Mary and Jeff Bell Library

Information Literacy and Instruction Services

Bell Library’s Information Literacy program works closely with faculty across campus to offer research instruction sessions that support educational objectives while encouraging student success.

To request an instruction session or reserve a library computer lab, please fill out our Instruction Request form.

What is information literacy?
Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.
Information literacy is closely aligned with critical thinking, and students who are information literate approach information with an evaluative mindset. The library’s information literacy program aims to assist students in becoming more sophisticated and discerning in their attitude toward information and its sources, characteristics and uses.

The role of the library in information literacy instruction
Information literacy and research skills instruction can take many different forms:
  • Course-related instruction is offered in all disciplines on demand for courses on campus and online. The instruction staff at Bell Library participates in the design and delivery of research skills instruction classes that directly contribute to both student success in research assignments and the mastery of information literacy concepts across the curriculum.
  • One-on-one instruction sessions occur at service points.
  • Consultations with librarians are available for in-depth research assistance.
  • Instructional materials, such as research guides, tutorials, and electronic database guides are available online.
Each department is assigned a liaison librarian who can help faculty design research assignments and structure research skills classes tailored to specific assignments or learning objectives.

Scheduling a class
If you would like to schedule a class for information literacy instruction, please fill out our Instruction Request form. You may also contact your liaison librarian or Emily Metcalf, Instructional Services Librarian, at or 361-825-5702.

To ensure a successful class, please observe the following guidelines:
  1. Give us at least one week's notice (preferably two) to prepare the best possible session for your students.
  2. Choose the best venue for your class. Classes are usually held in the Computer Labs (Rooms 109 and 216A, Bell Library). In these facilities, all students have access to a computer and can follow along with the presentation as well as perform their own searches with guidance from the instructor. We can also visit your classroom if you prefer.
  3. Plan to attend the session with your students. Your input and support are crucial to the success of these sessions.

To support the University's outreach services, the Library also provides workshops for community groups (ex. school classes) during the semester, as well as during the interim periods when staffing is available. A minimum of two weeks prior notice is required. In addition to the teacher or group leader, the library also requires that these groups provide one adult for every 10 students or participants.

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