Mary and Jeff Bell Library

Information Literacy and Instruction Services

Request an Instruction Session:
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.

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.

Mission Statement:
The mission of Bell Library’s Information Literacy program is to enable students to become successful researchers, lifelong learners, and responsible citizens through student-centered information literacy instruction. The program reaches students through skill-based, assignment-centered instruction sessions, and is reinforced by self-guided online resources. The program encourages collaboration between librarians and faculty members in order to provide students with learning opportunities that are relevant, effective, and targeted to authentic information needs.
We aim to accomplish this by:
  • Introducing research skills to students in the First Year Learning communities program
  • Integrating instruction into all levels of an academic program
  • Providing individualized research consultations at the Ask Us Desk or by appointment
  • Making accessible guides and tutorials available online via the Bell Library website
Student Learning Outcomes:
Bell Library seeks to enable students to develop information literacy. By the time they graduate, students will be able to:
  1. Formulate effective research questions based on curiosity and gaps in information or data available (Bloom 4: Analyze; ACRL: Research as Inquiry)
  2. Demonstrate persistence, adaptability, and reflection as components of inquiry (Bloom 3: Apply; ACRL: Research as Inquiry)
  3. Apply research strategies and approaches that are appropriate for the need, context, and type on inquiry (Bloom 3: Apply; ACRL: Searching as Strategic Exploration)
  4. Select information sources that best meet an information need based on the audience, context, and purpose of various formats (Bloom 5: Evaluate; ACRL: Information Creation as a Process)
  5. Evaluate a source’s authority in the context of disciplines, professions, and other communities of knowledge and practice (Bloom 5: Evaluate; ACRL: Authority is Constructed and Contextual)
  6. Recognize that similar information may be presented in different formats (e.g. a newspaper article, scholarly article, blog post), which may affect interpretation of the information (Bloom 4: Analyze; ACRL: Information Creation as a Process)
  7. Critically examine a source and identify its contribution to the conversation surrounding a topic, as well as its perspective and potential biases. (Bloom 5: Evaluate; ACRL: Scholarship as a Conversation)
  8. Contribute to the conversation surrounding a topic at an appropriate level by responding to the contributions of others and /or creating one’s own contribution (Bloom 6: Create; ACRL: Scholarship as a Conversation)
  9. Demonstrate ethical responsibility by giving credit to the original ideas of others through attributions and/or formal conventions (Bloom 3: Apply; ACRL: Information Has Value)

Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., & Bloom, B. S. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.
Association of College and Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved from

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.

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