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USC Upstate Library
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5620

Library Instruction and Information Literacy

Library Instruction at USC Upstate

Vision

The USC Upstate Library Instruction Program supports the educational mission of the USC Upstate Library by teaching information literacy concepts and skills that facilitate proficiency in the research process and enhance critical thinking. By preparing students to be proficient in these areas, the program also supports the University’s metropolitan mission. Information literacy concepts and skills are necessary for our graduates to participate effectively as responsible citizens in a diverse, global and knowledge-based society, to pursue excellence in their chosen careers and to continue learning throughout life.

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Mission

The USC Upstate Library Instruction Program assists USC Upstate students in acquiring and developing information literacy - a core competency that achieves mastery of the research and critical-thinking concepts and skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, evaluate and use information effectively, efficiently and ethically. The Library Instruction Program collaborates with classroom faculty and staff as essential partners in teaching information literacy, targets courses and programs for instruction and support to ensure that information literacy is integrated into the curriculum and generally promotes information literacy throughout the university community.

(Vision and Mission Statements as approved by USC Upstate librarians 21 November 2008)

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Program Outcomes

1. Facilitates student learning of research skills and processes in order to successfully complete coursework and achieve academic success.

 2. Targets courses and academic programs for library instruction and support in order to integrate information literacy throughout the curriculum.

 3. Collaborates with faculty and staff university-wide in order to ensure a comprehensive and timely approach to teaching information literacy and research skills.

 4. Promotes information literacy university wide in order to encourage collaboration and gain recognition for information literacy as a core competency.

(Program Outcomes as approved by USC Upstate librarians 23 January 2009)

At USC Upstate, librarians collaborate with classroom faculty in a number of ways to provide information literacy instruction to our students. We have a First-Year Information Literacy Program for our students enrolled in University 101, English 101 and English 102. For other courses, collaboration may take the form of one or more formal library instruction sessions in the Library Computer Lab, Library Instruction Classroom, a smart classroom elsewhere on campus, at the University Center in Greenville or through closed-circuit television broadcasts for distance education classes.

We also provide “short sessions” on a single resource or topic, librarian-assisted research periods in the library or your classroom, assistance with designing library-related assignments or handouts for specific resources or topics, support for online courses and instruction in less formal settings: one-on-one conferences in our offices, at the reference desk, and through our Library Guides and web-based tutorials.

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When to Include a Library Instruction Session in Your Course

Library instruction is appropriate in any course that requires the use of library resources, including subscription databases, in order to complete class assignments. It is particularly useful as part of the preparation for major papers and presentations, and as a component of research methods courses. Library instruction is usually most effective when linked to a specific class assignment. The best time to schedule a session is usually after students have selected topics and perhaps even completed some background reading. You may also decide that you do not need a traditional full-period library instruction session, but would like to collaborate with a librarian in other ways. Please contact your library instruction liaison to discuss your needs.

Basic library orientation and research skills are covered by our First-Year Information Literacy Program in University 101, English 101, and English 102. While the nature of these sessions gives students a solid foundation and introduction to the research process, research skills, and library resources, they will generally not provide discipline-specific training, advanced research skills and strategies, or information on specialized databases. We also have a number of web-based tools and tutorials for basic library orientation on our student page

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How to Schedule a Library Instruction Session

For University 101: Your library session will be scheduled in advance.

English 101 and 102: You will be contacted by the librarian assigned to your section(s) at the beginning of the semester to discuss scheduling.

University Center, Greenville: Contact one of our UCG Librarians, Jim LaMee or Lola Bradley

For all other classes, contact your library instruction liaison or the Coordinator for Library Instruction directly. In order to reserve your preferred dates and times, please make your request as soon as possible, we recommend at least two weeks in advance.

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Assessment of Library Sessions

We take seriously our obligation to the USC Upstate faculty to provide high-quality instruction and to continually improve our program. In light of this, we strongly encourage you to submit student and faculty feedback on individual library sessions in a timely manner and to participate in any surveys about library instruction at USC Upstate. Each librarian will discuss the feedback process with you when you schedule your session. Beginning in Fall 2009, we will be using Class Climate to administer student feedback forms. While we encourage you to use the printed forms to administer in class, online forms are also a possibility. Using this system, we will now be able to track two questions on the student form and one question on the faculty form for program assessment.

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 Library Instruction Liaisons

Discipline

Librarian/Specialist

African-American Studies

  Virginia Alexander

American Studies

  Andrew Kearns

Art and Art Education

  Laura Karas

Biology

  Karen Swetland

Business/Economics

  Jim LaMee

Chemistry

  Karen Swetland

Children's Literature

  Camille McCutcheon

Communication

  Andrew Kearns

Computer Science

  Breanne Kirsch

Criminal Justice

  Andrew Kearns

Education (Undergraduate)

  Lola Bradley

Education (Graduate)

  Camille McCutcheon

Engineering Technology Management

  Karen Swetland

English

  Virginia Alexander

Film Studies

  Breanne Kirsch

Foreign Languages

  Lola Bradley

Geography

  Camille McCutcheon

Geology

  Karen Swetland

Graphic Design

  Laura Karas

Health Informatics

  Breanne Kirsch

History

  Andrew Kearns

Interdisciplinary Studies

  Lola Bradley

Informatics

  Breanne Kirsch

Journalism

  Andrew Kearns

Mathematics

  Karen Swetland

Military & Naval Science

  Andrew Kearns

Music

  Andrew Kearns

Nonprofit Administration

  Jim LaMee

Nursing

  Nancy Lambert

Philosophy

  Jim LaMee

Physical Education

  Lola Bradley

Physics

  Karen Swetland

Political Science

  Andrew Kearns

Psychology

  Lola Bradley

Religion

  Jim LaMee

Sociology

  Andrew Kearns

Speech

  Andrew Kearns

Theatre

  Camille McCutcheon

Women's Studies

  Laura Karas

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First-Year Information Literacy Program

Our First-Year Information Literacy Program with University 101, English 101 and English 102 is designed to give a firm foundation in the research process and the acquisition of basic research skills to first-year students. Students learn about information literacy concepts and develop research skills from their professors in class, from librarians in three dedicated library sessions, and from assignments on which classroom and library faculty collaborate. The goal is to focus on research as a process and to reinforce that process between the library and the classroom and across the three courses. The program is overseen by a First-Year Information Literacy Advisory Committee made up of members from the Library, the Student Success Center and University 101, and the English division.

If you teach one of the courses or are simply interested in more information about the program, consult our First-Year Information Literacy Program Library Guide.

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Information Literacy and the Research Process

Information literacy is a way of defining, thinking about, and teaching the research process. As such, it is an essential life skill in our information-saturated age. Information literacy is achieved not only through the development of discreet skills and knowledge, such as knowing where one might find information about a topic of interest and acquiring the ability to utilize databases and search strategies to retrieve it, but also in developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills that lead to an active and creative engagement with research and its end products. Defined thus, teaching and learning information literacy is a collaborative effort among classroom faculty, librarians, educational support staff, administrators, and students.

 In 2000, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the academic library arm of the American Library Association, published the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. This document provides a detailed model of the research process organized by five standards, each with performance indicators and learning outcomes. In 2001 ACRL brought out the Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction: A Model Statement for Academic Libraries, which includes written objectives for many of the performance indicators and learning outcomes and addresses the professor/librarian collaboration. These and other ACRL information literacy resources may be accessed on their information literacy page.

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