What is Information Literacy?

Faculty are increasingly concerned about the need to graduate "information literate" students: students who can find, evaluate, and use information and understand the ways in which information is created, disseminated, and organized in our society. UAA's Institutional Learning Outcomes state that its graduates will be able to "employ independent learning and information literacy skills." Guided by a combination of UAA campus mandates and the information competency guidelines of the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Information Literacy Community of Practice provides an opportunity for discipline faculty, faculty librarians, and other interested members of the University community to explore ways to ensure and advance the integration of information literacy skills throughout UAA's curriculum.

 

Library Liasons -

Faculty librarians in the UAA/APU Consortium Library are available to help students, but they're available for faculty, too.  

The Consortium Library has a LibGuide to provide general support on enriching information literacy in courses. In addition, each discipline or department has a Subject Library Liaison, a designated librarian who works with the discipline's collection and has specialized knowledge of the journals and other resources for a particular field. Connecting with your department's liaison can ensure that your students are receiving the kind of training and guidance in information literacy that will help them develop the skills needed for work in your field. In addition to having specialized knowledge of the resources in your field, the liaisons are able to help faculty incorporate information literacy learning outcomes into existing assignments or expand the information literacy dimension of a course. Schedule library instruction for your students here.

Encourage your students to connect with the Consortium Library, too. The Consortium Library's Ask a Librarian page offers several ways to connect with a librarian (phone, email, live chat, and more). Students are sometimes intimidated by the idea of asking for research help in a library setting, or they mistakenly believe they have to be in the library building to get help. Some faculty have found that they're able to break down those barriers and misunderstandings by explaining the kind of work done by faculty librarians, by including their library liaison's contact information along with their own on Blackboard, or by helping students understand that they're able to access research assistance by things like the live chat option on Ask a Librarian. Faculty play an important role in helping students understand how to leverage resources including the Consortium Library and our librarians as a way of achieving academic success.

 

Information Literacy Community of Practice

As a result of an ongoing Information Literacy Initiative partnership between CAFE and the Consortium Library, a number of faculty have modified one or more courses in order to cultivate more "information literate" students. In addition, we have developed a Community of Practice, a group of discipline faculty, faculty librarians, and other interested parties that is meant to 1) build on the successes and challenges of previous IL work at UAA, 2) better define IL-based curricula and outcomes to articulate how IL relates to high-impact practices, and 3) identify best practices generally and on our own campus so they may be replicated and implemented in other courses at UAA.

Target Participants for the IL Community of Practice:
Participation is open to University faculty and professionals interested in learning more or sharing their own current practices of integrating information literacy skills into courses. Recipients of the Information Literacy Mini-Grants (a program that brings together library and discipline faculty to collaborate in the revision of courses so that students are afforded opportunities to develop information literacy skills) are especially encouraged to participate, as well as those who participated in the past in the Information Literacy Interest Group.

 See the CAFE Calendar of events for the next meeting of the Information Literacy Community of Practice and other events related to Information Literacy.
 

Projects Developed from  Information Literacy Mini Grants

The following projects were developed as part of an initiative to advance and enrich information literacy at UAA. The program was launched by the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence and awarded mini-grants after competitively reviewing proposals that sought to partner faculty in the Consortium Library with those in academic disciplines for the purpose of embedding information literacy in courses as a means of moving beyond the idea of a “one-shot” library training session. In many cases, the links will take you to LibGuides developed by participants.

 

Information Literacy Partnership Sample Course Guides


 

CAFE hosted an Information Literacy Intensive on May 5, 2015

Faculty teaching courses in entry level "gateway" and GER courses were the target participants, though attendance was welcome by all.