Information Literacy

Information Literacy across the Curriculum:
Owensboro Community & Technical College Information Literacy Plan

For students to become critical thinkers and lifelong learners, they must first become active, motivated learners, able to pursue information on their own and able to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize that information to make intelligent decisions and to solve problems. The information literacy initiative at OCTC seeks to make this vital link between information and lifelong learning.

Background

The information literacy program at OCTC has been a traditional one with the librarians never quite able to pull together their dream program of information literacy across the curriculum. With the coming together of the school's Title III Grant with its "student success" goals and the 2005 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' re-accreditation process with its Quality Improvement Plan, the librarians had their chance. By volunteering to serve on the planning teams of the Quality Enhancement Plan, research/information literacy became one of the foundation "expectations" students were to master by graduation.

Information literacy has become a recognized initiative at OCTC. It is supported by administration, faculty, and librarians, and is becoming an important part of the learning experience for students. Information literacy is one of the five Expectations for the Expression of Ideas in the Quality Enhancement Plan of the College, and also a necessary part of all five expressions. Information Literacy is infused into learning across the curriculum.

An Information Literacy Ad Hoc Committee made up of faculty, staff, and librarians was created in the fall of 2005. The committee discussed and decided on and adopted a definition and competencies. The competencies are those skills and abilities students should master by the time they receive their diploma or degree or transfer to a four year college. Many of the committee members were the same as those on the QEP Team and they made sure the two bodies worked in harmony. The Information Literacy Committee has already provided some faculty development and plans to provide more. It will now be a standard committee at the college to assist in guiding the information literacy program.

An information literacy center has been set up in the library for faculty with books, articles, and sample assignments. Faculty members are encouraged to submit successful assignments for other faculty to share. Librarians are available to collaborate with faculty to create assignments, locate resources, present or co-present workshops, teach classes, or help faculty in any other way to further the goals of the committee and the Quality Enhancement Plan. There have been some librarian-faculty collaborative efforts made. One such effort was presented at a brown bag session. Presentations have been made at various division meetings across campus, even though we are still in the pilot phase of the program. Plans are being made for more faculty development.

Mission Statement

The Owensboro Community and Technical College Library provides the highest quality information resources and services for students, faculty, staff, and community.

Our mission is achieved by the following actions:

  • Provide a diverse collection of materials that support the instructional, informational, and research needs of our patrons.

  • Collaborate with other libraries and institutions to provide resources not available locally.

  • Provide a team-oriented, professional, and knowledgeable staff to maintain consistent and exemplary customer service.

  • Instruct patrons to effectively access and evaluate resources to meet their educational goals.

  • Sustain a supportive and service-oriented environment that reflects our commitment to enrich life-long learning.

  • Maintain partnerships with local libraries and learning institutions.

Goals & Objectives

  • Strive for a curriculum integrated approach to information literacy at OCTC.

  • Provide students the resources and services that are needed to be information literate.

  • Make faculty aware that information literacy is essential to student learning and ensures lifelong learning skills.           

  • Promote collaboration between librarians, faculty and other campus personnel.

  • Provide faculty with the necessary resources and assistance to implement this initiate.

  • Empower faculty with the skills and knowledge they need for this initiative by having ongoing faculty development activities.

Competencies

Information Literacy encompasses a student’s ability to recognize information needs, to identify appropriate sources, and to obtain, evaluate, and effectively apply that information in a responsible manner.

 

             Information Competency

                            Skill

  • Identifies information needs
  • Knows one’s own limitations and abilities

  • Knows when additional information is needed to make a good decision or solve a problem

  • Recognizes that accurate and complete information is the basis for intelligent decision making
  • Understands importance of quality information

  • Recognizes that all information is not created equal

  • Defines the topic, question, or problem
  • Identifies key concepts and/or terms that describe the information needed

  • Lists terms that may be used in searching for information on the topic

  • Selects credible sources
  • Understands how knowledge is organized, stored, and transmitted

  • Differentiates between primary and secondary sources

  • Is aware of formats and sources of information available

  • Identifies appropriate database or source 

  • Determines the extent of information needed
  • Choose appropriate sources for needs

  • Narrows the search effectively and efficiently
  • Uses Boolean logic to focus search (AND / OR / NOT)

  • Refines search by choosing additional or new terms to limit the search to a more specific one

  • Extracts appropriate information
  • Completes search

  • Determines best method for recording or saving information

  • Determines the relevance, accuracy, and significance of information
  • Decides if information meets the need of the problem to be solved or decision to be made

  • Evaluates resource for accuracy

  • Integrates information into one’s own knowledge base
  • Takes what one has learned from the information and incorporates it into what one already knows about the topic

  • Synthesizes, integrates, and applies information to accomplish a specific task
  • Uses the information to answer questions, to apply to a problem to solve it or to help in making a wise decision

  • Uses information ethically and legally, demonstrating an understanding of plagiarism and fair use
  • Applies fair use to information

  • Avoids plagiarism

  • Cites sources and communicates results when appropriate
  • Is able to cite sources correctly

  • Uses appropriate style guides