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APSU Information Literacy Action Plan


Developed during the
Institute for Information Literacy
Immersion Program '00
by Lori Buchana
User Education Librarian
Austin Peay State University

Information Literacy Action Plan Implementation Timeline

Problem Summary (in 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 literacy efforts.

Importance of Problem

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:

1)            Emphasize the role of teaching and instruction in all venues and forms, including individual and technology-based instruction and formal course integrated courses;

2)            Develop creative mechanisms enhancing the Library's constituents' information literacy, critical thinking skills, and life-long learning; and

3)            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.

Solution Summary

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.

Action Plan Players

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.

Needed Resources

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.

The Plan Implementation Timeline

NOTE:  Instructional Systems Design will be used throughout this process.


Sept - 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.)

Nov - Dec 2000            The Team drafts an Information Literacy Mission Statement and a definition of Information Literacy.

Jan - Mar 2001            The Team discusses ACRL Information Literacy Standards and drafts APSU student information literacy outcomes to be used on campus.

Mar - Apr 2001            The Team prepares and holds sessions in which

                                        teaching faculty who serve as Library Liaisons and

                                          the University Standing Library Committee are

                                    1) informed about information literacy and

2) asked for input regarding the drafted information literacy definition and the APSU student information literacy outcomes to be used on campus.

May 2001                   The 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.

June - 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 Instructional Effectiveness" will be used in this process.

The Team reviews and finalizes the modifications.

Aug - 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.

Jan - May 2002            Assessment of instruction occurs.

Jun - July 2002            The Team assesses the solution outlined in the action plan; modifications are made.

Aug 2002 -                             The experiences gained in this process are used to modify remaining instruction.  Articulation (first year through fourth year) goals will be included.

Evaluation of the Solution

The Team will evaluate the solution to see if it improved information literacy instruction on campus.  The Team will consider 

  • whether instruction has improved,
  • whether information literacy  became a presence on campus, and
  • whether the means of assessing instruction was accurate. 

Discussions among those involved in the process will occur, including the faculty in whose classes the modified instruction was included.


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Last Updated: 24-Jun-2013 | Questions or comments to