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Reference and Information Services Department

The Reference and Information Services Department is dedicated to reference, instruction, outreach, and access to resources.

Library Instruction

UAH Library Comprehensive Instructional & Information Literacy Policy

 

a)  UAH Library Instructional Policy

The instructional services department at UAH Salmon Library organizes and teaches all formal and informal library educational activities and information literacy instruction. This includes library orientation, library resources, course-integrated or course-related, subject focused, informed library research and information literacy instruction. Whether this is one shot instruction, embedded librarianship, research assistance, or a simple tour, the library instructional program supports the library and university mission by helping students, faculty, and staff to better understand what materials and services are offered by the library and librarians. Our instructional sessions focus on promoting information literacy and life-long learning. Our focus begins with area-specific, active sequential assignments and activities whether this is synchronous or asynchronous. The core point of this being differentiated instruction designed around the students needs.

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.

Information literacy is a core component for the educated life-long learner. At UAH Salmon library our core belief is to introduce and instruct our   patrons in information literacy so that they develop life-long learning and critical thinking skills. No matter the discipline in this ever advancing information age we all must be lifelong learners. Our goal is for UAH students to be information literate and to understand these principles of information literacy:

  • Ultimately, information literate people are those who have learned how to learn.
  • They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to analyze and synthesize this for their purposes.
  • They are people prepared for life-long learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.

Salmon Library has 5 computer labs. Room 214 is specially designed with educational technology to help students with active hands on library instruction, research and informed learning. There are also 2 general-purpose labs dedicated specifically to library instruction. Lab 206 has 28 computers and Lab 207 has 24 computers for hands-on instruction.

We follow the ground rules set by ACRL: http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency

b)  UAH Library Instructional Philosophy & Mission

The Salmon Library at UAH is committed to its information literacy instructional efforts and goals.This is a key concept which focuses on understanding information and how this can benefit the students’ academic and lifelong pursuits. Information literacy through library instruction is a key component to academic success and Salmon library takes a holistic and embedded approach to this crucial educational element.  For students to learn information literacy it must be deeply embedded in their subject of interest and need. This informed learning viewpoint and stance is the pedagogically sound method of imparting this important concept onto the students synchronously or asynchronously.

For students to learn information literacy it must be embedded. This means every class, instructional session, and work shop will be designed around the subject at hand and built specifically for the information needs of the particular class and student. As well as designed around differentiated instructional theories. Although this does not mean stand-alone workshops and presentations are not helpful and of use, it just means that they are the starting point of information literacy and not the end.

With this in mind Salmon Library focuses on student centered learning and sticking to complete instructional design methods and active, collaborative learning theories. Students will have active hands on assignments as well as collaborative practice, in addition to theory to help ground the information literacy practices in intellectual pursuits as well as practical knowledge. Every class and session will be built around learning outcomes which are aligned with the students, teachers and information literacy goals. The UAH Salmon libraries philosophy will succeed in supporting our mission of reinforcing the goals of the great UAH academic purview, as well as integrating lifelong learning into the curriculum. Our information literacy is more than just a lecture of pointing out different resources. Each session the students will leave with something substantial. This includes a solid start on their research project and an understanding of how to find information, analysis information and synthesize this for their research needs.

Active, informed learning of information literacy produces many positive outcomes for students and faculty. Successful integration of information literacy leads to benefits such as better-developed research assignments, use of library’s collection, understanding of access and evaluation of information, and most importantly lifelong learning.

c)  Scheduling an instructional session

Library Instruction request form: http://libguides.uah.edu/libraryinstruction

UAH faculty, staff, students, other college faculty and high school instructors are welcome to schedule a library instruction session or library tour for their classes at the Salmon Library. Please provide all of the information requested below. Upon receipt of request, we will confirm via e-mail. If you have any questions or do not hear from us within forty eight hours, please contact Belinda Ong at (256) 824-6432 or ongb@uah.edu . Before filling out the form below, please note the following policies:

  • Sessions must be scheduled 2 weeks in advance of the requested instruction date.
  • Instructors’ attendance is required during the library session.
  • Please indicate at the time of the request of anyone attending with special disability needs.

Instructional sessions will not be cancelled without prior notice from instructional librarian.

Instructional Librarians can be involved more deeply with a subject specific integrated assignment if requested.

Informal Instruction.

  • Instructional librarians are able to meet one on one for research assistance and active informed learning. This also translates to the classroom, in that UAH librarians can be research assistants in being embedded in the classroom or through digital access.

d) Services for Faculty

Curriculum Design

UAH librarians are available to help introduce information literacy competencies into an existing departmental curriculum, or to work with departments and faculty one on one to build those sequenced competencies into a revised curriculum.

  • Embed librarians in research projects, classes and distance education
  • Subject specific online tutorials
  • Train faculty in information literacy concepts and activities
  • Information literacy and research workshops
  • Research Consultation
  • Research support

e) Assessment

The UAH Library understands the importance of information literacy, and continuous assessment and evaluation is an essential piece of that process.The UAH Library uses different tools for assessment, in different formal & informal capacities, in order to serve multiple purposes:

  • To confirm that library instruction helped the students to meet the learning outcomes.
  • To verify student retention of information that was presented, including (but not limited to) the use of appropriate library resources.
  • To build the ongoing relationship between the UAH Library and UAH faculty.
  • To identify areas where the UAH library can provide additional instructional assistance or other services to UAH.

The UAH Library takes all feedback seriously, both positive and negative.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding our services or procedures please contact our Assessment Librarian.

 

f)  Contact Information: