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Faculty Services: Instruction

Schedule a Session

Use our instruction request form or contact your Liaison Librarian to set up an instruction session.

Why Information Literacy?

Most students consider themselves expert researchers, yet many find they are underprepared for academic research. Searching Google and Wikipedia is simply not enough. We want students to not only succeed but thrive in college. Information Literacy instruction helps students to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally education.

Information Literacy, the foundation of life-long learning, is transformative. Students tell us they get better grades and it takes them less time to do their assignments. Faculty report improved research assignments and they often tell us they can tell which students received library instruction as opposed to those who did not.

Tips for Successful Sessions

  • Pair up  sessions with authentic course assignments tied to instructional objectives. It is often best to schedule sessions after the assignment has been discussed though before students have done extensive research. Ideally students should have topics and/or research questions in mind, though if not, there will be ample opportunities for in-class exploration.
  • State specific assignment expectations, e.g. Students should support their thesis using peer-reviewed journal articles from the JSTOR, or Academic Search Complete Library databases.
  • Schedule sessions two weeks in advance to allow time for coordination with your Liaison Librarian. 
  • Attend the session with your students. We require you to attend because it emphasizes the importance of the session to your students. Additionally, you can learn a lot about your students' information literacy skills by seeing them in action. 

Information Literacy Mission Statement

Our mission is to educate information literate lifelong learners. We work towards this mission by providing instruction and by collaborating with colleagues across campus. We embrace the national Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and that document's definition of information literacy: “a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.”

  • We believe information literacy is an integral part of the academic experience in and out of the classroom, and we affirm its inclusion in the University’s Institutional Learning Outcomes.

  • We believe information literacy should be practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.

  • We believe course-integrated instruction connected with a real academic need is more effective than stand-alone information literacy courses or disconnected tours and library orientations.

  • We emphasize teaching concepts over skills as a means to achieve our information literacy mission of educating information-literate lifelong learners.

(Adapted from Vogel Library's (Wartburg College) information literacy mission statement.)