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Library Use Instruction Policy

I. Philosophy

The instructional role of University Laboratory High School Library is to teach students to make wise choices in a complex information environment. Formal introduction to library and information literacy skills take place during the required Computer Literacy curriculum. However, since information use is best taught in context, library use instruction is integrated throughout the curriculum and the Library welcomes and encourages collaboration with teachers.

II. New Student Library Orientation

During the first two weeks of school, subfreshman English classes come to a one-day library orientation in which students are introduced to library policies and procedures and to the physical layout of the Library.

Upper level transfer students are given an abbreviated version of this program during the school-wide new student orientation period.

III. Computer Literacy 1 and 2

Computer Literacy 1 is a one-semester required course taken during each student’s subfreshman year. A complete description of the course is available on the Library’s Computer Literacy* web page. Information literacy components of the course include the following:

  • Netiquette
  • Using the online catalog to find books and other materials
  • Using online databases to find magazine articles
  • Using and evaluating Web search tools
  • Evaluating Web sites
  • Ethics topics in information technology (focusing on communication issues, intellectual property, privacy, and student rights and responsibilities)

Computer Literacy 2 is a one-semester required course typically taken during each student’s freshman year. The focus of this course is an independent computer-based group project, however the semester begins with several skills units. Information literacy components include the following:

  • Using online databases to find current information from periodicals, newspapers, television and radio transcripts, and other sources
  • Ethics topics in information technology, with an emphasis on intellectual property issues

IV. Course Integrated Instruction

The library welcomes and encourages collaboration with teachers in the development of units which incorporate the use of the library and familiarize students with library resources and research strategies. This collaboration can take many forms. For example, library staff can test-run resource-based assignments, making sure that adequate materials are available for student use. The librarian can help design units that involve research and critical thinking skills. For some instructional units, the librarian may make a classroom presentation and provide instructional materials. Other units involve several days of students having hands-on experience in the library. Still other units require no more than a single day of class time in the library.

Specific guidelines and services are as follows:

  • Class time in the library must be reserved to ensure adequate staffing and to avoid conflicts with other classes.
  • The library provides resource support for specific assignments. Library staff can pull relevant materials from the collection and put them on a special shelf for student use. We are happy to create research guides for students either as web pages which link them directly to online resources or as paper handouts. Web guides for class projects are located on the Class Projects page. The more time we have to develop these support materials, the better they will be.
  • Even if no direct library instruction is required, please notify library staff of any upcoming assignments which will require library research. With notification, the library can forestall student frustration by providing more informed help or by placing limited resources on reserve.
  • Written copies of assignments are always appreciated.