SCIL 2003 Spring Program:

Moving from Traditional BI to an Integrated Information Literacy Program

CSU Long Beach, May 16 2003

The SCIL 2003 Spring Program featured a presentation by Dr. Ilene Rockman, Manager of the Information Competence Initiative for the California State University Office of the Chancellor, followed by a panel session featuring librarians and faculty from four area campuses.

Dr. Rockman presented reasons and methods for moving library instruction from traditional bibliographic instruction to an information literacy program that is collaborative and integrated into the core curriculum. She stressed the need for librarians to use the language faculty use to talk about student learning related to information literacy. Many faculty and administrators do not use the phrase "information literacy" but are concerned about critical thinking, educational engagement, information fluency, and first year experiences. Librarians also share concerns about learning outcomes, student achievement, and student retention, and should use this language in their outreach efforts.

Librarians should seek out faculty and administrative "champions," and be champions themselves by participating in accreditation or program reviews, strategic planning efforts, and curriculum committees. Working with faculty development centers or programs such as Writing Across the Curriculum helps librarians "add value to the curriculum." Dr. Rockman highlighted the need to think strategically and act as "integrationists" who connect teaching and learning with library resources and services across communities. Planning for a campus-wide program requires strong leadership at all levels and a collaborative approach emphasizing how information literacy "can help faculty achieve (and exceed) their teaching goals."

After Dr. Rockman's presentation, attendees participated in an interactive session in which they compared the defining characteristics of "bibliographic instruction" and "information literacy" and applied them to their own programs to answer the question "Where are you now?" This was followed by a series of discussion questions about strategies for moving from BI to IL.

The panel featured librarians and faculty describing the successful integration of information literacy into the curriculum. They focused on one or two of four stages in the move from BI to IL: planning, outreach, incorporating information literacy into teaching, and evaluation. Eleanor Mitchell described the planning and development of the Information Literacy Initiative at UCLA, and Esther Grassian related outreach lessons learned from the UCLA College Library's successful integration into two programs, the General Education Cluster Program and the Collegium of University Teaching Fellows. CSULB librarians Susan Luevano, Tiffini Travis, and Eileen Wakiji described the creation of an innovative information literacy course for Black Studies faculty.

Catherine Palmer and Stephanie Davis-Kahl lead the effort at UC-Irvine to collaborate with instructors in the Composition Program and Humanities Core Course, represented by faculty members Ellen Strenski and Elizabeth Losh. Lynn Lampert from CSU-Northridge spoke about the importance of looking at the literature and jargon of disciplines to aid integration of information literacy into the curriculum. Her colleague Caroline Russom, who works with the University Library's Information Literacy Program for English Composition, recommended a simple mantra for information literacy--"locate, evaluate, utilize." Two CSUN Composition faculty members, Linda Overman and Regina Clemens-Fox, gave examples of how they use information literacy concepts in their teaching and evaluation of student learning.

At the Program wrap-up, SCIL Vice-Chair Deborah Moore reminded attendees to look in the fall for announcements on the SCIL website and CARL email list about the 2004 ACRL Institute for Information Literacy California Regional Immersion, scheduled for July 22-27 at the Claremont Colleges, and a SCIL-sponsored CARL 2004 Pre-Conference. She thanked CSULB librarian Tracey Mayfield for her help in organizing the site accommodations.

Related websites from Spring Program presenters:

Submitted by Melanie Remy
University of Southern California