Remembering BLAAM – Librarians and Instructional Design

A call for proposals for a proposed edited work on instructional design in libraries found its way to my inbox. I’m glad to see that there are blended librarians exploring how instructional design is being applied – creatively.

Here’s more from the CFP:

We’re excited to invite you to submit chapter proposals for our forthcoming ACRL book, Creative Approaches to Instructional Design in Libraries: Moving from Theory to Practical Application. Focus of the Book: Libraries increasingly emphasize innovative services that connect patrons to information. Given these changes, instructional design (ID) is becoming an important concept in librarians’ day-to-day activities. Unique, library-specific challenges call for creative ideas that are grounded in solid research and theory. Applying the theory to your institution or circumstance is often challenging. This book will attempt to break down librarians’ preconceptions of what ID is and inspire them to implement ID in creative ways. Suggested subtopics include:

  • Intentional planning using ID principles (e.g., lesson planning, designing targeted programs, moving from face-to-face to online instruction)
  • Collaboration with faculty, staff, and other on-campus support services
  • Assessment planning using ID principles
  • Obstacles and creative solutions to ID issues

There are many variations in how different sectors understand and apply the concept of instructional design. For purposesof this book, we define it as intentional, sound instructional or programmatic creation, delivery, and assessment that takes into account the audience, course/program context, and shared learning goals. Don’t see your topic here? Contact the editors at to discuss how your idea may fit within this book’s scope. Proposals are due by Friday, February 5, 2016, and can be submitted to

Instructional design continues to be a topic of interest, particularly in but not limited to, academic librarianship. For example, this article in the latest issue of Journal of Academic Librarianship “IDEA Model from Theory to Practice: Integrating Information Literacy in Academic Courses” by Kimberly Mullins (paywall alert). That article referenced another one on instructional design from 2014 I had not seen, “Modifying ADDIE: Incorporating New Technologies in Library Instruction” by Paul Campbell (paywall alert). Campbell’s article caught my attention with its focus on “modifying ADDIE”.

John Shank and I dedicated a chapter to that exact topic in our 2007 book Academic Librarianship by Design – and Campbell references it is his paper (thanks!) .Perhaps you’ve read it and recall our modified ADDIE for academic librarians that we referred to as BLAAM – Blended Librarians Adapted ADDIE Model. I recall one reviewer mentioning our liberal use of acronyms. Fair enough. It looked like this:

BLAAM                           ADDIE
assess                            analyze
objectives                        design
develop                            develop
deliver                              implement
measure                          evaluate

While John and I were hardly the first librarians to write about instructional design, I think we broke some new ground with topics like a modified approach to ADDIE, design thinking and user experience. The latter two have become more mainstream topics of interest in librarianship in the years since the publication of our book.

We’d like to think that both the book and our ongoing work with the Blended Librarian Online Learning Community contributes to librarian’s continuing interest in instructional design and technology. Even if that’s not the case, it’s great to see that librarians continue to be interested in the study and exploration of instructional design. I continue to look forward to articles and books from new colleagues that expand our knowledge and keep the conversation going.

Comments are closed.