The Samuel C. Williams Library provides instruction that is based on the principles of information literacy (understanding how to search for, evaluate, and access information according to need and context; see Information Literacy for more). The Library’s classes and workshops guide the Stevens community to make effective use of the vast array of materials in its collection and beyond, and highlight strategies and methods for effectively conducting and organizing research. The Library’s instruction program is designed and assessed according to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

Instruction Philosophy

  • Information literacy is essential to student success at Stevens and beyond.
  • We are committed to exploring how knowledge and information are contextual and socially constructed.
  • To meet the differing research needs of undergraduate and graduate students we will provide appropriately scaffolded learning experiences.
  • In order to better integrate information literacy into the curriculum, we will actively seek to collaborate with faculty members and other campus partners.
  • We will provide instruction that is inclusive and takes into account students’ differing experiences and learning needs.
  • We believe that students learn by doing and engaging critically with varied forms of information.
  • We will seek to provide the most current and relevant information literacy instruction to our students through professional development and consistent program assessment.

Types of Instruction

  • Course-Related Instruction
    • Sessions focus on research strategies and critical thinking concepts, but can also cover a range of resources (general or subject-specific).
    • Librarians create online course guides that are designed to accompany instruction and facilitate research.
    • See Faculty Guidelines below for more information about scheduling and course guides.
  • First-Year Instruction
  • Small Group Instruction
    • Librarians can schedule subject-specific sessions for small groups working on projects upon request.
  • Workshops
    • Workshops for students and faculty are scheduled throughout the year on a range of research topics. For a list of upcoming workshops, see the Events calendar.
  • Orientations for On-Campus and Distance Students
    • General introductory tours of the Library are provided in conjunction with the Offices of Undergraduate Student Life and Graduate Student Affairs at the outset of each semester, and can be scheduled throughout the year for individuals as well.
    • Virtual introductions to the Library’s resources can be conducted by phone or webinar for students in online programs who cannot get to campus.

Faculty Guidelines

  • Syllabus Integration: Scheduling instruction in conjunction with a research assignment that is due later in the semester will provide context for students and is a critical component for student motivation and learning.
  • Scheduling: Please submit instruction requests at least two weeks in advance. Classes requested with less than two weeks notice will be scheduled subject to librarians’ discretion. To arrange session(s), please contact Vicky Ludas Orlofsky, Instruction Coordinator.
  • Location: Instruction sessions are usually conducted in the Library. In certain cases, instruction can be held in alternate locations, such as classrooms or other rooms on-campus.
  • Faculty Involvement and Collaboration:
    • The faculty member will collaborate with the librarian to design an instruction session and course guide (see below) to meet the research needs of the class. The course instructor should provide relevant course material such as the syllabus, course assignment and student topics to the librarian as well as communicate the student learning outcomes.
    • Faculty members are required to be present at the session to demonstrate to students that the instruction session is an integral part of the coursework as well as the value of research skills to the outcome of the assignment.
  • Course Guides: The Library’s course guides highlight information about the range of resources relevant to the course (e.g. recommended databases, ebooks, citation tools). Course guides are developed prior to the session(s) and presented in class, and remain accessible on the Library’s website on an ongoing basis.