Information Literacy at the Webster University Library
To schedule a class visit, plan a research assignment, or discuss other information literacy needs with a librarian, see our Instructional Services page.
In Fall 2008, Dean Laura Rein reorganized the Reference Department to create two new departments: Reference Desk Support and Instruction and Liaison Services (ILS). The ILS Department was tasked with developing an information literacy plan which would address the needs of students and faculty worldwide. A plan was submitted to the Dean and approved in Spring 2009. Further additions and changes to the plan will be incorporated as needed.
According to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), "Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed informationInformation literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It 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." (from the ACRL Standards).
A number of existing documents serve as the foundation for the Webster University Library plan and supply standards that have been widely recognized in higher education. They include:
- ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards
- Higher Learning Commission Institutional Accreditation
- Various Webster University campus-wide goals and plans
Goal 1: Deliver the same amount and quality of instruction off-campus as is offered on-campus.
- Students and faculty in all undergraduate and graduate programs worldwide will have access to library instruction.
- Instruction delivery options may include in-person, webconferencing, or instructional materials on the library's Web site.
Goal 2: Support the development of research skills among faculty and students in their disciplines.
- Priorities for instruction will be introductory classes, research methods classes, and capstone courses as best fits the needs of that particular discipline.
- Instruction will also be available upon request to support research needs of additional classes.
- Book-a-Librarian/one-on-one research consultations will be available for students seeking research help in a particular discipline.
- Faculty will have access to orientations to the librarys resources in their discipline.
Goal 3: Support the transition of traditional freshman to the university
- Basic skills will be taught and university-level resources introduced in all freshman seminars.
- Freshmen will be encouraged to seek research help from librarians.
Goal 4: Establish the library as a key partner in information literacy endeavors at the university.
- Librarians will be proactive in their involvement in information literacy efforts among the individual disciplines.
- Librarians will work with the FDC to support other information literacy endeavors, e.g. workshops, presentations, etc. on campus or via webinars.
- All library departments will share information and look for opportunities to offer instruction and curriculum support.
- The ILS Department will provide leadership in library information literacy planning and support.
Various methods will be used to assess progress toward these goals and outcomes, in particular:
- statistics, such as number of sessions taught, number of students reached, etc.
- surveys to gather feedback on webinars, instructional sessions, online materials, etc.
- direct or performance tests
- assignments developed by librarians and instructors