What We Do
The Education and Outreach Services Department at Auraria Library seeks to incorporate meaningful information literacy skills and concepts into the curriculum of all three schools on the Auraria Campus. Our program is built around our teaching team partnering with course instructors to improve information literacy in several ways, including leading classroom sessions, developing online materials, and reviewing research projects before they’re assigned to students.
The planning and execution of this work is highly collaborative, and typically involves our department working with course instructors to review program goals, course outcomes, and individual assignments that address information literacy concepts. We also conduct assessments of student learning in consultation with our colleagues on campus to better inform our pedagogy and determine how our students interact with information.
Partner with the Library
Request an Instruction Session
- This option is courses with a research component. If your course does not have a research component, we can help you create one, or we can provide you with materials that you can incorporate into your course in lieu of an instruction session.
- We require at least two weeks’ notice to develop a 75-minute instruction session that addresses student research needs and is consistent with our instructional philosophy and scope. These sessions can take place in the library, in the room where the class regularly meets, or online.
- For face-to-face sessions, we require the course instructor to be present and engaged in the class in order to provide disciplinary context and answer any student questions related to assignment requirements. In the event the instructor cannot attend, a designee from their department will need to be present.
As of October 15, we are no longer accepting instruction requests for the fall 2019 semester. We will begin accepting requests for the spring 2020 semester in early December.
Request Online Materials
This option is for creating resources that could supplement or replace face-to-face instruction. Rather than point-and-click explanations, our department aims to develop and curate research guides, video tutorials, and other content that addresses information literacy skills and concepts. Please review our Research Guides and Library Tutorials before submitting your request to determine if we have already developed something that could meet the needs of students. We are no longer accepting requests for the fall 2019 semester. Request online materials for the spring 2020 semester by contacting Lorrie Evans.
Request Assignment Collaboration
This option involves sharing your syllabus and/or research assignments with members of our teaching team before these assignments are given to students. We will discuss your desired outcomes and share our expertise regarding current practices for teaching and evaluating information literacy skills. We are no longer accepting requests for the fall 2019 semester. Request an assignment collaboration for the spring 2020 semester by contacting Jessica Critten.
Request a Savvy Researcher Workshop
This option is for researchers seeking to explore tools and methods that could improve their research process. Workshop topics include citation management, data management and visualization, poster design and presentation skills, publishing and promoting research, and using GIS and other spatial data. Savvy Researcher Workshops are provided by our Researcher Support Services Department. Learn more at the Savvy Researcher Workshop page.
Request an OER Consultation
This option is for course instructors to learn about how they can replace their textbooks with more affordable alternatives, including Open Educational Resources (OER). You can meet with a member of the library faculty to discuss how to identify and evaluate possible replacements, as well as learn more about Open Education generally. Request an appointment with our Research Consultation form.
Our teaching team consists of faculty librarians who engage in continuous professional development in the areas of teaching information literacy and student learning assessment. The team also includes graduate assistants who undergo extensive training and classroom observations prior to teaching independently.
After consulting with course instructors and reviewing the research requirements of their courses, our teaching team will develop a lesson plan and learning objects that address both student research needs and our departmental learning outcomes. The content of the sessions themselves will be determined by our teaching team, whose members hold faculty rank and enjoy academic freedom as defined by the American Association of University Professors.
Our Instructional Philosophy
In our teaching we aim to:
- Recognize and honor students’ lived experiences
- Explore the complex, iterative, and political nature of information and research
- Discuss information creation and use as they arise in different, situated contexts
- Emphasize the transferability of information literacy in- and outside academic contexts
Our Instructional Scope
Our instruction program includes discussions about:
How research is based in inquiry, including articulating and defining the scope and purpose of research. In practice, this includes:
- Creating research questions and topic development
- “Presearching” or surveying a topic
- Identifying and articulating research needs
Structures of information and searching. In practice, this includes:
- Crafting and refining search strategies
- Keyword searching
- Facet/advanced searching
- “Citation chaining”/Cited Reference Searching
- Discovery tools (e.g., Start My Research)
- Distinguishing between types of information sources to respond to research needs
- Search engine algorithms and bias
- Scholarly and popular resources
- Types of Information sources, including (but not limited to) journal articles, books, newspapers, magazines, trade publications, social media, and Wikipedia
Synthesizing and evaluating information. In practice, this includes:
- Creating research questions and topic development
- Reading and analyzing information and texts
- Evaluating for relevancy and/or credibility
- Exploring the nature of authority and expertise
- Choosing and defining ‘evidence’; using evidence to build arguments
We encourage instructors to bring classes to the library, and we have multiple classrooms dedicated to information literacy instruction. These rooms are equipped with high-definition projectors, laptops, marker boards, and other technology that is conducive to active learning. Due to the high demand for information literacy instruction, our classrooms are unavailable for reservation by anyone other than our teaching team.