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Library Instruction Scheduling & Planning

Increase library participation in freshman orientation

Fall 2015 Goal

Coordinators: James & Angeline

Team: RIS

On Friday, 8/21 and Saturday, 8/22, SU Libraries’ Research & Instructional Services coordinated library tours for freshmen to help familiarize them with the campus, and the library building, tools, and services.

Number of tour groups: 43

Number of freshmen: 836 (of 1186, or 71%)

The library surveyed 49% of freshmen participants to know what they thought about their tour.

99% thought the library tour provided information that was helpful.

5 most important things that students learned from tours were:

  1. Study spaces
  2. Printing
  3. Finding research help
  4. Restrooms
  5. Library hours

5 most frequent suggestions to improve tours in the future:

“provide a library information handout”

“more tour (make the tour longer, more robust)”

“provide food/drinks”

“less crowded (fewer groups at a time)”

“meet more librarians”

April 2016 Proposal: RIS or Instruction Team develops and organizes this biennial event.

Plans so far: 

The pieces already in place are:

  • Bea authorized the new student orientation event in the AC on Aug. 28.
  • Sarah Lowery made the AC an official event on the orientation agenda for Sunday Aug. 28 (as of last week).
  • Sarah, Heather Holmes, and I discussed convening a brainstorming meeting to bring folks together and talk about how we’d like to engage these students; Heather’s been out of town, so we were awaiting her return.

Develop across-campus student learning goals for IL

Fall 2015 Goal

Coordinator: James

Team: RIS

SU's Gen Ed Information Literacy Goal needs to be updated. Toward this end, the librarians have worked with the three documents above to craft an Information Literacy Matrix that describes student learning outcomes by lower division, upper division, and graduate level. The iterations are attached.

Identified three influential documents: 

  1. MSCHE Guidelines for Information Literacy in the Curriculum
  2. MSCHE's Information Literacy Across Academic Levels
  3. SUNY Oswego's Information Literacy Matrix

Group drafts took place on Sept. 3 & 8. 

Info Lit Coordinator consulted ACRL representative on streamlining Matrix, Oct. 20.

Info Lit Coordinator collaborated with SU's Assessment Coordinator to streamline Matrix on Nov. 12.

Sent call for final edits Dec. 2015. Edits incorporated Jan 2016. 

April 2016: Instruction Team official approves/adopts IL Matrix final draft: "Unanimously moved & approved.  Now that it has been formally approved by the Instruction Team,  it will be taken to the General Education Learning Outcomes group, and it will be incorporated into SU’s General Education Curriculum language. "

Gen Ed Learning Outcomes Working Group meets April 28 and is tasked with with suggesting a concise set of learning objectives or general education learning goals that might be presented to the larger Steering Committee and then passed on to the Faculty Senate.

Develop expectations/guidelines for supporting grad students

Fall 2015 Goal

Coordinator: James

Team: Sarah, Susan, Gaylord, Laura, Chris, & Caroline

Early exploration of this issue discovered MSCHE Guidelines for Information Literacy in the Curriculum, 2003. In this document, Middle States articulates student learning outcomes for graduate students. The Instruction Team worked hard to develop an Information Literacy Matrix, which includes student learning outcomes for graduate students (see Develop across-campus student learning goals for IL). These SLOs will be the touchstone for developing instructional support.

Expectations: Informed by 

Best Practices for Graduate-Level Library Instruction. Council of State University Libraries (CSUL) Public Services Planning Committee & Information Literacy Subcommittee June 2011. Attached.

In general, library instruction for graduate students should not assume that students are already familiar with even basic library resources and services. However, our instruction should assume that these students come to SU having some understanding of library tools and services, but still need familiarity with SU's unique library resources. We can also assume that these students are doing advanced work and their information needs are distinctly different from those of undergraduates. With this in mind, the librarians have used the [attached] Middle States IL by Academic Level characteristics to develop student learning outcomes for graduate students.

Guidelines for orientation and instruction development: 

ACRL Standards

Graduate Students will:

Information need

Formulate a highly specific research question, reevaluating when necessary.

Accessing Information

Use a variety of resources (databases, Quick Search, library catalog) to locate and request materials in his or her field.

Evaluating Information

Evaluate sources in the context of methodology used in his or her field.

Selects information that provides the evidence needed at a professional level.

Using Information to meet a need

Write a thesis or complete another original research project.

Using Information ethically and legally

Consider issues of intellectual property and copyright in the context of his or her published work.

Understand research integrity in the context of his or her discipline.


Additional characteristics of grad students and ideas for outreach can be found here:


Begin formal planning in how to provide instructional support for graduate courses

Fall 2015 Goal

Coordinator: James

Team: Susan, Sarah, Gaylord, Laura

Dec.2015, James sent the team a request by email to review: 
Characteristics of grad students and ideas for outreach UC Berkeley Libraries web page:

IL Learning Goals Across Academic Levels handout

IL for Grad Students PPT Council of State University Libraries (CSUL) Public Services Planning Committee & Information Literacy Subcommittee June 2011

Dec. 4, 2015: James and Susan met with Clifton Griffin, Dean of Graduate Studies & Research. Clifton offered to make library support of graduate students an agenda topic in the graduate coordinator's forum, spring 2016. 

Jan. 2016: James, by way of coordination through Laura Hanscom, worked with Celine Carayon to include library support language within her graduate studies syllabi. The langauge has been added as follows:

Research support

Faculty librarians are designated to support graduate student research in each department. The librarians invite you to contact them directly for research support as you plan, draft, revise, and explore sources that support your thesis. A librarian can often help you find useful information and provide guidance on how to conduct research using effective and efficient practices.

Follow-up from Dec. 4: We haven't heard back from Clifton, so we are going to attmept to invite ourselves tot he Graduate Council party by contacting Clifton. We hope to get in a meeting with them this semester.  3/9/16

April 2016: Upon completion of Lower and Upper Division teaching guide templates, this team could use the IL matrix learning outcomes for Graduate Students to develop a template for graduate level IL instruction.