Teaching Monograph Literacy to a Digital Generation

By Robert Perret.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As colleges welcome students who, having spent their entire educational careers in the Internet era, have a native fluidity with digital resources, it is becoming ever more difficult for librarians to teach monograph literacy. Concepts that seem self evident to older generations, such as looking in the back of a book for an index, or even just finding a book in a specific place on the shelf, are totally alien to many incoming students. Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book has never been more necessary, but how is a librarian to effectively communicate these concepts during brief and often fleeting contact with students? This paper contends that monograph literacy is still a cornerstone of information literacy, and that it is still possible to convey the essentials to students who may not yet realize the importance of books to their intellectual development and personal enrichment. As a Research and Instruction Librarian at the University of Idaho, Robert Perret has extensive experience in the best practices that allow librarians (and anyone else) to convey the message that monographs are still viable and vital resources, and to quickly teach the basics of assessing, analyzing and digesting monographs to college students who may be interacting with books in a serious fashion for the first time. By providing a series of concrete steps and important concepts to engage students, this paper aims to guide the reader in providing excellent monograph literacy instruction.

Keywords: Information Literacy, Book Culture, Pedagogy, Libraries

International Journal of the Book, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.43-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 825.588KB).

Robert Perret

Research and Instruction Librarian, Library, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA

Robert Perret is a Research and Instruction Librarian at the University of Idaho. He earned a Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Denver and a Master’s of Business Administration from Southwestern College. His research interests include the professional development of librarians, bibliographic instruction, information literacy and book culture.


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