ACRL IS Current Issue Discussion Digest – ALA Midwinter 2012

Establishing and Publicizing Library Instruction with Educators

Conveners:  Frances A. May and Yunfei Du

Saturday, January 21 from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Sheraton’s San Antonio Ballroom A | Dallas, TX

Instruction librarians everywhere know the value of what they do:  show students how to find information for their college work, especially research and writing papers.  Many faculty members realize this, and take advantage of the services offered by instruction librarians.  However, not all faculty members are aware of the value of library instruction, nor are education administrators, and it is this segment of the population that is most important to reach in order to best serve our students.

There is a plethora of anecdotal information on the value of library instruction to students, but there is very little quantitative data available.

This discussion is intended to develop a dialog among the participants on how to effectively reach out to administrators and faculty, how to generate the statistics and evidence that will convince administrators to back instruction librarians’ efforts to mandate it, and how to publicize it most effectively.  Without information literacy skills and know-how, students will fall short of the demands of their classes and of their future work, as well as the decisions they will need to make in their personal lives.  Research and critical thinking skills are dependent on finding, evaluating, and being able to use quality information.

Questions which will form the basis for discussion include:

  1. What kind of knowledge and skills do students need in order to solve the problems in their academic work?
  2. What variables can we measure to illustrate that students have gained these skills?
  3. What are the most effective ways to help them learn these things?
  4. What are you doing to incorporate information literacy in your college or University?
  5. What are some ways to reach the university or college administrators?
  6. What do we want them to do – or help us do?

Recommended reading list: 

Wong, S., and D. Cmor.   “Measuring Association between Library Instruction and Graduation GPA.”  College & Research Libraries, September, 2011, v. 72 no. 5, p. 464-473.  Available at:

Daugherty, A., and Russo, M.  “An Assessment of the Lasting Effects of a Stand-Alone Information Literacy Course: The Students’ Perspective.”  The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Volume 37, Issue 4, July 2011, Pages 319-326.  DOI –

All Current Issue Discussion Digests