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Information Literacy at Loras College

Information about the information literacy program at Loras College, including Library instruction services


An information literate student at Loras College masters the discovery of information, understands how information is produced and valued, uses information in creating new knowledge, and participates ethically in communities of learning. 

The Loras College Library endeavors to prepare students for their lives as active learners, reflective thinkers, ethical decision makers, and responsible contributors through:

  • responding to the changing needs of the Loras College community,
  • developing collaborative relationships with faculty,
  • utilizing varied instructional methods which address the needs of diverse learners, and
  • providing leadership, support, and resources for information literacy.

Recommendations for Faculty

Adapted from Bell, S. (2011) ."Bridging the information literacy communication gap: Putting PIL studies to good use." Library Issues, 32(2), 1-4.

Finding: Librarians are tremendously underutilized; only 20% of students report ever turning to librarians. (Report 2)
Recommendation: Put the name of your department’s librarian subject specialists on all communications related to research assignments. Encourage students to seek out these librarians and consider rewarding them for doing so.

Finding: Research-based assignments are long on procedural details and short on advice for research support. (Report 3)
Recommendation: Collaborate with a librarian when designing research assignments, and add to the syllabus more details on how to accomplish the research.

Finding: Library instruction sessions are helpful at the time of delivery but the lessons learned are soon forgotten and of little help when research is being conducted at a later time. (Report 1)
Recommendation: Curriculum committees should integrate instruction across the disciplines to ensure constant reinforcement of research skill development at the course level.

Finding: Students rarely seek out librarians for assistance with evaluating content for course-related assignments. (Report 4)
Recommendation: Faculty should invite librarians to class to meet students as a trust-building exercise in order to increase the likelihood that students will seek out librarians for help with evaluation.

Finding: Students need help with the “big picture” before they can get started with research assignments. (Report 2)
Recommendation: Provide students with more context for assignments and how they fit into the larger scope of the course and discipline; ask a librarian to provide a good overview of or guide to the subject or assignment.

Finding: Research assignments provide little advice for specific databases to use to gather information. (Report 3)
Recommendation: Consult with a librarian subject specialist to identify the top three databases for the assignment; ask the librarian to create a short tutorial showing students how to find and get started with the databases.

Finding: Students do recognize librarians as “information coaches”. (Report 1)
Recommendation: Faculty and academic administrators can work with the library staff to promote librarians as “information coaches” to the students.

Finding: Students tend to use the same limited research resources no matter what the topic or assignment requires. (Report 2)
Recommendation: Collaborate with librarians to identify appropriate resources that expose students to new options that expand their research horizons; assignment-based research guides are desirable.

Finding: The most difficult phase of the research process for students is getting started by formulating a manageable research question. (Report 1)
Recommendation: Organize a class session where students receive individual consultations with a librarian subject specialist who can help students with question formulation, resource selection, and starting tips.