Your Name and Title:

Hunter Murphy, Engagement and Learning Librarian/ Assistant Professor at Stetson University

Library, School, or Organization Name:

duPont-Ball Library (Stetson University)


Co-Presenter Name(s): n/a

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:

DeLand, Florida (Central Florida)

Language in Which You Will Present:


Target Audience(s):

Academic librarians (and public librarians who teach)

Short Session Description (one line):

“Employing 21st Century Skills in Library Instruction for Business Students” will explore the author’s experience using empathy and creativity to teach undergraduate business students how to research, write about, and present on soft skills.  

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

This session will feature my experience teaching 275+ business students at Stetson University how to research and critically evaluate information sources related to soft skills. Soft skills are critical for professional success and fulfillment. In fact, according to Kamin (2013) “soft skills have emerged as essential to business and community organizations, even more so than reading and writing” (p. 9). The problem with these skills is that the young new graduates do not possess them as the older generations do and did. In a study tracing soft skill decline since the 1990s, Bruce Tolgen (2015) writes, “the incidence and insistence of managers complaining about the soft skills of their new young workers has risen steadily year after year” (p. 3).

Armed with this knowledge, I devised a research project to study the perceptions of business students in information literacy sessions. Coincidentally, the students I teach are preparing research projects on topics steeped in soft skills. These topics include the following:

Business & Professional Excellence in the Workplace

Verbal & Nonverbal Communication


Resumes, Interviews, and Negotiation

I have employed empathy and creativity to teach them and to discover their feelings and perceptions regarding information literacy session experiences. The survey results have helped me become a more effective library instructor. Considering the student’s perspectives when developing lesson plans has helped me meet their unique information literacy needs.

This session will offer tips and practical experience in employing soft skills to improve information literacy.


Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:




Kamin, M.. Soft Skills Revolution : A Guide for Connecting with Compassion for Trainers, Teams, and Leaders, Center for Creative Leadership, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Tulgan, Bruce. Bridging the Soft Skills Gap : How to Teach the Missing Basics to Todays Young Talent, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central. 

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