Instruction Services Plan for Information Literacy at the University of Rhode Island

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Instruction Services Plan for Information Literacy at the University of Rhode Island I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. Introduction Relationship of Information Literacy to Higher Education The Information Literacy Program Incremental Implementation of Information Literacy at the University Libraries Information Literacy Support Services Coordination of Information Literacy Efforts Assessment and Evaluation Appendices I. Introduction In the Information Age it is a necessity for all URI students, staf
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  Instruction Services Plan for Information Literacy at the University of Rhode Island   I. Introduction  II. Relationship of Information Literacy to Higher Education  III. The Information Literacy Program  IV. Incremental Implementation of Information Literacy at the University Libraries  V. Information Literacy Support Services  VI. Coordination of Information Literacy Efforts   VII.   Assessment and Evaluation   Appendices   I. Introduction   In the Information Age it is a necessity for all URI students, staff, and faculty to be accomplished information users. Recognizing this, the University Libraries’ reference librarians have designed and offer an incremental long range plan that provides library instruction based on the  Association of College & Research Libraries’ Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (approved in 2000).   The ACRL competencies support and address the needs of individuals to become life-long learners. “Information literacy is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed and assume greater control over their own learning.” American Library Association.  Presidential Committee onInformation Literacy. Final Report. (Chicago: American Library Association, 1989.)   A. What is Information Literacy?   Information literacy is a set of abilities enabling individuals to recognize when information is needed andhave the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.   American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Final Report. (Chicago: American Library Association, 1989.)   B. Why Information Literacy?   “Have you ever heard of Data Smog? A term coined by author David Shenk, it refers to the idea that too much information can create a barrier in our lives. This data smog is produced by the amount of information,the speed at which it comes to us from all directions, the need to make fast decisions, and the feeling ofanxiety that we are making decisions without having ALL the information that is available or that we need.   Information literacy is the solution to Data Smog. It allows us to cope by giving us the skills to know when weneed information and where to locate it effectively and efficiently. It includes the technological skills neededto use the modern library as a gateway to information. It enables us to analyze and evaluate the informationwe find, thus giving us confidence in using that information to make a decision or create a product. Introduction to Information Literacy, Association of College and Research Libraries.    II. Relationship of Information Literacy to Higher Education   A. External Standards   New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Standards   The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) standards specify that graduates of NewEngland higher education institutions should demonstrate information literacy competency including thecapability for life-long learning. (See standards 4.6, 4.18, 7.4 and 7.7)   Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards forHigher Education   Standard 1   The information literate student determines the nature and extent of theinformation needed.   Standard 2   The information literate student accesses needed information effectively andefficiently.   Standard 3   The information literate student evaluates information and its sourcescritically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledgebase and value system.   Standard 4   The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, usesinformation effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.   Standard 5   The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal,and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and usesinformation ethically and legally.   B. University of Rhode Island  – Supporting Statements   1. University of Rhode Island Mission Statement:   The University of Rhode Island is the State’s public learner  -centered research university. We are acommunity joined in a common quest for knowledge. The University is committed to enriching the lives of itsstudents through its land, sea, and urban grant traditions. URI is the only public institution in Rhode Islandoffering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the distinctive educational opportunities of amajor research university. Our undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, research, and outreachserve Rhode Island and beyond. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are united in one common purpose: to learn and lead together. Embracing Rhode Island’s heritage of independent thought, we value:    Creativity and Scholarship  Diversity, Fairness, and Respect  Engaged Learning and Civic Involvement  Intellectual and Ethical Leadership 2. University of Rhode Island Libraries Vision and Mission Statements   Vision Statement   “In the twenty -first century, the University of Rhode Island Libraries, utilizing the newest technologies, willinsure optimum access to, and delivery of, information for the University and State of Rhode Island. Aspartners in the teaching, research, and service missions of the University, the libraries will continue toacquire, organize, and preserve materials in all formats and provide instruction in their use.”   Mission Statement   “The library is an academic division within the University which has a mandate to serve the knowledge and information needs of the University Community and the general public. The library is the principal campusresource for human creativity and memory in traditional and electronic formats providing a truly globalinformation environment.    The library is responsive to students and their instructional needs, to faculty and their teaching and researchneeds, and to administrators and their information needs. Librarians are committed to safeguardingintellectual freedom, to preserving and organizing the institution's records, to providing sophisticatedreference services, and to engaging in bibliographic exchange on both regional and national scales.   