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Library Services for Faculty

Information Literacy

One of the fundamental services provided by academic libraries is the teaching of information literacy. Information literacy is a set of skills and concepts which include the ability to locate, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and use information from a variety of sources: books, journals, databases, government documents, and the internet. Information literacy is essential for students to function in our information-based society. Academic librarians are committed to providing students with the research skills necessary for them to become lifelong information consumers.

Instruction Sessions
The primary method by which librarians teach information literacy is through course-integrated instruction. After consultation with a faculty member, a librarian designs an in-class session that meets the specific needs of the students in the course. For example, for PSY 204/Developmental Psychology, which requires an annotated bibliography, students are introduced to the psychological literature and databases. Emphasis is placed on distinguishing scholarly, refereed journals from the non-scholarly, popular journals; comprehending the purpose of an annotated bibliography and its components and applying APA style.

For each information literacy session, librarians create a course guide available on the Web.

Creating Effective Research Assignments

An effective research assignment has the following characteristics:

  • Clearly stated purpose
  • Well defined search strategy
  • Specified level of research

clearly stated purpose shows students how the assignment is related to course subject matter and learning objectives and defines what level of research is expected.

well defined search strategy is a step by step method for organizing the research project. The strategy includes the types of information to be sought, suggests the resources to be consulted, and stresses the evaluation of source material. The specified level of research indicates the extent and depth of the research process. There are three levels of research. 

The first level is the description of the body of facts. At this level, students are recognized to be inexperienced researchers in need of training. The instructor should look for the following: ability to select material appropriate to the argument; ideas that are supported by research or named sources; inclusion of primary sources.

The second level is the analysis of a well-ordered body of facts. At this level students may be considered independent researchers capable of producing a major piece of creative work or a statement of experimental research and results. The instructor should look for the following:  use of a well-reasoned research strategy; selection of appropriate research methods; identification of insights into developments in a particular discipline. 

The third level is the synthetic level which includes the discovery of original facts or the presentation of an original way of looking at a body of facts. Students at this level work independently to produce a substantial piece of work which shows knowledge of the general contexts of a discipline and offers an original contribution to the discipline. The instructor should look for work that represents the leading edge of research and is worthy of publications.

Alternatives to the Research Paper

Information literacy skills can be learned through various assignments. Consider the following as alternatives to the traditional research paper and ask students to:

  1. Write an annotated bibliography.
  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of a topic in scholarly journals versus popular magazines.
  3. Identify the print and electronic reference sources, databases, and scholarly journals in a particular discipline and an analysis of the contribution of each to the discipline.
  4. Identify key issues or scholars in a discipline.
  5. Compare two different discipline's presentation of the same topic.
  6. Write a literature review.

Information Literacy Coversheets

In order to help assess student information literacy skills at Cabrini, Holy Spirit Library has developed a standardized rubric for use by all instructors in core and major courses.

In-Office Consultations

In-office consultations are available for faculty interested in learning more about the Library's resources and services or one or more of the Library's databases.

To schedule a consultation contact  Anne Schwelm, 610.902.8536 or  (aschwelm@cabrini.edu). 

Liaison Program

A liaison is a librarian formally designated as the primary contact between the Holy Spirit Library and a specific academic department. The intention is to provide faculty and students with the name of at least one person who can act as a starting point for questions about any service or issue. The role of the liaison is to foster two-way communication between the library and academic programs.

The liaisons:

  • Develop and maintain knowledge of information resources within a given subject area(s)
  • Initiate orders for materials
  • Select, evaluate, and monitor electronic resources
  • Notify faculty about new library services and materials of potential interest
  • Maintain on-going review of print and electronic serial subscriptions and options for alternative access
  • Provide support for accreditation review processes, new academic programs, and grant proposals
  • Evaluate collection strengths and weaknesses

Librarians contact academic departments about Library services each semester. At the end of the academic year, librarians provide statistics/data about usage of such services.

Borrowing Privileges at Holy Spirit Library
Faculty have a loan period of one academic semester for regularly circulating materials and one week for multimedia materials. There is no limit to the number of regularly circulating items that faculty may borrow.

Contact the Circulation Department at 610.902.8538.

Borrowing Privileges at Other Libraries
In addition to borrowing privileges at Cabrini, faculty may borrow materials in person from SEPCHE and other TCLC (Tri-state College Library Cooperative) institutions. In all cases, faculty must present proof of Cabrini affiliation and must request a letter of introduction from a Cabrini librarian for use at TCLC libraries.

Reserve Desk

The Library accepts materials for the Reserve Desk based on the guidelines below. Please allow two working days to process materials. Books, media and journal articles from the Library's collection will be placed on reserve at the request of the instructor. Instructors are encouraged to put Library items on reserve in anticipation of high demand for specific materials for class assignments, in order to ensure access for all students in the class. Personal copies of materials are accepted for reserve. Barcodes, labels, and security stickers will be affixed to each item. The Library is not responsible for damage or loss of such materials.

All materials will be removed from the Reserve Desk shelves at the end of each semester. Personal items should be picked up by the instructor. The Library Director reserves the right to refuse items for reserve, if in her judgment the items do not meet the fair use provisions set forth in the United States Copyright Act of 1976 (Section 107). Please note that materials not meeting the criteria for fair use may be accepted for the Reserve Desk if permission has been granted by the copyright holder.

Materials accepted for the Reserve Desk:

  • Books, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, and videos.
  • Portions of books (up to 15% of total pages).
    Please include copies of title and verso pages.
  • Photocopies of journal articles with complete bibliographic information.
  • Materials created by the Instructor for the course, e.g., syllabi, class notes, tests, presentations, etc.
  • Student-created materials accompanied by a signed consent form.
  • Materials accompanied by a permission letter from the copyright holder, suchas:
    • Large portions of books, (more than 15%)
    • Portions of books used for more than one semester Journal articles used for more than one semester

Academic Book Review Sources

Purchase Requests

The Holy Spirit Library welcomes purchase requests for Library materials from faculty, students and staff. All requests will be reviewed by relevant Library staff members. Within budget constraints and our collection development policy, we make every attempt to acquire requested items.

To suggest materials for purchase, please contact the director via email, aschwelm@cabrini.edu, or campus mail with the following information: 

  •  type of material, e.g., book, journal subscription, database, CD, DVD
  •  author
  •  title
  •  publisher (if known)
  •  ISBN/ISSN# (if known)
  • your name
  • your department
  • your university status

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