Library instruction focuses on information literacy–the knowledge, abilities, and critical thinking skills that allow us to interact with and create information. Information literacy enables lifelong learning and is an integral part of all academic disciplines. The library is here to support you as you teach information literacy concepts and skills to your students, as it’s at the very core of what we do!
Our Information Literacy Mission Statement and Learning Objectives guide our instructional collaborations. Please feel free to use any part of the objectives below in your own course goals and objectives, and get in touch with Reference & Instruction Librarian Amanda Walch to partner with the library in your courses!
INFORMATION LITERACY INSTRUCTION MISSION STATEMENT
Raugust Library’s information literacy instruction efforts support students’ success in their coursework and prepare students for professional and personal life beyond the university. We help students develop abilities and habits of mind that promote critical interaction with information and ethical participation in the academic community.
UNDERGRADUATE INFORMATION LITERACY INSTRUCTION LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Raugust Library’s Information Literacy Learning Objectives draw from the Library’s Mission and Vision Statements, from our Information Literacy Instruction Mission Statement, and from the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, which is academic librarians’ foundational document for library instruction.
Information literacy and the skills and habits of mind associated with it are highly dependent upon context. Raugust Library therefore proposes three interconnected modes of information literacy based on the shifting contexts of a student’s educational journey at the University of Jamestown, each with its own set of learning objectives. The modes are:
Mode 1: Information literacy for students who are new to campus and beginning their college journey
Mode 2: Information literacy for students who are establishing themselves within the discourse community of their major
Mode 3: Information literacy for students who are graduating and heading out into the world
While the above modes and following objectives are intended for UJ’s undergraduate students, most could certainly be adapted to graduate-level coursework.
Mode 1 objectives:
When students are new to campus and beginning their college journey, they:
- View the library and its staff as approachable and useful, and recognize that we’re here to support them.
- Utilize library collections and study spaces, as well as the help resources available on the library website.
- Gain awareness of library search tools for different kinds of resources.
Mode 2 objectives:
When students are establishing themselves within the discourse community of their major, they:
- Understand how and why to use outside sources to frame and support their own ideas, writing, and research.
- Recognize modes of participation within the discourse community of their major.
- Differentiate between levels of expertise and authority within the scholarly conversation of their field.
- Search library and freely available resources strategically and intentionally in order to find information sources that are relevant to their discipline.
- Utilize strategies for reading and critically evaluating the literature of their field.
- Appropriately and ethically credit the words and ideas of others within their own work.
Mode 3 objectives:
When students leave campus and head out into the world, they:
- Value intellectual curiosity and are prepared to engage with new information in professional and personal communities.
- Understand methods of and barriers to information access outside of a university environment.
- Differentiate between a variety of types of information and articulate the basic characteristics of each type.
- Critically evaluate the information they encounter and value evidence-based conclusions.
Information literacy instruction sessions can guide students through any part of the research process. Using the learning objectives above, the Reference & Instruction Librarian can design single- or multiple-session collaborations that support research activities of all kinds, from semester-long projects to smaller assignments. Information literacy instruction works best when it’s immediately applied, so the library will work with you to schedule sessions as close as possible to students’ point of need.
If you’re looking for classroom activity ideas to help your students learn and practice information literacy skills, see our Research Instruction Guide.
Place books or other items on reserve for your students in the library! Reserves are available for limited checkout periods and must stay within the library building.
Learn more about Course Reserves, fill out our Course Reserve Request Form or contact Brenda Fischer, Library Services Associate, with questions.
If you are looking for a more sustained approach to building information literacy and academic integrity instruction into a major, consider the library’s Embedded Information Literacy Program. Designed for required introductory or research methods courses within a major, the Embedded Information Literacy Program consists of four modules that align with university and departmental learning objectives on academic preparation, research, writing, and critical thinking, as well as with the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The four modules are adapted to disciplinary conventions and departmental learning outcomes for each participating course and are:
- The scholarly conversation: Students become familiar with methods of scholarly conversation within their chosen field, and understand the importance and mechanics of properly citing and crediting the words and ideas of others in their own work.
- Authority within the scholarly conversation: Students critically examine information sources within their chosen field and consider how expertise and authority are built within that field, and assess how their own biases and worldviews affect their own research and writing.
- Research and writing conventions within a discipline: Students identify the norms and conventions of research and writing in their chosen field and apply those conventions to their own work.
- Resources and search strategies: Students locate and use subject-relevant library databases and resources, implement a variety of strategies when searching for information, and utilize the help resources available to them through the Library and Writing Center.
Modules need not be taught in this order or in consecutive sessions. Contact Amanda Walch with questions, for more information about the program, or to start collaborating.
The Reference & Instruction Librarian is happy to consult on research assignments of all shapes and sizes, from brainstorming potential search tools and creative publishing platforms to aligning assignment requirements with desired learning outcomes and scaffolding large projects.
For some assignment design ideas, check out our Research Instruction Guide.
We can also create Research Guides for specialized research within a course. A course-specific Guide can point students to resources and research help aligned with a particular assignment. These Guides tend to see significant use and are a great way to encourage students to use library resources and services.
For an example Course Guide, see COMM305: Cross Cultural Communication.
Sometimes requiring one-on-one or small group research help at any stage of the research process is the most useful option for you and your students. The Reference & Instruction Librarian is happy to coordinate and accommodate research help en masse–just please warn us before you send hordes of students our way! If you’re requiring research consultations, it’s often helpful to ask students to prepare specific questions or to submit a reflection on how the meeting went and what they learned.
Research consultations are also always something you can encourage students to book, whether or not you require them within a course. Students (and faculty!) can sign up for 30-minute time slots on our Research Help Appointments calendar. Please feel free to share the link to the Appointments page in your syllabi and in MyUJ!
The library has developed two tutorials for students to practice APA references and in-text citations. Please feel free to use either or both in your courses, and get in touch if you’d like assistance with embedding the tutorials into your MyUJ course sites.
The library is also working to promote the use of Open Education Resources (OERs) across campus. We maintain a Guide with information on how to get started with OERs, how to find open textbooks for use in your classes, open pedagogy, and more. Browse the Guide below, and if you have questions about OERs don’t hesitate to ask!
Open Education Resources Guide