URI’s University Libraries receives national recognition for information literacy program

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KINGSTON, R.I. — October 9, 2014 — The University of Rhode Island Libraries’ Information Literacy Program has received some of the highest praise in the field and is cited for its best practices.


The worldwide Association of College and Research Libraries has recognized the Information Literacy Programs at URI’s Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons in three of ten “Best Practice” categories.


The University was recognized for three Best Practices categories: “Goals and Objectives,” “Articulation within the Curriculum,” and “Pedagogy.” Head of Instructional Services and Professor Mary C. MacDonald of Wakefield and her colleagues in the Library Public Services Department worked to develop and implement these award-winning practices.


These recognitions cite the overall effectiveness of URI’s Information Literacy Plans as they support the university’s goals for General Education and other programs, as well as the university and library’s mission and vision.


Only twelve institutions of higher education (including one library from Great Britain) were selected for recognition, and only four of these institutions received recognition for three or more categories.


Recognized for its goals and objectives, the ACRL says “URI’s Information Literacy Plan exemplifies a staged articulation of goals and objectives serving the university’s goals for General Education and other programs, as well as the university and library’s mission and vision.”


URI’s program was also recognized for its “Articulation within the Curriculum,” integration at both the discipline and the course level, from a pre-freshman “Talent Development” initiative to capstone courses across the disciplines. Further, the University’s new general education program includes Information Literacy as an outcome needed for all students.


The final Best Practice recognized was “Pedagogy.” URI’s Instruction Services and Information Literacy Program covers both credit-bearing courses and comprehensive outreach courses to the first year writing program and first year engineering students. Many of the teaching techniques used at URI are outlined in the book Teaching Information Literacy: 50 Standards-based Exercises for College Students (Burkhardt, MacDonald, and Rathemacher. Chicago: ALA 2010).


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