Much of the current literature on information literacy on college and university campuses encourages instructional services librarians and departments to pursue one of two options: either integrate information literacy into the curriculum as a campus-wide initiative, or establish a forcredit information literacy course taught by librarians. For a variety of reasons, instructional programs may not be able to accomplish either of these goals immediately. Perhaps the library does not have the institutional influence to mount a campus-wide program, or maybe the library lacks the needed resources in terms of personnel or instructional facilities. Tackling the planning required for a program spanning the University curriculum may seem overwhelming. The issues of influence and resources may also be reasons why a library cannot establish a credit-bearing course. Still, we cannot do nothing.

There is a third alternative available to information literacy librarians: working with faculty within a selected department to integrate information literacy goals and instruction into that department as a whole. The whole campus may be too large; one department is not. The resources required for expanding information literacy to the entire campus are beyond the scope of overextended librarians and instructional services departments; the resources required to plan with and reach out to one department are not over-taxing. Integrating information literacy components into a department may provide a stepping-stone approach from which librarians may eventually integrate information literacy into a campuswide educational enterprise. What is required, and how should we set about integrating information literacy into one department? And, where will this strategy lead us?

Publication Date

Fall 2005