• A Pragmatic and Flexible Approach to Information Literacy: Findings from a Three-Year Study of Faculty-Librarian Collaboration

      Junisbai, Barbara; Lowe, M. Sara; Tagge , Natalie; 0000-0001-6200-8217 (2016-07-15)
      While faculty often express dismay at their students' ability to locate and evaluate secondary sources, they may also be ambivalent about how to (and who should) teach the skills required to carry out quality undergraduate research. This project sought to assess the impact of programmatic changes and librarian course integration on students' information literacy (IL) skills. Using an IL rubric to score student papers (n = 337) over three consecutive first-year student cohorts, our study shows that when faculty collaborate with librarians to foster IL competencies, the result is a statistically significant improvement in students' demonstrated research skills. Our study also reveals a collaboration “sweet spot”: the greatest gains accrue when librarians provide moderate input into syllabus and assignment design, followed by one or two strategically placed hands-on library sessions. Successful collaboration thus need not entail completely overhauling content courses so as to make library instruction the centerpiece. Quite the opposite, librarians can help reduce the potential burden on faculty by supporting discipline- and course-specific research goals, as well as by sharing resources and best practices in IL pedagogy.