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Faculty Guide to Library Instruction

Information Literacy & Instruction Program

Taylor Memorial Library's reference librarians teach students to become mindful consumers of information. Through foundational information literacy (IL) learning and personal attention throughout their academic career, students learn to seek quality answers to satisfy their intellectual curiosities.

To schedule a library session, please contact Sara Lauren Purifoy, Instruction Librarian, at sara.purifoy@centenaryuniversity.edu.

Program Mission

The Library's Instruction Program supports the educational mission of Centenary University and its teaching faculty by providing students with the research and information literacy skills required to successfully navigate through course assignments. The program is designed to cultivate effective information seeking behaviors in undergraduate and graduate students through quality in-person and virtual instructional opportunities that prepare students to efficiently and critically locate, evaluate, and use information ethically to achieve excellence and become graduate ready, life-long learners.

Taylor Memorial Library adheres to several sets of guidelines and frameworks for teaching information literacy from The American Library Association (ALA) and The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).

Briefly, these frameworks state the following:

  1. Authority Is Constructed and Contextual - Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used.
  2. Information Creation as a Process - Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method.
  3. Information Has Value - Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world.
  4. Research as Inquiry - Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry.
  5. Scholarship as Conversation - Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.
  6. Searching as Strategic Exploration - Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

Program Goals

  Student Learning Objectives & Outcomes:

1. Determine the information need

Outcomes: Upon completion of information literacy instruction, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the services and different types of materials available at the library. 
  2. Identify the information need by locating sources for selecting and articulating a topic of appropriate scope.
  3. Understand the difference between print and electronic resources.
  4. Identify the types of information needed (example: books, journal articles, websites).

2. Access the information effectively and efficiently

Outcomes: Upon completion of information literacy instruction, students should be able to:

  1. Search the library catalog, identify a call number, and find a book on the shelf.
  2. Identify library databases and demonstrate effective basic searching techniques (example: discovery tool, proquest, ebscohost)
  3.  Request books, access eBooks, download full-text articles, and save searches.
  4. Create an effective search strategy by brainstorming for keywords
  5. Refine and narrow searches by applying Boolean Operators, truncating, and using subject headings or other limiting features appropriate to the database.

3. Evaluate information and its sources critically

Outcomes: Upon completion of information literacy instruction, students should be able to:

  1. Recognize the different characteristics of popular and scholarly sources, including Internet sources, popular magazines, newspapers, academic journals and trade publications.
  2. Apply criteria to evaluate sources for currency, authority, relevance, accuracy, and purpose.
  3. Identify the best resources for their research.
  4. Broaden or narrow a research topic.

4. Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose

Outcomes: Upon completion of information literacy instruction, students should be able to:

  1. Determine if original information need has been satisfied or if additional information is needed.
  2. Investigate differing viewpoints encountered in the literature.
  3. Determine whether to incorporate or reject viewpoints encountered.
  4. Integrate new and prior information, including quotations and paraphrasing, in a manner that supports the research question or thesis.
  5. Use a range of information technology applications in creating the product or performance.

5. Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information. Access and use information ethically and legally

Outcomes: Upon completion of information literacy instruction, students should be able to:

  1. Define plagiarism.
  2. Recognize the parts of a citation.
  3. Cite a variety of sources correctly in an approved documentation style.
  4. Demonstrate a basic understanding of copyright and fair use of copyrighted material.