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Information Literacy: Instructional Sequence

Information Literacy Plan

Click the link below to download a copy of the Loyola ▪ Notre Dame Library's Information Literacy Program Plan.

Request an Information Literacy Session

The Research & Instruction Department is available to teach your students how to use the library research resources. Sessions last 50-90 minutes and can cover such topics as how to effectively search library databases, the library catalog, and other key resources for conducting research; how to access the full text of articles; and how to evaluate information found in databases or on the web. If you would like to schedule a library information literacy session or talk to librarian about developing a session for your students, please use this form.

Instructional Sequence

The Research & Instruction Department teaches an average of 300 library sessions per year.

  • 70% of these are for undergraduate classes
  • 30% are for master’s and doctoral level classes

Undergraduate Students

Information literacy skills are developed over time, starting with foundational skills introduced early in the curriculum. For this reason, all undergraduate students attend at least one library instruction session during their freshman year. For Notre Dame of Maryland University students, this takes place in their First Year Seminar course (NDMU 100). Loyola University Maryland students come to the library during their Effective Writing course (WR100 or WR101), and during Eloquentia Perfecta (HN 210) for students in the Honors program. In these sessions, students are introduced to core library resources and begin to build the skills necessary for effectively finding, evaluating, and accessing a variety of sources. See the Core Competencies section for more information on skills.

It is the library’s ongoing goal to see all undergraduate students for at least one information literacy class within their major in addition to their freshman session. Optimally, this would be a research-based course in which the library session is integrated with a research assignment. This enables students to learn about discipline-specific databases and terminology used in their field. Each student will work with the librarian to build search strategies that they can directly apply to research in their major as well as in their professional career.

Master's and Doctoral Students

The Research & Instruction Department is dedicated to advancing master’s and doctoral students’ information literacy skills with the goal of empowering them to successfully find, evaluate, and use information in their programs and carry these skills forward into their professional careers. This goal is achieved by scaffolding information literacy skills within a variety of degree programs, tailoring instruction to meet the unique research needs of each discipline, and offering a wide range of online instructional resources that can be accessed at the point of need. This process lays a solid groundwork for future success in the workplace by strengthening students’ ability to transform knowledge and become contributors to their professional communities.

A principal aim of the Research & Instruction Department is to see all master’s and doctoral students at multiple points throughout their respective programs. Orientation serves as the first point of contact and allows students to make a personal connection with a Research & Instruction librarian and learn about available library resources and services.  The department then seeks to provide information literacy sessions integrated into one or more courses. First, a session taught early in the program serves to introduce students to key databases and resources used in their field and search strategies for finding and accessing information. A second course later in the program—ideally a research methods course—reinforces previously taught concepts and builds advanced research skills, such as evaluating resources and refining search strategies to search more efficiently and effectively. 

All master’s and doctoral students also have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one consultations with the Research & Instruction staff. These sessions are strongly suggested for those working on doctoral dissertations, and provide a time to meet with a librarian at the beginning of the research process to discuss appropriate databases, build search strategies, and learn about tools for organizing research.