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Instruction design collaborations with government information specialists: Opening the conversation

Judith A. Downie (California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, California, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 20 February 2007



The purpose of this paper is to foster discussion of the role of government information librarians in the design and implementation of information literacy instruction. Increased accessibility to government information through the internet is bringing all librarians into increased contact with government information, thereby becoming ad hoc documents librarians. Through collaboration with experts in government information, shared knowledge results in opportunities for richer and more comprehensive information literacy instruction.


This review examines evidence of commonality and collaboration between librarians through content analysis of both general and specialized library publications.


Collaboration is a common practice in library instruction to share workload and expertise, yet most literature on this practice focuses on librarian‐faculty collaborative efforts. Limited evidence exists for collaboration between librarians and a severely limited body of literature exists when examining instructional design collaboration to include government information in information literacy instruction.

Practical implications

Collaborative instruction proactively addresses resolving perceived barriers and expands instruction resource repertoires and shares workloads.


Examination of the collaborative process between librarians is infrequent. This adds to the body of literature and increases awareness of additional resources in the provision of information literacy instruction.



Downie, J.A. (2007), "Instruction design collaborations with government information specialists: Opening the conversation", Reference Services Review, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 123-136.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited