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Information Literacy

for Teaching and Learning

A Workshop for Faculty and Librarians

May 9-11, 2006



  • Would you like your students to base their papers and projects on sound information?
  • Would you like your students to search more than Google and find scholarly information in your discipline?
  • Would you like your students to critically evaluate information for relevance, validity, and reliability?
  • Would you like to help your students become independent, lifelong learners?
  • Would you like to design assignments that promote academic integrity?

If your answer is 'yes' to any of these questions, we encourage you to apply for this workshop.

Workshop Introduction

JMU is committed to providing students with opportunities to master skills and competencies which will enable them to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Information literacy, a set of skills defined as knowing how to find, evaluate and effectively use information, is a key outcome of higher education.  Students in all majors can apply these skills in their coursework, after they enter their professional careers, and as active citizens in their communities.  Information literacy supports critical thinking and enables students to become self-directed learners.   Incorporating information literacy across curricula requires the collaborative efforts of teaching faculty and librarians.  

JMU Libraries and the Center for Faculty Innovation will cosponsor a 3-day workshop in May 2006 for teaching faculty and librarians to work together in pairs to integrate information literacy into the coursework of majors.  Led by an expert facilitator, faculty and liaison librarians will modify a syllabus to include information literacy objectives, design effective active learning assignments, and plan accompanying instruction.  The goal is to promote resource-based learning outside the classroom and to equip students with skills that will enable them to continue to learn in their discipline.


What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy, as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries, encompasses the following set of skills:

  • knowing when information is needed;
  • finding information efficiently;
  • evaluating its quality;
  • using it effectively for a purpose; and
  • observing ethical use of information

Several disciplines have defined the set of skills that are important to their field of study. See ACRL's Information Literacy in the Disciplines.


Application Form and Submission Requirements

Full-time JMU faculty are invited to apply.  Applicants must:

  • fill out an application form (Link to form removed);
  • write a personal statement about why they are interested in incorporating information literacy, what they would like to do, and how majors in their department will benefit;
  • confirm their liaison librarian will attend the workshop;
  • identify in advance which course they will work on; and
  • send a copy of their current syllabus and assignments.

The Deadline for application is Monday, February 27, 2006.



The Information Literacy for Teaching and Learning workshop will be held May 9-11, 2006, the week following finals, in 301 Carrier Library.  Lunch will be provided each day.

Tentative Workshop Schedule

Tuesday, May 9    8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 10    8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 11    8:30 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.

To achieve the workshop goals, special sessions throughout each day will focus on hands-on activities and collaborative work between faculty and liaison librarians, guided by the facilitator.

Stipend for Faculty

Participating faculty will receive a stipend of $1,000 for attending the workshop and revising the syllabus and assignments for one course to incorporate information literacy objectives and activities.

Workshop Facilitator


Dr. Terry Mech, Library Director at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, will facilitate the workshop.  Dr. Mech served on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Advisory Panel on Information Literacy that prepared Developing Research and Communication Skills:  Guidelines for Information Literacy in the Curriculum, 2003.  Dr. Mech has written numerous articles on information literacy and co-edited a book, Information Literacy:  Developing Students as Independent Learners (Jossey-Bass, 1992), which won the ACRL Instruction Section Publication of the Year Award in 1993.   Dr. Mech is a graduate of the ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute and has led numerous faculty workshops on information literacy.
Terry Mech


Workshop Goals and Followup Activities

Faculty who attend the workshop will incorporate information literacy objectives into a course, develop assignments that provide students with opportunities to practice and strengthen their information literacy skills, plan accompanying instruction, and devise a way to assess information literacy outcomes.  Following implementation, faculty will report on their efforts to colleagues at a departmental meeting.  Selected faculty members will showcase their efforts at a Center for Faculty Innovation program for all JMU faculty. 

Librarians will contribute by helping to identify appropriate information literacy objectives, recommending sources that fit the course goals, providing instruction targeted to the specific assignment, and working individually with students on their projects.  JMU Libraries will maintain an archive of syllabi and assignments on the Web to serve as examples for all JMU faculty. 

The workshop experience and outcomes will set the stage for further cooperation between liaison librarians and departmental faculty on integrating information literacy into the curricula of the majors.   Read more about integrating information literacy into the major at JMU.

Expectations for Faculty Participants

Faculty participants are expected to:

  • Attend the 3-day "Information Literacy for Teaching and Learning" workshop in May 2006
  • Collaborate with liaison librarian
  • Modify course to include:
    • Information literacy objectives
    • An assignment that requires students to find, evaluate, and effectively use information
    • A strategy to promote academic integrity
    • Assessment of student performance
  • Teach the course using the modifications
  • Report on results
    • To their academic departments
    • At a Center for Faculty Innovation workshop
  • Submit a copy of the modified syllabus and accompanying assignments for the archive on the Web.
  • Write an evaluation of student outcomes following implementation (Dec. 2006 for courses taught in the fall or May 2007 for courses taught in the spring)


Selection Criteria

Participants will be selected by representatives of JMU Libraries and the Center for Faculty Innovation, using the following criteria:

  • At least one participant from each of the six colleges will be selected, unless no one from a college applies.
  • Applications will be weighted according to the following:
    • Applicant's commitment and interest, as evidenced in the brief personal statement
    • The potential for integrating information literacy into the curriculum of the major or program
    • Quality of the proposal

Faculty selected to participate will be notified by March 10 of their acceptance.

Applicants who are not accepted will be notified by March 17. 

Applications should be submitted to Lynn Cameron, Coordinator of Library Instruction, Carrier Library, MSC 1704;; 568-3826.


This workshop is being planned by the JMU Libraries Information Literacy Committee (Kathy Clarke, Claire Clemens, and Lynn Cameron) in consultation with the Center for Faculty Innovation. Please contact us if you have questions.


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