Using humor in library instruction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose - To demonstrate that humor can be used as a teaching technique by instruction librarians. Design/methodology/approach - Since some students have what Constance Mellon refers to as library anxiety, humor can be used as a teaching tool to help reduce this feeling. Using the literature of higher education, this article seeks to provide practical advice on ways to use humor in the library instruction setting. Findings - The use of real-life humorous examples demonstrates that teaching librarians can reap the benefits of using humor in the classroom. The article dispels the myth that one must be a comedian to use humor in the classroom. Practical implications - The teaching librarian can add the use of humor as a teaching tool along with other techniques to assist in reducing library anxiety, promote classroom environment and help students to get more comfortable with the library's many resources. Originality/value - This paper adds to the discussion on the use of humor in library instruction as one method to help reduce library anxiety in students. It offers practical help to the instruction librarian.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalReference Services Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences


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