Cultivating the Librarian Within: Effectively Integrating Library Instruction into Freshman Composition

By Jesse Ulmer and Nancy Fawley.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

It has become common practice for library instruction to be included in lower-level college composition courses. Students are typically required to visit the library once or twice a semester to receive instruction on how to find books and journal articles for an upcoming writing assignment that incorporates formal research. But does this current model of instruction truly address course outcomes that seek to produce students who are information literate, critical thinkers and life-long learners? Faculty who teach such courses are often reluctant to surrender precious class time to a librarian, but this paper argues that the merging of bibliographic instruction with composition curriculum can more effectively tackle course goals with minimal interruption to the class schedule. The aim of this paper is to challenge the conventional relationship between library instruction and lower-level composition courses by assessing and discussing the implementation of a new freshman writing course that fully integrates library instruction into the course and into the classroom.

Keywords: Information Literacy, Information Fluency, Life-Long Learning, Bibliographic Instruction, Libraries, Librarians, ESL Classroom, Critical Thinking, Academic Collaboration, Freshman Composition

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp.415-424. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.217MB).

Jesse Ulmer

Assistant Professor of English, General Education Program, VCUQatar, Doha, Qatar

Jesse Ulmer is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts in Doha, Qatar. He completed his undergraduate work in English Studies at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minnesota, and his graduate work in English Literature at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Since last January he has been teaching research and writing to Arabic speaking students in Doha, Qatar. His research interests include science fiction, cross-cultural studies, writing, and teaching English as a second language.

Nancy Fawley

Reference Librarian, VCUQatar, Doha, Qatar

Nancy Fawley is the Head of User Services for the Library at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. Her research interests include information literacy and plagiarism and the misuse of sources within the cultural context of the Middle East. She received a BS in journalism from Boston University and a MLS from the University of Kentucky.


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