(The scenario or story behind the case. This is typically brief and simple, but generates interest for students because it represents problems or situations they are already familiar with or expect to encounter later in their careers or education. Interest can also be generated through humor or by linking the scenario to current events.)
(After introducing the premise, the librarian should lead a preliminary discussion in which students can identify the information needs inherent in the case. In writing your case you can make suggestions here as to how the librarian might use such a discussion to introduce various principles of information literacy, especially in guiding students to research strategies appropriate for the case. Librarians should also be reminded to communicate objectives to students, namely that determining the correct solution to the case may not be as important as exploring resources, principles, and strategies that would be useful in addressing the case.)
(* The body of the case should be occupied by a cycle of exercises where the librarian introduces a resource that meets an information need expressed in the preliminary discussion and introduces additional concepts of information literacy related to it.
- The librarian challenges the students to experiment with the resource for several minutes, with a specific objective, such as identifying data that would assist in deciding the case scenario.
- A small number of students should share what they have found with the rest of the group and explain their reasoning.)
(This cycle can be repeated with one to three more resources. However, the temptation to introduce every relevant resource must be resisted. Librarians should use laundry lists to provide their laundry lists (i.e. handouts). Only by focusing on a small number of key resources does the librarian have enough time to both introduce concepts of information literacy and to make learning active with hands-on, purposeful exercises.)
(Note that certain cases may follow a different pattern. For instance, Building a Company List - Trucking in Texas focuses on comparing only two resources, thought he cyclical structure of the case is preserved through the exercises.
Note also that while you may mention specific resources as appropriate for use in the case, it is wise to mention alternatives since library holdings, subscriptions, and licenses vary. Nor should cases endorse or be interpreted as endorsing any specific resource.)
(Include any summary principles or suggestions for librarians conducting your case. The librarians themselves should use the Wrap Up to review the strategies and principles learned during the case and point students to further resources or strategies, lest the artificial constraints of the library instruction context create in students a habit of quick or narrow research practices.)
Originally Submitted: January 1, 2015
(You may also enter other contact information and links to handouts you may have used with the case.)