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Faculty encouraged to join effort to boost information literacy among students

March 19, 2001

Information literacy. It's not about learning to read but about learning to find and use information, and it's a critical skill for our information-driven age.

To ensure Austin Peay students are adept at finding information, Lori Buchanan, user-education librarian and professor, is calling for faculty assistance in integrating information literacy across the curriculum.

Buchanan will present information about the initiative in the library's Instruction and Computer Room at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, March 29.

"Information literacy is like an umbrella encompassing all the skills we hope students are gaining in regard to information," she says. "It's getting students to realize that everything is not on the Web or computer. For example, to get a copy of the Constitution, it's easier to go to an encyclopedia rather than the Web."

Some faculty already may be teaching information-gathering skills but aren't calling it that, she says.

"This initiative looks at what we're doing on campus, then at the extra things we can do to address some standards."

Buchanan's selection for the project is notable. She is one of only 20 people selected from 70 applicants nationwide to participate in the Association of College and Research Libraries project titled "Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in Information Literacy Programs: Training Academic Librarians."

The project will target specific courses and attempt to integrate information literacy across the curriculum."

Funded through a grant, its purpose is to train Buchanan and an APSU faculty team to design, implement and evaluate tools for assessing APSU students' information literacy. The effort will culminate with a national conference presentation.

Buchanan points out that teaching information literacy is part of the Woodward Library's mission, as well as the University mission, which promotes "critical thinking, communication and information skills, leadership, and a commitment to lifelong learning."

To attend the March 29 session, contact Buchanan at 7017 or by e-mail her at