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About the Library: Research Instruction

How to Library for Instructors

Information literacy is more than knowing how to use library resources. The Association of College & Research Libraries’ “Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education” encourages collaboration between faculty and librarians throughout all levels of a student’s education. Librarians can help you create meaningful research assignments that take advantage of the resources the library offers and the librarians’ areas of expertise.

We recognize that class time is limited and valuable. Working with a librarian in class demonstrates the significance you place on research and can lead to better student work.

To schedule an instruction session for your class, contact your department's Library Liaison.

Requirements for a Successful Instruction Experience

Ensure your students get the most out of their research instruction session. These requirements apply to all sessions beyond the "Library Intro."

  1. The librarians will not teach on the first day of classes. As you plan your course's schedule, keep in mind that research instruction will be most relevant to students after they have a research assignment and potential topics in mind. The first day of classes is too early for this to have occurred.
  2. A minimum of one week's notice is required when scheduling a session, though it is up to the discretion of your library liaison whether to teach a class at shorter notice. Not only will this give the librarian plenty of time to prepare, but it will also make coordinating schedules much easier.
  3. You must have an assignment that requires research, and go over it with your class before the instruction session. Students will be more engaged with the session if your assignment provides context for it; they will have a compelling reason to pay attention. Your library liaison can help you create a meaningful research assignment that takes advantage of the resources we have to offer.
  4. Your assignment does not need to be in its finished form when you schedule the session, but you must share it with your library liaison when it is ready. We may ask additional questions as we prepare to meet with your class. It is important for us to understand your requirements and expectations, so we can reiterate them to the class. The librarian reserves the right not to teach if you have not shared your assignment with them or with your students ahead of time.
  5. Your presence at the session is necessary for successful research instruction. You will lend authority to the librarian and convey that the content is valuable. Also, questions about the assignment often arise as students begin searching, and only you can answer them. Finally, these sessions are an opportunity for you to hear about new and relevant resources and services.

Additional Resources

Assignment Resources

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ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

According to ACRL, information literacy is "the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning."

The Framework is organized into six frames (see below), each consisting of a concept central to information literacy, a set of knowledge practices, and a set of dispositions.

Appendix 1 includes recommendations for faculty on using the Framework. Please contact Jennie Callas or your department's library liaison to discuss how you can implement the Framework's conception of information literacy in your work with students.

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