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Information Literacy: Faculty & Librarian Collaboration

Information literacy is the ability to locate, evaluate and use information wisely. Information literacy is at the core of what it means to be educated in this century. (Kuhlthau, 2008)

Procedure for Requesting a Library Session

To schedule an information literacy session, contact the Reference and Instruction Librarian. Please contact us at least a week in advance to request your session. Librarians are regularly available 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Librarians can teach weekend and night classes, but may require longer advance notice to adjust staff schedules.

Information Literacy Collaboration

Librarians and faculty have complementary roles in facilitating the development of information literacy skills. Librarians have extensive training in information sources and how information is organized, as well as experience in accessing and evaluating information sources. They can guide students in the process of searching, retrieving and evaluating sources of information.

Classroom instructors, with their subject discipline expertise, provide an informed context for guiding students in interpreting and understanding information in their profession. Contact with students throughout the course, gives faculty the opportunity to guide students in the evaluation and synthesis of discipline specific information.

Library sessions are an effective means of helping students discover quality information resources that are not accessible with Google or Yahoo type search engines. After participating in a library session, students report they are more likely to use library resources. The Alvernia University librarians welcome the opportunity to work with faculty to incorporate information literacy skills into existing courses. This can take the form of one or more instruction sessions, developing class assignments, or team teaching.

An example of how librarians and professors might collaborate in the development of basic information literacy competencies is outlined below:

The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
(P=professor, L=Librarian, P/L=shared)

  • Confers with professors, librarians, peers, World Wide Web and library resources to identify a research topic of interest (P/L)
  • Develops a thesis statement and formulates questions based on the information need (P)
  • Narrows or broadens topic to achieve a manageable focus (P/L)
  • Understands the purpose and audience of potential resources (e.g., popular vs. scholarly, current vs. historical) (P/L)

The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

  • Identifies keywords and concepts for finding information (P/L)
  • Constructs a search using synonyms, related terms, truncation, and appropriate Boolean operators "OR, AND, NOT" (L)
  • Utilizes appropriate library tools for finding books and articles (L)
  • Uses librarians as a resource in person, electronically or by telephone (P/L)
  • Demonstrates the ability to search all college and university library collections and request titles not found in the Alvernia University Library (L)
  • Accesses articles electronically, or through interlibrary loan services (L)
  • Understands the purpose of citations, abstracts, and subject terms (L)


More Information Literacy Collaboration

The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

  • Examines and compares information from various sources in order to evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias (P)
  • Integrates new information with previous information or knowledge (P)
  • Determines if original information need has been satisfied or if additional information is needed (P)
  • Reviews search strategy and incorporates additional concepts as necessary (P/L)
  • Reviews information retrieval sources used and expands to include others as needed (P/L)

The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose

  • Organizes the content in a manner that supports the purposes and format of the product or performance (e.g. outlines, drafts, storyboards) (P)

The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

  • Understands how to use Blackboard and Self Service (P)
  • Accesses library resources on campus and off-campus (L)
  • Understands what constitutes plagiarism and knows how to cite sources (P/L)
  • Demonstrates an understanding of Alvernia University policy on copyright and fair use (P)