Students in all disciplines can benefit from improved critical thinking, sharper research skills, and a broad knowledge of available resources. These skills, which are part of the broader concept of information literacy, have become one of the most vital sets of skills for the twenty-first century. A librarian, working with a course instructor, can design an in-class presentation that promotes information literacy, based on the goals and objectives of the course.
A typical presentation may include a summary of the most important information resources in a given field, where to find these resources, how to use them effectively, and how to evaluate resources found on the Web.
Students who are savvy about available resources and strategies for using them spend less time struggling to find information, and more time reading and analyzing materials important to the learning and research process. Faculty who arrange for course-related instruction usually decide to make it a permanent component of their courses.
First-year students can benefit greatly from instruction that helps them develop skills in locating and using information. Librarians would like to work with Rhetoric instructors and faculty as they help their students become stronger researchers.
The University Libraries often create specialized instructional programs that focus on various aspects of information literacy and library skills. Such sessions include gaining information gathering and critical thinking skills, how to locate books, journals, and other information formats using InfoHawk and the Internet, using Refworks, Google U, and how to evaluate Web-based resources.
Depending on program goals and group size, sessions are sometimes held in locations equipped with computer workstations where hands-on activities are possible. Groups receiving such instruction include international students, Upward Bound, and student athletes.
For more information, please contact:
Kathy Magarrell, Head, Research and Library Instruction
Main Library, The University of Iowa Libraries
Tel. (319) 335-5093
last revised: 7/17/08