Information Literacy Policy and Goals

Definition

Information Literacy is defined as the ability to locate, evaluate, manage, and use information from a variety of sources, both print and electronic, for problem solving, decision making, and research.

Information Literacy Mission

Information Literacy at the University of Texas at Dallas is a means for students, faculty, staff and community users to develop library research skills, information literacy ability and competent information use as a part of lifelong learning.

Information literacy instruction is individual research sessions, library tours or class sessions. Any UTD student, faculty, or staff with an activated Comet Card may request a library tour or an instruction session. Community users may request a tour of the library or participate in subject sessions. They may also request assistance from the Reference Librarians at the Reference Desk or more in-depth instruction from one of the Instruction Librarians.

Community Users

Community users are welcome to request a tour of the library or to participate in subject sessions. Community Users may request instruction on the use of the Community User Workstation from the Head of Information Literacy Services by telephone or email. Use of the Workstation is governed by the policy set by the Dean of the Libraries.

The Community User Workstation is available to visitors from the surrounding community. A valid form of identification will be necessary for accessing electronic resources and registering for tours or instruction. It will be necessary to call the library to register to attend tours or classes. For additional information about Community Users please visit Policies for Visitors webpage.

Non-UTD users, including the general public, those with a TexShare card, Friends of the Library, and Visiting Scholars, as well as community users 18 years old or over have access to the Library’s electronic databases, ejournals, and ebooks at the Community User Workstations.   Use of these computers requires pre-registration at the circulation desk. There are time limits on the Community User Workstations, but these limits can be extended unless others are waiting. There is no off-campus access to the electronic resources for non-UTD users. Please refer to Computer Use Policy for addition details. Please also refer to the Circulation & Checkout Policies website for additional library use details.

Library resources may be used by high school classes in eleventh and twelfth grades when accompanied by a teacher during a class visit. The visit must be coordinated with the Head of Information Literacy and Outreach or the Instruction Librarian. The size of the group is a consideration for the visit’s approval as the goal would be to cause as little disruption to the Reference Area as possible. Please contact the Head of Information Literacy and Outreach or the Instruction Librarian one week prior to the class date.

Library tours and visits by school groups are encouraged. To request a library tour or visit please contact Loreen Henry at (972)-883-2126 or Loreen@utdallas.edu or Stephanie Isham at (972) 883-2629 sisham@utdallas.edu,

Information Literacy Goal

The goal of Information Literacy at the University of Texas at Dallas is to make McDermott Library an integral part of the campus learning experience; to integrate fully into the research environment; to advance lifelong learning for students, faculty and staff; to offer a variety of online tutorials; and to eventually offer credit courses. These goals can be achieved through information literacy instruction sessions, online tutorials, subject specific training sessions, and on-going one-credit classroom instruction. It is the aim of the Information Literacy program to collaborate with faculty to provide students with research instruction.

The instruction librarians will:

  • Always be professional in interacting with students, faculty and staff; Introduce the patron to the liaison in a particular subject area whenever possible;
  • Work with faculty on incorporating instruction in the important use of information resources in their classes;
  • Increase faculty’s familiarity with and use of electronic information sources;
  • Encourage faculty to develop assignments using appropriate print and electronic sources which emphasize critical thinking skills;
  • Encourage faculty to emphasize appropriate use and citation of resources to avoid plagiarism;
  • Assist students in learning how to define an information need and to select resources, both print and electronic;
  • Help students learn to critically analyze and evaluate information;
  • Make students aware that searching for information requires time and practice, and that information literacy skills are part of lifelong learning;
  • Continue to mesh the goals of reference, liaison and information literacy to achieve informed, literate, and necessary public services;
  • Assist the Head of Information Literacy in keeping accurate statistics.

Instruction Session Policy

Faculty attendance
The Instruction staff strongly encourages faculty participation in the instruction session process.

Information Literacy Instruction Content
Information Literacy instruction sessions are designed to introduce users to the resources available at the University Libraries (McDermott and Callier) and to assist in the development of research strategies that will enable users to pursue their research goals or other information needs. When an instruction session is requested, an instruction librarian customizes the session to best fit the faculty’s or student’s course and assignment requirements.  Included in a general library instruction session are an overview of the library’s services and collections, an introduction to resources including our catalog, and a demonstration of periodical indexes and printed and electronic resources appropriate to the topic and level of the class.  The session also includes a discussion of library research skills and search strategies.  Advanced instruction sessions might include conducting a legislative history, researching a market for a new product, or a thorough literature review for a thesis or dissertation. 

Information Literacy instruction availability
Instruction sessions are available at any time of the year, and may coincide with class projects. 

Information Literacy instruction location

Instruction sessions can be taught in the McDermott Library’s Instruction Area during regularly scheduled class meeting times.   The instruction librarians are also available to hold the sessions in classrooms or lecture halls.  Live demonstrations of the electronic resources may be limited by the room’s network connections.

To request an information literacy instruction session, please use the following forms:

Faculty Request for a Group Instruction Session
Request A Personal Instruction Session
Request a McDermott Library Tour

Library Instruction Area Policy

Some Basic Guidelines For The use of the Room

1.    Must be reserved with Loreen Henry, if not available, please contact Stephanie Isham.
2.    No use by non-library affiliated staff
3.    Staff use includes vendor demos, displays, training and online courses.

McDermott Library adapts the policies and mission statements of the American Library Association’s LIRT and ACRL/ IS in developing its Library Instruction policy and mission. Additional information about this can be found online at the American Library Association.