5 Best Videos for Library Instruction

The teaching librarians here are gearing up for another semester of classes which begin next week. In some of the classes we do, we like to use different sorts of media and technology for teaching. We’ve been looking at videos for several of our classes and I’m always surprised with the interesting videos that other the librarians find. Here are five of my favorite videos for information literacy instruction that I’ve seen over the years.

Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”

We’re using this for the first time this year as an introduction to using Google, the information landscape and getting students to question the gaps in their information. I’m really excited for this session and discussion.

Bing Commercial 2011 – Supermarket Food Fight (Animal House)

This one is quick, funny and would be perfect for a discussion either about search engines or more specifically on keywords and how a word can be interpreted a lot of different ways.

Obama Clinton Texas Debate Plagiarism “Silly Season”& Xerox

We’ve used this video for several years in a class about plagiarism and the ethical use of information. It works really great because it is a debate and it is not completely clear if it is plagiarism or not. It effectively demonstrates that there is a lot of grey areas in plagiarism. It’s a little dated, but still gets the message across well.

Jordan Paris – Australia’s Got Talent 2011 Comedian Scandal – Today Tonight Interview: Plagiarism

This is another great example of plagiarism. Though not as grey as the other, this one better depicts the consequences of stealing others ideas and passing them off as your own original material. Depending on your lesson, this one could work well for your class.

Et Plagieringseventyr

This is one of the most well produced videos on plagiarism I have ever seen. It’s from the University of Bergen in Norway so you’ll need to turn the closed captions on, and it could be a slightly risque for some American audiences. It could be a good, fun opening to a session on plagiarism though…and there’s a musical number.

I’m always looking for new ideas and I’d love to hear what other folks like to use in their classes. What are some of your favorite videos to use in the classroom for information literacy instruction?

Andy Burkhardt


  1. That TED talk is awesome, thanks so much for sharing. I think I’ll try that with freshmen classes.

  2. I showed Pariser’s “Filter Bubbles” talk to my freshman Information Literacy students. I recommend it to anyone who uses a search engine.

  3. Nanette, how did the students react to it in your class. I showed it to three different classes last week and they really found it interesting. I think it really helps them see that a search engine is a tool and it doesn’t have all the information. You need to work for it. And they seem to get the idea that they should be using Google as opposed to letting it use them.

  4. Hi Andy,
    I think my students liked the Pariser talk, although probably not as much as I do. I just wanted them to be aware of the filtering techniques that are now so common on search engines and social networks. It certainly is timely, now that Facebook has just come out with all those changes (and nearly all my students have Facebook).

    Now I am considering showing one the plagiarism videos. I absolutely love the one from Norway. It’s hilarious. But, as you say, it is a little risque. Some might consider it not appropriate in an academic classroom.

  5. Joining the chorus of voices, I also used the Eli Pariser “Filter Bubbles” video in class today. It was a good jumping off point to discuss the possible ways students can find information, and then think critically about what else they might be missing. Thanks!

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