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Library Instruction: Tips for Faculty

Use this guide for all things related to library instruction.

What is Information Literacy?

Too often we assume that as students write research papers and read textbooks they are gaining sufficient IL skills. This is not so. IL skills may be introduced but what is needed is a parallel curriculum in IL forming a strong foundation of a college education.

Learn about the new ACRL Framework here -

Info Lit Terminology

Assessment - The act or process of gathering data to better understand the strengths or weaknesses of student learning.

Course-related instruction - Focused for the students taking a course, and teaches aspects of library use and the resources needed to accomplish the assignments for the course. It supports the objectives of the course but does not constitute an integral part of them.

Course-integrated instruction - The teaching of the use of the library and the library resources as an integral part of the objectives of the course. It is considered essential for the student to learn and be tested on both their understanding of the course concepts and their ability successfully complete library-related assignments. 

Collaboration - Two or more partners bringing different strengths and perspectives to a task with shared goals, a shared vision, and a climate of trust and respect.

Information Literacy - The set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information. Information literacy is more closely tied to course-integrated instruction but it extends far beyond coordination between the reference librarian and the individual faculty member. Even a cursory review of the Information Literacy Competency Standards (link) will show that there is much more to information literacy competence than library-related research. Students must demonstrate competencies in formulating research questions and in their ability to use information as well as an understanding of ethical and legal issues surrounding information. This requires a campus culture of collaboration and focus on student learning.

Learning outcomes - A specific measurable achievement, a unit of what we expect a student to learn from the material we are teaching.

Resource-based learning - A method of teaching and learning that requires the student to explore a topic by finding information in numerous and varied sources of information.

Standards - A standard represents a specific idea of what we expect the student to recall, replicate, manipulate, understand, or demonstrate at some point and of how we will know how close a student has come to meeting that standard. The Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education establish a set of criterion that defines an information literate person.