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Southern California Instruction Librarians (CARL-SCIL) will be hosting SCIL Works and Instruction RX: Prescriptions for Helping Students Overcome Library Anxiety When: Friday, February 8, 2019, 10am-1pm. Where: California State University Dominguez Hills (Carson, CA). Proposals Due: Friday, December 7th.

***Call for Proposals due Friday, December 7, 2018, by 5pm***

SCIL Works 2019

Instruction RX: Prescriptions for Helping Students Overcome Library Anxiety

Call For Proposals

Friday, February 8, 2019, 10am-1pm
California State University Dominguez Hills (Carson, CA)

Proposal Submission Form

Southern California Instruction Librarians (SCIL) will be hosting SCIL Works on Friday, February 8, 2019. This annual mini-conference offers librarians the opportunity to share their best practices, innovative pedagogy, and creative solutions with colleagues. SCIL Works 2019 will focus on the many ways in which instruction librarians help students from a variety of backgrounds overcome library anxiety.

The term library anxiety was coined in a 1986 study by CA Mellon, in a qualitative study where over 6000 described their feelings of approaching library research as a fear or phobia, closely tied to the feelings expressed when working on math or tests. Students new to library research seldom describe their problems with library research in terms of search problems, but rather a sense of unease around their skills compared to their peers, the pressure to hide that believed inadequacy and the belief that asking questions would reveal how little they knew about library research (Mellon, 1986). In our current age, we have similar problems with library anxiety.

Many students are reluctant to approach the reference desk, unsure of what to ask or if we could help them, so for most students, their only encounter with a librarian is during instruction. In most of our encounters with students, a secondary, affective student learning outcome is that the student comes away from the encounter knowing that there is help available to them in the library. We want to hear how you help students overcome library anxiety when it comes to their research endeavors.

  • How are we helping students overcome library anxiety in our instruction sessions?
  • How have you made your instruction space a safe space for students to ask questions?
  • How do you balance the needs of students at different levels of research skills?
  • How do you keep the advanced students engaged while still explaining at a level adequate for beginning students?

Example topics could include, or please submit your own idea:

  • Working with First Year and Transfer Year students
  • Working with First Generation students
  • Working with students from minority background
  • Instruction for graduate students. Understanding what they think they know about the library and making corrections.
  • How your LibGuides offer performance support
  • How you are addressing library anxiety in virtual environment

We are accepting proposals for presentations in one of two formats:

  • Presentation: A 20-minute presentation where the presenter shares his/her research or an effective program or practice with participants, with an additional 5 minutes for Q&A.
  • Lightning Round: A live, 5-minute poster session or slide deck. This presentation could briefly describe a program or initiative, highlight an online tool or tutorial, or exhibit an assessment process or instrument.


Please complete the Proposal Submission Form by 5:00 pm, Friday, December 7th. All submissions will be blind-reviewed by a panel. Presenters will be notified that their submissions have been accepted by December 21st. If you have questions about submitting, please contact Mary-Michelle Moore, SCIL Chair at

We appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you!

For information about past events, visit our Events page.

About SCIL

The Southern California Instruction Librarians (SCIL -- pronounced "skill") interest group is dedicated to providing professional development and discussion opportunities focused on information literacy and instruction-related activities for library professionals from all types of institutions.

CARL is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities at all CARL-sponsored events. Please indicate your special needs or dietary requirements when registering or RSVPing to events. Requests for special accommodations must be received at least two weeks prior to the event.



If you would like to be added to our general listserv, please sign up here. To join our SCIL Steering Committee listserv, sign up here.

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