September 16, 2013
Information literate

Librarians as Library Instructors

What used to be a quick tour around the library and being shown how to use the card catalog has changed. Digital and print information are equally important to success in college and in daily life, and the library is still the place to get comprehensive help with any kind of research, from papers for English class to help figuring out a career.

Spend Less Time Finding Information and More Time Using It

It’s no longer enough to just show people where stuff is, both in and outside of the library. Today, librarians are also library instructors teaching information literacy to patrons. Being “information literate” means being able to find, analyze, and use information to enhance your life, specifically so you can spend less time finding it and more time using it. Your campus librarian can teach you how to become a better researcher, so you can find information faster, sort the good from the bad, and put it to use.

Good Research Skills Lead to Success

Learning solid research skills will put you on track to succeed in college and in the workplace. Some studies have shown that being information literate leads to higher grades, increased confidence in school, and less frustration over completing assignments.

In the workplace many employers, while impressed by student’s online research abilities emphasize that traditional information gathering methods, from looking at print resources to picking up a phone are equally important. Being able to figure out when to use which source is at the heart of  being information literate.

Options for Library Instruction

Learning how to use the library can be integrated into any class. Library Instruction can take many forms:

  • A brief library tour or introduction (10-30 minutes)
  • A single class session tailored to an assignment
  • Multiple classes to complement a class syllabus

Any one of these helps students fit into the school community and become better researchers. Faculty will spend less time teaching and correcting research-related problems since their students will have an established baseline of research skills, and more reliable citations and sources.

Library Instruction is available for any student, faculty or staff member. Contact your campus librarian for details!

 

About the author:

Joe Grobelny is a reference and instruction librarian who focuses on collaborative, critical information literacy on the desk and in the classroom with five years of undergraduate and graduate instruction experience. He has half of a music degree, a BA in History from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an MLIS from the University of Denver.