There’s a baby in the bath water: In defense of one-shots

Candice Benjes-Small

Abstract

Library literature is full of articles critical of one-shot instruction, including a recent College & Research Libraries volume edited by Nicole Pagowsky. Her call for proposals makes excellent points about the ephemeral definition of the phrase “one-shot,” the implications of power imbalances between librarians and professors, and the role of systemic racism and sexism in the academy. I would argue that many of these same issues would arise in any type of library instruction. Embedded librarianship, train-the-trainer, credit-bearing courses, asynchronous tutorials—I’ve done them all, and they all have their place, but they cannot replace one-shots.

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