Information Literacy

R&ID's information literacy program endeavors to provide students the research skills essential for intellectual exploration and academic success.  We believe the core concepts of information literacy are critical to laying the foundation for Hamilton's own learning objectives: intellectual curiosity, creativity, understanding of cultural diversity, aesthetic and analytic discernment, and ethical, informed, and engaged citizenship. 

Information literacy is a spectrum of abilities, practices, and habits of mind that extends and deepens learning through engagement with the information ecosystem. It includes:

  • understanding essential concepts about that ecosystem;
  • engaging in creative inquiry and critical reflection to develop questions and to find, evaluate, and manage information through an iterative process;
  • creating new knowledge through ethical participation in communities of learning, scholarship, and civic purpose; and
  • adopting a strategic view of the interests, biases, and assumptions present in the information ecosystem.

(Association of College & Research Libraries, November 2014)

Library Instruction at Hamilton

Hamilton faculty are encouraged to bring classes or groups to Burke Library for instruction in doing library research. Most library instruction sessions occur during regularly scheduled class time in the library’s Couper Classroom. These sessions can...

  • Instruct students in the development of a research strategy
  • Help develop critical thinking skills
  • Provide an introduction to the library catalog to locate books and eBooks
  • Demonstrate the use of both general and subject specific databases
  • Help select, evaluate, and cite authoritative information sources
  • Explain library services and procedures
  • Support student success

Librarians have discovered that students benefit most from hands-on library instruction when their professors provide clearly developed research assignments, prior to the library instruction session. In order to best address information literacy learning objectives, it is highly recommended that a library research assignment is assigned in conjunction with the library instruction session. To arrange for specialized library instruction, contact a liaison librarian to discuss library-related assignments.  Faculty may also submit requests through our library instruction form.  

In order to maximize the effectiveness of library instruction, the following guidelines are suggested:

  • Requests should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date that the instruction session is needed.
  • Requests for instruction should be accompanied by a copy of the research assignment. Assignments should specify the purpose of the paper or project, the number and types of sources to be used, and the requested citation style.
  • If at all possible, it is recommended that students know their research topic(s) prior to the library session. If a basic library orientation class is being requested with no research paper assignment given, it is suggested that a simple research assignment be developed in collaboration with the instructing librarian.
  • The instructor's presence at the session is welcomed and required.


Research & Instructional Design Staff

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