Information literacy, as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), 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 information." It is a key component of Dominican’s University-Wide Student Learning Goals, particularly in Goal 1 Knowledge: Depth and Breadth, Goal 2 Critical Thinking, and Goal 3 Research and Scholarship. Students’ use of libraries contributes to higher retention and graduation rates, and information literacy instruction’s effect on retention is a growing area of research. (See The Value of Academic Libraries, 2010.)
Following ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education librarians in the Rebecca Crown Library Instruction Program teach students to retrieve, evaluate, and ethically and legally use information; give students confidence in their information seeking abilities; and help prepare students for success in future educational endeavors and in the workplace.
Instruction is available for any class offered through Dominican, including online classes and classes at Grayslake, Triton, and Harold Washington Library Center. ACRL’s Standards for Distance Learning Library Services guide our practice of providing instruction to all students, regardless of location.
Research instruction embedded in the undergraduate curriculum
Students are introduced to library research skills during instruction sessions in their ENG 102, ENG 190 or SPCS 200 course. Students who place out of ENG 102 must register for the Information Access Workshop during their first semester at Dominican.
Librarians help students locate online and print sources through articles databases and book catalog; use the Internet for academic research; critically evaluate information; and use information ethically and legally. Students demonstrate these skills and fulfill the information literacy curriculum requirement by completing assignments that are assessed by both the librarian and the English or Legal Studies faculty member.
Specialized research instruction in courses in the majors
Students build on the introductory skills taught in their ENG or SPCS courses through more sophisticated, discipline-specific library instruction. Librarians teach students how to do specialized research in databases and other resources used in specific academic fields. Librarians work closely with faculty members to tailor instruction sessions and accompanying research guides to particular assignments. Sessions are available for any class offered through Dominican.
Library orientations and specialized research instruction in the graduate schools
Graduate students receive an introduction to library services as part of their school orientations prior to the start of classes. Librarians then attend courses to teach students how to do specialized research in their field of study. As graduate students often return to school many years after their undergraduate work, librarians also provide basic instruction on doing research with current library resources and tools. Librarians work closely with faculty members to tailor instruction sessions and accompanying research guides to particular assignments. Sessions are available for any class offered through Dominican.
Open workshops on the latest research tools and trends
Workshops, both in-person and online, on various research tools and trends are offered throughout the semester for current Dominican students, faculty and staff. Workshop details, schedules and registration forms are available here.