Graduation requirements of undergraduate students at Iowa State University include successful completion of Library 160, the ISU Library's ½ credit, half-semester course. Library 160 is the recognized first step for ISU undergraduate students to learn academic library research skills and basic information literacy competencies. The Association of College & Research Libraries defines information literacy as "... the abilities to recognize when information is needed and then to phrase questions designed to gather the needed information. It includes evaluating and then using information appropriately and ethically once it is retrieved from any media, including electronic, human or print sources." (See: The Association of College and Research Libraries' Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction: A Model Statement for Academic Librarians, 2001.)
At a time when comparable institutions across the nation are struggling to establish information literacy courses and programs into the undergraduate curriculum, Iowa State University is quite fortunate to have its course already in place and well-established.
The desired outcomes of the Library 160 course are to introduce students to the successful use of academic research libraries, available library services, and electronic information resources (both the "free" web as well as library research databases), with an emphasis on information literacy and the research process. The course promotes student self-directed learning, as well as provides a foundation for life-long learning.
Beyond Library 160, librarians also teach information literacy concepts and research skills throughout the curriculum as invited guest lecturers to individual courses across campus. The desired outcomes of these individual class sessions are to introduce students to subject-relevant or course-specific resources and IL concepts. Examples include teaching students how to find relevant research journal articles in specific subject-focused databases, and helping students learn about IL topics such as the ethical use of information (citing sources, learning about paraphrasing and plagiarism).
Send questions or comments about this page
Contents last modified: ;
2005-11-10 Copyright © 2000-2010, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.