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Information Literacy at Hartwick  

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Hartwick Library Professionals

Rebecca Hewitt
Reference Librarian & Coordinator of Instructional Services

Rebekah Ambrose-Dalton
College Archivist, Records Manager & Rare Book Curator

Mike Friery
Research & Instructional Services Librarian

Paul Coleman
College Librarian


Support for Teaching Information Literacy

The library staff is eager to work with faculty to design information literacy instruction that will be appropriate to individual classes and that will meet the needs of professors and their students. To that end, the library staff can offer a variety of services for faculty, including: 

  • a lecture style lab session including demonstration of search strategies
  • a class meeting with hands on activities for students working together in small groups
  • a LibGuide designed to provide support for a particular class or assignment
  • brief tutorials custom designed for your class using Jing
  • individual consultations for students with reference librarians at the reference desk
  • support for faculty who wish to develop their own approach to information literacy instruction
  • individual consultations with faculty on the use of particular resources, databases, etc. (RefWorks, the Discovery Service, Lexis-Nexis, etc.)

Depending on the level of demand and the amount of time we have to prepare, we can provide a combination of these services for any seminar.

We know from experience that:

  • Reference librarians can provide more effective assistance to students at the reference desk when we see the assignments they are working on in advance. If faculty share their assignments with us, we can be better prepared to support students in their research.
  • Seeing your syllabus or assignment or both before we design supporting materials for a class session is enormously helpful for us.
  • Collecting student questions about the library and sharing them with us in advance of a class visit can sometimes help us to design a session that will address what students would like to know.  If students can submit questions anonymously, they may be more candid about what they do and don't know about using the library.  
  • Students are more likely to benefit from instruction when they have an assignment due. If it is not at point of need, it can be very challenging to engage students in library instruction.
  • Students are more likely to benefit if faculty accompany their class to the library.




Information Literacy Resources from ACRL

The American Library Association has defined information literacy as the ability to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."
American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Final Report. (Chicago: American Library Association, 1989.) 

For a comprehensive, in-depth description of those skills as defined by the American Association of College and Research Libraries, see the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. 

See also these additional resources:


Middle States and Information Literacy

According to Middle States:

Information literacy frequently is introduced to students when they are expected to access and evaluate sources available in or through a library. However, it also extends to the essential tasks of analyzing the content of the material, creating new knowledge, and using that knowledge to produce a product, performance, or other activity. For these reasons, information literacy applies to anyone learning anything, anywhere, and at any time. In other words, in any learning endeavor, the student invokes some aspect(s) of the information literacy process, although the particular skills involved may not be well-honed or even recognized as part of a larger, coherent, and iterative process. In this sense, information literacy could be considered as a metaphor for the entire learning experience.

pg. 2 in Developing Research and Communication Skills: Guidelines for Information Literacy in the Curriculum, 2003.


Information Literacy and the Disciplines

The ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards applied to particular disciplines - Information Literacy in the disciplines (links to resources on information literacy in a wide variety of disciplines)

Smith College, for example, has developed information literacy programs for each departmental major, addressing the general question of "What should sociology majors know" etc.,  including a general description of the discipline and is methodologies, types of sources with which students should be familiar, skills they should develop and the courses that cover them:

Information Literacy: Smith's Program. Smith College Libraries

Sociology and Anthropology

Political Science

Science and Technology

Literatures in English

See also Lumina Foundation's The Degree Qualifications Profile


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