Information Update - Spring 2011

University Faculty Integrate Information Literacy into the Curriculum

It's been 22 years since the American Library Association's Presidential Committee on Information Literacy released its Final Report that states, "To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." I doubt that the committee could have foreseen the variety of new literacies that have exploded on the scene since then.
 
Pornthip Chalungsooth, Ed.D., has been awarded an Information Literacy Stipend by Charles Kratz, dean of the library and information fluency. Her "Counseling Theories" course is a perfect example of how new literacies are being used in the classroom. This assignment requires students in COUN 502 to apply "Digital Story" techniques to demonstrate how they would use a counseling theory to serve the future targeted population with whom the students plan to work. Dr. Chalungsooth has invited Librarian Kristen Yarmey to collaborate with her. Professor Yarmey will provide information to the students about copyright regulations, as well as the proper attribution for photographs, video and audio clips, and other digital media.
 
More traditional literacies are being employed by the recipients of the other four Information Literacy Stipends awarded by Dean Kratz for 2011. Students in Kathryn Meier's, Ph.D., "The Craft of the Historian" course need to be able to differentiate between primary, secondary and tertiary sources in order to write a historiographic paper. Dr. Meier and Librarian Kevin Norris will work together so that students in HIST 140 will be able to efficiently access sources, to critically evaluate those sources, and to give appropriate credit to the ideas of others.
 
Librarian George Aulisio will partner with Peter Olden, Ph.D., to integrate information literacy into "Health Services and Systems." Students in Dr. Olden's class complete a semester-long project that involves determining the health status of an actual community and culminates with a final written report. Professor Aulisio will instruct students on how to search for primary data for their reports, will participate in a course discussion board to exchange ideas and sources of information, and will review resources in students' draft reports.
 
Benjamin Bishop, Ph.D., and Cyrus Olsen, Ph.D., submitted a proposal for their team-taught "Freshman Seminar: Science and Religion." This pilot course is organized around a series of student debates that focus on the interaction between science and religion in modern society. Drs. Bishop and Olsen will be collaborating with Librarian Donna Mazziotti to strengthen the research skills of students as they prepare for these debates. Mazziotti will introduce the class to both digital and traditional resources and will follow up with one-on-one support to individuals or groups as they research a particular topic.
 
Prior to 2011, only full-time faculty were eligible to apply for an Information Literacy Stipend. Eva Polizzi is the first adjunct faculty member to be awarded a stipend. She has asked Librarian Betsey Moylan to cooperate with her to integrate information literacy into a "Composition and Rhetoric" course to improve students' Information literacy skills. By participating in several information literacy sessions along with completing various exercises and assignments, students in Professor Polizzi's WRTG 107 will learn how to evaluate their sources and incorporate their findings without paraphrasing or quoting too much.
 
If you are a faculty member at The University of Scranton and have not received an Information Literacy Stipend, we encourage you to submit a proposal. Additional information about the Library's Information Literacy Stipends can be found on the library's website. Or contact Bonnie Oldham, information literacy coordinator, at 941-4000 or bonnie.oldham@scranton.edu.
Bonnie Oldham