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Information Literacy

Why is Information Literacy important?

Information literacy is important because we find ourselves in an increasingly complex environment. Not all information is equal; some is authoritative, current, reliable, but some is biased, out of date, misleading, and false. The amount of information available is going to keep increasing. The types of technology used to access, manipulate, and create information will likewise expand.

What is Information Literacy?

Information Literacy begins with an understanding of our individual needs for information. It is "the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information," (as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries) and requires that we use information ethically.

How will I use Information Literacy skills?

Information literacy skills are used for academic purposes, such as research papers and group presentations. They're needed on the job—the ability to find, evaluate, use and share information is an essential skill. As a consumer these skills can help you to make wise and economical choices. You'll also use these skills by participating fully in our democratic system of government by becoming informed about the issues before you vote.

FAQ about Information Literacy Classes

 What is Library Instruction?

  • Provides the Library's users with the skills and knowledge necessary to locate, extract and evaluate the information they need, both now as students, and later as lifelong learners.
  • Provides refresher instruction to faculty members who indicate an interest in updating their skills with the most current technology and information access tools.

Why Library Instruction?

According to library studies, 88% of community college students have not used the library to conduct research of the type faculty require. Library instruction helps students:

  • reduce anxiety
  • master the research process
  • focus and narrow a topic
  • locate a variety of information
  • recognize scholarly vs. popular articles
  • think critically
  • become technologically savvy

I have an appointment off campus during my regular class time; would that be a good date to schedule a Library Instruction Session?

Please plan to attend along with your students. They are motivated when you are there, especially if you participate by adding comments and answering questions about their assignment. Also, you can learn a lot about your students' information-seeking behaviors by seeing them in action. And finally, since new resources are constantly added to the Library's collections, you just might learn something by coming along!  Classes will not be scheduled if the instructor cannot be present.

What is an Embedded Librarian?

Embedded librarians are librarians who work closely with faculty in their courses, providing a library resource to students throughout the course of the entire semester via Blackboard.  Librarians work with instructors to collaborate and create viable library assignments that utilize library resources and answer student questions regarding library materials. This program looks to create an integrated and sustained collaboration with teaching faculty instead of a parallel interaction through traditional library instruction.

I am teaching upper level/honors course, students should have research skills. Should I schedule a Library Instruction class?

It is often presumed that honors students have a familiarity with library systems and  services beyond that of the mainstream undergraduate students (Bush and Wells 1990), but a review of the literature indicates that honors students “are equally as likely as mainstream students to experience ‘library anxiety’ and to be ill-informed about information gathering techniques and strategies” (Snavely and Wright 2003, 299). A number of studies support this statement, indicating that honors students do not, in fact, possess a greater grasp on the research process than other undergraduates (Bush and Wells 1990; Wiggins 1994; Wilson and Mulcahy 1987; Woodard 1996).

Embedded Librarian Services

Librarians at BristolCC aim to support every student in all learning environments. We invite instructors teaching online courses and assigning student research projects to request a librarian to "embed" within their course site. Librarians provide research materials and customized information literacy support that target the research needs of your students.

What do Embedded Librarians do?


What is it?    


This method of instruction involves embedding a librarian in your online or hybrid class space. It is most effective when there is a specific assignment involved and students are encouraged to work with the librarian.


What does an embedded librarian do?

  • Host discussion forums on research topics and assignments
  • Provide "just-in-time" research help
  • Create course-specific online guides to reinforce important concepts and demonstrate the use of the library’s resources.
  • Help students find credible sources and peer reviewed articles through tutorials and the course guide
  • Provide information about citations
  • Gives librarians access to suggest, promote, and facilitate the inclusion of library resources

How does this help students?

  • Research shows that library use increases student success. We bring the “library” to eLearning.
  • Embedded librarians are an additional support system for research and citation questions.
  • Research anxiety can impair a student’s ability to learn and succeed. Let us help!

What can the Embedded Librarian do in your course?

What can the Embedded Librarian do in your course?

  • Resource List

Librarians can compile a resource list specific for the course that includes links to books, journals, and/or databases from the library, and make that list available on the library guide or in eLearning.

  • Online Tutorials

Librarians can create or locate a brief video or screenshot tutorial specific to the course and assignment.

  • Book-a-Librarian

Librarians can schedule a research appointment with a student face-to-face or virtually through Blackboard Collaborate. 

  • Discussion Boards

Librarians can set up and monitor a discussion board in your eLearning course where students can ask library-related questions or work with students on an assignment.  For instance, the librarian can have students submit sources and have the librarian make comments on their sources and receive a grade. If you want your students to learn particular research skills, we can create an assignment for you. We can also assess the research skills of your students through pre- and post-tests delivered via Blackboard. Please fill out an Embedded Librarian Request Form.