Library and Information Literacy Education @ Hope College
Librarians at Hope strive to teach something called “information literacy,” a difficult compound of two complicated concepts. In a sense, it can be said that some kind of information literacy is a necessary component of education in any discipline; classes at Hope, for example, are designed not just to provide students with new information, but also to provoke intellectual growth by critically engaging with important ideas. Similarly, as teaching librarians, we try to see information literacy as a trans-disciplinary phenomenon, and orient our instruction toward promoting critical awareness of different information landscapes.
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines “information literacy” as a flexible skill set:
“Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” (Framework for IL in Higher Education)
We at Hope consider information literacy to be a reflective, creative practice, and seek to foster an attitude of mindfulness in our students by developing their abilities to solve information problems in a variety of contexts, from the basics of library-centered academic research to the less structured information environments they move through in their daily lives. A holistic approach to information literacy education, then, works to stimulate intellectual growth during the college years, while nurturing the critical thinking skills requisite for lifelong learning in a world abound with information.
What we currently offer
Hope's Research and Instruction Librarians currently teach a variety of sessions ranging from traditional library—"bibliographic"—instruction, to ones addressing broader themes and issues pertaining to information. In all cases, our goal is to empower students to thrive as fluent, discerning, and savvy information users and consumers. Because of the nature of our teaching contributions (i.e., course-embedded), it is critical that classroom faculty and librarians collaborate to maximize the impact of these sessions by integrating what is being taught into broader course learning objectives and assignments.
First Year Seminar (click for info)
English 113 (click for info)
In the Disciplines (click for info)
What we would like to offer
TBD — more structured curricular integration of information literacy at both the general education and disciplinary level.