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Information Literacy 

INFORMATION LITERACY FRAMEWORK

Information Literacy Foundation

The Holy Spirit Library recognizes the importance of and strives to contribute to foundational practices and ideals such as;

Qualities of a Liberally Educated Person (QLEPS)

The Qualities of a Liberally Educated Person (QLEPS) refer to student learning outcomes that all students should achieve by the time they graduate. The QLEPS adopted by Cabrini University are as follows;

  1. Cognitive Complexity
  2. Effective Communication
  3. Understanding of Self and Beliefs as a Global Citizen
  4. The propensity for Engaging in Life-Long Learning
  5. Responsibility for Social Justice
  6. Expertise in a Specific Area

Under each QLEP there is a subsection of possible indicators to illustrate that these learning outcomes have been achieved. A full copy of the QLEPS and possible indicators can be found here

Through a combination of instruction, as well as providing a space in which students can gather to study and freely exchange ideas, the Holy Spirit Library contributes to and helps foster the development of these QLEPS. Specifically, librarians are uniquely qualified to aid in the development of analytical reasoning and critical thinking, technological literacy, written communication, mediated communication, critical reading, interpersonal communication, small group communication, and research skills.

High-Impact Practices

According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) high-impact practices are learning practices “that educational research suggests increase rates of student retention and student engagement.” (2008). A full list and brief description of each high-impact practice can be found here: https://www.aacu.org/node/4084

Information literacy instruction can enrich first-year experiences and seminars, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, and capstone courses and projects.

ACRL Framework

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has identified the following six concepts, which individuals must be able to demonstrate competency in order to be considered information literate. The concepts are:

  • Authority is constructed and contextual
  • Information creation as a process
  • Information has value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

Outcomes

In accordance with the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, QLEPS, and High-Impact Practices, information literacy at Cabrini University entails 21st-Century Literacy standards, which students graduate with these competencies:

  • Use and integrate Internet and web technologies with software applications to evaluate information and solve problems
  • Apply and evaluate appropriate information and search strategies using internet-based technologies
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the social, ethical, security, and legal issues associated with the use of internet-based digital information and technologies
  • Enhance their ability to communicate orally and electronically to peers and the general Internet community

In the Curriculum

Information literacy at Cabrini University utilizes a tiered approach. Students are expected to display higher levels of competency in core skill areas as they progress throughout their academic careers. The suggested information literacy learning outcomes for each grade level/year are below.

Intro to Writing (WNA 101)

Taught and Assessed

  • Examine, evaluate, and synthesize information from diverse sources and perspectives to reach an informed conclusion 
  • Identify and select authoritative information sources based on information need
  • Reflect on the search process in order to refine searches

Corresponding ACRL frameworks for IL

  • Research as inquiry
  • Authority is constructed
  • Searching as strategic exploration

Engagement for the Common Good (ECG 100)

Taught and Assessed

  1. The above three skills are reintroduced
  2. New skill introduced: Give credit to the original ideas of others using appropriate documentation style to cite sources

Corresponding ACRL frameworks for IL

  1. Information has value

Engagements with the Common Good (ECG 200)

Taught and Assessed

  1. The above four skills are reintroduced
  2. New skills introduced: Contribute to a scholarly conversation as a creator and/or critic; Demonstrate knowledge of major social, privacy, ethical, and legal issues associated with the use of digital information and technologies.

Corresponding ACRL frameworks for IL

  1. Scholarship as conversation
  2. Information creation as process

Engagements with the Common Good (ECG 300)

Taught and Assessed

  1. All six information literacy skills are reintroduced

Assessment

Methods of assessment include qualitative methods such as surveys completed by both students and faculty after each Information Literacy Lab Session. Further methods of assessment may include written work, oral presentations, and in-class group assignments.

Models

Holy Spirit Library aims to accomplish its goals, and more thoroughly integrate information literacy into the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, through the following models.

Lab Session

Librarians typically teach IL through course-integrated instruction. After consultation with a faculty member, a librarian designs a fifty-minute session that meets the specific needs of the students in the course. The sessions are generally delivered in our IL lab where students have the opportunity to experience hands-on searching.

Class Librarian

In this model, a librarian’s contact information is included on the course syllabus. Faculty may invite the Librarian to conduct a lab session and/or to meet the students in the regular classroom. Students generally are required to make a research appointment with the Librarian prior to completing parts or all of a research assignment.

Library Practicum

With the Library Practicum a faculty member contacts a librarian for an IL session. In order to fulfill a semester long research project, the faculty member requires that students complete a research worksheet as they go through the research process. On the research worksheet students note the date, their workgroup members, and the topic researched. Students are also required to get a reference librarian’s signature on the worksheet. The purpose of the worksheet is to keep the students on track as they progress through the research project.

Don’t Cancel that Class

Librarians collaborate with Center for Student Success staff to teach specific IL skills and concepts. Librarians provide sessions on the topics of the Deep Web and the Ethical Use of Information, including plagerism.

Roving Reference

Equipped with laptop and promotional materials, a Librarian creates a mini reference station in Founder’s Hall or other building. The Librarian encounters students going to and from classes and assists students with any reference or research needs.

Development

Holy Spirit Library seeks to develop and expand upon its current Information Literacy practices by implementing the following:

Workshops

The Holy Spirit Library will work to develop and implement non-credit-bearing workshops for returning non-traditional learners during the summer. The workshops would help ease the transition for the students by providing them with an opportunity to review Information Literacy basics. Moreover, the workshops would enrich the academic experience of non-traditional students by affording them the opportunity to form peer support networks. Workshops could be held once a summer.

Syllabus Analysis

Information literacy and reference librarians will work closely with faculty to analyze current course syllabi, looking specifically for lessons, plans, projects, etc., wherein it is feasible to incorporate information literacy instruction. Instruction would be delivered primarily through Lab Sessions that cover information literacy basics or be tailored to the specific needs of the class/course.

Outreach Initiatives

Holy Spirit seeks to engage further with the community through the refinement of existing outreach initiatives as well as through the implementation of novel outreach initiatives.