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What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is fundamental to academic achievement in our complex information landscape. According to the Association of College and Research Libraries, information literacy is "the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.”

What does information literacy look like in practice?

Information literacy focuses on building new knowledge and abilities, and can take place in a variety of ways: in course assignments, in course materials, in course discussion/forums, and outside of class as students problem solve in projects, collaboration, and community. Here are four strategies to encourage information literacy in your students.

Strategy 1. Work with your liaison librarian to ensure there are appropriate resources for your assignment.

Librarians can help you identify the best resources available, and purchase specific materials if necessary. If your course is using specific resources, students benefit from knowing what they are and how to access them. These basic steps require knowledge of library systems that most students do not have. Find your liaison librarian.

Strategy 2. Invite a librarian to provide your students with an instruction session during class time.

Instruction can be a quick intro to library resources and collections, or a more narrow exploration of specific research tools (e.g. databases or primary sources) or processes (e.g. evaluating resources, citing). Required instruction sessions provide all students with an equitable starting point for research, including students who are new to college. Schedule a library instruction session.

Strategy 3. Encourage your students to explore library resources.

Library collections expand students' understanding of the information landscape by introducing them to scholarly resources, educational media, and communities of shared interest. When you require your students to use a variety of resources in an assignment, they become more discerning readers. Without this nudge, students often default to what is easiest and fastest, i.e. Google. Exposure to libraries' physical spaces and collections encourages pleasure reading and lifelong literacy.

Strategy 4. Invite librarians to participate in your course.

Librarians are allies to you, and your students. Because we are not grading your assignments, we rarely see the outcomes of student engagement with library resources and materials. We love to participate in developing assignments, joining discussions, critiques, and student presentations. This interaction, in turn, helps us better understand faculty and student needs.

How to use the Research Toolkit in your courses

Use the Library Research Toolkit to infuse information literacy into your courses!

Research is not one step; it is an iterative process that requires reflection, evaluation, and agency. These are learned behaviors.

For students new to college, research can be daunting. The Toolkit has been designed in "chunks" to help students learn about different process as they progress through a research assignment. Please do not assume your students know what you mean by "doing research." Be explicit in communicating what you mean by research, and write requirements into your research assignments.

You can assign a whole page in the navigation bar (Get Started, Find Sources, Evaluate Sources ...), or assign specific sub-pages (boxes). Some sub-pages have activities to review or complete. Feel free to use assignments as is, or re-design them to suit your purposes. Or let us know if you would like an assignment created that matches your course content.

Mini-lessons by discipline

Instructors are welcome to add these slides to their course Moodle to support student research assignments.

Request Library instruction

Did you know you can request Library instruction for students in your course?

LCC Librarians can provide lessons for your students in person (when campus re-opens), by Zoom, or remotely, depending on your needs. Visit the Request Library Instruction page to learn more, or contact your liaision librarian.

Find course material

Do you want help finding resources such as books or ebooks, articles, streaming videos, or OER content for you courses? Let us help!

The Library Subject Liaison page shows which LCC librarian is responsible for resources in your subject or discipline.

Meggie Wright is LCC's OER librarian. Contact Meggie about locating open resources, or creating your own.

Jen Ferro is the Library liaison for streaming media. Contact Jen about our streaming video content.