Author archives

Sarah Polkinghorne works as a Public Services Librarian at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She supports students and instructors in Art & Design, Drama, and Psychology in a variety of ways, including consultations and course-integrated teaching. Sarah is also a doctoral student in the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University, where she is studying people's everyday-life information practices. Sarah holds a BA (Honours) in Theatre Studies from the University of Regina as well as an MA (Drama) and an MLIS from the University of Alberta. Find Sarah online at @sarahpolk and

Unpacking and overcoming edutainment in library instruction

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.

Subjects: Libraries & Librarians, Library Marketing, Library Software & Technology, Program Planning