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Inclusive Teaching Guide: Best Practices for Library Staff

Effective teaching is a dynamic, not static, process. Whether you have years of experience or are just beginning to teach, there is always room to expand your repertoire, explore a new approach, or reflect on an aspect of your practice.

Central Piedmont Library Inclusive Teaching Definition

Central Piedmont Community College library staff are dedicated to supporting a wide-range of learning and inquiry to engage all disciplines in order to identify the needs and influence the experience of the whole student. 

Pre-Instruction Preparation Best Practices

Incorporate reflection into planning & follow-up

  • Guided worksheet that includes inclusive considerations for class preparation
  • Reflect afterwards
  • Prepare for the worst case scenario and what you can do to address it

Ask instructor about class dynamics and accommodations

  • Are there special accommodations for students?

Classroom Engagement

Incorporate universal design, for example:

  • LibGuides are visually accessible, responsive, download/size for loading
  • Size for reading, alt text
  • Visual AND textual explanations
  • Color considerations
  • Captioning on videos

Utilize diverse examples

  • Using inclusive examples for catalog and database searching
  • Acknowledging problematic examples
  • Introducing critical questions about authority, exclusion
  • Using databases that focus on D&I
  • Pulling in primary/special collections/archives for unique examples

Time Use Strategies

  • “Here’s what we didn’t cover”/these are the most important things handout or tab
  • Flip the classroom

Recognize and acknowledge student expertise and experience

  • What do you find challenging about the library?
  • What confuses you?
  • What is working for you?
  • Could do a survey ahead of class
  • Could do an anonymous card and redistribute in class to read aloud


  • Jargon
  • Cultural assumptions
  • Connect to the why
  • Anonymous contributions

Utilizing active learning

  • Students in control
  • Students bringing their own experiences
  • Think Pair Share
  • Minute Papers


  • Notecards for remaining questions, concerns 
  • Providing content (worksheets, presentations) to instructor or class to share afterwards
  • LibGuides with more information and for follow-up

Using student’s names

  • Ask the person to introduce themselves every time they speak
  • Use the time before class when folks are first entering to introduce yourself
  • Try using name tents if time allows

Introduce ourselves

  • Acknowledge your experiences and positions
  • Putting information in LMS/LibGuides/Email signatures etc.