Surveying North American Academic Library Websites for Instructional Outreach and Delivery Reveals a Broad Range of Approaches Employed


  • Heather Coates Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis



academic libraries, information literacy, outreach, instruction, the Web


A Review of:
Yang., S. Q., & Chou, M. (2014). Promoting and teaching information literacy on the Internet: Surveying the web sites of 264 academic libraries in North America. Journal of Web Librarianship, 8(1), 88-104.


Objective – To determine the extent to which academic libraries have used the Web to market and deliver information literacy both as a service and as a concept.

Design – Survey of web content.

Setting – Websites of North American academic libraries.

Subjects – A random sample of 264 libraries selected from Peterson’s Four-Year Colleges.
Methods – The investigators reviewed and analyzed content on academic library websites by recording the presence of various types of information. Presence was recorded for the term information literacy, tutorial content, guides and tests, and delivery of information literacy instruction. The frequencies of tutorials and guides were also reported.

Main Results – Approximately 65% of the libraries used their website to promote instruction, while 30% did not mention information literacy or library instruction. A wide range of terminology was used to denote library instruction, but information literacy was not highly used. Approximately 5% of libraries had no public web presence. Research guides, tutorials, or both were provided by 64% of libraries. More than 300 tutorials in a variety of formats, including Adobe Flash videos, static web pages with little or no animations, webcasts, documents, and presentations were offered by 111 libraries. The tutorials addressed general research topics, databases, concepts and technical skills, among others.

Conclusion – While the majority of academic libraries sampled have incorporated information literacy and library instruction into their web presence, it is unclear why nearly one third did not mention these activities. Further study is needed to benchmark how libraries are using the Web for instruction and outreach.


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Author Biography

Heather Coates, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Digital Scholarship & Data Management Librarian, University Library




How to Cite

Coates, H. (2014). Surveying North American Academic Library Websites for Instructional Outreach and Delivery Reveals a Broad Range of Approaches Employed. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 9(4), 61–63.



Evidence Summaries

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