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Information Literacy (IL) for Faculty: Home


Welcome to the Carlson Library guide to information literacy. This guide is designed to support faculty integration of information literacy competencies within the university curriculum. Please use the tabs above to find quality resources for information literacy instruction. If you have any questions please contact a librarian at the Carlson Library.


Information Literacy Plan for Carlson Library


The information literacy program seeks to provide an avenue to impart the necessary information literacy skills for lifelong learning. The library will actively engage in the continuous improvement of its information literacy program.

Library Instruction Mission Statement

The mission of the Libraries’ Instruction Program is to advance the information literacy competencies of Clarion University students and faculty.

Our instructional mission is to encourage students to develop information literacy skills that will extend throughout their lives. We define information literacy as the ability to retrieve, manage, evaluate and distribute information. An information literate individual is able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally (

Statement of Purpose

The program is designed to teach individuals the concepts and logic of information access. Carlson Library Strives

  • To prepare individuals to make both immediate use of information and to develop a respect as well as an enthusiasm for learning that will extend throughout their lives. 
  •  To help foster information independence and critical thinking, and to promote awareness of the paramount importance of information literacy in achieving academic excellence.

The library recognizes that learning requires a partnership involving students, faculty and staff in expanding students’ learning beyond the classroom (as found in the university’s mission statement.)

The mission of the Library Instruction Program will be achieved by:

  1. Assessing the instructional needs of target audiences;
  2. Coordinating, monitoring, and continuously improving Instruction activities and materials;
  3. Introducing new types of instruction programs targeted to the needs of specific audiences; and
  4. Increasing the awareness of the target audience of the benefits of information literacy and of what the Clarion University Libraries can do for them to support their educational, research, and service goals.

Strategic Plan

  •  Strive to work with current university structure to implement intensive information literacy tagged courses that are required for graduation (similar to intensive writing courses).
  •  Develop effective instruction guides in paper and online formats.
  •  Develop web-based tutorial for information literacy.
  •  Strive to infuse information literacy concepts in existing academic programs through collaboration with departments. (Make use of the current library liaison structure or develop a similar model.)
  •  Work with the current library faculty senate sub-committee to promote information literacy concepts throughout the university curriculum.
  •  Seek to create an information literacy instruction team.
  •  Work to create a network within the SSHE System of information literacy partners.
  •  Strive to offer special topic instruction sessions for advance information literacy skills. (Ex.  Evaluating websites, The internet for teachers, Using the internet to get a job, Critical thinking skills when using information, etc.)
  •  Seek to develop a credit bearing required information literacy course if necessary. (This will require more staff to accomplish and should not be necessary if information literacy is infused throughout the curriculum.)

Our Patrons

Our primary patrons are the students, faculty, and staff of the university. Clarion University users and affiliates of the university will be given priority in the scheduling and use of services.

Possible Modes of Instruction

  •  Advising individuals at reference desk (one-on-one instruction).
  •  One-on-one synchronous instruction (chat software) (Potential for additional future applications.)
  •  Print instruction aids, guides and pathfinders.
  •  Group instruction in existing traditional or virtual classrooms (distance education via D2L demonstrating effective use of the library’s electronic and print resources and providing an active learning environment).
  •  Subject specific instruction targeted to the specific level of a patron’s sophistication and needs.
  •  Interactive online tutorial via the libraries website. (using programs like Camtasia and technology related to podcasting)
  •  Web tutorials and Web-based instruction (using course management software ie: D2L or programs such as Searchpath ).

Although the following items are not true information literacy competencies, they are essential for our students basic knowledge foundation for library use and are a platform from which information literacy can develop.

  •  Provide library orientation /instruction to university faculty and staff.
  •  Provide instruction to campus groups demonstrating effective use of the library’s electronic and print resources that are available from the university’s librarian’s portal.
  •  Provide general instruction on the proper use of library services.

Critical Thinking Skills and Active Learning

Our primary focus has been on course-integrated instruction in collaboration with teaching faculty within their existing classes. These efforts will increase student engagement in the learning process because instruction is delivered at the time when it is most relevant to their immediate information need, and to extend opportunities for a more reflective approach to information retrieval, evaluation, and use.

Assignment of Instruction at Carlson Library and the Virtual Campus

When an instruction request goes through the Coordinator of Library Instruction, librarians will be asked to take the assignment in the following order:

  1. The instruction librarian with the most expertise in the field will be asked first, if the librarian is available.
  2. If the librarian is not available, another instruction librarian with experience in the area will be asked.
  3. The Coordinator of Library Instruction will consider the assignment if no librarian is available.
  4. Every attempt will be made to fill any reasonable request, but if no librarian is prepared or able to take the class, either the Coordinator of Library Instruction will offer an alternative (i.e., a basic demonstration and relevant handout) or the request will be refused.)

Instruction Lab Workstations

  1. Workstations will duplicate the resources on the workstations in the General Access Lab.
  2. Because maintenance of the networked software environment is crucial, configurations will not be changed to accommodate specialized software for temporary instruction, except at the discretion of the Library.
  3. Because student funding was used in the purchase of much of the equipment, the primary use of the area will be to support campus constituents.
  4. General reference public workstations at Carlson Library will not be reserved for instructional or class use to ensure access to general users. (See also Library Instruction Room User Policy.)

Class Presentations

  1. The Library Instruction Area at Carlson Library can accommodate up to 40 students for hands-on instruction. If larger classes need to be accommodated, the Instruction Librarians may take the presentation to the course classroom.
  2. It is highly recommended that instructors accompany their class to facilitate the effectiveness of the session.

Scheduling at Carlson Library and the Virtual Campus

  1. Classes should be scheduled with the Coordinator of Library Instruction by contacting Karen Sheesman at x1841 who will maintain and post a master schedule outside the lab. (See also Library Instruction Room User Policy.)
  2. Classes will be scheduled on a first come-first basis with a minimum of 7 working days advanced notice. Preference will be given to credit courses rather than non-credit courses.
  3. Classes wanting to use areas other than the reference area must schedule their visit in advance. Only one class per floor in any one-class period will be permitted. Instructors must accompany classes.

Instruction Program Support

In order for information literacy programs to be successful, ACRL recommends that the “expertise of a variety of personnel” is needed, which depends on “local needs and available staff.” ACRL cites examples of available expertise such as:

  • Faculty development offices
  • Technology support centers
  • Teaching/learning centers
  • Institutional research/assessment offices
  • Instructional research
  • Campus/student life offices

Subject Guide

Basil Martin