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.
What is information literacy?
Someone who is information literate is able to identify when information is needed, to locate, evaluate, and synthesize that information and then use it effectively and ethically.
Standards for information literacy
The student learning objectives of the Information Literacy program closely follow the standards established by the Association of College and Research Libraries in the landmark document Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000). Briefly, these standards state that the information literate student will be able to:
  • Determine the extent of the information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into their knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
The role of the library in research instruction
Research instruction takes many different forms:
  • Course-related instruction is taught in all disciplines on demand.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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 research skills instruction, please contact your liaison librarian or Lisa Louis, Reference and Information Literacy Librarian, at or 361-825-5905.
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 Library Instruction Centers (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. However, we will be more than happy to 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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