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Francis’ new book helps make learning fun

January 22, 2018

“Learning is critical,” said Mary Francis, associate professor of Library Science and reference and instruction librarian at Dakota State University. “You have to be able to continue to learn if you’re going to help people and help yourself.”

Francis’ new book, “The Fun of Motivation,” is intended to help adult learners move past the edge or a threshold many experience, the point at which learning becomes uncomfortable because the material is difficult or beyond their understanding.

“This is a critical point,” she said, “because if they do not move beyond the edge, they are stuck with both limited knowledge and a negative feeling about learning.”

Through her experience teaching DSU students library and research skills, Francis has discovered that “Fun can be used as a motivation to help students get past this learning edge so that they can meet an established goal or learning objective.”

Her book addresses concepts provided in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education; also included are sample lesson plans which use humor, games, fun ideas for group work, and assessment tools.

“While the lesson plans are intended for librarians and geared to library concepts,” Francis said, “the ideas can be applied to any field or classroom.”

The book has been published by the American Library Association (ALA), the professional association that sets the standards for all libraries and librarians in the United States. “This is means Mary’s manuscript has passed the rigorous process to be accepted for publication and marketing by ALA. In other words, only the best of the best have their books published by ALA,” said Jan Brue Enright, director of the Karl Mundt Library.

“While we at DSU know the excellence that Mary Francis brings to the library world, this publication will expand her stature throughout the profession,” Enright stated. She added, “Francis’ lively writing, attention to detail, and practical ideas mean any copy you see will be in regular use.”

The public is invited to attend a reception in Francis’ honor on Thursday, January 25 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Creative Commons, on the second floor of the Karl Mundt Library. Light refreshments will be served.