The library provides an environment conducive to scholarly research and study. It is a vital andinterdisciplinary resource whose support by the University exemplifies its commitment to educational excellence.”   3. Information Literacy Mission Statement   The University Libraries are dedicated to the development of a University community that is informationliterate, as defined by the American Library Association. We offer the University community opportunities tobecome effective, efficient information consumers for the 21st century. We actively promote our instructionalservices as the bridge to information literacy empowerment between our patrons and their research needs.   The University Libraries’ faculty encourages the development of an information literate University community in the following ways:    By collaborating with colleagues across the campus to integrate information literacy into academicprograms.    By promoting the use of library resources in all formats, inasmuch as familiarity with both print andelectronic formats is essential.    By providing instruction formally and informally, to individuals and to classes, in person and online.    By providing programmatic instruction that addresses the needs of the University community.    By working to make every interaction at the library, especially reference questions, a learningopportunity for users.    By evaluating the effectiveness of our approaches and regularly renewing our own skills.   Approved by the Public Services DepartmentMarch 21, 2008   Used with permission of Ramapo College, George T. Potter Library.   4. A Teaching Library   The University Libraries are teaching libraries. We actively promote our services as the bridge to informationempowerment between our patrons and their research needs. The goal of the Information Literacy Plan is tobuild on our library instruction and orientation foundations by adding critical thinking and informationconcepts to our program. We strive to offer the URI community opportunities to become effective, efficientinformation consumers for the 21st century.   III. The Information Literacy Program   The Information Literacy Program focuses on undergraduate and graduate students as well as the teachingand research needs of the campus faculty.   A. Goals   1. To develop independent critical thinkers2. To relieve “information anxiety” or the perplexing sense of confusion that many students fee l whenfaced with university-level research3. To support the goals and objectives of the University's teaching mission4. To support the goals and objectives of the University’s General Education program (as an important subset of #3): o the ability to think critically in order to solve problems and question the nature and sources ofauthority o the ability to use the methods and materials characteristic of each knowledge area with anunderstanding of the interrelationship among and the interconnectedness of the core areas  o a commitment to intellectual curiosity and life-long learning o an openness to new ideas with the social skills necessary for both teamwork and leadership o the ability to think independently and be self-directed; to make informed choices and takeinitiative B. Objectives   1. To offer programmatic incremental planned information literacy instruction   a. Deliver information literacy concepts and skills programmatically through URI 101, theDepartment of Writing and Rhetoric and the Talent Development pre-matriculation program.b. Deliver course-related information literacy instruction in conjunction with credit courses inother programs and disciplines. c. Deliver credit-bearing information literacy courses. 2. Develop an undergraduate curriculum mapping project with three stages:  a. Identify all courses that traditionally receive information literacy instruction from librarians.Further, to identify which information literacy standards are delivered in each of thosecourses.  b. Identify General Education courses that have identified themselves as incorporating the “Use of information technology” skill and that are us ing Web-based research as their skill.Continue to consult with University committees that address information literacy as a contentarea of academic programs and courses.  c. Identify capstone courses in each college or program and act in a library liaison role todevelop advanced information literacy opportunities for students involved in their capstoneprojects.   C. Addressing the Needs of Students   To address the information literacy needs of our students we have implemented an incremental programteaching information literacy competencies. The program addresses the competencies as determined bylibrary faculty in consultation with the Association of College & Research Libraries Information LiteracyCompetency Standards (see II a, above).   The program is available to all URI students by:    Providing opportunities for all students to achieve the competencies outlined by the program.    Developing measurable outcomes and a means for student accountability.    Coordinating with faculty of other departments or colleges to identify the information literacy needs ofeach discipline.    Integrating the concept of information literacy into the curriculum wherever possible.  Offering students a variety of ways to achieve the competencies in information literacy.   D. Addressing the Needs of Faculty   The information literacy plan involves faculty in two ways. Faculty play an essential role in collaborating withlibrarians to deliver information literacy competencies to students. Through this collaboration, librarians willbetter be able to integrate information literacy into the curriculum in a programmatic way. As well, awarenessof information literacy concepts and skills are important to faculty in their own research and teaching.   To address the information literacy needs and awareness of URI faculty we offer the following:      New faculty orientation to introduce the library’s information literacy program.    Workshops for all faculty to introduce new library materials and services.    Consultations with other teaching faculty to develop models of collaborative instruction whereinformation literacy skills can be built into the curriculum.    Promote currently existing library services and expertise to facilitate the research process.    Participate as facilitators outlining integration of information literacy skills in course material for the Instruction Development Program’s Fall Faculty Workshops and Teaching Fellows Program.  
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