Within our field, and more widely, there is a way of thinking that equates effective teaching with effective entertaining. This way of thinking can be referred to as a “discourse of edutainment.” It underpins some of the publications and conversations that encourage librarians to make their teaching more entertaining, for example by playing improv games or adding humour. In this article, Sarah Polkinghorne examines the edutainment discourse in three ways. First, she identifies and analyses it. Next, she connect it to larger concerns, such as creating significant learning experiences and wrestling with public speaking fear. To conclude she describe several concepts from the performing arts that could better support librarians working to teach in ways that are as engaging, significant, and enjoyable as possible.
Alan Rothman discusses and documents a method of testing used in the private sector that also has significant in public sector applications – the process called “A/B testing.” Users are shown two nearly identical versions of something with one of them containing some slight variation. They are then asked to choose which one they prefer between the two. Rothman references how Google makes extensive use of this testing and design methodology, and also provides insight into how the federal government is implementing the tactics and strategies of this testing to provide more agile and actionable citizen and business related services.