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This paper reports on recent work to introduce a model of scalable, asynchronous library instruction into the First Year Writing program at James Madison University, inspired by the premise: Scalable equals asynchronous. And asynchronous equals boring. Or does it? The authors describe how a small team from Libraries & Educational Technologies at James Madison University planned and built an asynchronous, modular tutorial series, primarily designed to motivate students to engage with the library instruction contained within it. Information literacy instruction was provided using a tool called “Guide on the Side” and employed short scenario videos and additional content, followed by activities and assessment, in order to improve student outcomes and engagement. In this foundational program, the new and engaging asynchronous materials became the first step of a library instruction model that aimed to reach as many students as possible, while still being sustained by one librarian.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This is the Authors' Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Internet Reference Services Quarterly on November 21, 2016, available online:

During the peer-review process, the article's title changed from "Taking a first step to develop scalable, asynchronous library instruction" to "Scalable equals asynchronous and asynchronous equals boring. Or does it?"



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