Developed during the
Institute for Information Literacy
Immersion Program '00
by Lori Buchanan
User Education Librarian
Austin Peay State University
Information Literacy Action Plan
context of Library User Education Program)
During the mid to late 1990s,
APSU library instruction was heavily influenced by technology.
Search strategies, the research process and important information
sources became secondary to the new focus of teaching students the mechanics
of using various periodical databases, the online catalog and the World Wide
Web. As a result, the current
Program resembles a training program more than it does an instruction program.
The problem to be solved is how to return to the User Education
Program's original plan, which was to instruct students in the information
management skills they need to be information literate and successful lifelong
learners. By solving this
problem, the Program will improve and contribute to campus information
APSU students need to possess
information management skills, that is be information literate, in order to be
lifelong learners. Promotion of
information skills through the curriculum and a commitment to lifelong
learning were recently added to the revised University Mission Statement.
The Library's Mission and Goals document states that "Foremost
among [the Library's] functions is teaching and the provision of information
literacy opportunities to all levels of the University community, in order to
equip its members with the skills needed to be competent life-long
learners." Specific Library
teaching goals include:
Emphasize the role of teaching and instruction in all venues and forms,
including individual and technology-based instruction and formal course
Develop creative mechanisms enhancing the Library's constituents'
information literacy, critical thinking skills, and life-long learning; and
Expand the Library's services to distance learning students including
those at off-campus sites.
Improving the User Education
Program by returning the User Education Program's emphasis to information
management skills, will enable the Library to fulfill its Mission and
contribute to the University's efforts to graduate students who are skilled in
the use of information and committed to lifelong learning.
The solution to the problem is
three-fold. First, create local
student information literacy outcomes based on the ACRL Information Literacy
Competency Standards. Second,
review and modify the APSU Library User Education Program's instruction to
teach toward these outcomes. Third,
develop a means to assess these outcomes, in order to determine if the User
Education Program is meeting the Library's teaching goals and ultimately
contributing to the University's Mission.
This solution is the most
promising of those considered, because it builds on the connections already in
place due to existing collaborative efforts and established relationships
among library faculty and other teaching faculty.
These connections radiate from the present Library User Education
Program through 1) the course-integrated library instruction provided in the
Heritage Program, 2) the course-related library instruction which makes up the
major portion of the Program and 3) special projects such as the Psychology
Research Guide website. Therefore,
the focus will be on modifying this Program, rather than beginning APSU
information literacy efforts from scratch.
The intention is that information literacy will begin by filtering
across campus via the User Education Program; additional information literacy
opportunities will likely surface over time.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, the recognized professional ACRL
Information Literacy Competency Standards will be used to develop desired APSU
student information literacy outcomes. Modification
of instruction will be necessary in order to meet these outcomes.
Reviewing the entire Program is necessary in order to gain an
understanding of 1) the present
instructional content covered, 2) the users reached, 3) the teaching methods
employed and 4) the current articulation gaps.
The review will allow specific instructional opportunities to be
targeted and instructional modification to occur as time allows.
Building in assessment of the Program's modified instruction using the
newly developed outcomes will allow future instructional improvement.
Support from the Library Dean,
College Deans and the Vice President for Academic Affairs will be sought,
since resource, mainly staff and time, will be needed to plan and implement
this process. Both library
faculty and other teaching faculty will need to be involved as players,
because the success of APSU information literacy efforts depends on the
creation of a shared vision among those directly affected.
The primary players will be the instruction librarians, other
librarians and selected faculty who will be asked to serve on a Team which
guides the process. The User
Education Librarian will facilitate this Team's work.
Additional teaching faculty who serve as library liaisons and the
University's Standing Library Committee will be educated about the need for
information literacy. Their
insights regarding developing APSU student information literacy outcomes will
be sought during the process.
Staff and time are the
resources needed to complete this process.
Space and technology are already present.
Because of current budget constraints experienced at APSU and in the
State of Tennessee, there is no chance for staff and time to be completely
dedicated to this process or even for the process to receive the highest
priority. Therefore, developing
the outcomes, reviewing and modifying instruction, and creating a means to
assess outcomes will have to be done over a larger period of time than might
normally be expected.
Plan Implementation Timeline
Instructional Systems Design will be used throughout this process.
- Oct 2000 The
User Education Librarian appoints a Team to guide the process.
This Team meets to discuss
information literacy and
the current User Education
Program's philosophy. (Bruce's 7
Information Literacy Conceptions and the subsequent Michigan interview
findings may be used as discussion fodder for the Team
to understand different ways
people, including students, approach information and also, as an introduction
to the ACRL Standards and Outcomes. Also,
the 'Best Models' website and other sources will be consulted.)
- Dec 2000
The Team drafts an Information Literacy Mission Statement and a
definition of Information Literacy.
- Mar 2001
The Team discusses ACRL Information Literacy Standards and drafts APSU
student information literacy outcomes to be
used on campus.
- Apr 2001
The Team prepares and holds sessions in which
faculty who serve as Library
the University Standing Library Committee are
1) informed about information
2) asked for input regarding
the drafted information literacy definition and the APSU student information
literacy outcomes to be used on campus.
Team incorporates feedback received from
teaching faculty and the standing committee into the
final draft of APSU student information literacy
outcomes to be used on campus.
The Team reviews current
instruction provided on campus and targets specific instruction in which
modification will initially occur.
- July 2001
The instruction librarians draft modifications to the targeted
instruction in order to teach toward the new APSU Student Information Literacy
Outcomes. "Improvement Cycle Steps Toward
Effectiveness" will be used in this process.
The Team reviews and finalizes
- Dec 2001
Modified instruction is tried and revised as needed by instruction
librarians and classroom faculty.
The Team develops the means to
assess instruction to see if it meets outcomes.
- May 2002
Assessment of instruction occurs.
- July 2002
The Team assesses the solution outlined in the action plan; modifications
The experiences gained in this process are used to modify remaining
instruction. Articulation (first
year through fourth year) goals will be included.
of the Solution
Team will evaluate the solution to see if it improved information literacy
instruction on campus. The Team
instruction has improved,
information literacy became a
presence on campus, and
the means of assessing instruction was accurate.
among those involved in the process will occur, including the faculty in whose
classes the modified instruction was included.