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Information Literacy

TRUDI JACOBSON, Head of Information Literacy Department, 442-3581
(e-mail: tjacobson@uamail.albany.edu)

The Information Literacy unit coordinates the Libraries' formal program of instruction including: UNL 205 and 206, one credit Information Literacy courses, support for other Information Literacy courses on campus, course-related instruction, classes on electronic databases and other research tools, Internet instruction, and orientation tours. It also coordinates the development of printed brochures, bibliographies, and instructional material designed for self-instruction in using the libraries. Many of these materials are available on the Libraries' Web page (http://library.albany.edu/) under the section "Instruction & Tutorials."

The University Libraries are large and complex, and not all students feel comfortable using them. By learning basic information and research skills and by using resources available through the Libraries, students can maximize their academic program. The goals of the Information Literacy program are to teach students how to devise a search strategy, to acquaint them with the many resources the Libraries provide, to teach them to critically evaluate these sources, and to guide them in making effective use of the sources they select. Each of these skills is critical to students' academic success and to their ability to function in the broader world beyond the college environment.

The Information Literacy unit offers the following:

UNL 205, INFORMATION LITERACY

This one credit, quarter-long course meets the University's General Education Information Literacy requirement, which students are obliged to fulfill within their first two years. The course acquaints students with the processes of finding, organizing, using, producing, and distributing information in print, electronic, and other formats. Students will learn about the flow of information in a variety of disciplines, how to be effective at the research process, how to access information in a variety of formats, and how to formulate effective searches on electronic databases and the Internet. Students will be taught to evaluate the quality of Web-based and print information, and will become familiar with practical, social and ethical issues relating to information. The course is taught each quarter during the fall and spring semesters. More information can be found on the UNL 205/206 website

UNL 206, INFORMATION LITERACY IN THE SCIENCES

UNL 206 is similar to UNL 205, but targeted to students majoring in the sciences. This one credit, quarter-long course is usually offered each quarter. It also meets the University's General Education Information Literacy requirement.

COURSE-RELATED INSTRUCTION

Librarians are available to teach specialized sessions to University classes. The structure and content of these sessions will vary, depending on the needs of a particular course. Basic classes introduce students to the organization of library materials and explain the University Libraries. More advanced classes focus on the sources and research strategies pertinent to specific disciplines. Librarians will work closely with teaching faculty develop each class. It is strongly recommended that the user education class be planned in conjunction with a library research assignment. The course-related instructional sessions can be either demonstration classes or provide hands-on experience. To explore the possibilities for your course or to arrange such a session, please contact Trudi Jacobson or fill out one of the request forms at http://library.albany.edu/usered/faculty/index.html. Please keep in mind that two weeks lead time is needed.

SUPPORT FOR INFORMATION LITERACY COURSES

For faculty members teaching courses that meet the University's General Education Information Literacy requirement, there are a number of resources available through the University Libraries. These include course-related instruction mentioned in the section above, tutorials for your students to take on a variety of information literacy topics, and assistance with assignments which use lirary resources. For more information, view the "Resources for Information Literacy Courses" page at http://library.albany.edu/usered/faculty/infolit.html, or contact Trudi Jacobson.

MULTI-MEDIA AND WEB DESIGN APPLICATIONS

The staff of the Interactive Media regularly schedule classes throughout the semester. These are free classes, generally available on a sign-up/walk-in basis and targeted to web applications, image editing software, and audio/video applications. Staff also develop specific classes and tailor content to accomplish assignments.

Faculty wishing to use multimedia resources, PowerPoint, and web applications for student assignments may team up with the IMC staff to ensure that there is support for students to successfully complete these non-traditional projects. In addition, IMC staff will provide instruction in preparing Electronic Portfolios, digital publications, and preparation of audio and video files for multiple purposes.

Interactive Media handouts assist users with editing audio and video clips, developing web pages, creating digital images and PowerPoint presentations, scanning, and using many Adobe products. Copies of handouts are available in the Interactive Media Center and on the IMC's Tutorials and Handouts Website.

GENERAL INSTRUCTION SESSIONS

Each semester the University Libraries offer a variety of sessions designed to acquaint new and continuing students, staff, and faculty with the resources that are available to them through the Libraries. There are introductory courses such as an overview of electronic databases; what electronic resources are available for research; and how to use a variety of software packages related to Web design. There are also discipline specific sessions that concentrate on electronic resources in various fields. Both the Interactive Media Center at the University Library and the Dewey Graduate Library produce a schedule each semester that lists and describes the sessions offered. These schedules are available in each library, and are also on the Libraries' Web page in the "Library Classes" section under "Instruction & Tutorials." All sessions are open to the entire University community and are free of charge. It is recommended that you sign up in advance through the online registration form to ensure a seat.

TOURS

Tours are provided for target groups such as international students, prospective students, and transfer students. Arrangements for group tours should be made in advance. Self-guided tour booklets are always available in the University Library lobby. A virtual tour of the University Library is available at http://library.albany.edu/usered/tour/index.html. Podcast tours of the University Library are available at http://liblogs.albany.edu/podcasts/. Currently, tours are available in English, Korean, Spanish, Mandarian Chinese and Russian. The Dewey Graduate Library's Virtual Tour is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ualibraries/sets/72157600781276488

PRINTED GUIDES

The Information Literacy unit coordinates the development of a wide range of print and online materials that guide use of our collections and resources. These range from tips on doing research to subject-specific bibliographies to instructional guides for using electronic resources such as the library catalog and databases to Internet guides. Copies of handouts are available in the reference area. With prior notice, multiple copies of handouts can be provided to instructors for use in their courses. Online copies may be found at http://library.albany.edu/usered/.

INTERNET-BASED INSTRUCTION

The Libraries' Web page (http://library.albany.edu/) provides access to instructional materials, both those produced here at the University Libraries and those available elsewhere.

An instructional page specifically designed to assist with research is also available. This selection can be accessed by clicking on "Instruction & Tutorials" from the Libraries' Web page. It includes a step-by-step guide to writing a paper, information on how to use the Libraries' electronic resources, and tools to help evaluate materials. In addition, it includes Web-based tutorials on topics such as using the online catalog and electronic databases, evaluating Internet sites, plagiarism, and more.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR INFORMATION LITERACY

University Library:
Trudi Jacobson 442-3581
tjacobson@uamail.albany.edu

Interactive Media Center:
Regina Conboy 442-3608
rconboy@uamail.albany.edu

Dewey Graduate Library:
Deborah Bernnard 442-3699
dbernnard@uamail.albany.edu

Science Library:
Irina Holden 437-3941
iholden@albany.edu