Library Initiates Campuswide Information Literacy Program
Managing information is a crucial ability for students. Whether identifying and retrieving information, evaluating it, or using it to create new knowledge, students need to be able to do so effectively and efficiently while attending to the legal and ethical issues that relate to today's complex information environment.
To help students attain these learning goals, the University Library is embarking on the development of a campuswide information literacy program. Through systematic instruction in the campus libraries, this program will provide a valuable opportunity for students to improve their research skills and use of information resources-both as related to their coursework and in preparation for continuous lifetime learning. The program will be designed specifically to assist students in developing research strategies that utilize the full range of library resources, both print and electronic.
To lead the development of the information literacy program, the Library has hired Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe as the first coordinator for information literacy services and instruction. "The University Library offers an immense richness in its collections, and the information literacy program will educate students in the skills and strategies they need to fully utilize the breadth and depth of those resources," explains Professor Hinchliffe.
While library instruction programs have been offered in the past, there has not been-until now-a systematic, comprehensive information literacy program. "As information resources have increased in number and complexity, librarians around the country recognize the growing need for instruction in information literacy," explains Paula Kaufman, university librarian. "We are very fortunate to have appointed Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, a national leader in this area, to begin and develop a program for the University community."
Initial steps in the development of the information literacy program will include taking stock of existing instructional efforts, identifying unserved and/or underserved groups, providing support for librarians teaching instruction sessions or developing instructional materials, and selecting strategic directions for short- and long-term efforts.