Library Instruction

About Library Instruction

Our instruction program focuses on teaching lifelong skills of locating, accessing, and evaluating information to students, in support of UFV's institutional learning outcomes (see in particular ILO #1, Demonstrate information competency).

Librarians partner with faculty to provide direct student instruction in the classroom, with the goal of developing customized learning experiences that meet the learning outcomes of an assignment or project.

We also provide indirect instruction and research support to students through online tools such as research guides and tutorials. This includes the development of research guides customized for your course.

We also work directly with faculty to design assignments and learning activities that support the development of students' information competency through the entire program.

What Do We Teach?

Librarians design classroom instruction around a specific assignment or set of learning outcomes, focusing on topics and learning activities that suit the specific context and learners. These topics might include one or more of:

  • interpreting research assignments;
  • brainstorming and narrowing or broadening research topics;
  • constructing a research question;
  • identifying potential keywords and search terms (including discipline-specific terms);
  • identifying characteristics and scope of different search tools (library catalogue, Find It, specialized databases, web search engines);
  • searching library databases effectively (using limiters, collecting potential articles);
  • examining how the literature of a discipline is constructed;
  • distinguishing between scholarly and non-scholarly sources;
  • comparing and distinguishing between types of scholarly sources (e.g., peer-reviewed, empirical, review, systematic review, meta-analysis);
  • identifying grey literature;
  • finding different types of sources on a topic (scholarly and non-scholarly);
  • locating items (print and full-text);
  • reading, interpreting, and mining citations in a source;
  • evaluating sources for authority, relevance, currency, and objectivity; and
  • citing sources using common styles (APA, MLA, Chicago).
About Information Competency

ILO #1 identifies four key abilities:

  • gathering, organizing, and critically examining information;
  • efficiently using technology in that pursuit;
  • using relevant and credible sources from a variety of perspectives; and
  • using information ethically.

These are all reflected within the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (ACRL, 2016), which identifies an ecosystem of information competency that can be expressed through 6 key concepts, or frames:

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation is a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research is Inquiry
  • Scholarship is Conversation
  • Searching is Strategic Exploration

Together, these frames identify the knowledge practices and dispositions, or attitudes, that are embodied by information competent individuals.

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