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Information Literacy: First Year Program

To schedule library instruction for a class, contact Liz Cashman, Head of Information Literacy and Instruction Services, at elizabeth.cashman@wne.edu or 413-782-1537.

As information literacy is a critical thinking skill that spans all disciplines and develops over time and through multiple exposures, the information literacy program for first year students is an interdisciplinary effort to lay a foundation of basic skills and concepts which students will build upon throughout college.

The sequenced modules work off of each other to address progressively complex aspects of information literacy:

  • Modules A & B, "Evaluating Information" and "Strategic Searching," are delivered through the First Year Seminar course in the Fall semester.
  • Modules C & D, "From Context to Analysis: Evaluating Conversations Around A Research Topic or Question"  and "From Context to Analysis: Using Specific Tools for Specialized Information Research" are presented in conjunction with the English 133 course in the Spring semester.

In order to maximize the impact of these sessions on students' information literacy learning, we encourage faculty to 

  • schedule library instruction sessions for their classes early in the semester,
  • incentivize student participation in assignments and class discussion,
  • provide an assignment to which students can apply learned skills, and
  • accompany students to the workshop and participate in discussion along with them. 

We look forward to working with faculty to foster the lifelong information literacy of our students at Western New England University!

Explore the tabs below to learn more about the class modules and how information literacy is assessed in the first year.

Becoming information literate is a developmental process.  A first-year student that arrives at WNE is expected to have very limited exposure to the critical IL skills and concepts necessary to be successful. The Instruction department at D'Amour has provided a rubric that charts the development of most (but not all) the key areas where students should develop.