-ROM, online tutorial services, video, computer-assisted instruction (CAI), and expert systems. Each chapter defines the specific technology, evaluates when that technology should be used, outlines the planning needed to use that technology, and concludes with a substantial, current bibliography. Chapter 9 presents the viewpoints of public, school, academic, medical, and business librarians on the special characteristics of their users in relation to teaching and learning library technologies, and the final chapter offers a glimpse of future technologies and the implications for library planning. Throughout the book, the authors reiterate the need for librarians to do their homework if they expect their instructional techniques to succeed. Librarians must determine the audience, understand what needs to be learned, know the limitations of the technology/equipment they are using, and even pick a reasonable time period for the training. On the whole, the book's strength lies in the guidance it provides for choosing appropriate technologies for specific library instruction needs.-- Hope Z. Tillman, Tufts Univ. Arts & Sciences Lib., Medford, Mass.
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