Welcome to the blog!

Welcome to the Presentations for Librarians blog!

My name is Lee Andrew Hilyer and I am currently finishing up a book on presentations geared specifically towards librarians.

This blog is dedicated to sharing useful tips, relevant research articles and books, and web resources all related to crafting and delivering effective, learner-centered presentations, be they for conference programs or instruction.

Recent research in the field of cognitive psychology has indicated that the way we usually create and deliver our presentations does little to encourage learning and may, in some cases, actually hinder it. Fortunately, there are a growing number of books and resources dedicated to translating those research results into concrete, easy-to-follow guidelines that will improve the learning potential of any presentation. I will be highlighting many of these resources in the book and on this blog.

We can’t blame this bad situation on PowerPoint; presenters were using overhead transparencies for years before it came along. So you won’t read any Microsoft- or PowerPoint-bashing on this blog. PowerPoint is a tool like any other and can be used incorrectly.

Why librarians, specifically? First, I am one. Second, librarians, especially in academic libraries, more and more are being called upon to teach a diverse set of skills and software packages, from Internet browsers to Word, and from Mathematica to PowerPoint. Additionally, librarians are helping to develop information-literate students and must go further than ever before in helping students learn how to critically evaluate information sources.

PowerPoint presentations are undoubtedly a pervasive part of this landscape, yet the presentations we create may not be doing their job, namely informing an audience or helping them to acquire new knowledge and skills. As library instruction time is generally severely limited, it is even more incumbent upon librarian presenters to craft presentations that will support learning, rather than hinder it.

And third, just think about the last conference you attended and the quality of the presentations you saw. Were you riveted and did you actually learn something, or did you lose interest somewhere along the way and begin plotting your route through the exhibit hall? If you’re honest with yourself, it’s probably the latter.

I think we can remedy that situation together.

Talk with you soon,

Lee

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