Service Learning, Information Literacy, and Libraries
by Jennifer E. Nutefall, Editor
April 2016, 155pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-4091-3
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4092-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Embed libraries, information literacy, and critical thinking into service learning programs.

As the number of service learning courses and their requirements increase, it is essential for academic librarians to partner with faculty and administration to include lifelong research skills components. This crucial book provides insights and case studies that will help you do just that.

Service learning—defined as community service connected to a for-credit college course—is acknowledged to be a high-impact educational practice. It provides students with opportunities to put what they learn in class into action, to engage problem-solving skills, and to reflect on their experiences. Ideally, in service learning, course materials inform student service, and students’ service experiences, in turn, inform academic dialogue and comprehension. But where do academic libraries and librarians fit into this process?

This is the first book to provide that missing piece, giving librarians practical information and examples of how to contribute to service learning on their campuses. It begins with an overview of librarian involvement in service learning, highlighting connections between service learning and information literacy pedagogy. Case studies focus on specific aspects of service learning that engage information literacy, illustrating ways academic libraries can partner with service learning initiatives. The book concludes with thoughts on assessment and short essays on the future of libraries and service learning.


  • Draws from the 2014 (inaugural) Colloquium on Libraries & Service Learning
  • Offers a unique take on the role of libraries and librarians in the service learning programs that are increasingly popular in higher education as a way to engage active learning
  • Provides information and insights that will be useful to academic librarians who teach and/or have outreach responsibilities, as well as to academic library administrators and LIS faculty
  • Shares reflections on the future of service learning
Jennifer E. Nutefall, MLS, is university librarian at Santa Clara University and the organizer of Extending Our Reach: The Inaugural Colloquium on Libraries & Service Learning, held in 2014. Prior to joining Santa Clara University, she was associate university librarian for Innovative User Services at Oregon State University, instruction coordinator at George Washington University, and reference/instruction librarian at the State University of New York, Brockport. She holds a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a master of library science degree from Syracuse University as well as a master of arts degree in education and human development from George Washington University.


"Readers will come away with a better understanding of all the ways academic libraries can contribute to service learning by providing information literacy instruction, useful materials, space, and more. VERDICT Recommended for instruction librarians at academic libraries."—Library Journal, August 1, 2016

"A particular strength of the book is its balancing of theoretical and practical perspectives, making it a highly readable volume. . . . Service Learning, Information Literacy, and Libraries represents a key contribution to scholarship in the nascent topic area of service-learning and academic libraries. Faculty would be well advised to take advantage of the services librarians provide to support effective service-learning, and this book offers both audiences much food for thought. . . . The book is highly recommended for librarians as they continue to serve their communities, as well as for teaching faculty and administrators seeking to enrich their programs."—International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, April 27, 2017
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