May 16, 2022

Just Published: ARL SPEC Kit 328: Collaborative Teaching and Learning Tools

The full text SPEC Kit is fee-based and can be ordered via links on this page.  The document is also for sale via

The table of contents and executive summary (18 pages; PDF) is available (free).

Here’s the Abstract:

This SPEC Kit gathers information about what collaborative teaching and learning tools are currently being offered to users in ARL member libraries. It covers questions on which kinds of tools are offered, how many, and why, where they are located, who may use them, the sources of funding, who provides training and support, and what techniques are used to promote and evaluate the tools. For the purpose of this survey, “collaborative teaching and learning tools” are limited to the equipment, devices, or systems being offered to research library users in a self-service environment including, but not limited to, the following: interactive whiteboards (IWBs, e.g., SMART Board), touchscreen tablet computers (e.g., iPads), classroom/audience response system (e.g., clickers), interactive learning centers (e.g., TouchTables), and Wii gaming systems.

Results and documentation from this survey demonstrate that a variety of collaborative equipment, devices, or systems are available or soon will be available to research library users. Respondents report that offering these tools enhances the users’ learning experiences in and out of the library and also provides improved patron services.

This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describe available equipment and services, loan policies, instructions for using equipment, and materials promoting the services.

Projects and tool from Michigan St. U, Emory, Georgia Tech, Yale, York, and other universities are discussed in the SPEC Kit.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.