The Experiential Library

The Experiential Library

Transforming Academic and Research Libraries through the Power of Experiential Learning

1st Edition - September 7, 2016

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  • Editor: Pete McDonnell
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081007785
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081007754

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The Experiential Library: Transforming Academic and Research Libraries through the Power of Experiential Learning features contributions—in a relatively conversational, practical, and "how-to" format—from various academic libraries across broad educational levels that have implemented experiential learning programs, services, or resources to enhance the learning and development of both students and library employees. As academic libraries and academic librarians are seeking ways to transform themselves and create collaborative synergies within and without their institutions, this timely book suggests exciting ways to integrate experiential learning into the library’s offerings. Ranging from integrated service learning and Information Literacy instruction that "takes the class out of the classroom," to unique experiential approaches to programming like Course Exhibits and the Human Library, the book is a one-stop-shop for libraries looking to expand their repertoire. It will also help them create connections between experiential learning and their institutions' missions and contributions to student success, by grounding these programs and services on a sure methodological footing. Librarians and educators wishing to learn more about the connections between experiential learning/experiential education and academic libraries would benefit from the advice from authors in this book.  

Key Features

  • Covers experiential learning for academic and research libraries
  • Presents diverse aspects of experiential learning in academic libraries across the spectrum of educational levels
  • Offers a one-stop-shop for librarians keen on bringing experiential learning to their institutions
  • Adds to current conversations in both LIS and experiential education, enabling further synergies in both disciplines


Academic librarians, instructional librarians, instructors on MLIS courses, graduate students and researchers in library and information science

Table of Contents

  • Foreword - Keith Russell
    Preface - Pete McDonnell
    Part 1: The Experiential Library: New Paths for Information Literacy Instruction
    Ch. 1. Integrating experiential learning into information literacy curriculum - Judith Mavodza
    Ch. 2. Experiential Learning in a Faculty of Education Library - Corinne Laverty
    Ch. 3. Beyond Object Lessons: Object-Based Learning in the Academic Library - Amy Barlow
    Ch. 4. Taking the Class out of the Classroom: Libraries, Literacy, and Service Learning - Jayne Blodgett 
    Ch. 5. Training Student Drivers: Using a Flipped Classroom Model for IL Instruction - Elizabeth A. Sanders, Angela H. Balius, and Stephen A. Sanders
    Ch. 6. Handheld Learning: Authentic Assessment Using iPads - Karen Viars, Mary Ann Cullen and Amy Stalker
    Part 2: The Experiential Library: Programs, Collections, Spaces, Staff Development and Training
    Ch. 7. “Out of the Vault”: Engaging Students in Experiential Learning through Special Collections and Archives - Christopher J. Anderson and Cassie Brand
    Ch. 8. Game On! Experiential Learning with Tabletop Games - Lauren Hays and Mark Hayse
    Ch. 9. Building Knowledge Together: Interactive Course Exhibits in the Academic Library - Scott Fralin, Brian Mathews, and Lauren Pressley
    Ch. 10. Going Vertical: Enhancing Staff Development and Training through Vertically Integrated Instruction - Emy Nelson Decker and Jennifer A. Townes
    Ch. 11. From Training to Learning: Developing Student Employees Through Experiential Learning Design - Hilary Bussell and Jessica Hagman
    Part 3: The Experiential Library: Innovation and Multi-Library Collaborations
    Ch. 12. Home Grown: Lessons Learned from EL partnerships in an Academic Library - Christy Groves and Ashley Shealy
    Ch. 13. Grasping a Golden Opportunity: Librarian Support for Students on Summer Internships - Corey Seeman and Sally Ziph
    Ch. 14. The New Hampshire Human Library Project: Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges by Engaging Communities of Learners - Carolyn Gamtso, Melissa Mannon, and Sandy Whipple
    Ch. 15. Conclusion: An Experiential Librarian's Creed - Pete McDonnell


Product details

  • No. of pages: 252
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2016
  • Published: September 7, 2016
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081007785
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081007754

About the Editor

Pete McDonnell

Pete McDonnell is Assistant Professor and System/Distance Learning/Circulation Librarian at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota, USA. His professional research interests include experiential learning, organizational development, and support of student learning through library technology. Over the past decade, he has developed and facilitated percussion-based experiential exercises (also known as drum circles) for students, campus staff and faculty, and attendees at professional conferences. He has written on topics such as the intersections between experiential learning and academic libraries, and librarian professional development, for the Unabashed Librarian, College & Research Libraries News, as well as on his blog at He is a member of ALA, ACRL, and the Association for Experiential Education. He received his MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has an MS in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Affiliations and Expertise

Systems/Distance Learning/Circulation Librarian at Bemidji State University's A. C. Clark Library, in Bemidji, Minnesota, USA

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