What We Do
Instruction librarians at the University of Louisville strive to create active classroom experiences that encourage critical thinking about information and promote research as an evolving process of inquiry. We work, often in collaboration with teaching faculty, to develop meaningful library sessions tailored to specific disciplines, courses, and assignments.
Our core mission is to encourage the development of information literacy in individuals. We define information literacy as the "ability to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (American Library Association, 1989). These skills contribute to the ability to think critically and they are vital life-skills for all individuals in our society.
Whenever possible, we avoid the pure lecture format and encourage active student participation through group work and other in-class exercises. We believe that students learn the most in a single session by participating in their own learning and focusing on one or two specific skills or concepts. We do not attempt to address all aspects of using the library in one session.
Best Practices to Promote Student Engagement at the Library
- Consider scheduling your information literacy sessions after students have received a specific research assignment and have at least some sense of their research questions or topics. In general, information literacy instruction is most effective within the context of a specific assignment (i.e. at the "point of need").
- Please provide us with as much information as you can about the students' assignment. This helps us develop more engaging activities that demonstrate the value of the library session to students.
- If possible, please attend information literacy sessions with your students. In our experience, a professor's presence tends to promote student engagement with class activities and increase overall participation. Feel free to comment and ask questions during the session.