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Commercial tabletop games to teach information literacy

Carl O. DiNardo (Armacost Library, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA)
Mary J. Snyder Broussard (Snowden Library, Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 23 May 2019

Issue publication date: 12 June 2019




This paper aims to demonstrate how commercially available tabletop games can be effective tools to teach information literacy and present a list of best practices to improve instructor’s chances of success with this pedagogical method.


Librarians from two separate institutions with complementary experiences analyze the theory of game-based learning with tabletop games, present an example of game-based information literacy instruction in practice and suggest four best practices for this method of instruction.


This paper demonstrates that educators by combining sound pedagogical practices to connect the educational content to what rules of games ask of students can effectively find a balance between enthusiastic engagement and higher-order information literacy learning outcomes.

Practical implications

This paper can be used to guide librarians looking for creative and sound methods to engage students using tabletop games to teach information literacy.


The authors have unique theoretical and practical knowledge with joining pedagogy and tabletop games in the information literacy classroom. While there is a lot of literature on games in academic libraries, there is only one other paper on using a commercially available tabletop game to teach information literacy.



DiNardo, C.O. and Snyder Broussard, M.J. (2019), "Commercial tabletop games to teach information literacy", Reference Services Review, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 106-117.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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